Okay, so on a whim my husband and I decided to get away. Far away as in close to 9 hours away by car. We called it the Nicholas Sparks tour 2009! I love Nicholas Sparks! (Don't tell Edward, although Edward was with us the entire time in the car. Check blog below and you'll know what I mean.) Most of his books take place in the Outer Banks and neither myself nor my husband have ever gone. So we decided to tour NC and the Outer Banks beginning with Nicholas's home town of New Bern, NC.
It began with a full tank of gas, a map, some bottled water and a stop at Starbucks and we were free. It was exciting to get away without a real plan. Sure we knew where we wanted to go but didn't really know what to expect. Rob had made reservations in New Bern but we didn't even know if what to expect or if we would decide to stay there. We packed light enough for a weekend,
and we were off. The Navigation system (Esme, as I call her, Carlisle's wife from Twilight, my car being named after Carlisle- Edward's father. Come on people, catch up!)
The drive was long but interesting. I had never driven through Virginia and Maryland and finally reaching the border of NC we still had over a hundred miles left to reach New Bern.
New Bern was very charming, small and quaint. We took a nice walk and experienced it's historic main street and charming little stores. Dinner was wonderful. We ate at the Chelsea restaurant. Excellent food and great people. I had the best fried green tomatoes ever!. Boy do I love the south. Grits and all, although I didn't have any grits this weekend I ate the tomatoes though. I kept hoping to see Nicholas but had no luck.
After a goodnight sleep, which we needed after a close to 9 hour drive, we decided to go to Beaufort, NC which is an hour away. The place where A Walk to Remember was filmed and where Nicholas wrote about. We decided to ditch the hotel and go without knowing where we would stay the next night. We knew we wanted to go to the Outer Banks and to Beaufort. Beaufort was by the water but 3 and a half hours away from the outer banks. Yikes! More driving.
So before we could figure out how to pronounce Beaufort, we were on our way.
(It's pronounced Bow-fort by the way, not Buu-fort)
Beaufort is absolutely beautiful! The streets are filled with lovely grand homes in white. (My favorite) A lovely Marina outlines the lovely town and we had a great breakfast by the sea seeing sailboats go by. The weather was picture perfect. Before we had digested we were saying by to Beaufort and off again in our car. Destination - Rodanthe and the Outer Banks. The place where Nicholas Sparks book Nights in Rodanthe was based from.
Before we left Beaufort, just a little taste of the southern hospitality, I bought a shirt and a hat and the kind grey haired lady in the store said "Y'all enjoy these you hear?" As she gave me my bag. I love the south. We also had a woman walking behind us with a little girl. The little girl must have been about 4 and was barking like a dog in her little daisy printed dress. The grandmother proceeded to say in a lovely southern drawl. "Caroolliiiine! Can you act like a little girl darlin!" Too cute.
Well as we were driving down, as you reach the outer banks crossing there is a route 12 you must take until the end, where Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke meet. It is long and it lies between the bay and the ocean on either side. On both sides there are dunes that reach to high points and they are untouched only by the wind. They are incredible to see. As you drive along them there are periods where dozens of cars appear un-manned, no drivers just parked in awkward positions along the narrow road. I asked "Do you think this is the rapture and we missed it?" But it was just the enticing ocean beckoning for all to see. It was spectacular. We stopped and climbed over small walkways on the white dusty sand passed the dunes. I felt like a teenager racing over them. It was breathtaking. Now anytime I am faced with God's most astonishing miracle, the ocean, I am always taken by surprise. I am stopped in my tracks unable to speak by its grandeur and majestic size. I am fascinated by it's beauty and mystery and how enormous and vast it is. This was no different.
Here is one of the beaches. As we drove into Rodanthe, which is a tiny spec on the Outer Banks, I clapped with excitement as I immediately saw the house. You know the house, the bed and breakfast where Diane Lane, (in the movie) is when she meets Richard Gere. Well below, the first two photos are from the movie, you will see the house is glamorized a bit with blue shutters, following that are my photos of the house. It was pretty neat. As I looked around my husband said "He's not there ( meaning Richard) don't you remember, he got killed in a mudslide. Hee Hee. Kudos to my husband for actually paying attention. (I also got him Nights in Rodanthe on tape a few years back and we heard the entire book on our way to Nantucket.
I had read the book but I knew that was asking for too much. )
Above are movie set pics, the following are mine.
There is robby standing by the house. The sun looked pretty amazing yesterday on Rodanthe. It made quite a picture.
Also in the movie, for those of you who pay attention and loved it, there is a scene where Richard's character leaves Diane's character and she is left on the beach walking close to the pier and she finds some wood which later she makes into a beautiful box. Well that pier is in Kitty Hawk right off of our hotel. We stood on that very pier and watched the sun go down as well as watched many people fishing. It is glorious. We learned from a local that that pier was built in 1954 and later almost destroyed by a hurricane in the 70's, but was immediately restored. It is breathtaking to stand on and look out at the ocean. You can also feel it move a bit as you lean over the side. I took photos of it below as well which I found equally as fascinating. First two photos are movie stills, the ones that follow are mine.
These below, I took.
So that was our trip, "Our night in Rodanthe"Adventure.
1200 miles in one weekend. . . . . gas price 210 dollars
souveniers from our trip . . . 45 dollars
weekend gettaway on the spur of the moment. . . priceless!