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Til next time!


Let the adventure begin. So much happened during my vacation that I decided to break it into three parts, Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, and The Villages. This week is Wilmington NC. As I said last week vacations are stressful. Even though tons of planning goes into finding the right room for the right price in the right location, things don’t always go as planned. Every vacation is full of surprising things.


Sweet!

Photo: the setting sun as seen from our seats at Ann Bonny's. our drinks can be seen in the foreground.
Sunset over Wilmington

Riding in the front seat!


Our trip began at 4 a.m. with a ride down 95 to Wilmington NC. I got to sit rather lounge in the front seat for the first time! We have been here before and we were all looking forward to visiting again. The plan was to arrive early, meet Melissa at the hotel for dinner, and go to bed. After all, we were going to the beach the next day. We arrived at the Embassy Suites in Wilmington around 6. We stayed at this same hotel last year so we knew they had the accessible suite that we had reserved.



Photo: me riding in the front seat of the van.  I am sipping a drink with the chisr reclined all the way back and surrounded by pillows.
Riding in style in the front seat!

Stop Monkeying around


Our smooth sailing came to a halt. They did not have the suite we requested. They gave us a different room. This room had a king-size bed in the middle of the room and a desk, but no suite. There were three of us and they gave us a room we could not all sleep in. Not to mention it was not the suite we had reserved with the two queen beds. Mom has been through this drill before, as a matter of fact, she goes through it at every hotel we stay in. She asked to speak to the manager and he told her originally that was all they had because the room we had reserved was scheduled for window replacement on Monday. He said he had received our email about our upcoming stay indicating the room we needed. Sad they knew the room we needed was unavailable and they tried to give us a substandard room instead. Since the three of us were staying for a week we all needed a place to rest our weary bones. After much to do about nothing they finally arranged for us to have the room we needed they would just change the schedule to replace the windows.


Photo: a carved tree with monkeys climbing it.  This is to represent the hotel monkeying around with our room.
Stop Monkeying around with our room!

Off to the Beach


One would think we realized that the construction of the rooms around us would be noisy at 8 a.m., but we didn’t. There were workmen outside our rooms at 8 a.m. every morning. Needless to say, we didn’t let it bother us because we had an accessible room. The only one out of the 186 two-room suites, in the entire hotel according to the front desk. I guess we hit the lottery! Anyway, we had a sleepover with my cousin. We were going down the elevator on our way to the riverwalk and dinner at the Mello Mushroom.


Photo: me and my cousin in the car with our bathing suits on riding to the beach.
Beach ready!

I'm not Dead


The doors opened and a family with a young boy about 10 years old said, “OMG, is she dead?”. The parents quickly ushered the young boy into the other elevator and left without a word. I have been called a lot of things, but dead is not one of them. This is why I work so hard to bring about awareness of disabilities to young kids. Putting this behind us we walked to the restaurant and had a great dinner and drinks. Mine was a little too strong but everyone else enjoyed theirs. We had live entertainment that night courtesy of the drunk frat boys at the table next to us. They couldn’t even figure out how to get to the bathroom

which was located directly behind them. I guess they too were enjoying their vacation.


Photo: me with a Mexican metal sculpture of the living dead to show I am alive.
Hanging with my new friend

Check out the shell


Our beach trip almost went sour but thanks to paying attention to small signs we were able to text the person with the code to the locks on the beach chairs and use one for the day. I was most excited about this part of our trip because it was the beach! I got to once again feel the waves crash over my body, even leaving a small shell on my nose.



Photo: me after a giant wave crashed over my head leaving a tiny sea shell on my nose.
only the nose knows how that got there

Save the Straw


The funniest thing was when Melissa saved the day or should I say straw. I forgot I had my drink with me and when the wave crashed so did my cup into the ocean. Mom saved the cup but the straw wanted to take a dip, We thought it was gone forever because the waves kept crashing over us. But eagle eye Melissa saw it standing straight up in the sand a lunged for it before the next wave could wash it away forever. If you are ever in Carolina Beach, you gotta go to Britts, the best hot glazed donuts on the Beach. If you are looking for a refreshment, Crush & Grind has what you are looking for. An air-conditioned, pet-friendly wheelchair accessible, cafe that serves coffee, wine, and beer!


Video of just after a giant wave crashed over us or not


Had a great time


We had to say goodbye to the straw saver because she had only joined us for the day but before we left we went to Fork and Cork for fried pickles and she told us about going to Squigleys for ice cream sometime during the week and to check out the island burger. Most people would not go to the Island burger joint at first glance. It looks like an old rundown gas station with no gas pumps just a storefront. The ice cream was great but Kilwins is better. We even got free ice cream because Dad whipped out his old expired driver's license when he was 16. He had an afro picked out to perfection. That was when he let his curly hair grow. The young kid was so impressed with his afro that we got his ice for free.



Photo: inside the best ice cream place in Wilmington.  The best part was the delicious smell.
Kilwins smells amazing

Enter if you Dare


We had so much fun exploring Wilmington, especially the Chessy ghost tour which I almost missed because I needed to charge my chair and couldn’t find a plug. Luckily the Black Cat Shoppe let me charge up until the tour. No, I didn’t see any ghosts but I heard some cool stories about the history of people who once roamed the streets of Wilmington. Definitely something to check if you ever go.


Photo: an eerily shadows photo of St James's cemetery . the first stop on the tour.  strangely lighted graves and the side of the old brick church. l
Surreal picture of St James's Cemetery. First stop on the tour.

Christmas!


Funny, Dad picked a day to go shopping that was almost to Myrtle Beach in the middle of the week. We went to Callahan’s of Calabash, I was in heaven! There were several stores all connected, it was great. You walked into one door and could walk through to any of the rest of the small shops inside. My favorite of course was the Christmas Explosion Store! Needless to say, Dad got a little bored and went to find some adult refreshments, while Mom and I shopped. It was a little retail, homemade goods, and Cracker Barrel-style store all in one.


Photo: me in the Christmas store in fron of a brightly decorated Christmas tree.  Surround by bells and Santa's of all shapes and sizes.
Christmas in July

Christmas comes twice


Additionally, we spent time in Southport, NC, said to be one of the best small towns in NC. They had some really cool shops that were mostly accessible. I found a Christmas house with two floors of wall-to-wall Christmas decorations. The store was really cool because it had a big front porch that had chairs to welcome people to sit for a bit. In the side yard was a giant connect four game and corn hole for families to rest in the shade. They welcomed everyone not just to shop but to sit back and take it all in. I bought a leather ring, don’t know why because I don’t wear rings but I think that is something we all do on vacation, like buy one of those macrame bracelets at the beach. I also bought these cool earrings that are Morse Code for Dream Big! We were going to take the ferry back to Wilmington, but by the time we found the ferry it had already left. Next time, gives me something to look forward to.


Photo: me in front of an all white Christmas tree that is swirled with pink garland.  In the background is Christmas displays everywhere.
Check out this tree!

Til Next time!


No vacation at the beach can end without a sunset and a creamsicle drink. There is this fun restaurant that faces Cape Fear River, Ann Bonnys. It is a short walk from our hotel and well worth the sunset. Overall I love Wilmington. Now I just need to figure out how to live there happily ever after. I did find an accessible beach house in Carolina Beach that we are going to check into for next year. It will be a tough sell though cause Dad loves the Embassy Suites and their made-to-order breakfast.


Photo: dad and my cousin sitting at the breakfast table at the embassy Suites in front of their omelets made to order.
Breakfast sweeties

Thank you for reading until the end!


This is the view from my wheelchair, where miracles can make a difference. Always Strive for the Impossible. Come back next week to see what will blow your mind and hear more about my experiences and The View From My Wheelchair.


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