To read the first part of my Christmas roadtrip, click here.
It seems like I took the rain with me everywhere I traveled. It was sprinkling when I left Johnson City, and on my way to Wilmington, North Carolina, the rain kept coming and going.
My friend, Tyler, moved to Wilmington a few years ago, and I knew I would make it up to visit him one day since my dad lives just a state away. Before I go into everything that I did on my trip, I want to start by saying that I fell in love with Wilmington. It rained pretty much every second that I was there, but it was still beautiful and cozy. I love the life that Tyler has made for himself in North Carolina, and I’m glad I could get a glimpse into it during my stay.
Monday, December 21, 2015
After a six-hour drive from Tennessee, I was greeted with four-lane roads and a pretty impressive Christmas light display at a car dealership. Wilmington kind of felt like Charleston to me, and I felt so welcomed in the city.
I met up with Tyler at his friend’s house because they were doing worship team practice. They were singing Christmas songs, and I was browsing Yelp to try to decide where I wanted to eat for dinner. We settled on a restaurant called Indochine. I was really craving some Asian food on my drive, and Indochine did not disappoint. There was a bit of a wait, so Tyler and I caught up on each other’s lives a little, but mostly we talked about all of the TV shows we watch and which ones we thought the other should watch. For dinner, I had Pad See U, and it was pretty dang delicious.
When we finally made it to Tyler’s place, I met the family he lives with and fell in love with their huge dog. Seriously, he was so sweet!
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
The family Tyler lives with decided to celebrate Christmas this morning because they were leaving the next day to go visit their family for Christmas. Tyler told me about this the morning before, and I had planned on going downstairs to watch all of the kids open their presents. Too bad the time change won again, and I slept in pretty late. I felt pretty great though!
Once I was all ready to go, Tyler took me to his favorite coffee house called The Folks. He likes to sit at this little table in the corner and do a lot of his work. He’s a frequenter, and the owners know and recognize him, and he even has a “usual.” I’ve always wanted to have a place where I had a usual order too. I don’t remember what his order usually is, but I had a grilled cheese with tomatoes and bacon and chips. It was so good! I also had a hot chocolate that was pretty divine.
After we ate, Tyler took me downtown. It was raining, but of course, that wasn’t going to stop us. He assured me that he had an umbrella, but it was the smallest umbrella I’ve ever seen! I’m pretty sure it was broken too. About half of our bodies stayed dry. My feet were soaking by the end of the day, but it was an absolute blast. A few highlights:
// Down Island Traders: We stopped in here to escape the rain, and I ended up buying a postcard and an ornament – two things I like to buy in all of the places I visit. We spoke to the owner for a little while about college, and he was so friendly.
// The Peppered Cupcake: Tyler said he takes everyone here when they come to visit him. I had a Key Lime Pie cupcake, and it was so freaking good! Plus, the owners were super nice.
// Edge of Urge: This store had a plethora of things that just made me laugh. They had really fun (and very inappropriate) cards, unique notebooks that were made from old textbooks and even had pages from the original textbooks in them, beer bottle sweaters, strangely named perfumes and lots of other random things.
// Black Cat Shoppe: My favorite thing I saw in the store were their magnets. They were all just so hilarious. They also had tons of gag gifts. I wanted to buy so many people so many things, but I resisted.
// Cape Fear Spice Merchants: Tyler said he comes into this store all the time, but he’s never actually bought anything. As I’m sure you could guess from the title, it’s a spice shop. I really enjoyed smelling the different spices and marveling at the variety of things they sold.
// Kilwins Chocolates & Ice-Cream: Everyone in this store was so nice when we walked in, and then the guy that served Tyler ice-cream was not so nice. It was a shame. I was still full from lunch and the cupcake, but Tyler got some mint chocolate chip ice-cream, and I had a bite of it. So good.
When we were walking downtown, we also stopped in this really old bookstore that I don’t remember the name of, but it was just wall to wall books. We also stopped in this little area, and Santa was there, so obviously I had to take a picture with him.
After our downtown adventure, we stopped at this little bottle shop called Palate, and I ordered a glass of wine, and Tyler got a glass of beer then we drove to another one of Tyler’s favorite coffee shops called Post Cafe. This shop overlooked the beach, but since it was a rainy day, it just looked pretty foggy.
Tyler’s birthday is on December 23rd, so when I planned my trip, I wanted to make it so I would get to spend his birthday with him. Luckily, his parents were in town, so they came over to Tyler’s place and made gumbo and cheesecake, and we and the family Tyler lives with ate dinner together to celebrate Tyler’s birth. It was such a fun night!
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Today was Tyler’s birthday, so I wanted to hang out with him for a bit before I hit the road. He found this breakfast restaurant called Salt Works that he had only been to once before. It was pretty busy, and after eating their food, I know why. It was so tasty! I had French toast with hashbrowns, and I ate until my stomach couldn’t hold anymore. There was a guy sitting next to us that said he ate there pretty much every day, and I don’t blame him. The hashbrowns were so crispy and perfect. I didn’t even need ranch, and that’s saying a lot.
After breakfast, I said goodbye to Tyler and made my way to Charleston to visit my family! Read about the rest of my trip tomorrow!