Road Trip - TV & Movies

I just spent a week driving from Savannah, GA to Wilmington, NC with my friend Carrie and despite the deep freeze that part of the country was in, I had such a good time. I'll get to everything we saw in future posts, but for now I want to focus on the stuff I geeked out about: TV and movie locations. I knew One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek were filmed in Wilmington, and that was enough to make me want to visit. Not because I loved those shows exactly, but because the city was so beautiful. I can't believe how totally clueless I was about all the other movies and shows that were filmed there. It's known as Wilmywood, the Hollywood of the east, and has been the setting for over 400 projects, like Firestarter, Iron Man 3, Safe Haven, We're The Millers, The Conjuring, Tammy, Sleeping with the Enemy, A Walk To Remember, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Crow.

I was so excited to find out before my trip that my favorite movie was also filmed in Wilmington! Empire Records used the outside of a bar on Front Street for exterior shots of the record store. The building went through a makeover, adding tons of lights and a balcony. You know, the spot where Gina makes her singing debut as they all try to save the Empire. Here is a cool picture of the construction.

They also used a house on Forest Hills Drive in a super short scene where Corey
walks out with her Rex Manning Day cupcakes to get a ride to work from Gina. 

As far as TV goes, One Tree Hill and Dawson's Creek seemed to make this small town famous. The pilots of Hart of Dixie, Witches of East End, and Revenge were also shot there, though they chose to move to production to Hollywood after they were picked up. Currently Secrets & Lies, Under The Dome, and Sleepy Hollow are filmed in Wilmington. There are studio tours, downtown walking tours, and trolley tours, but none of them were running in the off-season. I had a little list of places to check out and Carrie happily drove me around town.

I have a love/hate relationship with One Tree Hill. I binge-watched it when I was pregnant with Nolan. I loved everything about Brooke Davis and my girl crush on Sophia Bush began then. I also loved Lucas, Mouth, Skills, and Rachel. But I really couldn't care less about anyone else, and I flat out hated beloved characters like Haley, Karen, and Peyton. The show lost me in the final seasons with the time jump and the addition of Jamie, Clay, Quinn, Millie, Alex, and Chase. Snore. But I was hooked and finished out the series, so I was excited to see some locations in town. We drove across the 6th Street Bridge, seen in the opening credits and in a few episodes. It's also been used on Under The Dome and Revolution.

We strolled down Riverwalk and saw where Haley and Nathan shared a few romantic moments.

We wandered around the location of Karen's Cafe and Clothes Over Bros.
It was used for filming for 14 years, but is now the home of Outdoor Equipped. 

We stopped by Lucas's house, which is currently for sale.

We cruised by B. Davis's gigantic family home.
We oohed and aahed at all the huge houses in this neighborhood.

And we quickly snapped a picture of Peyton's house because the residents were outside.
For an awesome read, check out this GQ article, written by the man who let them film in his/Payton's house.

Of course our tour of Tree Hill wouldn't be complete without a stop at River Court. Sadly, it doesn't exist anymore. The makeshift basketball court was used for nine years in all but one episode, but it was demolished shortly after the series finale. 

I loved the first season of Dawson's Creek and tolerated a few more, but it was never something I had to watch. That's partly because I was too old (I was a freshman in college) and mostly because it was annoying. But I loooved Pacey (he reminded me a little of my boyfriend at the time), I loved Joey, and really loved them together, so I stuck it out until they graduated from high school. I was still excited to check out some locations while we were there. Unfortunately, the houses are in really secluded spots on different creeks and the owners don't embrace crazy fans. We did walk through UNCW to see Alderman Hall, which was the setting for Capeside High.

We saw the building they used for Leery's Fresh Fish.

We drove by and snapped a picture of Hell's Kitchen, where Joey worked while in college. She "sang" there a few times too. The producers wanted to use a gritty bar location so often that they decided to buy a building and turn it into a bar. The new owners have kept things exactly the same and even have DC memorabilia on the walls.

We hung out on Wrightsville Beach where various scenes took place in both shows and spent some time on and under Crystal Pier where the opening credits to the second season of Dawson's Creek were filmed. Rex Manning's Say No More, Mon Amour video from Empire Records was also filmed on this beach.

Savannah, Georgia is also a pretty popular place to film. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is the movie locals love to talk about and one I apparently need to see ASAP. Others are Gator, Glory, Something To Talk About, The General's Daughter, Forces of Nature, and Magic Mike XXL. There are movie tours in this town too, but not in the winter. Boo. Our trolley tour guide was awesome about pointing stuff out though.

The movie we were most excited about was Forrest Gump. The opening scene took place in Chippewa Square. If you don't recall, a feather comes down from the sky, floats past the steeple of a church, and lands at the base of a park bench where Tom Hanks sits. The bench was built for the movie and was moved to the Savannah History Museum after filming.

The Last Song was filmed in Savannah too, though I had no idea before I got there. When I started planning this trip, I couldn't wait to Oak Avenue at Wormsloe Historic Site. The one and a half mile entrance to the plantation is lined with over 400 live oaks draped in Spanish moss. Our guide told us that in the movie, Ronnie (Miley Cyrus) and Will (Liam Hemsworth) cruise down this road used as the driveway to his family's estate. 

There are many more locations to see and tours to take, but this is all we could squeeze in. Carrie isn't a movie or TV person so I didn't want to bore her with more stops. I seriously want to go back to visit Screen Gems Studios

I Miss My Job

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a friend I worked with at a small law firm. I worked in the front of the office and handled the criminal defense cases while she was the office manager and did the family law stuff. There was another family law assistant who was also the bookkeeper. And that's it. We were the support staff for four to five attorneys. It was my first real job after college and I couldn't have asked for a better experience or more supportive supervisors. I loved that I learned something new every single day, because each case was completely different. I also loved getting to know other attorneys, prosecutors, judges, county officials, and private investigators, not to mention all their support staff, who were always helpful and kind. I flat out enjoyed my job.

After four and a half years, the office started to go through a lot of changes and I wasn't as happy as I had been. My defense attorney put in his notice and since I just found out I was pregnant and knew I wanted stay at home for a while, I put my notice in too. I'm glad I quit when I did. I had a tough pregnancy with symphysis pubis dysfunction and probably wouldn't have been able to work much longer anyway. My boss completely understood and we parted ways on good terms, still getting together for lunch or to celebrate babies and new houses. In an office that small, you really do become like family.

So back to the lunch. My old co-worker and I caught up on our kids, talked about TV and movies, and of course she filled me in on all the office gossip, which is my favorite part. She also told me about upcoming changes to the office and how the county has added an Office of Public Defense, which has put a huge dent in their criminal case contract. She also mentioned that they just did a remodel, which I was dying to see, so I followed her back to check it out. My old boss greeted me with open arms and we chatted all afternoon.

It dawned on us all that I had quit seven years ago, almost to the day. I cannot believe I haven't been working for SEVEN years! Of course, it's completely logical; Nolan is six and a half. It just seems like such a long time, but also, like yesterday. After spending time with them in the office that day, I realized I miss talking to adults (about other things than kids), being responsible, using my brain, having a routine, etc. I miss working.

(And no, being a stay-at-home mom is not working. It's not a job at all. It's a sacrifice for your family, sure, but it's not "the hardest job ever." You'd be doing it whether you worked or not. I do realize not everyone has a supportive husband, like I do. And some moms are in situations where their partner is deployed and they are acting as single-parents. In those cases, you are my hero. But in regular situations, working moms have it much, much harder, so stop with that nonsense, SAHMs.)

Anyway, as much as I miss it, I'm not planning to work again until Milo is in first grade. I want to do all the things in his kindergarten class that I've been able to do in Nolan's. That means I won't be looking for a job until the summer of 2017, which puts me out of the workforce a few months shy of a decade. Whoa. And when I go do go back, I want it to be for real. I don't want to try to make money from my blog, I don't want to sell Scentsy or open an Etsy shop, and I don't want some part-time, work from home deal. I want my career back. It's been a long time since I worked, and that can be scary, but I'm smart, I catch on quickly, I get along with almost everybody, I'm reliable and professional. And while I loved criminal defense and would ideally stay in legal, I'm open to new fields. I'm mostly worried about how it will affect my family. But then again, now that Nolan's in school all day, I hardly see him anyway. You know what will suffer? TV SHOWS! MOVIES! BOOKS! Ugh.

The 87th Academy Awards

It's almost time! Last year my brother and I bet on the first six categories below and I got all six correct! I should have bet him more than five bucks.

Red marks who I think will win, Check mark symbol is how I would vote, and * denotes a movie I haven't seen.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
 Check mark symbol Whiplash

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Check mark symbol Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Best Actress
*Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Check mark symbol Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Check mark symbol J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress
Check mark symbol Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild (why is she even nominated?)
Keira Knightley, Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Director
Alejandro Inarritu, Birdman
Check mark symbol Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay
Grand Budapest Hotel
Check mark symbol Nightcrawler

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Check mark symbol Whiplash

Best Documentary
*Finding Vivian Maier
Check mark symbol Last Days in Vietnam
*Salt of the Earth

How would you vote this year?