We had an uneventful 2-hour drive to Wilmington, and just over the bridge into Wrightsville Beach, we pulled into the Causeway Cafe for lunch. Robert had their Crabcake Sandwich, and I had their Garlic Shrimp, Tomato, and Melted Mozzarella Wrap. They were both good enough, but not fantastic. They were a little on the bland side.
We split a crock of banana pudding, which as the crock suggests, was a good portion for $2.99. But, again, we both found it a little bland—the bananas were not ripe enough in my opinion, and it probably could have used "setting" overnight or something like that. With all that said, it didn't stop us from eating any and all of it. Such troopers.
We continued directly to the beach, deciding on the way to not first stop by the hotel to check on an early check-in. Since it was noonish on a Friday, we didn't have any trouble finding a place to park, and at 10 minutes for $.25, we deposited 10 quarters to give us an hour-and-a-half on the beach with 10 minutes to walk to and from. We walked down to the beach using Beach Access #9.
Robert put on some SPF 45 zinc oxide for protection and I didn't put on any lotion at all. I hate putting lotion over body hair and I hate putting lotion on once already on the beach with all that sand around. Speaking of which, all that heat, sand, and water! Not at all what I was expecting.
We each went into the ocean for about 15 minutes, although at different times, and it was nice—once it got past your balls, of course.
We checked into our room at the Quality Inn on Market at just before 3:00, after which we spent about an hour by the pool. Well, I did. Robert spent a little less. There were four kids in the pool, all of whom seemed somehow related to one of the housekeepers working at the hotel. They made non-stop noise. Noisy kids playing in a pool. Again, not at all what I expected. I really need to update the brochures in my mind.
After a short nap, we made a run over to Target, where the main goal was to buy a needle and some black thread so I could sew two holes in shirts of mine—one hole under one arm of two of my t-shirts.
The highlight of the trip was the lady in Target on her cell phone, who when passing us we heard say, "Cancer's cancer," which we of course repeated for the rest of the day in a New York accent, "Cancah's cancah."
We had a light dinner from Arby's—Robert had their Chicken Salad Sandwich, and I had two of their Jr. Roast Beefs. The place was walkable, so we walked there to eat, but ended up getting it to go, because it was absolutely freezing in the place.
At around 10:00, we made our way to a new gay bar in Wilmington, called The Tool Box. While that name might exude butchness, its logo uses various tools to spell out the name, and the "tool" that makes the "X" looks like a pair of hair salon scissors. Things that make you go, "Hmmmm."
This new, little bar was really okay, but the cigarette smoke in the place was absolutely unbearable. I don't think that it's just because Flex has gone smoke-free that made it intolerable (though that probably makes us less willing to tolerate it); it was more about the fact that just about everyone in the place kept lighting up.
The price of the drinks were very, very good, though. I bought Robert a Miller Lite and I had my standard bourbon and diet, and for the pair it was $6.00. And the plastic cup my well drink was in was bigger than the one at Flex, where it's $3.50. I never was sure if the beer was $2.50 and my drink $3.50, or $2 and $4. I'm quite sure they weren't each $3.
To add confusion to that unknown, Robert went back to get himself another beer (I decided not to have another as we knew we weren't staying, and we'd passed a cop on the way there), and he said that he was quite sure the register had rung up $2.00 for his beer, but the bartender said, "That'll be $3.00."
They were having "male entertainment" coming into the place at midnight, and we both agreed we wanted to be gone by then, but we left right after Robert finished his second beer.
We made a stop at Costello's where there was good news and bad news. Well, not bad news, really. The good news was that there was no cover charge to get in the place. The other news was that there were about 10 people in the place, George (the owner) was bartending (he might be a good owner, but he's not the best bartender, particularly in terms of being friendly and making you feel that he's grateful, or even glad, that you're patronizing his business), and the piano player was decent, but she seemed to scream most of her songs.
We each had only one drink there, and then headed home.