A few weeks back, The Soccer Dad (nee Hubby) and I stayed at our friends' house and watched their children for a weekend while they went away alone. This past weekend, it was our turn.
We decided to go to New Bern, North Carolina, for two nights. I'd never stayed there, but I'd read about the town briefly in a Nicholas Sparks book. (I am NOT the romance novel type, but I like Sparks' stuff. It's nice and fluffy and doesn't require great brainpower to get through.) The resort we stayed in is a part of the timeshare network we own a portion of, so we just used our points for a two-night stay. The resort wasn't the fanciest we'd been in, but it was very nice. Small, quiet (except for the Canadian Geese who liked to converse at five in the morning on the lake outside our unit), and a little secluded - this was absolutely perfect. And, since we booked so late, we actually had a two-bedroom unit, so we know what to expect when we take the girls there in the future. Yes, that's right, even though we were on a romantic weekend alone, the Soccer Parents talked a lot about the children. But it's just what we do.
New Bern, North Carolina, has a sister town in Switzerland (Bern), and they share a coat of arms. It's a large bear that is walking and sticking out its tongue. I was reminded a bit of the bear in the pope's coat of arms, to be honest. The Soccer Dad liked the bear so much that we bought a sticker for the back of the Jeep; it's a 300th anniversary sticker that will actually not be official until 2010. But it's cute. And Soccer Dad will actually stick it to the car of his own volition! This is a man who does NOT put stickers on the car; I had to beg for years to get my one Feminists for Life sticker on the car. I was quite surprised that he wanted the bear sticker. (We actually like bears a lot, though. Not real ones, mind you, just pictures and the toy ones for the girls. Real ones are only nice when you are separated from them by a safe distance or a fence or something.)
While in New Bern, we were determined not to eat at chain restaurants, so we went to a few local places: Annabelle's (do try the Sirloin Steak on Rice with Alfredo Sauce and Mushrooms...it melts in the mouth!), Port City Java (no Starbucks in town at all), a couple of seafood places...it was all good!
We wandered around the historic district on Saturday, taking in the farmer's market first, eventually wandering up to the oldest Catholic parish in North Carolina (Saint Paul's), and then finishing the day at Mitchell Hardware, established 1898.
We also visited Tryon Palace, the former residency of the British governor of North Carolina, which was restored in the 1950's. The gardens were beautiful.
Oh, you can also go to see where Pepsi Cola was invented, but we didn't do that. Really. The Soccer Dad's got something against Pepsi. Nothing malicious, but he just doesn't really care. The Coke stuff in Atlanta might be a different story!
Sunday's Mass was at Saint Paul's ("new" parish - built in 1983) at 8:00 a.m., and then we were off to pick the girls up at home. We both missed them - I more than Soccer Dad, who travels for work and is more used to being away - and they missed us - Soccer Dad more than me because they see me all the time.
And now, back to school we go! We actually had light school all summer, but today we are back into the groove of things. School, soccer (practice starts tonight), dance (lessons start next Monday), storytime at the library (starts tomorrow), First Friday field trips with the co-op, and more!! The calendar is filling up fast, and it's only September 4!!