Saturday, March 16, 2013

my life, as written by nicholas sparks

I have a confession to make.

I am completely, ridiculously, one hundred percent a sucker for Nicholas Sparks books.

I know, I know. Travesty. They are formulaic and predictable, and 

Tell me you haven't read one and not been bawling like a child at the end, full of all kinds of conflicting emotions? I rest my case.

Anyway, it's this love of Nicholas Sparks, and all things OBX and North Carolina, that prompted my husband and I to move to New Bern (home of Nicholas Sparks, and setting for several of his books, if you didn't know.)

Our goal was always to live by the coast, and one day, we just made it happen. My husband got a job over the phone (he's skilled that way), we found an apartment over the phone, and we jumped in a moving truck and drove 11 hours from Alabama to our new home, without ever stepping foot in the town. Hindsight being what it is, we probably should have done a bit more preparing. For instance, when we arrived after our treacherous 11 hour drive in a moving truck, we found that the apartment was 1. in the ghetto and 2. disgusting. It was slightly discouraging.

But, we got out of that situation quickly, thankfully, and now live in a wonderful neighborhood, in a nice home, that we are comfortable raising our son in.

Sometimes, though, I am reminded just how blessed I am to live here. New Bern is a very cool place, in my opinion. It sits on the Neuse River, about 40 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, and has one of the quaintest, most eclectic downtown areas I've ever seen. The arts community is alive and well here, and people actively support local businesses, which I love.

All of this was displayed in full force this weekend, when we have a beautiful, 80 degrees and sunny day, and I decided to take little D on an adventure. Daddy had to work, and we were getting out of this house, dang-it!

First, we hit up the Farmer's Market. It's a small market, with only a few vendors, but everything is hand-crafted or grown, and it is an amazing sampling of the flavors of New Bern. Baby D, of course, was a huge hit with the older crowd, and flirted his cute little baby booty off with the old ladies. I came across an older lady selling beautiful handmade baby toys, and knew D had to have one immediately. I am in love with this little guy... he is super soft, extremely well crafted and the perfect size for D's chubby little fingers. He held on to him all day, feeling the material. It was the cutest thing ever.


After the Farmer's Market, we browsed some of the neat little shops downtown. We went to Nauti Paws, a  pet store that specializes in gourmet dog treats, so you know I had to get Bruno a little something :) This place is adorable, and has a great selection of treats, clothes, leashes... you name it, you can find it for your pet here. And Bruno died over the treats when we got home. He's not usually a fan of the crunchy treats, but he freaked out over these, so I'm assuming they're good. (I did not taste test. I was tempted, but refrained.)

Don't they look delish? Dog treats, people. They're dog treats.

Oh yeah. He was pleased.

When D got hungry, I sat outside at a little raw bar downtown called MJ's Raw Bar & Grill, and had me some fish and chips while I fed him. Yum. Excellent service, excellent food, great atmosphere. 

After lunch, we perused downtown a little bit more, visiting the quaint boutiques and shops, and taking in the local flair.

Basically, my day was completely idyllic, in a total Nicholas Sparks novel way. Without the drama. Or the crying.

But you get the point. If you ever need a vacation destination, or just want to visit somewhere cute for a day, New Bern is the place to go!

*None of these establishments know who I am, nor was I compensated in any way for my opinions. They are just that, only my opinions!*

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