trespassing at dawson leery’s – wilmington, north carolina
Today I woke up refreshed and ready for another convertible tour of Wilmington. Tessie and I got up and got ready, ate breakfast, and were on the road by 7:30am. Pretty impressive. Top down, we cruised over to the arboretum on Oleander Drive, a popular filming location for the romantic scenes on Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. And it was easy to see why. We wandered freely around the arboretum snapping photos of flowers, palm trees, water features, and unique gazebos and bridges, among other artistic touches. There were also picnic tables and benches, so that locals can go have a cute lunch, read a book, or even get some studying done. I feel like I’d want to spend a lot of down time there if I lived in the area.
From there it was off to the beach – Wrightsville Beach, to be exact, which is right on the outskirts of Wilmington. I was stoked that it was actually warm enough for us to be at the beach at 8:30am, and we ran right down to the ocean to put our feet in the water. North Carolina’s ocean in March is warmer than Maine’s ocean in June. True story. After posing for a few shots under the Oceanic Pier and collecting some shells as souvenirs, we hopped back in the car and went off on a mission: to find Dawson Leery’s house.
After about half an hour of driving in circles on gravelly, unpaved side roads and – gulp – trespassing on private property, I did it: I arrived at the Leery family home. Granted, I was under no circumstances supposed to be at Dawson’s house in the eyes of the law, but I couldn’t go to Wilmington and not hunt it down. I snapped a few surreptitious pictures of Dawson’s place (and Jen & Grams’ next door) and then we peeled out – well, as much as you can when you have to do a 6-point turn and then bump along pebbled roads. We poked around a few other locations (and stumbled across Dawson Street near downtown) and then cruised over the bridge to Battleship Park, where we saw the Battleship NC and, more importantly, the river court from One Tree Hill, with a gorgeous view of the riverfront downtown area.
After I reminisced as if I’d gone to Tree Hill High, it was back to the car for an hour and a half trip down US 17 to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where we ended up at Barefoot Landing. Along the way we noticed that there seemed to be a Baptist church every three miles down the highway, and once we reached the strip in Myrtle Beach, there was an adventure golf place every ten feet. Not to mention giant fake sharks everywhere – which would have scared me more had they not been so absurd and random.
At Barefoot Landing, we grabbed lunch at cute 50s-themed diner Johnny Rockets, and then shopped and got henna tattoos and took some pictures. We also watched a fudge-making demonstration at the Fudgery and got roped into buying like a pound and a half of fudge that we couldn’t even consider eating.
We got back to Wilmington around dinner time, but skipped dinner in favor of getting mani-pedis at a nail salon across from our hotel. I somehow managed to cut my big toe open on one of the pedicure jets – I am probably the only person who could manage to do that. My pedicurist felt awful and kept insisting she “didn’t use anything sharp!” I just laughed and told her it was my own clumsiness. I managed to survive the rest of the experience and end up with nice nails – dark purple on my fingers, and a reddish pink on my toes.
By this time we were hungry, so we decided to take an inaugural trip to Sonic – we don’t have em up north, so why not? I got a really good slush, and Tessie enjoyed some cheesy tots. It was an interesting experience, since you pull up and order at individual stations, and then the wait staff rollerskates outside and brings the food to your car. I’m starting to understand why we don’t have Sonic in the north – that whole rollerskating outside thing is not really practical for the winter months, eh?
At his point we were on a time crunch, so we raced to get gas on 23rd Street and return the car to the airport on time. I carefully backed the car into the same spot from which we’d picked it up two days earlier. But, as I’ve said, I am not the best parker. The guy working at the Thrifty counter said, “That convertible’s got some blind spots for backing up, huh?” I hadn’t really noticed the blind spots, but apparently I am a worse parker than even I’d thought. Oh well.
It was a short taxi ride back to the hotel, a little cheesy TV and time for sleep since it was going to be an early Saturday.