We woke up Sunday with the intention of making a quick drive south to visit the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Historic park. Brunswick Town was a pre-Revolutionary port near the mouth of the Cape Fear River that was destroyed by the British during the war, and Fort Anderson was built on top of Brunswick’s ruins by Confederate soldiers as part of the defense works protecting Wilmington. Fort Anderson saw quite a bit of action late in the Civil War, eventually falling to the Union Army in early 1865. So we found a battlefield worth visiting. We even packed a picnic lunch, anticipating a nice walk along the site’s ruins on the banks of the river. Not!
On to plan B! About 10 miles south of the closed historic site lies the towns of Southport and Bald Head Island. We found a nice spot on the waterfront for our picnic and walked the town’s historic district. It turns out that this area is also a popular filming location. Movies such as Weekend at Bernie’s, Crimes of The Heart, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Secret Life of Bees, were among the more popular films made here.
We got back to Wilmington just in time to catch the Raiders vs. Ravens football game. We were so excited to see the Raiders win a very close game that we decided to celebrate with a nice Sushi dinner at Yosaki.
Our last day in Wilmington started with a delicious breakfast at The Dixie Grill. Expecting to order something “southern” with a side of grits, I was pleasantly surprised to see my favorite breakfast item, huevos rancheros, on the menu. Two eggs over easy on top of grilled cubes of steak, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and black beans with flour tortillas and tortilla chips on the side. Different but really really good. Robin had the blueberry white chocolate chip pancakes (as good as it sounds).
After breakfast we hopped on the Capt. J N Maffit and took a narrated Cape Fear River tour.
The tour was pretty interesting as we cruised by the shipping port, some of Wilmington’s historic river homes, the USS North Carolina and the town itself. We learned that Wilmington’s chief export is pine wood chips. Our Captain explained that the wood chips are loaded onto ships here in Wilmington, shipped to Ireland where the chips are treated and processed, then shipped to China where they are made into particle board. The particle board then finds its way back to the USA where it is sold at Home Depot and Costco. Interesting…..
We spent the rest of the day cleaning and packing. Our farewell Wilmington dinner was at The Pilot House, a nice outdoor restaurant on the River Walk.
Tuesday was mostly spent in the Old Home on the long drive to Atlanta. On the way we happened to pass through Whiteville, NC, childhood home of Robin’s first client Chester McGlockton. We stopped by to see where Chester started his football career and to snap a picture in memory of Chester.
We had breakfast in North Carolina, lunch in South Carolina, and dinner in Georgia, where we happily met up with our good friends Sue and Buzz Rittenberg. As always, it was great catching up with Sue and Buzz. And now that they are building a lake home in South Carolina, we will hopefully be visiting them again soon!
We are now in Atlanta, staying at Sheraton Atlanta Perimeter North Hotel.
After our morning work-outs we got ourselves together and headed to the Carter Center to visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.
Although located within the Atlanta city limits, the Center and Library are beautifully set inside very lush wooded grounds. I remember reading that most of Carter’s successful diplomatic efforts were at Camp David and that he felt the soothing comfortable forest setting of Camp David was conducive to conducting sensitive negotiations. Continuing that kind of work post-presidency, he seems to have done his best to duplicate the Camp David setting.
The library is split evenly between Carter’s life through his presidency, and then his life’s work post-presidency. Now almost 91 years old, it is hard to believe that Carter’s term ended 35 years ago. So here is some of what we (re)learned.
- He earned his BS degree at the Navel Academy in Annapolis.
- In the navy he served as a submariner where he eventually became the senior officer of the Seawolf, our country’s second nuclear submarine.
- He resigned his naval commission to take over the family peanut farm after the death of his father.
- Carter lost in his first bid to become Governor of Georgia.
- Once he declared his intentions to run for president, he traveled to Iowa to campaign for the primary. Four people attended his first event in Des Moines.
- Accomplishments while in office include: Pardoning Vietnam War draft evaders, Established the Department of Energy, Panama Canal Treaty, Camp David Accords, Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, SALT II Treaty, Normalized relations with China, Negotiated the release of the American Hostages in Iran.
- Post-Presidency he won the Nobel Peace Prize (2001) for decades of work for peace and human rights (primarily through his efforts at the Carter Center).
The library also devotes quite a bit of space to Rosalynn Carter who is considered to be one of the most influential first ladies in history. She regularly sat in on cabinet meetings and was considered one of Jimmy’s closest advisors. Her primary domestic agenda was bringing attention and policy to Mental Health issues.
Presidential libraries, besides being museums, are also part of the National Archives and Records Administration. Anyone wishing to access the myriad of documents can do so at the library. Usually they are housed behind locked doors in the recesses of the building, but at the Carter Library they decided to include them as part of a display. Nicely done.
Once back at the Hotel, Robin met Sue for coffee and I blogged. We finished the day with dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. Hoping the weather holds up for the TOUR Championship Golf tournament tomorrow!