When we were in Santa Fe, NM several months ago, we saw a couple walking their huge and beautiful Newfoundland dogs down the street. A little while later, we ran into them again, sans dogs, as they were looking for an art gallery. We were looking for a particular chapel so we compared maps. We got to talking with them and gave them our RVGypsies card. Kari and Joe were relocating back to Wilmington, NC from Portland, OR and passing through Santa Fe on the way home. We wished each other safe travels and went on our ways.
Then about a month ago, we got an email from Kari offering to show us around if we got to their part of the country. We always have the best experiences when we can get together with a local so we jumped at the invitation and made plans to visit Wilmington!
Kari emailed us some local events and the Wizard of Oz was playing at the historic Thalian Hall in town. Joss has wanted to take the boys to a play while we were on the road so we bought tickets to the last performance, May 18th. Now I (Robert) have never seen the Wizard of Oz so I was quite surprised to learn many expressions I've heard and repeated over the years, actually came from this story; "Lions, tigers and bears...oh my!" being one of them!
After the performance, we got to meet the Wicked Witch of the West, who was the nicest lady in person! We also met the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Captain of the Guards. We met Toto and Dorothy too but the picture didn't come out. After the play we went a few blocks downtown for dinner. It was a fun day. Downtown Wilmington is right on the Cape Fear River with lots of restaurants and shops that are fun to wander in and out of. Many of the old homes in the town have also been restored and Joss was in her element on the horse drawn carriage tour, snapping photo after photo (see our photo section once we get through the pics).
We couldn't get a campsite very close to town because it was getting close to Memorial Day weekend and they were all booked. We don't plan too far ahead and these darn holidays are playing havoc with our plans, geez! We ended up in Surf City, NC which is about 40 minutes north of Wilmington. We really wanted to explore the greater Wilmington area (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Fort Fisher, Orton Plantation and more) so we racked up the miles and diesel fuel coming and going to our campground.
The day after the play, we came into town and hit up the used bookstore in our never ending search for the Hardy Boys mysteries. As we entered the store, there was a familiar looking man chatting with the shopkeeps. Joss recognized him immediately...The Wizard! The Wizard himself, standing the flesh was a frequent patron of the bookstore. We chatted a bit and got a photo opp. Later in the week, we ran into the Captain of the Guard at the food Co-op also! That is one of the great things about "little" towns, you have these neat experiences that you just don't get in suburbia.
We did a lot in the two weeks we were here but you'll have to check back with our photo section to read about them. This post is all about Lions, Tigers and Bears...oh my !!!!
Joe and Kari with the boys in downtown Wilmington, NC.
Last performance, May 18th. Notice the collared shirts? The Gypsies get dressed up!
Always the clowns, especially in the theater.
The Wonderful Wicked Witch of the West (reconstituted of course!)
The Tinman, and his ax.
The Scarecrow and a standing, Flying Monkey.
Sawyer quizzing the Captain of the Guard.
Cape Fear River runs alongside Wilmington. This is a view of the open-air market they have weekly downtown. The bridge is south of town.