by Dannielle Cresp on March 9, 2013
I’m still in Toronto, and am having a week that’s a bit better than last week thanks to the kindness of people I met through twitter. It’s a lot more challenging than I ever anticipated and the uncertainty is making it difficult, but more on that on Monday. This weekend I just wanted to share with you some more moments from my amazing trip across the USA, so today I’m taking you back to Wilmington, North Carolina to a chilly Sunday morning. x
After the big scare with the tire and the rental car, I decided that Sunday morning, while it was still early (and hopefully there was still on street parking available), I would drive into the downtown area and see some of the One Tree Hill sights of Wilmington and just take a good look at the Cape Fear.
The day started a bit chilly at 1°C but there wasn’t much of a breeze, so I decided to take a walk along the river walk, where so many scenes of the show had been filmed and where it is so picturesque and calm. I had always wanted to see the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge in person and it was even more impressive in person than the TV showed. The perfect backdrop to an imaginary town.
After walking along the river walk and trying to spot where scenes from the show that are etched in my memory are, I went to look for a snack. In the window of the Black Cat Shoppe, I noticed that they had Keith Scott Body Shop T-Shirts (like the hoodie that Lucas wears in all of season 1). I could hardly contain my excitement (nerd alert). After finding my cool, I went in to find that they had all sorts of OTH “memorbilia” including Clothes over Bros T-shirts and postcards of Karen’s Cafe taken during filming. They also had Dawson’s Creek stuff as that was filmed here too, but it’s OTH that I love.
I couldn’t resist the Keith Scott t-shirt and some postcards and while I was buying them, the owner explained that it was that very shop that we first saw Chris Keller! Yep, I was in the record store! How cool! I loved how proud the people were that a show like that chose their town and lasted so long. (9 seasons for those not in-the-know)
After grabbing some amazing fudge from the shop just down the street, it was time for me to walk around and see if I could spot any landmarks from the show. Unfortunately my plan to use google maps failed on me when I lost 3G reception for the whole day! Boo! Take a printed map if you’re going! But I did find some that were definitely in the show and some that just looked vaguely familiar (like the church below).
One of my favourite early episodes of the show was when Peyton went to visit Jake in Savannah, (at the end of season 3, I think) and she talks about going to the Savannah College of Art and Design and she points to it. Well, it turns out they didn’t go to Savannah and this old building below stood in for it. Ha!
Then I was just wondering the streets, taking photos of the pretty buildings when I heard a loud RAWR from above whilst crossing the street and 3 fighter jets were flying overhear. I pointed my camera up and clicked 3 shots. One came good:
By then it was time for lunch and there was just one special spot left to see, but first I stopped into the lovely Java Dog Cafe and had some lunch. It still had some old advertising on the wall as well as some cool decor.
Then it was finally time to see the one place you must visit as a true One Tree Hill fan: the Corner of Front and Grace. It’s the home of Karen’s Cafe from seasons 1-4; was Clothes over Bros in seasons 5-8, and Karen’s Cafe again at the end of season 8 and in season 9. For Fans of season 9 the left corner is Baker Boys (Brooke’s clothing store) and right is Karen’s Cafe.
Whilst Wilmington had some really stressful things happen (including accidentally smashing my favourite nail polish all over the hotel bathroom floor – North Carolina hates me), I did really enjoy coming to see where a show that I adore came to life.
Wilmington also gave me the chance to see a friend I made when I was a uni and befriended some amazing American exchange students, which was just wonderful. Sometimes these things don’t go to plan, but you find gems in them.
by Dannielle Cresp on February 21, 2013
To continue where I left off, I picked up the very expensive rental car in the rain in Charleston, and left it in the car park (parking lot) outside the hotel overnight and checked out of the hotel in the morning (in the sunshine) ready to take the 17 North to Wilmington, driving on the right hand side of the road for the first time ever.
Other than accidentally setting off the car alarm whilst trying to start it, (oops!!) the drive was really straight forward. Follow the signs that said 17 North almost all the way. The google gps app on my phone talked me through all the turns and I worked out that the car had cruise control about 2 hours into the 3.5 hour trip. The roads were lined with pretty trees, and I stuck to the slow lane. In North Carolina the speed limit is treated as much more of a guide than a limit (as is much of the States, I have since learnt) where as in South Carolina it’s pretty well enforced.
The trip wasn’t difficult at all and I managed to remember to do the turn off into the USS Battleship North Carolina site, where I stopped, not to see the Battleship, but to see where the River Court from the TV show One Tree Hill was filmed. It was beautiful and sunny. Sadly the court was torn down after the show finished up at the end of 2011, but it was awesome to see that backdrop of the Cape Fear and the buildings across the river. I felt happy and ready to drive on to the hotel.
I checked in without hassle and decided to take a drive out to Wrightsville Beach, also featured in the show. (If you haven’t realised yet, I went to Wilmington because my favourite show was filmed there – nerd alert). The drive was a not long but a bit bumpier as the roads aren’t great, but I found a parking spot and took a walk along the beach to see the Atlantic again.
There were people surfing in the freezing cold ocean, and I recognised the Johnnie Mercer Fishing pier from the show. If you’re interested, crazy Katie tries to jump from it in an episode, so even though it felt far away I decided to walk down to it and have a better look. It was nice just walking along the beach and taking my time. It got to about 5pm on that Friday afternoon and I decided that I would use the GPS to find pizza and take it back to the hotel before dark as I didn’t want to drive after dark when left turns were still freaking me out.
That’s when it all went pear shaped. I was driving to get pizza and hit a manhole cover in the road. It sliced the front right tire open. It went BANG, and went down so fast. Not really knowing what had happened and trying not to burst into tears, I made the first left turn and saw a Best Buy with a parking lot and pulled into the first open spot. By then I was shaking, having never ever needing to call roadside assistance before I called the rental car’s roadside number and they told me someone would be there within the hour and that the safety tire would be put on and then I would have to drive out to the nearest airport to get a replacement rental. By the time the guy changed the tire over it was dusk and I would still have to drive out to the airport in the dark still without any dinner. This was a nightmare!!
By the time I got to the airport and found the correct place to leave the car, I turned off the engine and burst into tears. The poor guy didn’t really know how to handle crying Dannielle, but he was nice to me and helped me fill in the incident report, and gave me an upgrade on the car that I had booked as they didn’t have any of them. That car was so totally different inside that I had trouble finding where everything was in the dark, but with the help of the GPS and some sheer luck I made it back to the hotel a nervous wreck but in one piece.
Still without any dinner though, so I ordered pizza delivery online. It felt weird ordering to a hotel, but there was no way I was driving anywhere else so it had to be done. I think I gave a really good tip to the delivery guy too.
Saturday I decided that I would stay in the hotel all day and calm down from the fright the day before. It was a smart idea as I needed it and sometimes when you’re travelling a day off is just what you need.
I’m glad that I didn’t get hurt, and this definitely makes it into the books for travel stories worth telling, but it was definitely something that I could have done without. I guess this trip really counts as an adventure now, hey?!
by Dannielle Cresp on February 2, 2013
While I was in Salt Lake City for Alt, I did get a couple of chances to get outside and see some of SLC. Once was on the Wednesday morning to visit the post office and once on the Saturday for the Alt Photography Walking Tour. Here are some of my favourite photos that I took from SLC (as well as one shot from the plane):
1. SLC from the plane; 2. Drive thru post boxes and snow; 3. Cool bike rack; 4. Where City Creek Center meets Temple Square; 5. Reflection Pool in Temple Square in January;
6. Entrance to Temple Square; 7. Salt Lake Temple from Joseph Smith Memorial Building;
8. Salt Lake City Library entrance