Friday, January 06, 2012

a night away

davis turned 14 months old last week--and we spent our first night away from him that week as well. 

i don't know how we got this far without both of us being away from him. he did spend a few nights with just me when justin went to west virginia for his pap's funeral. but other than that, with all of our sleep struggles and just really getting into a groove recently, i think we didn't want to put anyone else through that :) plus, we never had a need to be away from him--no conferences, no concerts, no true needs for overnight trips. 

but we've started talking about our anniversary for this year and our desire to do a long weekend away, like we have in previous years to ocracoke, charleston and savannah. we haven't decided yet where we're going--but it's our 5th anniversary and we feel like it should be a big one. we knew that we would have to work up to a full weekend away, though, so a night during the Christmas break after davis had spent multiple days with us seemed to make the most sense--and my mom was up for it. so last tuesday, we put davis down for his nap and packed up the car, heading towards wilmington under rainy gray skies.

we stopped at a restaurant for lunch that was top rated for seafood on tripadvisor (we have used trip advisor to plan our last few getaways, and it has never steered us wrong with food or hotels.) fish bites was located in a little shopping center on the way to carolina beach, but was well worth the drive. we had awesome crab cakes, fresh shrimp and a lobster bisque that was sooooo good. we then headed back into town to check into our hotel. by this point, the rain had stopped and we were greeted with a beautiful rainbow from our room.
we chose to stay at a hotel right on the river within walking distance of the downtown area. this hotel boasted a tower suite, which i had also checked out on tripadvisor, and we decided the extra cost was worth the view. it was a two story loft design built off the top floor of the hotel, so we were a good 6 stories high with a 360 degree view from the "bedroom" level.
it also had a comfy sitting area downstairs, with a large bathroom off the living room (featuring a soaking tub, a separate tiled glass shower and---A TV!--i got super excited about that one--it's the little things for me!)
here's a photo we took as we set out to walk downtown, looking back at our hotel with our room up on top.
we started out at the cotton exchange, a group of shops and restaurants housed in one of the old warehouses downtown.
after doing some shopping, we walked along the waterfront where you could see the battleship north carolina across the river...
as well as the river cruise henrietta and the bridge in the distance.
had to do a quick self-portrait. i love the river walk, particularly because one of my favorite shows as a teen, "dawson's creek," was filmed here and all of the spots downtown remind me of the show!
as we were walking around, we scouted out places for dinner. we ended up deciding to visit yo sake early and take advantage of their half-price menu from 5 pm until 7 pm. they had a great selection with lots of sushi and appetizers only priced at $3 or $4 a dish. we didn't know how large a roll they would give us and we ended up having WAY too much sushi. so we ate what we could and moved on, glad that we only paid half price for them :)
we enjoyed a nice walk downtown, with many of the buildings still decorated for christmas...
we spotted this place earlier in the year when we stopped through in july, and they have tables where you can eat out on each of the little balconies. it was closed that night, so not an option...(and it would've been very chilly!)
the large Christmas tree right by the river--so festive!
and all of the white lights along this river front park--such a pretty spot.
we spied lots of little courtyards and terraces that we could have visited for an after-dinner drink or dessert...
but ended up at the little dipper for fondue. i was so excited! melted chocolate and peanut butter with fresh fruit and yummy marshmallows and pretzels?
be still my heart...
we cleaned this plate :) and enjoyed every bite of it!

it was a great way to end our evening out on the town. i wish i could say that i slept soundly through the night, not having to listen for the baby monitor, but honestly--the noises of an unfamiliar hotel room woke me up a couple of times. we did enjoy sleeping in a little bit (at least for us--we didn't get up until 8:30 or so!) and then we packed back up and got some brunch at the basics, a cafe right up at the cotton exchange that had this awesome creation:
the "southern benedict"--two eggs over easy, served over smoked ham on an open faced biscuit with sausage gravy on top. we got fresh fruit as our sides, just to keep it light :)

and then we headed back to fayetteville to see our boy, with the report from mom that he did great the previous day, had no problem going down and did "okay" overnight, with a couple of wakings. all things considered, not too bad. i wish i had my camera out and recording as we walked into the house, because he gave us the biggest grin and got so excited to see us! he squealed and hugged us and patted us on the back when we picked him up--one of his favorite ways to show affection. i shed a few tears, just so happy to see him and relieved that he did okay. it was a good first attempt at leaving him overnight and hopefully we'll both get better at doing it :)

it was also a great reminder of how much i love traveling with my husband. i so enjoy doing research beforehand, finding the best place for us to stay, choosing great restaurants, figuring out the touristy spots to visit. and it was wonderful to just spend time with him and be able to head out without packing a diaper bag or working around nap times. not saying that i won't enjoy traveling with davis, one day--but for right now, we definitely appreciate the ease of traveling as a couple. 

and here's to many more trips in the future...

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