Weekend in Wilmington (Part One)

Wilmington, on the North Carolina coast, is one of our favorite weekend getaways.  It’s less than four hours from our house and offers both a quaint city steeped in history (especially the film kind!) and close proximity to one of our favorite beaches, Wrightsville Beach!

After attending the Easter service at Duke University Chapel, we drove out to Wilmington for a few days. We spent Easter evening wandering around Wrightsville Beach, sticking toes in the water and playing in the sand.

The kids were nice enough to pose for pictures as the sun was setting and then they were right back playing in the water, at least until the wind kicked up and it got really cold– then they were ready to leave!

Goodnight, Wrightsville Beach, see you again tomorrow!  While I do miss west coast beaches with the sun setting out over the water, it is still possible to get a bit of sunset over the ocean on the east coast.
We wrapped up our wonderful and relaxing Easter with a delicious dinner at Tower 7, one of our favorite places to eat in the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area!  The Stetson tacos with grilled achiote marinated chicken, avocado, Roma tomato, cheese, slaw and chipotle aioli were absolutely perfect after spending a few hours walking along the beach.  And unlimited chips and salsa is always a plus!

We were up bright and early the next morning to check out the NC Aquarium- Fort Fisher, about a half hour south of our hotel in Wilmington.  Since we have a family membership to the NC Zoo, we were able to get into the aquarium for free- score!!  While not as big as other aquariums, the NC Aquariums (there are three!) are a great spot to spend a couple of hours.  We like to do them in the morning and then spend the afternoon at the beach!
After our fun morning at the aquarium, the kids really wanted to head to the beach for some fun in the sun. And, like all kids, they were hungry, but luckily we had a delicious surprise in store for them!
On our way back north, we stopped in Carolina Beach for donuts from the legendary Britt’s Donut Shop– we actually planned out our days according to the Britt’s opening schedule so that we could make sure to have their delicious, hot from the fryer donuts!  And they did not disappoint– so make sure to go if you’re ever in Carolina Beach!!
It’s a little hole in the wall place on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk making them the perfect treat to take down to the water– and that’s totally what we’re going to do next time!  This time, however, the kids all sat at the counter and devoured the circles of perfection.

As soon as we got all of the beach gear unloaded and set-up, the big kids ran off to play in the water.  We packed our own chairs and umbrella because this part of the beach doesn’t offer any rentals, and honestly, the crowd is mostly locals making it nice and quiet.

While the big kids played in the surf, Ellie was totally content to play in the sand by herself.  Even though it was spring break, the beach wasn’t very crowded and the kids had lots of room to roam and play.

Nick found a sand crab and Ellie was completely enthralled with it- and to my amazement, even wanted to hold it!  The two of them played with the little crab for almost an hour before letting it go.

We stayed at the beach until the sun started to set; it was windy so the temperature dropped quickly. While the kids were all younger, I dreaded going to the beach because it entailed so much prep work and such vigilance watching them so it was never a relaxing getaway, but now that they’re all older, it has become so much more enjoyable.  The big kids use the buddy system when they’re in the water and everybody helps to keep an eye on Ellie, who is terrified of the water anyways so she stays in the sand. After our fun morning at the aquarium and afternoon at the beach, everyone was tired and hungry.  We stopped for pizzas on our way back to the hotel and then everyone showered and went to bed, with the sweet memories of a fun day in their head.


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