Last weekend I was lucky enough to take a vacation! I had not had one in two years, minus our wedding last August, so it was time. I trekked six hours with five girlfriends to Carolina Beach and could not have asked for a better time. Sometimes vacations are necessary for relaxtion; for me, they are necessary for inspiration. What better place to be inspired than by the seaside? As I was looking through my photos, I noticed that there are a lot of the same elements in the shop right now, which is a big plus. Since I couldn't take the beach back to Asheville with me, I can just create one in my home!
One of my favorite parts of the trip was the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, which we visited at night to fully take in all of the bright lights and colors. In the above photo, I was really taken with this amusement park ride for its graphic quality. I really wanted to take one of the rides home, but obviously that isn't feasible. Until I was reminded of this boat ride we've got at the shop. Amusement Park Boat, Dealer #44, $750.
Here's a shot of the girls trying their hand at skee ball. There's an arcade on the boardwalk, and we spent our tickets on Chinese yo-yos, mini dessert erasers, and neon vampire teeth, to name a few.
I really wanted to sneak the life preserver from the ferry boat into our car, but alas, my fear of port authority hunting me down was greater. Luckily, we've still got a few life preservers of our own floating about the shop and I can snatch those up all day long without fear! Dealer #44, Life Preserver, $65-95.
The above photo was taken on our first beach day (with instagram), and is one of my favorites. I have been looking at it off and on since the trip, trying to recall the sounds and smells of the beach. The oil seascape below only further awakens my senses, despite the fact that Carolina Beach had no mountains or palm trees (that I'm aware of). I love that it's tiny, and the colors in the oil are close enough to my photograph that I can recall the beach anytime I want! Dealer #44, Oil Painting, $28.
On our way back to Asheville, we stopped in downtown Wilmington for some last minute shopping, and I'm really glad I stumbled upon The Wonder Shop. So many awesome vintage clothes and accessories to admire. I could have spent hours perusing, and I was really taken with this mannequin. Meaning I wanted to take her home with me as an added eclectic element to our decor. Much to my husband's chagrin, I have a second opportunity to do that with the mannequin to the right, since it's for sale in our shop. Dealer #44, Mannequin, $175.
Here are a few more photos, including the marsh landscape we walked through in order to reach the beach. Thanks for indulging me, and be sure to stop by the shop this week. We are open despite the heat!
P.S. If any of you find yourselves in the Carolina Beach/Wilmington area, here are my top five things to do:
1. The Fat Pelican in Carolina Beach-Unfortunately I didn't get a good picture of this place, and honestly, the picture would not have done it justice. The bar is floor to ceiling filled with beach ephemera and handwritten notes from its many patrons over the years. There is nothing better in this world than a good dive bar, and this one did not disappoint. Plus they keep a large refrigerator in the back stocked with hundreds of beers to choose from.
2. Carolina Beach Boardwalk At Night-Truly a must! I could have taken thousands more photos of the amusement park rides (some of them dating back to the 50s!), the old arcade games, and the tacky gift shops.
3. Britt's Donut Shop-Essential to your trip, and you won't regret it. The shop has been in business since 1939 serving up glazed donuts. They melt in your mouth. I brought some home for my husband, and let's just say they lasted less than a day.
4. Day Trip to Southport- A customer at the shop recommended that I visit Southport, and luckily my special tour guide for the weekend knew all of the right places to take us. We got there via ferry boat, which is always a delight, and indulged in good old fashion seafood from the Yacht Basin Provision Company. I recommend the crab cakes and conch fritters, followed by a stroll through Southport's quaint downtown waterfront.
5. The Beach!-No brainer, right? Luckily the tide was pretty low the whole time we were there, although a wave or two did take me down and steal my sunglasses! No better place for inspiration than the beach, I say. I brought home a jar of seashells, and still keep finding sand in unusual places.