Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our Travels, Continued

Sorry I have not been blogging more. I really have a lot to write about, but just haven't found the spare moments. Also, my internet connection at home is not the greatest...

Anyway, to pick up where I left off, C and I spent four days on Ocracoke Island, which was fantastic. I recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting and fun place to vacation. There are miles of beautiful beach, and just enough interesting shops and restaurants to keep one busy during the time not spent parasailing, boating, kayaking, fishing, birdwatching, or whatever sort of island thing you like to do. C and I spent our time looking at historical things (the British Cemetery, where four British casualties of WW1 are buried), going to art galleries (the decoy shop counts as one), swimming (in the ocean and in the swimming pool where we stayed) and going in the sauna (my first time in a sauna, and I didn't like it very much), eating seafood at the island restaurants, going to the surf shop, buying candy (salt water taffy--hello!), and hanging out at our rented house, where we liked to play cards on the deck overlooking the bay and watch the boats and birds and people.

"Let's live here!" said C, and I agreed. But when it came time to leave, we were kind of excited to get on the road and see some more places.

The first place we went was Belhaven, where there is a museum made of all the random objects that one woman collected during her lifetime. In a cluttered and dimly lit room over the town hall, a collection of dusty Victorian clothing, dolls, rocks, bones, Samoan fans, lightbulbs, Victrola records, buttons, furniture, things in jars (!!!), etc. is on display for free to anyone who can decipher the ancient hand-written scotch-taped-on labels. A donation of spare change helps maintain the collection, or at least pays for the lunch of the equally dusty old man keeping an eye on the place. My favorite things there were the whale skull, a random but super-cute teddy bear, the canned vegetables from the Victorian times, and a jar with a label that said "The foot of the last bear that Aunt May caught."

The other fun thing about Belhaven is that they were getting ready for their Independence Day celebration, which seems to be a big deal for them, and everyone was participating in the decoration contest, so every single house and business was entirely decked out in bunting. C and I decided we're going to put bunting on our house next July.

By the late afternoon we found ourselves in Bath, NC. Once a thriving and bustling port town, it is now just a sleepy farm village, with a few historic buildings to draw a few dozen tourists each year. As we drove through the dusky tree-lined streets, we found the one bed & breakfast place in town and secured lodging for the night. The place had bicycles for its guests, and we took full advantage of them, cruising down to the river, over to the historic church, and from one end of the town to the other. Bath has two restaurants, and we rode to one and looked at it, then to the other and looked at it, and then we picked the one that had outdoor seating so we could watch the sun set as we ate our meal. Then we rode around some more as darkness fell, and spotted things like a fake pirate illuminated in the upper story window of an old Victorian house. Both Ocracoke and Bath have historic ties to Blackbeard the Pirate, and play it up.

"Let's live here," said C. In the morning we rode around on bikes some more, and tried to decide which house we would buy, and there were several nice ones for sale, including the B&B where we stayed. We started thinking about how fun it would be to run a B&B, but decided that maybe it would be better to have one in a place a little less sleepy than Bath. We hardly saw any people the whole time we were there. But Bath does have a very interesting old house, the Palmer-Marsh house. Callie, our teenage tour-guide, gave us the history of the place, including the story of the young woman buried behind it, who apparently died of a broken heart when her sailor was lost at sea.

After seeing all the historic sights of Bath, C and I hit the road once again, shunning the freeways and keeping to the "blue highways," the small-town routes, which led us through fields of tobacco, soybeans, field corn, and peanuts, and whistle-stop towns with crumbling Victorian houses and abandoned train depots. We'd stop every now and then to take a picture of something funny or gorgeous, and then continue on our way.

By mid-day we crossed the Albemarle Sound and reached Edenton...

(To be continued, and pictures added soon!)

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