Christmas this year was spent at home in Greenville, NC, with both Jordan and Hanna home. Hanna drove over from Raleigh and Jordan flew in from Los Angeles. We took an overnight road trip on 12/23/11 to Wilmington (2.5 hours by car) so Jordan could experience the Cape Fear area and Wilmington, which is a favorite coastal city for us – with charm, history, beautiful homes, UNC-Wilmington, and the ocean, just minutes from downtown.
We stayed in downtown Wilmington, which is the best place to stay unless one wants to be right on the beach. We ate dinner at The Pilot House on the Cape Fear River and had a delightful visit and dinner (yummy salmon for me, lamb for Jordan, Angus burger for Gary, and flounder for Han).
(Note: I was surprised to hear some southerners pronounce salmon ‘sal-mon’ when I moved here.) It was fun to wake up on Christmas Eve in such a pretty location. The weather was about 65 degrees and the downtown and beach areas did not lack in greenery and red velvet bows. Being raised in Montana, I used to believe that snow and cold temps were necessary to have a Christmas feeling. No more…
After Gary and I (and Remy) took a nice, long walk on the river front and through downtown, we got our sleepy-eyes kids up and going and started driving north up the coast to Beaufort. We’ve been there before, and we wanted to show Jordan a small, lovely coastal town. We stopped in Morehead City over the bridge from Beaufort to have lunch at Smithfield BBQ, a popular BBQ chain in N.C. It is the only fast-food joint I’ve been in where the employees (with a sincere appearing smile) come over and refill your drinks, bring you your food, and clear your table. I have to say it’s some good food. I’m not a fried chicken expert, but that’s what I like from their menu. (My lipids spike upwards for sure after that dining experience!)
Some of my photos of Beaufort may look familiar if you have read any of my previous blog posts before I started using WordPress. The historic cemetery there has many interesting stories, headstones, beautiful inscriptions, and Spanish moss hovering over the old trees, quite a few vines and trees looking like sculptures.
After quite a few hours in the car, we were all back in Greenville to enjoy the rest of our Christmas Eve. I made enchiladas the morning before we left, so we had our Bowers “traditional” Christmas eve dinner of Mexican food. Jordan and Hanna survived the road trip with old mom and dad; they were good sports and we had lots of laughs. At least that’s how I remember it!
The university closed down for a week, so I had the whole week off between Christmas and New Year’s, which was GREAT. What a nice, relaxing break. Now… time to get back to the routine.