August 11, 2018

A beach trip mainly summarized by where we ate...

I just searched my archives and yes, apparently it has been THREE years since our last one...that is too long between beach visits, in my opinion.

Man-Child and I decided that we needed some time away, since it's been "a while."  This is a big year as he has secured his position, an apartment that he will move into next month (apparently, I didn't post about that - so yes, he and a buddy are moving into an apartment next month - the first real step out of the nest).

Usually, when we head to the beach we go to Myrtle Beach, SC - mainly because when he was smaller he just wanted to see and do all the things and not just spend a day at the beach.  This time, he declared that we needed to go somewhere new.  I decided upon Wrightsville Beach, NC for two reasons.  One friend regularly goes there and recommended a hotel/motel and because another friend's father lives there - so she was able to give me two pages of restaurant long time readers might remember...Man-Child likes to eat on the regular.

The hotel/motel (truly more of a motel) was nice.  While it is an old building they have kept up with the renovations AND every single unit is an ocean front suite, which is key (in my opinion) for visiting the beach.  I have no desire to stay in a place that requires me to hire a pack mule to carry all the necessities down three blocks to the beach.  Nor do I want to try to navigate public parking at the beach - that is just a recipe for tears.

Now I will say, Wrightsville Beach does not seem to have all the distractions of Myrtle Beach.  I could have happily sat on the beach all the live long day.  Man-Child?  Still gets antsy after about  two hours - that coupled with his need to eat ALL THE DAMN TIME - meant that our actual time on the beach was limited.  But, this was fine, since I was able to spend ample time on the balcony looking at and listening to the surf all without getting too much sun - which we can all agree is a good thing.

Technically, we were there for four days and three nights.  We arrived mid-afternoon last Sunday - and though we couldn't officially "check in" until 4:00 pm they graciously considered us "registered" so that we could park and spend a few hours on the beach before check in.  This may have been the most time that was actually spent "on the beach."

After officially checking in we discovered that my request for two queens meant that one of us (me) got a king size bed in the bedroom while the other was expected to sleep on a queen size pullout in the living room/kitchen area that lead to the balcony.  In light of the fact that one of us (me) gets up much earlier than the other, I offered to sleep in the living room/kitchen area - it was vehemently declined...apparently, chivalry is still a thing.

Also, he claims that the pull out was not uncomfortable and it should be noted that his ability to go back to sleep after I tripped over his shoes in the room and I started the coffee maker is uncanny.

After checking in, we cleaned up and headed out to purchase our "supplies" (which may or may not have included the purchase of a wine bottle opener since "someone" forgot she'd already packed one).  It should be noted here, that this was a totally unnecessary step since there were no beach "days" in our future.  No, our beach time was counted in hours...i.e., an hour here and an hour there - not that I'm complaining.  The balcony, remember?  It counted.  And I had many, many hours on that balcony.

And after purchasing said useless supplies, we looked for a place to have dinner.  And, coincidentally, found ourselves at one of my friends recommended places (we didn't know this until later; as we had left her list at the motel); a local hamburger joint where enjoyed, of all things, some petty good hamburgers FYI, I am making note of all the places to eat because Man-Child complained that we NEVER remember the places we loved) before heading back to the motel for the evening.

Rather than recount every single day without further ado these are the restaurants that we visited and LOVED - in the event you find yourself at Wrightsville you will probably not be sorry if you dine at these fine establishments.

  • PT's Old Fashioned Grille - a local hamburger joint (I believe they also served hot dogs and some sandwiches), very tasty.
  • Causeway Cafe - We actually ate here twice - once for breakfast and once for lunch.  For breakfast I had the Crab Benedict - utterly delicious!  One word of caution; they ONLY take cash.
  • Bluewater Waterfront Grill - this place was our very favorite!  A bit expensive but worth every penny.
  • Oceanic Restaurant - this place was tasty and expensive but I preferred the Bluewater.  With this restaurant you can eat on the pier.  If you opt to do that, try to get seated in the portion of the pier that has a roof.  Why?  Seagulls.  We had seagulls hovering over our heads the whole time.
  • King Neptune Restaurant - Based on the meal I ordered but didn't eat, I wouldn't recommend it BUT Man-Child's meal looked and tasted (he claimed) delicious - so I would try it again but just stay away from the biscuits and me.
  • Paddy's Hollow - it should be noted that this in not in Wrightsville but in Wilmington about 10-15 minutes away.  It is located at The Cotton Exchange, which is chock full of cute shops and some restaurants.
While we were in Wilmington we decided to do an Escape Room.  Have you heard of these?  It was SO much fun!  I would recommend it.  I think it would be even more fun if there was a group of us.  The coordinator claimed that we escaped with three seconds to spare - I have a feeling she fudged the time, but we decided that we would claim that three second victory.

My friend whose dad lives in Wrightsville said that we should try paddleboarding.  I was not keen on this as I can't really swim and I don't like water in my face (should I fall off).  Man-Child was so eager to try it that I eventually gave in...which turned out was a bad idea on my part.  Even though we were paddling in the Intercoastal Waterway and NOT the ocean - it had never occurred to me that there would still be a current that I had to battle against and boat wakes.  Needless to say, I quickly gave up and headed back to shore where I kind of had to be rescued because I just couldn't make it all the way to the shore.  Needless to say, I was quite shaken but kind of proud of myself for having at least tried.  Man-Child, on the other hand, had a grand old time...but then again, he can swim.  And he has arm muscles...whereas I have noodles for muscles.  Would I try it again?  Maybe.  If we were on a lake and I could just paddle in the shallow area.

As usual, just a couple of days away worked out perfectly for us.  The traffic is crazy - which meant that I was always driving past our destination and having to turn around.  By Tuesday, every time I had to turn around I would hear a heavy sigh from the passenger seat.

All in all it was a successful trip.  And I had the foresight to take Thursday and Friday off as well.  I needed this time more than I realized.  I haven't had any significant time off since Christmas and I truly needed some downtime.  Plus, with all the upcoming changes (i.e., Empty Nest), we needed this time to connect.

I think I'm ready for, I'm really not...just trying to talk myself into it!


  1. It sounds like it turned out just right. I love the description of the balcony with the sound of surf. And yes, you needed some bonding time before the nest is truly empty. :-)

  2. Also, can you email me the name of the place you stayed? We are looking to spend a long weekend at the beach and aren't quite sure where we want to go...

  3. Not sure why my other comment didn't post - I stated my kids were the same way = they don't last on the beach for more than two hours at a time and then they are looking for something else to do!