Sunday, September 13, 2009

From Shallotte, NC: Vacation Report Day 2

We actually woke before dawn on Saturday. After morning ablutions we went down to the hotel dining room for breakfast, or at least coffee for Sara; the breakfast was continental, and the biscuits/gravy provided proved to be inedible for her, so she tossed them and just grabbed a banana from the fruit bowl to take along with her. I had nothing, myself.

We then hit the road headed for points south, because Sara wanted to do some shopping in the Myrtle Beach area and get some cheap SC gasoline to put into the car. We got the gas, but had not calculated that SC stores would not be open as early as she had assumed, so her favorite fudge shop was closed, and she was consequently unable to satisfy her craving for pralines. Frustrated by this setback, she aquiesced when I suggested shopping in Southport, NC, for antiques/gifts.

Southport proved to be a compact, charming town with a magical waterfront on the banks of the Cape Fear River, looking out toward the bay formed by Oak Island and Bald Head Island.

Antique shopping was fun in Southport, and we both decided that this is our favorite beach town in NC. Sara found some "I Love Lucy" license plates. I didn't see anything I wanted, at least not anything I wanted that I could afford. Even an antique Bomber fishing lure was outrageously overpriced at $35. (the original Bomber fishing lure was first invented after WWII, and resembled an aerial bomb):

(After returning to the hotel I bought a Bomber on eBay).

After shopping was over we went looking for lunch on Oak Island. My sister had recommended Captain Stanley's, but we discovered it was only open for dinner. We gave the BBQ House a bye, not wanting to eat BBQ. Finally we settled for seafood at Oak Island Seafood Restaurant, which proved to be rather average fried seafood. While there I formed a theory on hush puppies, which goes like this: if hush puppies are spherical (ball shaped) they are likely to be dry, overcooked, tough and lacking in flavor. If they are shaped like dog turds they are likely to be good, full of flavor and tender. Anyway, that's my theory. I'll be testing it over the next year or so and taking notes.

After lunch, a return to the hotel and an intention to return to Southport for the evening, where we could sit on the waterfront and watch sunset.

Evening in Southport is special, a lot of people had the same idea as we did, as the benches and bench swings were almost all taken. Here's a few images from the waterfront area:

The young lady in the black dress was offering a Ghost Walk of the downtown Southport area, including a graveyard and the old jail. She said that the walk had been featured on some of the cable networks; History Channel and Discovery were the ones she mentioned, as I recall.

After sunset we went looking for dinner, we had a craving for Italian. We found it at Bella Cucina, where Sara had lasagna and I had linguine, with cream of broccoli soup and some cheesecake for dessert. Good restaurant, I can recommend it unreservedly.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel. NC road 211 passes through some true wilderness, and I cautioned Sara, driving, about the possibility of animals running into the road and the importance of not wrecking the car while braking/swerving to avoid them. Thus when a truck ahead of us struck a raccoon in the road, Sara kept her head and smacked it as well rather than go into a swerving, brake-squealing panic (we saw the raccoon, dead, the next day by on the edge of the road). Sara laughed at me for screaming like a girl when we hit the raccoon, and I got back at her by singing snatches of the Beatles' "Rocky Raccoon" during the rest of the trip.

And so we arrived back at the hotel, none the worse for our encounter with a raccoon.

1 comment:

Borepatch said...

Southport is Teh Awesome. We really liked Mr. P's restaurant, but it was pretty pricy. Fishy Fish was also good, less pricy, and has a million dollar view of the harbor.

The kids also liked the ferry ride to Ft. Fisher.

Agreed on the antiques.