We arrived here at Flanner’s Beach Campground in New Bern, NC with our friends, Bill and Kelly, on March 18. Although we have managed to keep busy, we have also had a sufficient amount of “our time” to just relax, sit around campfires, visit, eat, and, of course, stare at these silly phones. Really? Yes, I am ashamed to say that at our mature age we stare and fiddle with our phones. The good news is… we don’t text and drive! So… there is a silver lining! Oh, and my phone takes really good pictures, as you are about to see.
A few days after our arrival, we ventured to Beaufort, NC, about 45 minutes away. It was a cold and blustery day, but we did manage to do a little sightseeing. Our first stop was the North Carolina Maritime Museum. (Note! Click on any picture below in each group of pictures to begin a manual slideshow, and to view full captions where applicable.)
Afterward, we went over to the Sanitary Fish Market & Restaurant. This circa 1938 seafood restaurant began as a 12-stool restaurant with a small 2-kerosene burner stove, but now seats up to 600 in retro digs and offers overnight boat docking on the intercoastal waterway. Because we did not eat here, we cannot attest to the food or service. However, it is a “must stop” and see, as many dignitaries have visited this establishment throughout the years. The walls are covered in articles and artifacts and is in, some ways, like a museum. We found the visit worthy.
As we were leaving Beaufort, I took some additional photos for our memory book.
Have I mentioned we are eating well? Admittedly so. It’s like a favorite pass time these days. In this lifestyle, we now have time to think about and plan dinners together, not to mention shopping and cooking for same. So, we enjoy sharing with friends… or, as we often refer to them… birds of a feather! After all, the day will come when we must part ways but, in the meantime, we will celebrate this wonderful life together!
Not every campground has fire pits. At least that has been our experience over the past few months. So, we are making up for lost time. We enjoy sitting outside around a fire with each other and friends, surrounded by nature. Here’s proof!
While enjoying one of our campfires, I took a picture of this object in the sky. Any idea what it might be? Craig said not to post it, but I think it will be fun to get some ideas, anyway!
And, this lifestyle does not come without chores. Because we are not on full hook-ups (we only have electric), and because we are able to stay here in this campground twice as long as the law allows before heading further north, I cannot wash clothes at home. With two weeks worth of dirty clothes, Kelly and I ventured out one day to the laundromat. Many RVers do not have a washer/dryer in their rig, nor do they want them. NOT MEEEEE!!! I love, love, LOVE washing clothes at home. Something about the cleanliness and convenience of putting a load in and walking away. A load a day or a couple of loads every few days makes washing clothes a very simple task. Hauling several bags of clothes, laundry detergent, fabric softener, and HANDFULS OF QUARTERS is not my thing! So, off we go. What choice do I have under the circumstances? You’re right. None! As we enter the laundromat I begin to assess the situation. There are wall-to-wall medium, large, and GIANT machines everywhere. By this time I am beginning to turn pale as I flash back to the 70s when I had no choice but to haul laundry up and down stairs to and from my apartment. I don’t know if I can do this at this stage in my life! I begin to have a mini-panic attack and asked Kelly for guidance. What do I do? How does this work? I think I was supposed to put the fabric softener in the machine after the wash cycle was complete, but I poured everything in at the same time, down the very same hole. How did that work? No wonder my clothes lacked the usual nice, fresh clean scent like they do when I wash them at home. After pouring both liquids down the hatch at the same time, I was thrown into a state of shock again. HOW much is it? WHAT??? You have GOT to be kidding me! FIVE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS… TWENTY-TWO QUARTERS TO WHAT? Wash ONE load of clothes? Are you KIDDING me? The last time I washed clothes in a laundromat it cost waaay less than a dollar… like, fiddy cent! And HOW much to DRY? WHAT? A quarter for FIVE MINUTES? WHAT? My, have times changed. Maybe I’m just showing my age. Not sure. But every time I think about it, I cringe. I might need to get a part-time job if this keeps up. As far as I know, we have plans to wash one last time before we leave this place, but the more I consider it, the more I’m thinking I will just wait and wash our clothes in our house once we arrive at our next destination. We shall see. Craig only has one pair of shorts left. Oh, Dear!
Flanner’s Beach is a hidden gem! Here we are in the national forest on the banks of the Neuse River. When I say “river”, it is actually 2-3 miles wide. At least where we are located. A few days after arriving here, Bill, Kelly, Craig and I took a bike ride to see what we could see. We discovered a trail that led us down to a very private area of the beach. It looked so inviting that we returned to our campsites to drop off our bikes and gather some snacks/drinks before hiking back. As it turned out, we spent several hours just soaking up the beauty and serenity of this place. And, of course, we enjoyed being with our friends. Here is a sampling of our experience.
And then, not so pleasant things happen and life throws us a curve ball every now and then.
On the evening of Good Friday, the four of us had shared another lovely dinner. After dinner, we were sitting in the “courtyard” area between our rigs visiting when we began to notice more commotion than usual surrounding us. Then we began to notice local law enforcement driving through the park. It was a little unnerving wondering if there was some kind of illicit activity going on around us. What in the world was going on? After a short while, Bill got up and said he would be right back. Within minutes he returned with some news. It was about a young engaged couple who were camping across the street and down two sites from us. That afternoon around 3:30 they had gone out into the river in a small, inexpensive blow-up raft to check the crab pots they had previously placed out in the channel of the river. The channel was approximately down the middle of the 2-3 mile wide river. The wind had really kicked up and the water was rough. (Later that evening it was mentioned that they had a little too much to drink that day.) Mix all of the above with the fact that they did not have life jackets and, well, you can only imagine the outcome. Long story short, the young man somehow ended up in the water to retrieve one of the oars and lost his life by drowning. She somehow made it to the opposite shore where she was heard yelling for help on the beach around 7:30PM. At around 9:30 that fateful evening, search teams which included rescue boats and PEDRO (the Cherry Point Marine Base rescue helicopter) were out until around 1:00AM searching for the young man. The search would continue day-after-day until his body was found six days later almost to the hour he went under and never resurfaced. Our hearts were heavy because his death, actually, could have easily been prevented. But, I suppose his number was up and the Good Lord had other plans for him. Our thoughts are with his fiancee, friends, and loved ones. He was once a Marine, himself, stationed at Cherry Point. God bless them all!
After a much needed diversion, we headed to over to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. First, however, we stopped at the South Beach Grill in Wrightsville Beach, NC for a very tasty lunch. We have decided, for the most part, that when we go out to eat will we go for lunch. After all, it’s less expensive that way. After lunch we headed over to the aquarium which we enjoyed very much. It has been a long time since Craig and I had visited an aquarium, and this one did not disappoint.
Yesterday, Kelly and I had a ‘girls day out’. We had read online about a home tour being held this weekend in the historic district of downtown New Bern, NC. After Kelly arrived back home from Zumba, we headed downtown to a wonderful (and quite warm) day of exploring historical homes that date back to the early 1700s. Upon arrival, we bought a box lunch (menu in photos below) and ate on the veranda of one of these historic homes. It was absolutely beautiful and seemed to take us back in time. WOW! What an experience!! Kelly and I had a wonderful day together and I look forward to many more days such as this, Lord willing!
Note: To include information on each photo would take me a gazillion years (and I’ve already been working on this blog ALL DAY), so I will just share with you a taste of what we experienced. I will add that one of the homes was actually under renovation. I thought that was really cool. The owner of that particular house currently resides in Raleigh, NC.
Finally, you may have concluded that from time-to-time I have difficulty figuring out which photo to post. In other words, there may be similarity in the photos I do post. Well, I am having difficulty again! So, I want to enlist your help. Please vote (by leaving a “comment” with the photo number) on which photo of the cherry blossoms you would choose to post if this was your blog! To see the corresponding photo number, hover your cursor over each photo.
Until next time, be blessed!