We started off the day fairly early again since Ron had to work out of the room that we were staying in. Packing everything up was a lot easier the second time around – by the time this trip is over, the girls will be experts for sure. I’m so glad that I’m using my ‘one small bag/suitcase per person’ plan and keeping all of the extra clothes in one large bag that doesn’t need to come inside on these one-night stops.
This trip is full of firsts and today was no exception. While Ron headed off to get things set up in Wilmington, the girls and I went up into the mountains (a first for the girls) – to Boone, NC to visit a couple of blogging friends of mine. I met Jen and Sarah back when I first started blogging – I remember being excited to find other bloggers who had daughters of similar ages to mine. Jen and I roomed together at two different BlogHers (2009 and 2010) but hadn’t seen each other since.
Another first today was the girls’ and my first trip to Chick-fil-A – a restaurant that we knew only from the cute references at the end of one of our favorite PBS Kids shows, Martha Speaks. We met Sarah, Jen, and Jen’s daughters at the Boone location for lunch, and I’m only wishing now that we had these in Michigan. Hannah, as a general rule, doesn’t eat much chicken. She’s our pickiest eater and will only eat the chicken I make at home. She hates nuggets, so I was unsure how she’d do at a restaurant where chicken is the mainstay of the menu. However, when I saw that they had grilled nuggets on the kids menu, I suggested she try those – and not only did she eat them, she finished her entire lunch and wants to eat there again.
After lunch, Jen took us through downtown Boone, and we stopped at the downtown location of the Mast General Store. To say that my girls’ eyes lit up when we walked in is probably an understatement – they loved seeing all of the different barrels full of old-fashioned (and not-so-old-fashioned) candies. It was like going back in time for me, seeing lots of fun treats that I used to get as a child (circus peanuts, anybody?). I only wish we’d had more time to spend there and to walk around some of the other shops in Boone. Maybe someday. 🙂
We said goodbye to Jen and her girls, and headed down out of the mountains toward Wilmington. It’s so beautiful up there – I was sad to have to be the one driving so I couldn’t really take pictures. I did manage to get a few out the windshield quickly but they don’t reflect the awe you feel driving through the area. It’s truly ‘High Country’ and easy to see why Jen and Sarah love living there.
There’s not much to say about the rest of our day, except that it involved lots of driving time again. It’s around 4-1/2 hours from Boone to Wilmington and the girls and I didn’t get to our hotel here until 10:30pm. We stopped a few times for bathroom breaks and for dinner – I’d never seen a combination Taco Bell/KFC restaurant before, but it’s like someone knew exactly what our family would like.
Abbi is a Taco Bell fanatic, but Hannah can’t stand tacos so we never go there as a family (unless Hannah’s away). Hannah and Becca love the macaroni and cheese at KFC but Abbi’s not usually so gung-ho on eating there. This was perfect, we could order from both restaurants at the same time and pick and choose from both menus. Abbi got tacos (no surprise there) and a KFC biscuit, where the rest of us ate KFC fare. Fast food is getting a little old at this point, but I guess that’s the point – it is definitely FAST and that’s the main thing we’ve needed on these road trip days.
Our hotel situation here is interesting – it’s an extended stay type of hotel since Ron’s work is paying for it and that’s what they mostly use since they’ve got workers staying for long periods of time in places away from home (like Ron’s been doing). Unlike the hotel in Hickory though, this one consists of individual-sized ‘efficiency’ suites. Meaning, one bed per room. So we have two rooms booked for all of us since there’s no way we could all fit in one bed. The two rooms are on the same floor thankfully, but are down the hall from each other. We’re putting the girls and I in one of them and Ron in the other, and the girls will take turns sleeping in Daddy’s room (Abbi’s in there tonight). It’s a bit odd to have them down the hall – but on the plus side, I don’t have to listen to Ron’s snoring at all while we’re here. 🙂
The plan for tomorrow is to relax and have fun! And definitely hit the beach for another first – the girls’ first time at the ocean. Weather permitting – the forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms, but hopefully they’ll pass us by. After three long days of being mostly cooped up, we’re more than ready to splash around and have some fun! I can’t wait – they’ve got a boardwalk with lots of shops and attractions, plus we’re planning to rent a surrey for an hour.
Off to bed to get some sleep and rest up for the fun!
Our lodging on this portion of our trip is being paid for by Ron’s employer. Many of the activities we’ll be enjoying in Wilmington are courtesy of the Wilmington and Beaches CVB (along with the individual attraction). Comped activities or events will be disclosed individually when mentioned specifically in upcoming posts. 🙂