Friday, October 1, 2010

Our romantic getaway weekend to Wilmington...

As I was arranging Jon's 'Welcome Home Party', I was also working on arranging a romantic getaway weekend for us shorty after his return. I did this for a few reasons.
First being, is that I couldn't fly out to San Diego to see him land back on American soil.
Second, I feel it's very important as Husband and Wife to have some non-children bonding time. And I don't mean just the hanky-panky stuff (although that IS a bonus). I mean hours of bonding time spent with just the two of us. Catching up on life. Reconnecting. Without the deadline of kids coming home from school or a million and one errands and chores that needed to get done.

I decided that I really wanted us to stay at a Bed & Breakfast. We had one previous experience at one (that we both remember very fondly) when we lived in South Carolina. So I thought that it would be perfect to find us one again somewhere.

Originally, I had planned on us heading down to Charleston, SC to stay. But besides it being a bit of a hike, the cost of the B&B's were pretty high as well. I wanted us to have a great weekend but I also didn't want to break the bank or be traveling for most of the day.

I ended up deciding on going to Wilmington. I spent a few days searching the web, looking at B&B's and their ratings. I saw a lot of them that had very 'granny' looking rooms and I'm just not the doily type. Something about the smell of moth balls that just doesn't agree with me...So when I came across the Front Street Inn, I knew it was the place for us!

 Decorated with beauty and comfort in mind, the Front Street Inn of Wilmington is alive with American art and furnishings gathered at galleries, fairs, auctions and attics. Each spacious and bright suite has a unique personality. As one of Our State magazine's 21 perfect places to stay in North Carolina and Encore magazine's best bed & breakfast (2006 and 2007) in Wilmington, we are exceptionally well equipped with everything the discerning leisure and business traveler is looking for...

Luckily, I didn't have to worry about my kids for the whole weekend. Erin had flat out told me that she is driving down, staying at my house, watching my kids and that I'm not to call her at ALL. I can text her, but that doesn't mean she'll text me back. That Jon and I were to have a stress-free, no-worrying-about-the-kids-at-all, weekend! I tell ya, that Erin! I'm lucky to have her as my friend. (Love you!)

Our special weekend finally rolls around and on Friday afternoon around 4:30 we head out. Only....everyone else in Jacksonville seemed to have the same idea. Traffic was HORRID. Not to mention the fact that the town has basically been shut down for 3 days because our that nasty tropical storm that hit us dead on and basically drowned everyone. It was the first of a bright sunny day and people were heading out and about. This caused traffic to be backed up for MILES! Let's just say a trip that normally would take us a little over an hour, ended up taking almost 3 hours to get there (including a stop at the 'bux. That's what Jon and I do afterall...).

We ended up getting to our bed and breakfast a little after 7pm that night. We were completely amazed by this place! One of the owners greeted us right away and held the door open for us. He checked us in, showed us around and offered us advice on where to go eat and what to go do. Super nice! Jon and I unloaded our bags in our room and took some time to check out everything inside.

Here I am outside our room. Our suite was called the "Pearl Buck Suite".

A view of our bathroom. That strange wall cutout was just well....strange.  But the whirlpool tub totally made up for it!

 Oh my! You caught me in the 'water closet'!  Seriously...this 'window' cracked me up the whole time we were there. Not to mention the many times Jon would try to sneak a picture of me using the potty! Sick, twisted man!

Where the 'magic' happens...

His and Her robes....I want these! They were so comfortable.

The entry way to the B&B. The bar that you see behind me is where they'd serve breakfast. Each day we'd wake up to fresh fruit, muffins, yogurt, OJ, Coffee and usually some sort of quiche or breakfast casserole. So delish!!!!

 After we scoped the place out and freshened up, we headed out and walked to downtown. Our little B&B was pretty much right in the heart of everything. We never drove our van once the whole time we were there.
We walked the streets, looking at all the shops that were getting ready to close up. The water front is right there as well. We strolled along looking for a place to eat when we spotted this restaurant called 'Circa 1922'.  We checked out the menu and saw it was a tapas style restaurant.
"Tapas represents a style of eating originated from Sherry, Spain......
It is to eat by whim, free from rules or schedules. They are served in small portions and are meant for immediate gratification. Select from different categories to create a delicious and diverse experience. We at Circa 1922 have tried to capture the spirit of tapas; fresh exquisitely presented and highly creative small plates."

This was the floor right by our table...

We started off with drinks of course! Jon (being all that is man) ordered a beer and I ordered a French 75. Yummy!!!!

 Jon and I ordered the Mediterranean platter made up of Hummus, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Country Olives, Marinated Artichokes, Local Tomatoes & Bocconcini Mozzarella, Prosciutto Piccante. Yummmmmy! The only thing I didn't like was the olives. I'm  not a big fan of them. But I did try them. You never know, you just may surprise yourself one day. What we both REALLY loved was the Bocconcini Mozzarella. Basically it's real mozzarella cut up into fat little cubes and served with cherry and roman tomatoes and chopped basil. SO TASTY!
Our platter, after we had dug in a little bit. I keep forgetting to get a picture of our food before we scarf it down!

This was our dessert. It was Bananas Foster with Myers’ Dark Rum on banana walnut bread with banana ice cream.

The only problem with our dessert was that I don't think they cooked all the alcohol off when they lit this bad boy on fire. You could REALLY taste the rum on this dessert and even though it was so very tasty, I think Jon and I walked away from it a little tipsy.

The next morning, we woke up to a BEAUTIFUL day outside.  The weather had finally cooled off and it was perfect jeans and layers weather.  We ate breakfast out in the veranda and then headed to the water front for the RiverFest.

Just outside our B&B...

 The sign to our B&B...

 The front of our B&B. It used to actually be an old Salvation Army building. Pretty cool, eh?

A view from the docks...

My hubby in front of the battleship...
 The NC, MIA, KIA, POW Memorial...

While walking the vendors at the craft fair, Jon had to talk me down from getting this....It worked. I realized I didn't want to me one of those scary gnome people. 
 Outside some thrift store. Gas masks are HUGE down there. We saw them EVERYWHERE.

A pretty shot...

Coffee and shopping....ah heaven!

Came across the pirates putting on a show on the river front...


Meow! Cat fight!

They pulled this poor sucker from the was hilarious!

After the pirate show, lounging around downtown...

A shot with the bridge...

We decided to start walking around the downtown area and look at all the beautiful homes...

After our long walk around town, we decided to take a rest and go for a carriage ride. Check out the horse with his tongue hanging out! Cracked me up!!!

After our carriage ride, we headed back to our B&B to freshen up, and change for our evening out. Here Jon snapped a few hollywood superstar pics of me! lol

Outside our B&B...

Back to walking and more sightseeing. We come across this building with the windows and details painted on it.

Taking a break in a coffee shop where Jon decided to kick my butt in both checkers and chess. That's alright though, I kick his butt in scrabble so it's all good.

This is going to be our restaurant for the evening....

But first, we decided to take a boat tour ride...

That nigh we had dinner at The Riverboat Landing. A beautiful restaurant that sits pretty much on the water and has these romantic 2-person private balconies on the second level.  I had the brillant idea to book us a reservation the night before and we ended up getting the very last balcony. 

We arrive about 20 minutes before our reservation so we hung out in the bar and knocked back a few.

Me with my delicious Pinot Grigio!

 There's nothing I like better than a man with a

We thought we'd be funny and play the 'Haven't I seen you here before?" game...

Self Portrait....

The view from our private balcony. That night I had the filet mignon and Jon had their steak special. We also had dessert, coffee liquors and more wine.

 We took our time eating, people watched, enjoyed the beautiful weather, watched the sun set and pretty soon after, we started hearing these loud BOOMS! It wasn't until we saw this, that we realized what was going on...

All the boats had decorate their ships up to be Pirate Ships and were doing a sort of parade, including firing off their 'cannons'.
As we were enjoying our dessert the night sky started to light up with fireworks! I am telling you, it couldn't of been more of a romantic evening if we tried! We were floating high off of delicious food, good wine and beer, each other's company and the whole magical moment of it all.

It wasn't until we stumbled back to our room that reality came crashing back. Apparently, it's not a good idea to eat so much rich food within a two days time frame when you're not used to it. Let's just say between the both of us, I'm surprised there wasn't a green fog rolling out from under the doors that night.

That next morning when we woke, our bellies were feeling much better and it was time to head home. The magic of that weekend seemed to stay with us for the rest of the day and we were in wonderful spirits. Happy to see the kids, happy to be home. Just....HAPPY.
It was exactly what Jon and I needed to bring to a close this deployment era of our lives. 

Now, back to reality and picking up dirty underwear and complaining that the toilet seat is up...again.

Not that I would trade that for the world.

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  1. What a great weekend!!!! Wasn't it the BEST! Love love love Wilmington....and the Front Street Inn...and well...everything else you did! And those robes are amazing! I really wanted to take them home with us. Glad you had such a great time!!!!!

    Great pics!

  2. That is AWESOME! So glad you guys got to do that and that was SO SWEET of Erin! LOVE good Besties!!! LOVED the pics and your commentary! That bathroom window was BIZARRE!!

  3. Ditto everything Amber and Gia said! Great post! Love your description of everything and all the pictures.

  4. I LOVE that you guys had such a wonderful time! I would absolutely drive from anywhere so you can do it again! LOVE you!!

  5. I am jealous of the location and the lack of any children. You guys needed this! So glad you got the chance. Erin, will you fly here and take care of George?