USS Battleship North Carolina and Wilmington NC

Trip Start Jan 09, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2009

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another late start. This could get to be a habit.  It  rained much of the night and is still raining today.  The temperature is in the mid 40's not great but better than Ottawa. 
We decided to venture into Wilmington today.  Don's goal was to tour the USS North Carolina which is permanently docked in Wilmington on the Cape Fear River.  The State of North Carolina raised enough funding in 1961 to save the North Carolina from being sold for scrap metal.  The USS North Carolina was one of the battleships completed in 1940 and was not in service when Pearl Harbor was attacked.  Commissioned shortly after, it went on o become one of the most important ships in the Pacific fleet during World War II.  It is the most decorated US battleship of the second World War.  We toured all nine decks and thoroughly  enjoyed the afternoon. For us, the 1.5-2 hours (usual) self-guided tour of the ship became almost four hours for us and Don could have taken longer.
Our original plan had been to do a walking tour of the historic district in Wilmington.  The tour is self-guided and along the streets, metal plaques provide the details of events, people and places as you move along. Beautiful, stately and historic homes in Wilmington attest to the city's importance in the economy of the area. However, the wet weather dampened our enthusiasm and we settled for a walk through the old Cotton Exchange.   
The Cotton Exchange has been converted into a shopping mall of small boutiques and art shops.  One of the first things Diane spotted was an art gallery "Port City Pottery & Fine Crafts" featuring fibre art.  She was even more excited when she discovered that Iris Simmons was one of the featured artists and had several pieces on display.   The Wilmington Star Events page states, " Ms Simmons, Master Quilter and Fiber Artist was chosen as one of 44 African-American Quilt Artists to be part of "Quilts for Obama: An Exhibit Celebrating the Inauguration of our 44th President." The Celebration will be held at The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. on January 11 - January 31, 2009."  Check out your copy of 'The Masters".  I think I remember seeing her there.  Her work is great!
A quick stop at a restaurant in the exchange for an excellent bowl of potato soup and  then back to the park as we were running short of time. We had to be back to the park before 6:00 p. m. or we would be locked out for the night. We made it back to the park with a half hour to spares so we will get to sleep in the Beast tonight.
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