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Here are some really shitty photographs of Wilmington, North Carolina.

So Wilmington’s kind of a strange experience.  There’s downtown in the west (old-world southern charm easily eclipsed by Savannah & Charleston further south!), coastal towns way out in the east (pastel houses up on stilts! sub shop!  pizza shop!  tattoo parlor! Mexican restaurant with $2 margaritas! you know the drill!), and then for the 8 miles in between you’ve got a big ol’ sprawling sunbelt city (subdivisions with pompously garish names! two supermarkets at every intersection!  literally indistinguishable from metro Atlanta!)  It’s kind of exciting, driving from one landscape to the next with no transition.

This motel is right on the edge of the sunbelt area.  You can’t tell from my shitty picture, but it’s this exceptionally retro ’60s building wrapped around an enormous plantation-style courtyard with oak trees, with a palm tree-bedecked pool in the middle.  It’s kind of a microcosm of Wilmington: 3 different atmospheres all in one place.  Just so, so cool.  I really wish I were better at taking pictures so I could have captured it.

Is it kind of baffling that my dad and stepmom keep paying a premium for houses near the ocean even though they hardly ever go to the beach?  Well, yeah.

Is it kind of frustrating to know you’re in the same state as Asheville right when the leaves in the Appalachians are at their peak while you’re staring at a mockingly verdant row of palm trees?  Yes.  Jesus fuck, yes.  But the decadent warmth of a 76-degree day in late October somewhat makes up for this.  It’s kind of like taking a vacation back to September.

Jellyfish!  The most fearsome and devious of all the food-themed fishes!  There were like 800 of them washed up on the shore the night I went for a stroll down it.  Big ones, too.  Like, the size of a small pizza.

Anyway, by and large it was a perfectly enjoyable trip that wasn’t quite worth the strain of the 6-hour plane flights back and forth.  But it’s family, so what are you gonna do?

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