It’s been a gradual change of seasons with lots of things going on on the Outer Banks. I’ve participated in the Outer Banks Triathlon as a member of a relay team – I did the bike portion: 13.1 miles starting at the Dare County Regional Airport over the old Manns Harbor Bridge and back. The ride out was smooth and the views were spectacular, but when I made the turn at Mashoes Road, I hit a wall of wind and it took everything in me to get back across the bridge.
This weekend marked the First Annual Bluegrass Festival at Festival Park in Manteo. This was a sell-out event. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go, but it’s on my calendar for next year. Check out some great photos on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OBXBluegrassFestival?fref=ts.
View from the Duck Soundside Boardwalk
Today marked the 6th Annual Duck Jazz Festival, featuring The Rippingtons with Russ Freeman, Paula Atherton, THE FUZZ BAND, and Emme St. James and Her Jazz Gentlemen.
Today also marked the final day of the 20th Annual Outer Banks Home Builders Parade of Homes. The homes were selected featuring new designs and many incorporate new technologies, best building practices and ‘green’ features.
The Beach Road took us to the Croatan Surf Club in Kill Devil Hills this past week.
It was on a whim when I responded to an offer by Village Realty on Facebook that they had several condos that weren’t booked. I was floored and completely unprepared when I “won” the condo for the week starting the very next day.
Village Realty makes check-in easy – all I had to do was call for a code to the keyless entry, which was released about an hour before official check-in time. I did not have to stop by their office or pick up a key.
The condo was immaculate and looked as new as it did in 2009 when I attended the grand opening. I was impressed by the quality of construction and materials, such as granite, hardwood floors, stainless appliances and designer fixtures and furnishings. The oceanfront pool was inviting and featured a spa and “spray ground” for kids.
I think the only drawback was that I had no time to pack or plan – we were not able to take off work, and had pets and kids to arrange for, so we did not “staycate” for the full week.
The location is great, centrally located on the Beach Road near Milepost 7 ½. We explored shops and restaurants we don’t normally go to, and enjoyed a lovely dinner at JK’s Restaurant. Succulent steaks, mashers, salad and a glass of wine were delicious in a cozy atmosphere.
And waking up to this view was absolutely spectacular!
The inaugural TowneBank Red Nose Wine Festival last Thursday launched a new event as part of the Christmas in July fundraising benefit for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation. Thankfully the rain held off, and cloudy conditions kept things cool and comfortable.
Marshes Light, downtown Manteo NC
As people milled about in a “Charleston” like setting, music played in the background. The performers included Mojo Collins, Laura Martier, Joe Mapp & The Coordinates, Ruth Wyand, and The Jazzmen. North Carolina wines were featured with Biltmore, Cauble Creek Vineyard, Childress Vineyards, Old North State Winery, Sanctuary Vineyards and Vineyards on the Scuppernong. Additional wines from around the world were provided by Mutual Distributing Company and The Wine Specialist of Kitty Hawk.
Miss Wine Bottle & Shearl Bell, Event Chairperson
There was delicious food from Black Pelican, Café Lachine, Ocean Boulevard and Ortegaz. And, making it a full-on and fun afternoon, there were little shops set up along the Boulevard – Jewelry by Gail, The Cottage Shop and Mothervine Nutraceuticals. Wine, music and shopping? Oh my!
The final word isn’t in on how much was raised for the Relief Foundation, but many of the people involved expressed their enthusiasm with the event. Said Luanne Hege (who had the original vision to make the Wine Festival a reality):
“Our event this past Thursday surpassed our wildest dreams; the weather, which had been flukey at best, settled down, the heat wave broke, and the thunderstorms stayed away. The remarkable (thank you, Roland!) Mike Fitzwater and his group (Special Events) did an outstanding job. The attendance, while under the optimistic 2000 that we kept thinking we’d have, was a very respectable 1390, with all cabanas and reserved tables sold out. (Indeed three of our cabana purchasers have already “signed up” for next year!) Our site, the Marshes Light complex in Manteo, right on Shallowbag Bay, was a terrific venue, right on the water, provided a perfect canvas for our layout.”
It could not have been possible without the help of our volunteers!
Palmetto Cheese Spread, “The Pimento Cheese with Soul” by Pawleys Island Specialty Foods. Delicious, try with thin little Pretzel Crisps (by Snack Factory). Both available at Harris Teeter.
Movie from Red Box: “Jeff, Who Lives at Home,” with Jason Segal, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon. A heartwarming film about a couple of misfit brothers who come to each other’s aid –http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588334/#.
First Annual Red Nose Wine Festival at Marshes Light took place on Thursday afternoon, July 12. The place was transformed into a classy venue for wine tastings, live music, food, shopping and great fellowship all to benefit the Outer Banks Relief Foundation. Had fun helping Christine, The Wine Specialist, at the tastings tent. Stay tuned for more photos.
From the Dare County Library: The Woman Who Wasn’t There: The True Story of an Incredible Deception by Robin Fisher and Angelo J. Guglielmo, Jr. I couldn’t put it down – great summertime read for the beach or the pool.
My son, Michael, is working at The Wine Specialist in Kitty Hawk. He often calls when there is a new wine or micro-brew on the shelf. He called yesterday to tell me about some artisanal cheeses that just came in and asked me to help spread the word.
Christine McMaster is The Wine Specialist. Originally from Rockville, Maryland, Christine moved to France when she was 20 years old. She learned about grape growing and wine making and received a certificate from the French Department of Agriculture. She moved to the Outer Banks, where she vacationed as a child with her family, and opened her store. Christine brings a level of knowledge and expertise to local wine enthusiasts. She will customize a wine or beer tasting for you in her bright and comfortable tasting “parlor” at her store at MilePost 4 in Kitty Hawk (next door to Capt’n Frank’s).
This assortment of cheeses will certainly pair well with a variety of wines and some may even stand up to a Stout/Porter Ale.
Black Mountain Cheddar – a combination of garlic, herbs and white wine blended with creamy American cheddar makes a potent, assertive cheese. Pairs with dry red wine, such as a very affordable Morro Bay White Oak Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, in stock for $10.99.
Brillat Savarin Mini, – cow’s milk, triple-crème brie-style cheese from France. This lovely cheese is buttery, rich, creamy and decadent. Incredible on its own or served with a fruit jam on hearty bread. For a special event, serve Brillat Savarin with a bottle Pascal Doque Premiers Crus Champagne from France, in stock at $65.99. Brillat Savarin will also work very well with a Viognier, this one by Bonterra, 2009, is in stock for $19.99.
Manchego Wedge – Perhaps the most famous Spanish cheese, Manchego is a D.O. (Denominacion de Origen) protected cheese, meaning that only 100% Manchego sheep milk is used in a traditional recipe. The breed has proven sturdy enough over the centuries to traverse the rocky, arid central plateau region known as La Mancha- where cows just can’t hang. It has a deep rich flavor and would go well with apple slices, ginger snaps and rich, fruity wines. Traditionally paired with Rioja.
Purple Haze Goat Cheese – sprinkled with tender purple buds of lavender and fennel pollen, Purple Haze goat cheese is intense, floral and piquant. Serve this cheese at room temperature with crackers with this crisp Chardonnay from Argentina: Catena Chardonnay, 2008, in stock $22.99.
I have tagged along on a surf trip with my husband. It is beautiful here, and remote – on the southwest coast of Nicaragua, about 2 hours drive from the airport in Managua. There’s not much to do here, except surf, fish (if you have the gear, a boat and a guide), play on the Internet, read and run. There aren’t many shells, I was told that was due to the fact that the coral reefs are dead – perhaps from ancient rumblings from nearby volcanoes.
View from our condo
There are howler monkeys here, they come out at dusk.
According to this video, only the male monkeys howl, and they do so to let other monkeys know that they are here as they are very territorial.
We’ve eaten fresh fish, lobster (small rock lobsters), chayote and tostones (fried plantains) which we prepared ourselves. Tona is the “official” beer of Nicaragua and I found a crisp Chardonnay – Lazo from Chile, which paired very well with the tostones last night.
A couple of two hour flights brought us into Managua from Raleigh via Miami. From there, it was another two hour drive to the coast, the last 30 minutes of which were on a dusty gravel road, which is in the process of being paved.
My inner time clock is still on Outer Banks time. There’s a two hour difference, if 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, it’s 5 a.m. here. But I pretty much get up at dawn and go to sleep at dark.
In between work and hosting my niece and her active two year old last week, I volunteered at the Outer Banks Wedding Show on Saturday at the beautiful Sanderling Inn in Duck. It was fun greeting the brides, grooms, friends and family and seeing all the incredible tablescapes and exhibits on display.
There are lots of places to get married on the Outer Banks; here are just a few:
The Sanderling in Duck, new for 2012, the Soundside Pavilion will offer lovely water views of the Currituck Sound
Lots of things to do and see along the Outer Banks, here’s a sample:
FIRST FLIGHT CRUISERS 5TH ANNUAL SHAMROCK CAR SHOW AND POKER RUN
March 15 – 18
All events are ‘rain or shine’! Start the show off right with a Welcome Reception, Thursday, March 15th at Mako Mikes. The following day enjoy the Poker Run, Friday, March 16th. The Shamrock Car, Truck and Bike Show is Saturday, March 17th at First Flight High School. Visit http://firstflightcruisers.com for more information.
SOUTHERN CIRCUIT FILM TOUR PRESENTS A GIFT FOR THE VILLAGE
Dare County Arts Council is pleased to bring the Southern Circuit Film Tour to the residents of Dare County! Six independent films will travel to Dare County, and local residents and visitors are invited to screen the films and meet the director. The film, A Gift For The Village, will be screened at Roanoke Island Festival Park Indoor Film Theater on March 24th at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. The filmmaker, Tom Landon will be on hand for a question and answer session after the film is screened.
TASTE OF THE BEACH
Presented by the Dare County Restaurant Association, this grand food festival will feature wine tastings, cooking classes, special menu presentations, celebrity guest chef appearances, brewery tours, tapas crawls and many more events with an exciting array of creative combinations and culinary delights. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.obxtasteofthebeach.com/home.htm.
KELLY’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE
Sunday, March 18 – 1 p.m. on the Beach Road, Nags Head
This year’s parade celebrates The Outer Banks Hospital’s 10th Anniversary & a Decade of Care, and the theme is “Health is Happiness!” Following a traditional Irish Blessing, each petal on the Shamrock represents a wish for good health, good luck & much happiness. Awards include Best Overall, Best Float, Best Band/Music Theme, Best Unity & Best Parade Route Theme. The parade hosts 100+ entries annually & is viewed by 8-10 thousand bystanders.
OUTER BANKS BOOTCAMPS “EXPRESS” MARATHON TRAINING CAMP
March 27 – 4 weeks
The camp will culminate at the 3rd annual running of the Flying Pirate Half Maratho. Curriculum includes but is not limited to:
Short and long distance running
Speed and Tempo workouts
Strength & Conditioning Weight Training
General and Sports Nutrition
How to compete and successfully participate in an endurance foot race
For more information on how to join and train with the leader in Race Training on the Outer Banks call 252-489-8239 or email us at email@example.com.
There are lots of reasons to visit the Outer Banks now: it’s quiet, there are no crowds and there are lots of things to do and see. The beaches are deserted, practically guaranteeing a bounty of shells and sea glass waiting to be found.
Rather than post all the current events here, I highly recommend that you check out www.outerbanks.org. They have a great new look and it’s easy to navigate. The current calendar of events is found here. For art happenings, check out Dare County Arts Council’s stylish new website here.
Be sure to check out Sip & Dip, offered at Art Space in Southern Shores. Workshops by local artists. www.artspace.com.
Off Season usually means discounted rates and local specials. And to me, that means WINE. We are fortunate here to have several great wine shops with knowledgeable vintners and incredible selections.
The Wine Specialist in Kitty Hawk is located at Buccaneer‘s Walk (next to Capt’n Franks). Owned and operated by my friend Christine and her husband, Fernando da Mota, they offer free wine tastings on Wednesday nights from 5 until 8 p.m. It’s a great way to sample new wines before purchasing. My husband especially liked the Highway 12 Cabernet Sauvignon, admiring the ripe aromas of dark berries and soft French oak nuances. I especially like the name.
We recently discovered ½ Price Night at Trio in Kitty Hawk – on Mondays, starting at 5 p.m., all wines by the glass, draft beers and wine station tab cards are 50% off. The wine station is the talk of the OBX. It’s a help-yourself automated station where you can enjoy a taste, half or full glass from a selection of high and medium priced wines. I tried a glass of the Biltmore Viogner 2010 and can heartily recommend it as a well balanced white wine with a smooth finish.
Check back again and I’ll share more on restaurants, shopping and what’s fresh at the Beach Road to Manteo.
Being an active member of the Steel Magnolias at Outer Banks Bootcamps, I had to give up something during the term of this camp. For me, it’s been ongoing, sweets. I had a voracious sweet tooth as a child and have the cavities to prove it. It’s been a relatively easy give during the summer and fall boot camps. This time of year, however, it’s been a real test of will power. I’ve taken to posting photos of the forbidden foodstuff on Facebook and I’d like to share them with you too.
Starting the day with my Boot Camp friends in the Gobbler 5K in Nags Head was great.
Happy birthday wishes to my friends Sharon, Cathy & Shearl.
Cool winds gave way to warm sunshine.
Turkey took forever to cook.
Son’s mashed potatoes were the best I ever ate (secret ingredient parmesan cheese, but not too much).
Son told me about the oysters he and his girlfriend gathered down near the new inlet at Rodanthe, found enough up to feed them for a few days – salty plump oysters, he made oyster stew (he is very talented in the kitchen).
Next time I’m going to slow-cook a turkey in a crock pot with cranberry barbeque sauce.
I am thankful for my family, health, friends, pets and this beautiful community I live.
“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There’s, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich… That’s, that’s about it.”
Bubba Blue from the film, FORREST GUMP.
The second annual Shrimp CookOff will be held on Sunday, November 6, at Ocean Boulevard Bistro & Martini Bar on the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk – from 12:00 noon until 3:00pm. This casual, fun competition was a huge success in 2010 and raised almost $5,000 to benefit the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research.
There will be nine competing chefs from around the Outer Banks, cooking fresh, local shrimp in their favorite style of preparation. A DJ will be keeping up with announcements and door prizes and a silent auction will also be held on the second floor of Ocean Boulevard, with a People’s Choice Ballot. The bar will be open serving Beer & Wine specials along with your favorite beverage. The cost per person is $20 at the door, and tickets can be bought in advance at Ocean Boulevard, or at Outer Banks Veterinarian.