New Bern, NC – Saturday, 5/1
Today, Denise returned from her whirlwind trip home to Winter Park. She flew out on Thursday, arriving in time to have a late lunch with her sister, Jeanne and brother, Robert. Afterwards she had to deal with a few issues at the house, and had a bit of newly received mail to process.
On Friday, (4/30) Denise was up early to get in a 4-mile run in the neighborhood. She missed seeing the usual runners and walkers as it was a bit early for most, but she had a very busy day ahead and needed to get going. First thing in the morning she had a sales presentation to a prospective client, and some office work that needed to be tended to. By noon she was on the road to drive to Wildwood (about 90 minutes away) to attend the memorial funeral for her friend Leslie who died very unexpectedly last March. Due to the Chinese Flu, the service was twice postponed and finally rescheduled to this day. She was met by her two sisters (Susan and Claire) who drove down from Tallahassee in support, and because they had met Leslie on previous occasions. After the funeral and subsequent internment, the three sisters went to an early dinner at a local diner and drove back home. After some final office work, a visit by a neighbor, and a few household chores, it was way past bedtime and Denise crawled into bed. Meanwhile, Mark had finished work at the client site (Friday), grabbed a to-go meal at Outback (no surprise there) and watched a little tv.
On Saturday, Denise woke early enough to ready the house for another departure, and packed her suitcase with all the things coming back to the boat. She caught a ride to the airport with her brother (thanks Robert), and flew back to New Bern. During this time, Mark had enlisted the help of our new friend Peter (“Puffin”) to assist with moving the boat to get a pump-out, and returning it back to its slip. Then he used the rental car to pick up Denise at the New Bern airport, right on time.
Finally back on the boat together, a celebratory happy hour and conversation to catch-up on what had taken place was in order. We went to an early dinner at “Thai Angel” a place we have not been to, and Mark suggested. The food was great and we hit it before the Saturday night rush, which made it even better. Yup, we are officially old folks and early bird specials are on our radar!
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the boat and watching the HBO movie “Tenet” – very intriguing and a definite mind-bender, before calling it a day. But we were treated to a very nice sunset.
New Bern, NC – Sunday, 5/2
After a wonderful restful night’s sleep, we got up in time to eat breakfast and make the 8:00 am mass at St. Paul’s. There were 4 young children making their First Holy Communion, so mass went on a bit long, but we were not going anywhere today so it was fine. This is a warm and welcoming parish and we always like attending it when we are here.
After church we went to Publix; our last Publix fix until we make our journey home in the fall. Here it was all about provisioning mostly fresh veggies, fruit and dairy products. But with Cinco de Mayo this coming up week, we indulged with a few snacks to go with our planned fajita dinner.
Once back on the boat we got caught up on emails, wrote out some cards and then ate lunch. Afterwards we went for a walk to mail the cards at the Post office, and then continued on a long walk through town. It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed walking by the Galley Stores & Marina, Union Point Park and the day-boat docks, and then past the convention center and Doubletree hotel.
Once back at the marina, we went to visit the only other Looper boat we knew was at this marina. We introduced ourselves to Kathy & Steve (“How Sweet It Is”) who are just a few weeks away from starting their Loop adventure. We chatted for a while with them and wished them luck on their journey, then returned back to our boat.
Later that afternoon Mark had to return the rental car back to the airport and discovered no Uber was available to pick him up. A regular taxi was going to be a ridiculous amount due to low volume (i.e. no one was at the airport) and he did not want to pay the fee. As only Mark can do, he managed to ask around and got an airport employee who was leaving for the day to drop him by the marina on her way home. Such is the charitable nature and friendliness of the many people we meet along the way when we are cruising.
As afternoon merged into evening we enjoyed a dinner of leftovers from the freezer. Before leaving on the trip we had smoked a huge pork shoulder and packaged it into multiple meals to take with us. Tonight a home-cooked meal was a welcome reprieve from the nightly dining out, as is so common when we are in a town like New Bern.
Tomorrow we will leave New Bern and head east on the Neuse River to rejoin the ICW and continue our progress North. Our destination is Belhaven where we have reservations for the night. However, high winds and weather is expected for Tuesday through Thursday, so it is very possible we may stay there a few days. You will just have to keep reading this blog to discover what we end up doing.
Here are some other pictures from New Bern that didn’t fit a narrative, but we thought you might enjoy.
Have a great week!