Day Trip: New Bern, NC

What a crazy busy week last week!  Though it ended with my getting sick, I feel it was pretty productive.  Fueled on coffee and high hopes, I started the week off by running along rabbit trails trying to find a job.  It was a whole lot of effort and driving, not to mention the headache of trying to entertain children while I go about my business.

You know how people say that there’s something good to every experience?  I think I’m totally butchering the wording to that, but there was something good to all that effort and traveling I did last week.  It brought me to New Bern, NC.  I have been there once, a few summers ago for the 4th of July.  The streets were so jam-packed with people that it was really hard to take my time and look around and enjoy the downtown area.  Last week was offered a new opportunity for which I am appreciative.

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Our first stop was at Union Park, which is on the waterfront, looking out over the river.  The day started out with a promise of rain, but luckily we didn’t see a drop.  Took a little mini photo session of Little S and Little A.  I’m still trying to play around with my new camera, so the pictures came out looking pretty bright on this overcast morning.  Humph.  *Fist shaking at sky*  I will figure it out.

There wasn’t much to this park for little ones.  You can feed the ducks at the little beach area, though I do not recommend swimming if it were allowed (it just looks icky with all the goose poo).  Luckily our two middle children love swinging, because that was all there was as far as a playground goes.  And a big grassy area for running around.  Thankfully there were bathrooms and not just Port-o-Johns. It was good enough.  We just needed to kill time before I met up with my best friend.  ***Note: For 4th of July celebrations and fireworks, this park offers the best view of the firewords, if you want crowds.

I was beyond thrilled that my best friend was going to be meeting up with us.  First thing on the agenda was finding a spot to eat.  She has family that live in the area, but has only been downtown a time or two.  Something new for both of us!  And we got to experience a new restaurant together.  SCORE!

I left the park 20 minutes early.  I drove around looking for a parking lot.  HA!  Word of advice: prepare to parallel park.  I don’t mind doing this.  In fact, I love to parallel park.  Even if I didn’t have the rear camera option on my vehicle (cheating), I would still look forward to parallel parking.  So either hit the streets early so you can pull into a spot, or dig up some safety cones and start practicing.  After 10am, the parking spots start filling up.

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I reluctantly had to park in the street. (Where there was a 2-Hour limit) I am a BFE parker. In other words, my vehicle is out beyond the employee parking, where stray shopping carts are left behind.  You may laugh, but I am fine with walking a great distance if it keeps my paint job knick-and-scratch-free.  These Little Ones sure do like to swing doors open without a care in the world.  I have left notes on cars apologizing and offering contact information.  Having to park on the street seriously made me cringe but I did it.

Across from where I parked, I found the City Hall building here:
Isn’t it charming?  The clock tower bells chime on the hour.  Little A and Little S got scared when it went off for 10am.  I was almost on time for lunch… 

Behind City Hall is a really beautiful church.  I took a picture of the grounds because of the pretty trees, and the outdoor chapel.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to have service outdoors, under those pretty trees… Then I start thinking about the heat and humidity, buzzing biting bugs, street noise, other distractions… yep!  Worship is good indoors too.
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The grounds are really pretty.  I would have loved to have a mini photo shoot with the Little Ones here. 

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Anyway, it was really nice to walk the streets even if just for a short distance.  The downtown area is so quaint.  I love the brick buildings and tree-lined streets.  People were out and about in no hurry for a Wednesday morning.  Not really going anywhere urgent.  For me, it was refreshing to see them meandering along, visiting some of the shops, and sitting to drink their coffee.  I’ve only experienced two types of downtown areas: either scarily busy or dead.  I can attest to seeing both ends of the spectrum.  New Bern is situated nicely on middle ground. 

I won’t spend much time on Nicholas Sparks, aside from saying that I thought it was so neat to come across this sign.  Who knows if he has ever been to this office?  I know that he has been to New Bern for a couple of book signings.  Too bad I don’t own any Nicholas Sparks books.
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I love this picture.  Makes me feel like I could snap my fingers and be in this same exact spot again.

Though my week was super busy and left me exhausted, I can’t say it was all for nothing, even if I did not land a job.  (On Friday, I officially decided to hold off on employment and just volunteer for the experience.)  We had a nice little day trip for the Little Ones and me.  Plus, I got to see my best friend.  If you’re ever in the area, stop and pay a visit!  Maybe you’ll find it just as charming as I do. 

For more information:
http://www.visitnewbern.com/

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