Oriental, North Carolina

by sarah hair Email

Everything is moving so fast that I keep forgetting to keep track of it. We have been traveling at high speeds, often exceeding 5 knots per hour, as we were avoiding Hurricane Earl. Unfortunately, we have missed some of the most amazing places we have traveled through just because of our hurry, though we are all eager to come back this way and really take a good look at the awesome North Carolina towns and nature.

Even through our haste we have still found amazing things. One place we really enjoyed was Oriental, a small town with some of the friendliest people around. During our two days ashore there we managed to make several new friends, have a jewelry show, and eat at an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast. One special feature of the place is that we made half a dozen new friends and played with three dogs in the course of the 5 hours it took us to go for a two block walk. Typical walks that only go for two blocks take about 3 minutes, so one might wonder why we are so very slow since we are all able-bodied, healthy, and energetic. The answer is simple; fun. We got almost a full block when we found a breakfast buffet that soaked up about an hour of build-your-own waffles and omelette bar, fruit, muffins, danishes, potatoes, grits, and even meats, if you are into that sort of thing. We gorged on the goodies, especially the fruits, which we all go crazy for and then we were off and running on our day's walk yet again.

The next distraction was not even all the way across the street, where we met two other sailboating couples and their awesome dogs. The girls spent some time with the pets throwing sticks and romping around while John and I gained valuable local knowledge and planned out what we could do if the hurricane presently known as "Earl" came too close for comfort. We never seem to get enough time for pet romping, so we let this go on for well over an hour even though we realized that our walk had come to a complete circular gallop through the park.

Our next stop was just across the street and a few hundred feet over to where we found Matt and Douglass, a wonderful couple who were selling sailing-theme print shirts and dresses on the street corner. They offered us a spot and we set up and sold jewelry with them while Madison and Malia played with the various dogs being walked by.

We managed to use up nearly all of our daylight before we finally walked past the two blocks we had traveled so far. A bit before sunset we managed to get out to the marine consignment store and picked up our purchases as the kind lady who worked there gave us a ride back to the boat with our goods.

One thing about Oriental is that everyone wants to offer rides. The first day we arrived we walked to the grocery store. A woman near the produce section overheard me telling the girls that they could not get ice cream since it would melt before we made it back to the boat. Before I even finished the sentence, she told the girls to go ahead and get the ice cream because she would just drive us back to the boat! I was startled, pleased with her kindness, and confused simultaneously, but I still made the girls wait until the next day for ice cream. I guess I am just mean like that.

We did manage to do the neighborhood scavenger hunt, which consists mainly of dragons. Malia spotted and counted several dozen each day we went out incuding these awesome dragon eggs decorated around town. We saw several more, but photographed four of them. If you find yourself in Oriental, be sure to try to collect the whole set. There are at least 6.

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