Thursday, March 18, 2010

Vacation, Day 1

We hit the road around 8:30 on Wednesday morning, heading to the coast. We went via North Myrtle Beach this time, as Sara wanted to pick up some pralines in a favorite candy shop there. The pralines were absolutely fresh, still on the metal sheet that they had been made on, as a matter of fact, and the clerk had to transfer them from that to a box with a spatula. These pralines are chock-full of whole pecans.

After leaving the candy shop we headed up the coast to Calabash, where we dined on seafood at Captain Nance's, right on the Intracoastal Waterway. Sara had a plate of Calabash-style shrimp (breaded lightly, deep-fried) while I had the same with the a deviled crab thrown in for good measure.

After lunch we did some shopping in Calabash; there is a holiday-themed store there that sells every sort of gift you can possibly imagine, including nautical stuff, since it is on the coast. Apparently the place started as a single store in a strip mall, then acquired other stores in the same complex as time went by, until now they own the entire strip mall and you can walk from one end to the other without leaving the inside of the store, walls between the individual shops having been altered to allow shoppers easy access. Sara found a porcelain "I Love Lucy" mug (she's a huge fan of the old show); I didn't buy anything, but looked longingly at some brass ships' bells (the real thing, huge and expensive).

Shopping finished we got underway again, and headed up the coast to Southport, arriving at the hotel just around 3 o'clock, check-in time. The room is nice; two queen beds, alcove with pull-out couch, free wi-fi. We spent some time unpacking and catching up on Facebook until dinner time; dinner was at a pizza place we had discovered on a previous trip to the area; Sara had lasagna, I had linguini alfredo. After dinner we drove through the downtown Southport area, both of us happy to see the small, attractive town again, with its wood-framed Victorian-era houses everywhere, its many antique shops and boutiques, and the public park down by the banks of the Cape Fear River, across which you can see Oak Island (the lighthouse prominent there, its light active and flashing) and Bald Head Island. We saw several houses we'd be tempted to buy if we ever hit the lottery, a few of them right on the waterfront.

And so, since it was soon too dark to continue our drive, we returned to the hotel, happy and content with the day's progress.

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