Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beach Vacation 2015

Last Wednesday, my sweet college friend from Kentucky drove 8 long hours solo just to come see me in Raleigh! We planned a long weekend beach vacation back in May and I have been looking forward to it all summer!!
On Wednesday afternoon, after she arrived, we headed to the local mall to pick up any last minute items and do a little shopping! How cute are our names outside the dressing rooms in The Loft?!

That night, the hubs and I took Tatum out to dinner at The Pit in Raleigh. It's definitely the best place for barbeque and an attraction for out of town guests. We explored a little chocolate shop across the street while we waited and it was so neat!

Love this man right here! I was sad to leave him and Tucker for a few days but super excited to sink my toes in the sand!
And that's just what we did the next morning! It was the PERFECT beach day! Mid 80s, breezy, sunny...glorious!

Beach Selfie!!
We stayed on the beach until we started to feel the burn and headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up for dinner. We hit The Cotton Exchange before they closed at 5:30 to check out the local shops and grab a little treat.
A sweet owner of one of the foodie shops gave us the best recommendations for dinner the two nights we were in Wilmington. We stayed right on the riverwalk and walked everywhere. It was a great location.

We tried his first recommendation, The Pilot House for dinner on Thursday night. I'm not a seafood person so I guess I'll have the filet mignon ;). It was delicious and Tatum really enjoyed her steam pot too. We would definitely recommend it if you're ever in Wilmington!
Friday started out sunny but we knew the weather forecast did not look pretty! We got dressed and brought our swimsuits along just in case but planned for a girls day of shopping.

But first? We had to try the famous Britt's Donuts on Carolina Beach. We headed down to the Beach Boardwalk for these delicious donuts, and boy were they good!

Not exaggerating, these were THE BEST DONUTS that have ever graced my tongue! Tatum agreed! They are voted #2 independent donut shop in America and I don't know why they're not #1! I would literally drive the 2 hours back to the beach just for these! And yes, we both scarfed two in one sitting they were that good!
We walked off our donuts by hitting the little boutique and souvenir shops on the boardwalk. How neat is this mermaid door? Got $600? It can be yours!
Shortly after our donut adventure, the skies opened up and down came the rain, in sheets! Of course I had not brought my umbrella, it was in the room. But we hit some shops (Old Time Pottery, Home Goods, and Mayfair Town Center) and had lunch at Brixx Pizza (so yummy too). Then we headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner.
Also, there happened to be a "One Tree Hill" convention in Wilmington while we were there. I never really watched the show but it was all filmed in Wilmington, as was Dawson's Creek, Ironman, and tons of other tv shows and movies. We had no idea! It was pretty neat!

I snagged this gorgeous Jessica Simpson halter maxi dress at TJ Maxx while we shopped earlier in the day! Tatum thinks it will be perfect for Easter next year and I agree!

Tatum and I before dinner on Friday night.

Friday night we hit The George which was the other recommendation of the shop owner. I again had the filet mignon and it was amazing!!! I would recommend this place over The Pilot House. It wasn't as fancy but I liked that it was more laid back and open to the water and riverwalk.
Dinner Selfie
After dinner, we walked downtown Wilmington. We stopped at the ice cream shop Killwinds which was recommended to me by a co-worker. It was delicious as well! They made the waffle cones right in front of your eyes! Yum! It was so rich though that I barely ate 1/4 of it but so good! We took our ice cream and walked down to a free concert. There were tons of people out and about even though it was almost 10pm.

Then we spotted a horse and carriage tour that takes you through downtown Wilmington. We decided to hop on and learn more about Wilmington's history. It was really neat to see all of the big grand homes and learn their background. North and South Carolina originated from Wilmington which was neat to learn. It was started in 1600 by King Charles.

This is the oldest, still standing, home in Wilmington built before the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately it costs too much to restore but can't be torn down due to its historical protection.

Another cute charming house that was all lit up. I couldn't get a picture of the ginormous mansion but it was where the phrase, "Keeping up with the Jones'" originated as the owners were the Jones' and they threw magnificent lavish parties.
Saturday morning, our last day, we headed back out to the beach and stopped at Kate's Pancakes for breakfast. Reese's for breakfast anyone? These were sooooo good!
Unfortunately the weather was wet and nasty again so we opted to head back towards Raleigh early and take a little detour to the Smithfield outlets. We had a great time even though the shopping was a dud. I always have a blast when I'm with this girl, no matter what we're doing.
We got back in time to lay by the pool at my apartment for a few hours before heading out for our last dinner.

We went to Firebird's in North Hills and oops...I had another filet mignon! Sorry...I'm a steak gal! It was absolutely delicious as well.
I was so sad to see Tatum go the next morning. I had so much fun catching up with her and reminiscing on old memories  that seem like yesterday! Now to convince the hubs to take me back to the beach ASAP!

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