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Shortly before Russ deployed to Afghanistan (the second time), I decided that I wanted to find a TV show that had multiple seasons to watch while he was deployed. I had found during his first deployment that having “my show” (Stargate SG1) to watch really helped pass the time and keep my mind of of things. I got really involved in the characters and enjoyed watching the storyline evolve. While I love Stargate I didn’t really feel like I wanted to watch all ten seasons a third time. So I got online and googled “girly TV shows.” I figured that I should move away from scifi and onto something that Russ wouldn’t enjoy and I wouldn’t be as free to watch when he was home. One Tree Hill popped up on a few sites so I thought I would check it out!
I was immediately drawn into the storyline. There were definitely some frustrations that I had content-wise with the show, but there was just something that kept me watching. I’ll be honest in saying that One Tree Hill is definitely not the most wholesome show on the air…Russ doesn’t call it my “stupid teenage drama show” for no reason! The early seasons are full of love triangles and high-school drama.
I was drawn to One Tree Hill because it was relate-able…even though it wasn’t. As I mentioned in my Recovering Perfectionist post, I grew up in a conservative Christian home and church, an environment that many people would label as “sheltered.” I don’t regret this at all. My parents did an amazing job raising me and, while my journey over the past few years has been one of learning that that environment and those standards is NOT where my worth comes from, I am still grateful for that “baseline” that I was able to start from.
On the flip side, watching a show like One Tree Hill has given me the ability to look from the outside-in into what the life of a “normal” American teenager is like (albiet Hollywood-style), and perhaps live vicariously a little bit through the characters in this TV show (in much the same way that I traveled to all those other planets and engaged in battle with aliens while watching Stargate). It’s not reality–but it’s fun to imagine what it’s like to have a high-school sweetheart or best-friend, go to basketball games, and attend prom. The later seasons of the show were much more relate-able to me as the characters were out of highschool and beginning their families. I got to watch the characters grow from immature teenagers, rise above the highschool drama, and gain depth in their relationships and friendships.
The biggest “redeeming factor” to me as a conservative Christian view of One Tree Hill was Haley’s character. The good “tudor girl” who fell for the bad-boy basketball star…yet still holds to her standards and maintains virginity until they get married. She goes on to be a mother to a beautiful son and daughter, and maintain a faithful, loving relationship with her husband–throughout the trials of family deaths, marriage-wrecking temptations, separations due to her husband’s employment, and a plethora of other family trials. Sure, it’s Hollywood, but their marriage was one where you got the feeling that nothing could ever tear them apart. That’s the main reason I watched the show.
For that, and for the music. Haley just so happened to also be an aspiring musician and songwriter, both in real life and on the show. Then characters Chris (Tyler Hilton) and Mia (Kate Voegle)–more famous musicians as regular characters on the show, along with guest appearances by Gavin DeGraw, the Wreckers, and others…there’s LOTS of music on One Tree Hill!!!
One Tree Hill is a beautiful show to watch…for the drama, the strong relationships, the music, and it’s beautiful filming location, Wilmington, North Carolina, home to both riverfront and oceanfront beaches! So, when I had the opportunity to visit Wilmington with a few free hours to myself, I decided to visit some of the locations used in the filming of the show. I used this complete list I found online to map out the places I wanted to see the most. Armed with my GPS on my iphone and a camera, I started on my self-guided tour.
I started at the cemetery, for the simple reason that it was the closest location to where I had dropped off my husband. I felt very awkward standing in a random cemetery taking pictures… I snapped a few and then left, not bothering to look for specific landmarks.
A few blocks over was Haley’s and Peyton’s houses (from the earlier seasons). Haley’s house didn’t even look that familiar to me (until I came home and found shots from it online!) but Peyton’s house was very recognizable. Yet again I felt very awkward walking down the street taking pictures of other people’s houses…kept looking over my shoulder hoping no one was around to think I was crazy!
(Since then, I found this article written by the owner of “Peyton’s Place” describing that this happens on practically a daily basis, and that he’s quite used to it. It’s a fascinating description of how he and his young family were affected by the filming that took place both in and outside his home! Definitely worth reading if you are a One Tree Hill fan!)
Here’s Haley’s house, scene of one Nathan and Haley’s epic “in the rain” kisses… I love how the cherub is still there!
Karen and Lucas’ house was close by as well. As I pulled up a few houses away, a red car pulled up behind me. I waited for them to get out and go into their house because, again, I didn’t want people to think I was crazy. Out of the car came two girls, probably close to age 20, with cameras, who looked over their shoulder and walked over to Lucas’ house. I smiled and laughed. So I guess I’m not the only crazy fool out here! They actually caught the owner of the house and asked her if they could take pictures on the porch and the porch swing. I offered to take pictures for them if they would take some for me!
This swing was not there during the filming, but it was still neat to sit on the porch!
Here’s a view of the house from the side, showing the door that Lucas painted red for Brooke:
Brooke’s house was definitely my favorite! It was such a massively beautiful home!
And yes the door is still red:
And here’s a random too-close self photo that I thought turned out rather artistic:
Next was the Dan, Deb, and Nathan Scott house from the early seasons. There was still a basketball hoop in the driveway!! Maybe it’s just all the flashbacks to the show, but there was something slightly ominous about it.
Then I drove on to Tric, which was simply the back of a huge brick warehouse. Everything had been taken down but you can still see where the fake door used to be.
Then I went downtown. First stop was the location of Karen’s Cafe and Clothes Over Bro’s and Karen’s Cafe (again). The storefront space is still empty!
I cut through some quaint little shops, bought some new shoes (since my flip-flops were driving me nuts), and walked down the the riverfront, which was lovely! (I think that this boat behind David’s head is the same one in the distance in the photo on the right).
I couldn’t find great screenshots from the show, but the riverfront was used on many many occasions for filming, including the filming of the Burning Boat Festival and Haley playing guitar in the park.
The photos on the right show the Rivercourt (or where it should have been) from across the river. I knew that it was supposed to be there, but a quick Google search revealed that the court was torn down after filming. I wanted to go across the river and at least see the court where it used to be, but at this point Russ was texting me saying that he was done and needed picked up already. I was frustrated because there were more places that I wanted to visit and the Rivercourt was the one I had wanted to see the most.
I started walking back to my car, at which point it started raining (oh great) and I still had several blocks to go and was now in a hurry because Russ was waiting on me. But as I was walking down the street I saw this in the window of a shop.
While I don’t like to be an impulsive buyer, it’s not every day that you see a sweatshirt from one of your favorite shows in the town that it was filmed in. So I went into the store and pulled it off the shelf, and then found another rack with MORE shirts from the show. I couldn’t resist buying a Clothes Over Bro’s shirt either! I decided to go BACK to the location of the store to take a picture with the shirt on. I ducked into an entry way to put the shirt on over the one I was already wearing and took this picture:
I also got this one…a peak into the still-empty storefront with the reflection of the shirt in the window. I didn’t plan it that way, but it turned out pretty neat:
By this point, most of my frustration had dissipated. Yes, there was more I wanted to see and not enough time, but all in all, I was pleased with what I HAD seen. I picked up Russ at the gun range and we started back toward the beach house, but as we were heading out of town I realized that we were going to drive right by the entrance to Battleship Park, the location of the Rivercourt! And, since I was driving………. So, we got to see what’s left of the Rivercourt–a few trees, a picnic pavilion, and a lonely old rusty grill. Russ had fun playing air basketball on the invisible court:
It was such a perfect way to end the “tour” and it was neat to be able to share it with Russ as he had watched season 1 and part of season 2 with me, so had seen some of the scenes filmed there as well.
Honestly, I feel kind of embarrassed posting this, and I know that probably only a handful of people will actually read it. It fact, I feel a little embarrassed even admitting that I watch One Tree Hill! But that’s okay. The best part of this day was doing something for ME…and only me. Something that *I* enjoyed, having the freedom to do it BY MYSELF, even if I felt silly and embarrassed most of the time. People tell me that I’m too hard on myself, don’t do enough for myself, try too hard to be perfect. But, in the interest of “being real,” here you have it. I watch “stupid-teenage-drama-shows” and act like a silly teenager going around taking pictures of filming locations! And I enjoyed it completely.