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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Crystal Coast, More Than a Vacation

Most of us, who have moved to the Crystal Coast in the last twenty years, started coming here to enjoy the beaches and have a relaxing vacation. While those who were born and raised here might argue that the area has always been a great spot to live, it is only in the last couple of decades that the area has become popular as a place for folks from away to have a year around home. My wife and are almost four years into our adventure as Crystal Coast residents. We recently had friends visit us, and then go visit some other friends in Myrtle Beach. The husband called this morning to thank us for our hospitality. He went on to say what a magical place our home was. As I told him when they were visiting, I have literally seen hundreds of homes since we bought our place. I have yet to find one that I would rather have.
In a world of crowds, noise, pollution, and rushing, we live on a peaceful cul de sac in Bluewater Cove. Our home has two front porches, a back porch with a wonderful view of the river, a dock with boat lift, and the neighborhood swimming pool is on the other side of the cul de sac. Our home is a peaceful spot on the water. The whole neighborhood is a nice place to live.

Some of that peace comes from living in a nice subdivision like Bluewater Cove, a lot of what makes our home nice has to do with Carteret County. Croatan National Forest stretches through much of Carteret and surrounding counties. At the other end of the county, we have the Cape Lookout National Seashore. In between we have lots of accessible beach, Morehead City and Beaufort.

Within those spots we are fortunate to have the Maritime Museum, Fort Macon, the Aquarium, and the wonderful trails at the Croatan access point in Cedar Point. All of this is spread out along Bogue Sound.

Then there are all the family run restaurants which offer some great local seafood. Even going to the grocery store is not a chore. Except for the six week or so when tourists are around in the summer, we often choose to go to the Food Lion in Emerald Isle. Some about riding across the bridge and checking who is fishing makes shopping a little easier for me. The grocery like the other ones in the area is a little more laid back than one you might find in Raleigh, Charlotte, or Northern Virginia. Most of the year, our shopping experience is a very peaceful one.

Even when our population swells in the summertime, we just make some small adjustments. We do our grocery shopping from Monday through Thursday, and typically avoid island restaurants during the main dining hours.

Sometimes we might not get back to an Island restaurant until fall when the fishermen replace the tourists. Almost without fail, we are welcomed back by waitresses that remember us.

The water and temperatures will soon be warm enough for me to sometimes sneak out on the river early in the morning or late in the evening. The river is so peaceful then that it is easy to imagine that civilization is far away. And if I want civilization to disappear even more, I can either head up the White Oak River beyond Stella where it easily feels like another time and place, perhaps even when there were few people living in the area. Or I can head down the river, and out Bogue Inlet into the ocean where I can only tiny strips of land.

Even when I drive to work, I go through a golf course, lots of corn and soybean fields, and forest.

All the while I know the beaches are calling me, and I know that when I am knee deep in salt water most of my troubles disappear especially if I have a fishing rod in my hands.

The Crystal Coast is a great place to visit and have a wonderful vacation. However, it is also a fantastic place to call home. For some more thoughts on living here visit this site.

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