This summer has been one for the books – perhaps tied in comparison to the summer I graduated college, married my best friend, honeymooned in Jamaica and moved 13 hours from home to start a new life (all within a few months)! This summer, we welcomed a second child and Chris, after 6 years of long nights and weekends acting as a mad scientist (while he wouldn’t call it that-it’s what I envisioned) finished his Ph.D in Chemistry. In many ways we’ve felt like his Ph.D was another “baby.” We’ve spent the last few months gallivanting around the south showing off our little family or entertaining family and friends at our house. All of which we love doing! However, we are finding as we get older and our family grows, we need and crave down-time. So, for Labor Day weekend we packed up and drove over to a sleepy little sailing village called Oriental.Oriental is a tiny town located on an inlet of the Pamlico Sound, just outside of historic New Bern. The town claims to house more sail boats than residents and I believe it. Everywhere we looked there was some type of water vessel, whether it be for sailing, shrimping or yachting.
Everything there is to see and do in Oriental is walking distance from the center of town (not that there is much but that’s exactly why we were there). This was ideal for our little family. In many ways Oriental reminds me of my own home town, Bay St. Louis, Ms. We arrived Friday after driving through Tropical Storm Hermine. I’m not sure too many people thought it was a good idea for us to head directly towards a tropical storm, but who doesn’t love a good rain storm? We assumed (and hoped) it would pass by Saturday and it did! We checked into our delightful bed and breakfast Friday night just in time to meet the other guests at the B & B for cocktail hour.
Since it was pouring out (actually that’s an understatement) we ordered dinner in, put the girls to bed (who seem to love sleeping in the rain just as much as we do) and stayed up listening to the storm, drinking wine and playing card games. It was a great way to kick off a lazy leisure weekend. Saturday and Sunday were spent mostly taking long walks along the water, hitting up local places to eat, taking a dip in the small “town beach” and just relaxing at the Inn. Here are some snapshots from our weekend. Enjoy!Tuna and avocado tapas with a balsamic glaze (along with seafood nachos not pictured because we devoured them so fast) at O’ Town Restaurant. O’ Town is outdoor seating only and overlooks the marina-a perfect spot to eat for any meal.All the rain made all the plant life look so lush and healthy, especially these hibiscus.We chose the Inn at Oriental as our place to stay and were blown away by the accommodating, sweet and fun owners, Lou and Lucy, who made us feel right at home. Additionally, the Inn is gorgeously decorated with loads of books, art and furniture from the couples travels.I especially appreciated all the plant life scattered around the property.Charlotte starting to show her little cheeky personality. I loved being able to spend the entire weekend with these three and no distractions.Chris about to serve everyone mimosas on Sunday morning. We were served a scrumptious made-to-order breakfast every morning. Options included fresh fruit parfaits, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and eggs any way you like them.Chris and Grace’s sand castle. Who needs beach shovels and toys when you can find shells, drift wood and other beach treasures?Hors d’oeuvers at cocktail hour on our last night. Grace filled up on these and couldn’t have cared less about the delicious meal that Lou and Lucy were so generous to serve us Sunday night.Lou and Lucy served us a home cooked seafood dinner on our last night..these shrimp were cooked perfectly! We weren’t sure where we wanted to eat on our last night, so when they invited us to join them for dinner, we couldn’t say no! However, it did seem that both Grace and Charlotte had other plans for our last night as they made it a bit difficult for me to actually sit and eat. It was still a lovely evening none the less but I made sure they were both sound asleep before having my dessert (along with a large glass of wine.)
Think it’s time to get Grace her own straw hat. I can’t wear mine any more with out her commandeering it.We still haven’t gotten used to the higher seafood prices here in Raleigh. Luckily, someone told us about a place to get incredibly fresh fish (I’m talking still living) on our way out and we stocked up on flounder (pictured above), black drum, soft shell crabs and shrimp.Group shot with the Inn owners Lou and Lucy before heading home after an incredibly restful weekend. I saved this photo to post last because of all the people we met over the weekend and little simple outings we went on, I think the highlight for all of us was getting to know these two gracious people. They went out of their way all weekend to make sure we (as well as all the other guests at the Inn) had everything we needed and more. Lou and Lucy are the type of people who as soon as you meet you instantly feel at ease and connected with. Oddly enough, it turns out we have some mutual family friends from my home town. It really is a small world!
Hope you enjoyed the photos!