Wilmington, NC is one of my two favorite cities in the US (the other is Washington, D.C. in case you're curious). I absolutely love it there (so does Sister-we want to co-own a beach house there when we're older).
Around fall 2009, I got it in my head that Sister and I could go visit Wilmington for vacation the next summer. However, there were many rumors that OTH wasn't coming back for season 8 (oh we proved them wrong-huh!). So Sister promised me that if it got renewed for season 8, we could go visit Wilmy.
As we watched the season 7 finale, I became very concerned. Everyone was ending with happy storylines (Naley expecting Lydia, Brulian engaged, Quay cuddling on the coach). Luckily, this happy life stuff ending in the last 5 seconds, when Crazy Katie gunned down Quinn and then Clay. Now I'm sure most viewers screamed at the TV; I did as well. However, my scream was more like a cheer and I immediately jumped up and down because I knew that meant that it got renewed (that or MS just ended a show killing 2 main characters a la Marc Cherry-not cool, dude). But, luckily, I was right and OTH renewed! I screamed at Sister: "Wilmington, here we come!"
We arrived at Wilmington the morning of August 3, 2010. After getting our rental car and getting checked into our hotel, we decided to head straight into downtown Wilmington. The first thing we saw was Clothes Over Bros (for those of you who don't know, the show actually owned a store and store front in Wilmy, where they filmed both Karen's Cafe and C over B), which was my favorite place to see! (Seriously, I took a picture there every single one of the 5 days we were there. The first day when we saw it it was covered in plastic and they were pumping air conditioning inside. We soon realized that means they were about to film!
So we continue to walk around downtown Wilmington, which is absolutely gorgeous. Kind of like a Savannah, Georgia old-town feel. We are walking around, and suddenly I see a giant group of girls and young people surrounding someone in front of a restaurant. I see the back of the girl from afar, and turn to Sister, "Is that Kate Voegle?" She responded in a calm yet freaked voice, "Mel, that's Sophia Bush." We then power walked/ ran as subtly as we could over to the group.
Sophia Bush was standing outside of the Dixie Grill (brunch place where they film-think Sam, season 6), chatting amicably with fans, signing autographs and taking pictures. Never mind the fact that it was like 90 degrees outside and she most likely had a schedule of some sort. She stood out there and talked with us and took pics with us. She was absolutely hysterical, making jokes about her engagement ring (Brooke's), saying, "this is a prop! Don't start those rumors." She was absolutely adorable in person and the nicest ever. We only had to wait like 5 minutes until we got a picture with her!
We had been in Wilmington not 3 hours and we actually met Sophia Bush! My day (and year) were made! We then heard that they were filming at C Over B again, so we headed back that way. We were walking right in front of the store, when, lo and behold, Daphne Zuniga and Lisa Goldstein walked right by us! It happened so fast I almost didn't notice, but sister did and we watched them get into a white van and drive away (they had been rehearsing and were going to relax before they filmed). We got to watch them film from across the street, and Sophia came outside a lot because she was filming walking into the store.
We walked around a bit more, and then we drove over to the Rivercourt! So awesome! (although they recently tore it down :(.) There was fan graffiti all over it and all of the benches and basketball hoop poles were signed by fans which was really cool.
The rest of the week, we took our rental car and our GPS and went all over Wilmy looking for places they had filmed. Before we left, I had found a website with a bunch of address of places they had filmed, so we used that as our guide and drove all over the city. Some of my favorite places were:
The bench where Naley had their first study sess :)
The bridge from the song:
Brooke's house: (note the red door)
We also got a tour of ScreenGem studios, where they film all of the interior stuff, which was really cool. We could not take pics there unfortunately, but we got to see the downstairs of Naley's house (they have a real pool in the studio by the way), Red Bedroom records, and the downstairs of Brooke's house. Sooo coool!
We did get to take pics outside, which is where I got these of the Tree Hill cop car and studio door:
I took many more pics on our trip (at least 200), and it was def my favorite vaca ever! I really want to go back some day, even though they aren't filming there anymore because I love the city so much! So much that I decided to dedicate finale-eve blog post to it.
I still can't believe OTH is ending tomorrow. Will be a very sad day, but I am happy this great show has been on for 9 years!
Thanks for reading! I am off to watch Dance Moms for the next 4 hours (don't judge) Happy finale-eve to you and yours!