Saturday, 15 June 2013

On the way to TV Land, North Carolina

South of the Border, South Carolina

Driving from Savannah we headed north on our new friend, Interstate 95 towards North Carolina. As we drove through South Carolina though, we kept seeing these weird and wacky billboards promoting a place called South of the Border. I vaguely remembered this from my Contiki trip eight years ago, but I wanted to see if it was as I remembered. As we got closer and closer, the billboards started to intrigue Ashlee as well. When we arrived, just before we crossed the border from South Carolina to North Carolina, it was like a large, wacky and weird Mexican themed mega rest stop! There was heaps of parking, some eateries, shops selling souvenirs and clothing - there was even a huge shed sized store selling fireworks! But the craziest thing there had to be the statues - there were gorillas, giraffes, dogs, flamingos and heaps of other animals and plants dressed and standing in wacky poses. It was entertaining to walk around and stretch our legs here for sure!! Check out some of the amazing things we saw here:

Wilmington, North Carolina

Once we got back on the road from our wacky rest stop, we continued our drive and arrived in Wilmington early afternoon. This was a place we had both wanted to go for a while, for one simple reason - we love our TV!! A few of the shows that Ashlee and I have loved in the past have been filmed here - including Dawson's Creek and One Tree Hill. We spent an hour walking the Riverwalk and the main street area and I loved seeing different spots and having flashes of these being in scenes on TV. It was like the town was familiar and I had been there before, even though I hadn't!! :-)

One of the main streets leading off the river......
the small tree covered street could often be used for 'walk and talks'.

River walk area - particularly used in Dawson's Creek
(the yacht race episode with Leery's Fresh Fish over back on the left)
and further along was where they staged all the 'Burning Boat Festival' scenes in One Tree Hill.

A steamboat with the bridge in the background

Typical look of lights on the river walk - Dawson's Creek-esque :-)

Karen's Café from One Tree Hill........ empty at the moment!

The 'new' café from One Tree Hill's last season -
across the road from Karen's as in the show!
After walking and seeing the sights from the shows we have enjoyed over the years, Ashlee and I headed across the river to the USS Battleship North Carolina. Yes, a battleship!! We were able to walk around and go down underneath to see the spaces and where the sailors lived and worked on the ship. It was awesome - very tight spaces down below! I understand why they slide down the stairs on any shows I have seen - much quicker to get down the steps for sure since they are so steep. The battleship was huge on deck and there was so many little rooms and areas down below for the hundreds of men that lived on board...... I would just not like to be anywhere below deck if there was an emergency!

Walking onto the USS North Carolina..... exciting!

Looking off the back (I don't know the proper terminology, I'm sorry!)
across the river at Wilmington Downtown area.

I don't want to be anywhere near these when they fire!!

Exploring the below decks.......

Engine room buttons and dials.......

Engine room small space and mesh wire floors......... think thin!!
(also exploring on my own this far down as Ashlee stayed on below deck level 1)

Bunk racks for sleeping......

Alligator in the water alongside the battleship!!

Topside and exploring the HUGE deck......
(look how BIG everything is compared to me!)

The view from the bridge seat where the Captain (or in charge person) sat

Welcoming us........ and farewelling us as well as we left the same way!
Overall our time in Wilmington was short but it was fun and I wold enjoy spending a weekend there I imagine. There were lots of cute little shops to explore downtown and a heap of great restaurants on the river walk to eat at. A great stop along our trip up the East Coast! :-)

More to come so come back soon!

Keep smiling,
Candice :-D

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