Saturday, April 08, 2006

A little bit about our trip to Wrightsville Beach

Melina and I just got back from our trip to the beach. I forgot my camera and she forgot her camera cord so pictures will have to wait till she gets back to New York.

We tossed a TREMENDOUS AMOUNT of stuff in the car and arrived at our hotel Thursday afternoon. It's at the end of a spit of land and as you walk around the spit the shoreline turns from ocean to marsh.

There is a roped-off area for nesting birds but it looked mighty pathetic to us - small, degraded, and no birds. Somebody's lip-service to the rights of other species to live on this planet with us.

We immediately discovered the internet connection which was advertised as "available" was NOT INCLUDED in our hefty room charge! I was irate and refused to pay, and in consequence, we were both cut off from our email for 48+ hours, which was no doubt very good for us.

We painted a lot, walked on the beach, noshed, napped, I practiced my fiddle, we watched a little tv, and last night we serendipitously happened upon the 2006 Azalea Festival in Wilmington. Sadly, we had already eaten dinner so we could not partake in any of the numerous greasy foods which are staples at our street festivals.

For instance, take the "Blooming Onion," mentioned thusly in Wikipedia:
A Blooming Onion is a food dish consisting of one large vidalia onion which is cut to resemble a flower. In the following manner slice off one inch off of the top of the onion, leaving the root end intact. Remove the papery skin. With a sharp knife make slices from the center of the onion outwards cutting down to about 1/2 inch from the root end. Make a total of 16 evenly spaced cuts around the onion. Gently spread out the pieces of onion. To create the fried onion blossom, dip the onion into a seasoned flour mixture and shake off excess. Dip onion into egg wash and again into the flour. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then deep fry for 10 minutes in oil at 350 degrees. This is served with a tangy dipping sauce.

Who invented this monstrosity?

The Outback Steakhouse© Aussie-Tizers (that's right, friends, it is billed as an APPETIZER, ie one is expected to eat MORE afterwards!) has 2310 calories and 134 grams of fat.

Here's a recipe for making a blooming onion - I note the author says it's ok to use low-fat mayonnaise or Miracle Whip in your dip.

We absolutely adored Wilmington's "River Walk," which is much, much longer and more lovely than the last time we were there. Some genius (really!) decided to take some of the new money pouring into the city (after the completion of I-40 started dumping thousands of tourists there) and build something really memorable. A boardwalk stands in the river on stilts and connects, by little bridges, to the backs of many retail establishments and restaurants. You can walk quite a while, looking at the riverboats and sailboats and barges - and also see the scene at various outdoor cafes. There are little benches and stools so you can just sit and dream while you watch the sunset.

There was an orange glow behind the battleship last night so you can use photoshop and color this picture appropriately.

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