We woke up yesterday morning very thankful to have made it through the night safely. As most of you probably heard, North Carolina experienced two dozen deaths and heavy damage from multiple tornadoes that came through the state on Saturday. A tornado did touch down further up the beach from us but all we got here in Manteo were a couple hours of heavy rain and high winds—which caused our Saturday night sleep to be a bit restless, I might add.
We did find out that a tornado touched down in our old neighborhood in Smithfield; here are a few pictures taken by some friends who have a home there.
As much as I hate scary storms, one thing I do love about them is that when they are over, they leave behind such amazingly fresh and newly cleansed air.
As Sarah and I were leaving for church about 8 am yesterday morning, I paused for a moment on the porch, took in the deepest breath that these COPD-afflicted lungs would allow and then just sighed for the pure joy of it. I mean, it was one of those mornings when you just want to drink the air, it was that crisp and that sweet.
I said to Sarah, “Do you think your dad would notice if I didn’t show up at worship band rehearsal or at church this morning?”
Alas, Sarah responded that I would probably would be missed just a tad and that we really should be going.
And so we went--accompanied by lovely spring air the whole way.
After having guests to our house for lunch, taking our sacrosanct Sunday afternoon nap (we were especially wiped out after a ten-hour work day on Saturday), it was finally time for Steve’s and my late afternoon-ish, quasi-early evening-ish bike ride.
We got our (on sale from Walmart) bikes out of the garage and started getting ourselves helmeted and otherwise prepared for our imminent take off.
However, our plans were delayed just slightly when my be-helmeted hubby got a phone call.
So while he talked, I entertained myself by wandering around the yard with my camera and taking pictures of beautiful, spring time (allergy-causing) flowers.
I also took a picture of a bumble bee. How exciting is that?
At long last we were on the bike trail which (happily) passes just a block from our house. The air was still cool and still fresh and I was one happy woman to be pedaling along in it.
We rode down to the north end of the island and paused for a moment by this, um, body of water. (I can never remember what it’s called. A bay? A sound? An inlet? My Body of Water Knowledge Bank is rather limited.)
Then on the way back to the house, we stopped by Manteo’s newest attraction—a historic windmill that has just been relocated to a piece of land right on the bike trail.
Across the road from the windmill, is The Island Farm which provided plenty of opportunities for me to take pictures of loveliness. (While Steve waited patiently.)
But with all the lovely things we saw on our bicycle-eaque meanderings, the most beautiful sight of all was this one at the end of the journey. Home sweet home.
Well, I’m afraid that I can’t be of much help on this topic because I didn’t even know there was a town in NC called Martinsville until you asked about it. So I learned something new today!
Although I can’t tell you much about that town in particular, I will tell you that the state of North Carolina is such a great place to live with mountains and the ocean both within driving distance, as well as four distinct seasons. You’d love it.
Good luck to your husband on his interview!
Lisa, I’m happy to hear that my Outer Bank writings have made you want to come for a visit; it really is a great place and quite unlike any other area of the country.
And although I’m honored that you would think I’m knowledgeable enough to writer a Travel Brochure type of post, I’m still such a newbie around here that I don’t know about even half of the things that are available here. Maybe in ten years or so, I might consider myself a bit more qualified for that job!
However, a good place for you to start is at OBX.com; you can also Google the Outer Banks and find out all sorts of helpful information.
As for the stuff I’ve written about it in the past, I’ve tried to put a Manteo label each of those posts; if you scroll down the right column of the blog you’ll see a heading that says, “Subjects I’ve Covered.” You can click on the Manteo label and pull up all 27 (or so) of my past posts about our town and the Outer Banks in general.
I hope that’s helpful and happy twentieth anniversary!
EDITED TO ADD:
After reading the post above, some other Outer Banks suggestions have come in which I'll post below.
One place you must eat for yummy local seafood is Lone Cedar Cafe, owned by NC's Senator Basnight! Best food around...I think you said another time that you have eaten there.
Also, Sam & Omies..
They should check out Jockey's Ridge and Wright Brothers Memorial...And they must visit Hatteras...cross the big scary bridge, check out the Serendipity house which was the Inn in Nights in Rodanthe and climb the Hatteras Lighthouse! (Just a couple things to do when visiting...)
Favorite eateries -- Tortugas Lie, The Nags Head Pier House Restaurant and Barefoot Bernies
Favorite Thing to Do -- Lay on the beach, walk on the beack, BE ON THE BEACH... for real though, it's vacation ;)
Favorite OTHER things to do -- Horseback riding on the beach in Hatteras was expensive ($100 per person) but AMAZING. Visiting the lighthouses. Jockey's Ridge, Nags Head Woods, Wild horse tours in Corolla.
Favorite shopping spots -- The Duck Waterfront Shops, Manteo (the Christmas shop and the Manteo Bookstores are the BEST!), Kitty Hawk Kites
Other than that, I know we really love it because we go every year at the same time and we see a lot of the same faces. OBX is a community not only of the people who live there, but of the vacationers who go year after year as well. Many of the people who work there remember us from years before and I just love that!
When I was a kid we'd rent a big house with one of my stepmother's brothers in Frisco (just south of the Hatteras Lighthouse). Those weeks were some of the best of my summer. Along with all the swimming and playing in the ocean, there's a great little bookstore in Buxton that I just loved (thats still there!http://www.buxtonvillagebooks.com/ ).
In November of 2009 my father rented a house at Buxton for a few days, right on the beach. My father, stepmother, brother + family, and I gathered there to spend time together. It was LOVELY. It was the last vacation I took with Dad, he died April 24, 2010. I think that was also the last time Dad saw the ocean too. That is the most treasured trip I've taken to the OBX so far. It will have to be something HUGE for a trip to the OBX to be more treasured.
So, yeah, the OBX, I love them. I love them in November better than August, but I love to swim in the ocean, and November isn't a good time to swim in the ocean. It's a horrible crux.