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  • Writer's picturestirringthesoul

Holiday in Wilmington & Wrightsville Beach, NC

This past New Year, my mom, son, and I headed east to Wilmington. We wanted to get away and have some fun over the holiday break.

December 30: We planned our route to head east with a stopover in Rose Hill, NC, home of Duplin Winery. We have been visiting NC wineries and been enjoying the sweet muscadine wines that Duplin makes for years. It has been a trip we have wanted to take for some time and we were excited to go. Due to Covid, we were not able to do a full tour, but we were able to enjoy their restaurant and a wine tasting. I enjoyed a crab cake sandwich with pasta salad, Mom had the hamburger steak, and Peter ordered the kids' grilled cheese with broccoli. The highlight of the meal was grape hull pie, a local specialty that was truly unique and delicious.

For the wine tasting, we enjoyed sampling 10 wines, including some drier wines and blends, which I particularly enjoyed. The wine tasting included a voucher for a full glass of wine and they had a holiday sale going on, so it was a great visit! After our stock-up, we headed to our lodging for the trip, Shell Island Resort. It was beach front, had an open indoor pool, and every room had an ocean view with a balcony. We were pretty smitten!

Peter wanted a crab cake for dinner, so we decided to try South Beach Grill, a short drive from our resort. It featured local ingredients, including fresh caught seafood. Peter got his crab cake, Mom enjoyed gluten-free fried seafood, and I tried the catch of the day - a delicious fish over wild rice and roasted roots with a sweet cream sauce. There's nothing quite like fresh seafood!

December 31: The last day of 2020 dawned warm and sunny, so we ate breakfast at the resort and headed out to enjoy the beach. Peter enjoyed digging in the sand, Mom took a walk on the beach, and I settled in with a good book.

We headed to Downtown Wilmington after our morning of sand and sun. Before getting lunch, we stopped briefly at the USS North Carolina, a retired vessel that serves as a memorial.

We then crossed the river and went for lunch and a bit of walking around in the historic district. Lunch was at Front Street Brewery. We enjoyed delicious pub-style food, which I paired with their featured sour beer.

After a brief jaunt to view some of the churches and old houses in the area, we capped off our afternoon with gelato at Gelarto on the Riverwalk. Gelato happens to be one of my favorite foods and this was spectacular! It began to rain as we headed back to the resort, so we opted for take-out from Texas Roadhouse and celebrated the coming new year in our room. After dinner, we enjoyed the indoor pool and some games before Peter and Mom headed to bed. I grabbed my wine and enjoyed an old movie while waiting for the clock to strike. Cheering in 2021 on the balcony overlooking the vast ocean was a true highlight.

January 1: After another dip in the pool, we packed up our suitcases and headed west. We enjoyed a lunch at Smithfield's Chicken 'N' Bar-B-Q of, well, chicken and barbecue. Home and husband were a welcome sight at the end of our journey, though we certainly look forward to visiting again soon.

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