Travel and Tourism

Emerald Isle Traffic and Parking July 1

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I could have easily used a picture of Emerald Isle Bridge traffic from the afternoon of July 1 as the picture for this post, but anyone headed this direction is going to see plenty of traffic and doesn't need to be reminded of it with another picture.

It is best if people focus on what they are going to see once they make it to the coast.  That is why my picture is of the ocean water just west of Third Street Beach.  If everyone just remembers that the beach will be here no matter when they arrive, then just maybe, everyone can make it to their destinations safely.

My trip on Friday, July 1, over to Emerald Isle allowed me to gauge the afternoon beach traffic. It was also a look at the parking situation so I could guess what kind of holiday crowd will make it to Emerld Isle this 2011 Fourth of July week.   read more »


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A Day Trip to Nags Head

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A valid question might be, "If you live less than ten minutes from miles of beach, why would you want to get in the car and drive three hours to just look at another beach?"

Well even paradise gets hard to appreciate unless you venture out to the rest of the world once in a while.

With that in mind and the added incentive that a friend we hadn't seen since the early eighties was vacationing in Corolla, we decided to make a day trip to Nags Head and meet our friend for lunch at Sam and Omie's Restaurant.

Sam and Omie's has a little extra significance in our household since a couple of my favorite but ancient tee-shirts were bought there on vacations we took in the area during the late nineties.  My favorite old tee-shirt from there says on the back, "Everyone has to believe in something, I believe I will go fishing."
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Memorial Day 2011 at the Beach

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Memorial Day 2011 has been a good one.  The weather has been great, and our ocean waters are warm enough for swimming already this year.

Even the statue of Otway Burns in Centennial Park in Swansboro seems to be having fun amongst all the flags this Memorial Day.

On Saturday, I had the earliest dip in the ocean that I can remember. Even along North Carolina's coast, you cannot count on the water being warm enough for swimming in May. We usually have to wait until mid-June.

This year we made it with several days to spare. I certainly enjoyed my ocean dip on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and I suspect that I will be back for another as soon as the beaches empty out a little after this weekend.  read more »


Stunning weather on the beach

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Living on the Crystal Coast has some amazing benefits, and one my favorites is the ability to be walking on amazingly beautiful beaches about ten to fifteen minutes after the idea pops into my head.

Thursday, May 19, I needed to banish all memories of the cold, rainy weather that I found on a recent trip to the Virginia mountains where we saw temperatures as low as 48F and rain which seemed to know exactly when we planned to be outside.

It turned out to be ones of those days that is perfect for a beach walk.  There was just enough breeze to keep me comfortable in temperatures in the mid-seventies, and it turned out that I walking at nearly low tide which is important if you are planning a long beach walk like I typically do.

If you start your walk an hour or so before low tide, you will usually find the best surface for beach walks unless there have been some strong on shore winds which can fluff up the beach sand.
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Time for Oysters in Swansboro

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I don't think we could have ordered better weather for this weekend's Oyster Roast and Pig Out at the Swansboro Rotary Civic Center Saturday, March 19 from 5-8 PM.

The tickets are $45 at the door and $40 dollars if you buy from a Rotary Club member before the event.  There is a great slide show set to music at the Rotary Club link, but I also have my own slide collection taken at the 2007 event.  It is not an easy event to photograph since taking pictures means taking time out from shucking oysters. I also wrote up the 2008 Oyster Roast.

There is plenty of food at the event besides oysters, but the event is really for oyster lovers.  With a room filled with tables for eating oysters, it is hard to deny the focus on oysters.
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Blue skies for EI Saint Patrick's Festival

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There is nothing wrong with getting half of inch of rain in early March.  This time of year we need regular doses of rain to build up some moisture reserves for the growing season.

Yesterday's storm was a mild ones with only a couple of short bursts of heavy rain.  For a little while it looked like the east winds were piling some water into the river, but it turned out to be minor.

This morning everything has that fresh washed feeling, and the sky is back to being a beautiful Carolina blue.  At just after 8 AM we are still in the mid-forties, but it looks like we will come close to hitting 60F this afternoon, and luckily, Saturday we will be well into the sixties.

Saturday's weather is important, because it is time for Emerald Isle's annual Saint Patrick's Day Festival. It is one of our early season festivals, and once again this year it is followed the next weekend by the Swansboro Oyster Roast and Pig Out on March 19.
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Thinking about 2011

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In less than two hours 2010 will be over,  it has been a tough year for many people. I cannot say that it has been a very rewarding year financially, but today I did come up with a list of moments which made my year.

We are finishing the year on a good weather note.  New Year's Eve we saw some folks walking the beach in bare feet.  Last weekend if they had tried that, they would have gotten a case of frostbite.

As we drove around Swansboro earlier in the day, I saw a kayaker out in the marshes on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway.  There were also plenty of empty boat trailers at the Wildlife Resources Ramp in Cedar Point.  Warm weather even just in the fifties can get people thinking about getting on the water.
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