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Monthly Archives: November 2012

A Walk to Remember Tour – Downtown New Bern, North Carolina

While nearly everyone else in my junior high school class chose the likes of Sweet Valley High series for our book review, I strayed away from mainstream and opted to read Nicholas Sparks’ “The Message in a Bottle”.  I became his fan in a blink. Thirteen years after (and counting), I still gosh over his novels and I can no longer count the times I have cried while watching the movie adaptation of each.

And there is some truth in saying that I am slowly becoming a Nicholas Sparks’ stalker. July of this year, while strolling along King Street in downtown Charleston in South Carolina, I imagine Noah and Allie lie on the street and watch the traffic light change colors. Last month, we checked Boone Hall Plantation and while I was staring at the mansion, I thought how lucky Allie’s elite family was to have that as their summer home. And about two weekends ago, we did the A Walk to Remember tour in New Bern, North Carolina. We are no longer in movie locations but we were, as a matter of fact, in Nicholas’ own hometown! The thought made me really ecstatic.

The self-guided A Walk to Remember tour shows distinct landmarks taken from best selling novels of Nicholas Sparks. Brochures are available at North Carolina History Center and downloadables are available at New Bern’s website. While it was a memorable way to know New Bern, it was also a unique experience of intimately understanding the factors that shaped the characters, the setting and the story of each novel. As you enjoy the walk around downtown, you will begin to understand why Nicholas Sparks holds this town very close to his heart and why he calls New Bern his home sweet home.

 

**Tryon Palace
“…it had served as the capital and been home to Tryon Palace, residence of the Colonial Governor.” - A Bend in the Road :
“…The only place I (Jan) could think of was the Tryon Palace.”  - The Wedding
“… or stroll the grounds of Tryon Palace, the former home of the Colonial Governor.” – The Wedding

Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolia as mentioned in the book "A Bend in the Road" and "The Wedding" by Nicholas Sparks.

Tryon Palace in New Bern, North Carolia as mentioned in the book “A Bend in the Road” and “The Wedding” by Nicholas Sparks.

 

**First Public School
“…(Wilson) could walk through the first Catholic Church built in the state, or tour the first public school.”  - The Wedding

New Bern Academy Museum in New Bern, North Carolina, the First Public School as mentioned in the book "The Wedding" by Nicholas Sparks.

New Bern Academy Museum in New Bern, North Carolina, the First Public School as mentioned in the book “The Wedding” by Nicholas Sparks.

 

** Masonic Theater
“Noah felt the same when we went to Gaston’s Drug Store, or the Masonic theater. Everywhere Noah looked, he saw Allie’s image, saw things that brought her back to life.” – The Notebook

The Masonic Theater in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

The Masonic Theater in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

 

**Centenary Methodist Church
“You told me that the two of you (Allie and Lon) left the inn and sat on the bench by the old Methodist Church…” – The Notebook

The Centenary Methodist Church in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

The Centenary Methodist Church in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

 

** The Chelsea, Caleb Bradham, and Pepsi-Cola
“The Chelsea,” I (Wilson) said. “Located in downtown New Bern across the street from my office, the restaurant is housed in the building where Caleb Bradham had his office and where he formulated a drink known as Pepsi-Cola.” – The Wedding

“She’d (Sarah) moved into a quaint apartment on Middle Street a few blocks away in the heart of downtown. The apartment was up the stairs and three doors away from the pharmacy where in 1898 Caleb Bradham had first marketed Brad’s Drink, which the world came to know as Pepsi-Cola.” – A Bend in the Road

The Chelsea in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks.

The pharmacy where Caleb Bradham first marketed his Brad's Drink which became popular as Pepsi-Cola located in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the books The Wedding and A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

The pharmacy where Caleb Bradham first marketed his Brad’s Drink which became popular as Pepsi-Cola located in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the books The Wedding and A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

Caleb Bradham created the Brad's Drink in this pharmacy in New Bern, North Carolina and was marketed as Pepsi-Cola in 1898.

Caleb Bradham created the Brad’s Drink in this pharmacy in New Bern, North Carolina and was marketed as Pepsi-Cola in 1898.

New Bern, North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola.

New Bern, North Carolina is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola.

 

**Pollock Street Deli
“Brenda picked up lunch from the Pollock Street Deli, which in Brenda’s opinion, made the best sandwiches in town.” – A Bend in the Road

The long stretch of Pollock Street in New Bern, North Carolina where the Pollock Street Deli is located as mentioned in the book A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

The long stretch of Pollock Street in New Bern, North Carolina where the Pollock Street Deli is located as mentioned in the book A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks.

 

**Chamber of Commerce
“…and we are members of both the Rotary club and then the Chamber of Commerce.” – The Wedding

The Chamber of Commerce in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks.

The Chamber of Commerce in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks.

 

** Harvey Mansion
“The Harvey Mansion was one of the best restaurants in town…” – The Notebook

The Harvey Mansion in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

The Harvey Mansion in New Bern, North Carolina as mentioned in the book The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks.

 

I was hoping I would bump into him during our stay, but I guess I was not too lucky. Not yet. Not just yet. In the meantime, check on the Google Street View below for additional information :

 

 

 

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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in N.Carolina

 

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Wind Sail Cruising the Neuse River – New Bern, North Carolina

Hubby and I were spoiled with cruises while we were in New Bern, NC. After a wonderful cruise at Cape Lookout, we were more excited to conquer the waters. My parents-in-law arranged an hour and a half cruise on the Neuse River for four of us. And aboard the Nirvana, a 43 foot sloop navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton, we found ourselves sailing one of the widest rivers in the United States and the waters which the infamous pirate Blackbeard  roamed  in the early 1700′s. Dad even got the chance to take the wheel and steer! The cruise departed from Northwest Creek Marina at Fairfield Harbour. It was a calm and beautiful afternoon, perfect for a cruise. It was very peaceful, hubby smiled when he squeezed my hands as I squeezed his in response.

The windsail cruise departs from Northwest Creek Marina in New Bern, North Carolina.

The windsail cruise departs from Northwest Creek Marina in New Bern, North Carolina.

Cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina aboard the 43 foot sail Nirvana navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton.

Cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina aboard the 43 foot sail Nirvana navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton.

Cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina aboard the 43 foot sail Nirvana navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton.

Cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina aboard the 43 foot sail Nirvana navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton.

Hubby and I cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina aboard the 43 foot sail Nirvana navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton.

Hubby and I cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina aboard the 43 foot sail Nirvana navigated by Captain Malinda Cayton.

Other sailboat cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina.

Other sailboat cruising Neuse River in New Bern, North Carolina.

With hubby and parents-in-law at Northwest Creek Marina in New Bern, North Carolina.

With hubby and parents-in-law at Northwest Creek Marina in New Bern, North Carolina.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in N.Carolina

 

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Cape Lookout Lighthouse – Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina

It is still a wonder until today why I am passionate about lighthouses. I tried but I had given up knowing. Is it the beauty or the concept of guidance? Hard to tell. I have been, however dragging my hubby with this enthusiasm. We have said our hello’s to the old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Michigan  and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse in South Carolina. And about two weekends ago, this time with my parents-in-law who offered us their utmost hospitality at Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Harbour Point in New Bern, the Cape Lookout Lighthouse charmed us with her beauty. This was less than a week before hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, when we were lucky to have a weather perfect for a tour around the Outer Banks.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Harbour Point in New Bern, North Carolina.

Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Harbour Point in New Bern, North Carolina.

 

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse is a 163-foot high lighthouse located on the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina with a rotating 1,000-watt beacon that flashes every 15 seconds, 24 hours a day, perhaps the only lighthouse known to operate during the day. It is painted in a black and white diamond pattern to indicate compass direction. When the sailors see a black lighthouse with a white diamond pattern, that meant the ship was sailing east or west. However, when they see a white lighthouse with a black diamond, that meant the ship was sailing south or north.

The view approaching the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina with the asst. keeper's house on the left and the oil shack on the right. In this photo, we can see the black diamonds, therefore we are sailing in north-south direction.

The view approaching the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina with the asst. keeper’s house on the left and the oil shack on the right. In this photo, we can see the black diamonds, therefore we are sailing in north-south direction.

Approaching the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Approaching the Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Hubby and I with the Cape Lookout Lighthouse as our background in the Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Hubby and I with the Cape Lookout Lighthouse as our background in the Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Tree pose at Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Tree pose at Cape Lookout Lighthouse in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Inside Cape Lookout's Lightkeeper's house in the Southern Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Inside Cape Lookout’s Lightkeeper’s house in the Southern Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Inside Cape Lookout Lighthouse Visitor's Center in the Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Inside Cape Lookout Lighthouse Visitor’s Center in the Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

The breathtaking beachline at Cape Lookout National Seashore in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

The breathtaking beachline at Cape Lookout National Seashore in Southern Outer Banks, North Carolina.

 

A short walk trekking the boardwalk from the lighthouse surprised us with a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean. If you stare long enough, you will be enchanted with dolphins as if inviting you to take a dip into the water.

Hubby and I at Cape Lookout with the Atlantic Ocean as our background.

Hubby and I at Cape Lookout with the Atlantic Ocean as our background.

 

Getting to Cape Lookout and the Lighthouse is only accessible through authorized ferries and boats and is an adventure itself. Aboard the Outer Banks Ferry, it takes half an hour from Beaufort to the docks of Cape Lookout. The 3 hour tour with one hour disembarkation at Cape Lookout Lighthouse cruised down the shore of Shackleford Banks, giving us a glimpse of the wild banker ponies that inhabit the island. And just when we thought the adventure is over on our cruise back to Beaufort, we were more than delighted to be entertained with dolphins. They get really close you are tempted to touch their fin!

The Outer Banks Ferries kicking off from Beaufort to Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

The Outer Banks Ferries kicking off from Beaufort to Cape Lookout in North Carolina.

One of the many sightings of dolphins as we cruise Cape Lookout in North Carolina aboard Outer Banks Ferry.

One of the many sightings of dolphins as we cruise Cape Lookout in North Carolina aboard Outer Banks Ferry.

 

And it seems we were not the only ones enjoying this cruise. The tour captain’s dog seems to be enjoying as well. Yup, Cape Lookout has a way of seducing you, your pets included.

The tour captain's dog aboard the Outer Banks Ferry as we toured the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

The tour captain’s dog aboard the Outer Banks Ferry as we toured the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in N.Carolina

 

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North Carolina Maritime Museum – Beaufort, North Carolina

The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort is one of the three maritime museums in the state. The other two is in Southport and Hatteras.  The museum holds interesting documents, artifacts and researches of the maritime history in North Carolina coast with displays of dugout canoes to motorboat and different marine science. It also exhibits North Carolina’s commercial fishing and whaling industry highlighting a display of  a 33.5-foot sperm whale skeleton. The most popular exhibit however are the artifacts that are claimed to be from the shipwreck of the famous Blackbeard the pirate’s flagship, Queen Anne’s Revenge.

One of the three North Carolina Maritime Museums is in Beaufort.

One of the three North Carolina Maritime Museums is in Beaufort.

One of the displays about maritime history at North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort.

One of the displays about maritime history at North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort.

One of the displays at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

One of the displays at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Some displays at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Some displays at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

The display of a 33.5-foot sperm whale skeleton at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

The display of a 33.5-foot sperm whale skeleton at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

The Maritime Library inside North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

The Maritime Library inside North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

With the famous pirate Blackbeard at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

With the famous pirate Blackbeard at North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

 

Just across the street from the Museum is the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center which is a boatbuilding and restoration facility. It practices the traditional boatbuilding where visitors and tourists can watch the process and learn. The facility also offers weekly and daily class of boatbuilding to those who are interested.

The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in Beaufort, North Carolina.

The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in Beaufort, North Carolina.

The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in Beaufort, North Carolina.

The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center in Beaufort, North Carolina.

 

Check the Google Street View below for additional information :

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in N.Carolina

 

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