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Weekend trips are just what I need to break up the mundane routine of work, work, work. They’re the perfect excuse to just relax and do what I want to do without any obligations or a schedule!
The weekend before last, my best friend, Nikki and I drove down to Wilmington, NC for a 4 day “girls only” trip. I love Wilmington and I have loved it since the first time I went there with Nikki years and years ago. It’s where Big Bear and I hung out for the first time, it’s where we went for special dates nights once we were married and living at Camp Lejeune, it’s where we spent Christmas the year before last, it’s where I feel at home even though I’m hours away from home.
Thursday morning we got up bright and early to start our trip to the coast! Wilmington is only about 3.5 – 4 hours from us, so the trip isn’t so bad. I’ve made this trip so many times that I can pretty much get there with my eyes closed!
The first day that we were there, it started raining about 30 minutes before we hit Wilmington’s city limits. haha. Welcome to the Beach! 😉 But I would rather have had rain at the beach over the snow/ice that everyone was getting at home! As soon as we got into Wilmington we picked up Nikki’s nephew (her sister, niece and nephew live in Wilmington) and headed to Chili’s to grab a quick bite before going to get our room key.
For our weekend trip we stayed at the Extended Stay America and while it did offer a small kitchen area and was close to downtown I’m not quite sure I’ll stay there again. They randomly charged my card for over $200 when we arrived (not a normal authorized hold, but like a purchase of some random amount) and I didn’t know about it until I checked my bank account that night (thankfully the manager refunded me the money but it didn’t go back into my account until the day we left), the walls were kind of thin so it was noisy and 2 nights in a row I was startled awake by people yelling at each other and running down the hallway (not the hotel’s fault but still not a pleasant experience).
Our Friday, consisted of more rain but we made the best of it and spent a little time downtown, walking around the Cotton Exchange and checking out a few shop after grabbing lunch at The Copper Penny!
The Copper Penny was packed but our “15 minute wait time” was really only about 5 minutes; so we were quickly guided to our two top in the middle of the restaurant. I loved their menu and couldn’t decide on what to get!
We started with the Beer Battered Onion Rings and quickly devoured most of them before our lunch arrived! As for my lunch choice, when it came down to choosing between the Grilled Shrimp Pita and the Grown-Up grilled cheese, I let my inner child take over and the grilled cheese won. However this was no ordinary grilled cheese sandwich! Oh, no…this was crispy bacon and grilled tomato sandwiched in between melted mozzarella and provolone cheese on toasted ciabatta bread; I ordered the sweet potato fries to go along with it and I was in heaven!
After a filling lunch we walked back to the car (thankfully the rain had stopped for a bit) and drove over to Market street to visit The Black Cat Shoppe! I was on the hunt for a “Ghosts of Wilmington” book and I knew they’d have one, after all they are the ones that do the “Haunted Ghost Walk of Wilmington!”
I got my hands on a copy of the book I wanted and then we stepped right on over to Kilwin’s! Hey my parking meter still had a good 20 minutes left on it, I couldn’t just leave haha 😉
This place makes me want to open my own chocolate shop!! It is packed with fudge and chocolate treats; you can smell the scent of warm chocolate slip out and swirl through the street every time someone opens the door.
Two huge glass cases display the treats that they have to offer! Chocolate dipped Oreos, Chocolate Marshmallow Pops, Chocolate Pretzels, Chocolate Covered Rice Krispie Treats (which I bought) and so much more!
I’m excited to re-create some of these goodies in my kitchen! Those Non-Pareil Drops! I will be making those! I know a certain Mrs. Barrett *cough Crystal cough* in our family that will love those!!
But the BEST thing I got at Kilwin’s was this Caramel Chocolate Drizzle Apple!
Nikki and I couldn’t get enough of this apple. It was so good! A Tart and Crisp apple with the rich smooth caramel made for an unforgettable treat!
Saturday, we headed over to Carolina Beach to do a little shopping at the beach shops and to take a peak at the ocean! It was beautiful that day but still cold and windy so we didn’t get to enjoy much more than the view.
That is one view that can literally melt all of my problems into nothing. I love it so much.
After we took in the beach and ocean for a bit we walked down the boardwalk and the smells from the nearby restaurants had our stomachs growling immediately. We walked up to the main road and had lunch at Pops Diner.
While I wish I could brag on the whole meal because I was really, really hoping to love this little place, I just can’t. I got the crab cakes for my lunch with (I think it was fried) corn on the cob; the corn was good but the crab cakes were kinda of dry and burnt. The hush puppies were also little rocks. 🙁 Bummer. The Waitstaff was also kind of iffy. I couldn’t tell if they were all just having a bad day or if we were intruding on an afternoon break. They were not rude, but pretty much robotic and without much personality. 🙁 Again Bummer. BUT beyond that… let’s talk Macaroni and Cheese.
They have fried mac and cheese bites with pepper jack cheese on the menu and let me tell you that they are DELICIOUS! Crispy on the outside with creamy mac and cheese inside with small burst of heat from the pepper jack cheese! If you are just looking for a quick little snack while in Carolina Beach, I totally recommend the fried mac and cheese bites at Pops!
So can you tell that my main objective on this trip was food right? haha. I can’t help it. When I go on vacation, I want everything to be about the food! Thankfully, Nikki was on board with that idea haha.
After lunch we headed back towards Wilmington and on the way back we drove over to Shuga Shak on Oleander to seek out a fabulous treat for the afternoon! I had one reason and one reason only to seek them out! The Macarons! I had read that the French Macarons at Shuga Shak were to die for and the reviews were right! They are out of this world good. Not to mention the ones I got had edible glitter on them!! Ok, amazing macarons, chocolate filling and glitter? I’ll take them ALL!
It was late in the afternoon so I was terrified that we would get there and they would be sold out! Oh why, oh why didn’t we go there first?!! (The call of the ocean is what was pulling me the most I guess) BUT we got there, ran inside and I was able to scoop up the very last gorgeous box of macarons!
Aren’t they beautiful! Oh and I didn’t even have to share! Nikki’s allergic to tree nuts so no macarons for her! (They’re made with almond flour!) Sorry, Nik. 🙂
That night we went on the “Haunted Ghost Walking Tour of Wilmington”! This was my third time going and Nikki’s first. It’s a “MUST DO” on my list! I’m all about history and ghost & this tour has both; well… it’s got haunted history!!
You can even visit their Facebook page and see photos that people have uploaded of ghost and orbs they’ve caught on film! I still haven’t gone through my photos but I need too! I caught something on my very first ghost tour so I’m kinda nervous to see if there is something in all the photos I took this time!
Once the ghost tour was over we walked over to the Front Street Brewery for a late dinner! We sat in the top loft area that over looked pretty much all of the bar area. We had some of the best food that night, or at least I know I did! We started off with an order of the Beer Nuggets! Beer Nuggets pretty much means… you get a plate of fried/garlic dough with a side of marinara but OH MY they were good! They tasted like fried garlic break sticks! Plus after 10pm they are 1/2 off! Score! For dinner I had the brisket sandwich with a cup of the Cheddar Ale Soup! Cheddar Ale soup has now shot to the top of my “love” list when it comes to soup!
And to finish off our fabulous, relaxing girls weekend in Wilmington we stopped by Hwy 55 (Andy’s) for lunch before we headed back home!
Cute little dinner with super good food! What did I order? I got the Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich and it was so, so very good! It was a lot better than I had expected to be honest! I mean I didn’t think it was gonna be bad haha, but you know I just figured it would be a same ol’ same ol’ meal and then we’d head home. But the flavors that were packed into that simple little sandwich were memorable….and in a good way! I really wish I had gotten one of their milkshakes too!
Where we went:
Wilmington, NC 28401