Visions of Sugar Plums

December 19, 2011

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.

Categories: Dining, Food & Wine, Holiday Happenings, Home & Garden, Things to do, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , ,

December Happenings on the Outer Banks

December 13, 2011

Dates are subject to change. Telephone area code is (252) unless otherwise specified.

Free Admission at the Aquarium on Roanoke Island with donation to “Santa Paws” program for our four-legged friends. Santa Paws needs donations of 7 lbs. of dog, puppy, cat or kitten food, rawhides, pillow cases, bleach, dog shampoo, blankets, paper towels and clumping kitty litter. All of these items will be placed under our Santa Paws Christmas Tree for delivery on December 23rd to the Outer Banks SPCA Animal Shelter in Manteo. The Aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information call 252-473-3494 or visit
Bears that Care
December 1 – December 19
Outer Banks Bear Factory, MP 12.5, Across from Jockey’s Ridge. Bears that Care is a program that the Outer Banks Bear Factory has started to assist Hotline in their effort to help the children of Dare County have a good memory at Christmas. For every 16″ animal purchased the Outer Banks Bear Factory will donate an 8″ animal to Hotline for their Christmas Toy Drive. Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  (252) 255-5222 or


50% off Storewide Sale – The Christmas Shop, Manteo
December 3 – 31. 50% off Storewide Holiday Sale! The best sale of the year! Plus 25% off all books at Manteo Booksellers.

Art and Spirit: Sacred Works by Sixty Artists
December 3 – 22. Art Gallery at Roanoke Island Festival Park. (252) 475-1500 or

December 13-30. Elizabethan Gardens. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Holiday lights and music transforming The Elizabethan Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland complete with peacocks, butterflies, deer and other garden creatures created with flowers, seeds, natural elements, as well as traditional holiday decorations. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse, Reception Hall and great Lawn. Garden plant sales will feature winter annuals; ornamental vegetables; forced bulbs; rosemary Christmas Trees; and conifers with bows. Tickets for Friends’ and Non-members: $9 for Adults; $7 for youth (ages 6-17); $4 for children (5 and under).

Dinner with Santa
December 16. Elizabethan Gardens. 6 – 9 pm prices are reduced. Celebrate the holidays with your child by dining with Santa in the magically decorated Embellished Hall at The Elizabethan Gardens. Bring your camera or purchase photos by professional photographer. Your ticket includes dinner, Santa and WinterLights. Dinner seating is at 6 pm, 7 pm, or 8 pm. Friends’ tickets: Was $35 now $25 for Adults; Was $20 now $12 for youth (ages 6-17); $6 for children (5 and younger).  Non-members tickets: Was $40 now $27 for Adults; Was $22 now $14 for youth (ages 6-17); $8 for children (5 and younger).

Kids Craft Day
December 17 & 21. Elizabethan Gardens. 10 a.m. – Noon. Arts and crafts activity, healthy snacks, lunch, story time and a special stroll through The Gardens. Kids will enjoy seasonal and will delight in seeing floral creations of peacocks, butterflies and deer! Make sure they bring their coats! Space limited to 30 children. Friends’ $15; Non-members $

Annual Centerpiece Sale

December 15. Front Porch, Nags Head & Manteo. 7 – 10 a.m. The Dare County Master Gardeners Club will be hosting their annual Centerpiece Sale Stop by and purchase some festive, handmade, holiday greenery for your home or office.


108th Annual Celebration of the Wright Brothers First Flight
December 17. Wright Brothers National Memorial. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The daylong anniversary tribute will be held at the site of Wright’s first flight. Visitors to the site experience a replica of the Wright Brothers’ 1903 encampment and majestic, 60-foot tall granite monument perched atop a 90-foot hill that serves a striking and lasting reminder of the important historical achievement that happened on this site a century ago.

UNC Greensboro Amahl and the Night Visitors
December 18. 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Indoor Theatre at Roanoke Island Festival Park. The tender, heartwarming story of Amahl and the Night Visitors is one of the most popular of American operas. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for those 12 and under.

Let’s Eat!
December 21. NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For ages 8-12. Spend a day learning what it takes to feed our sharks, sting rays, otters, and other residents. Campers will get to observe mealtime in action for some of the animals as they feast. Cost: $25 per camp. Closed toe shoes and a bag lunch required each day.

“Snakes, Gators, & Frogs, Oh My!”
December 29 NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For ages 8-12. The Aquarium has so much more to see than just fish. See how many reptiles and amphibians live at the Aquarium and learn about their care and interesting behaviors. Cost: $25 per camp. Closed toe shoes and a bag lunch required each day.

Categories: Arts, Dining, Holiday Happenings, Home & Garden, outer banks, People of Interest, Pets, Roanoke Island, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , ,

Visions of an Upscale Small Town Waterfront

December 7, 2011

This is the architect’s rendering of Marshes Light in Manteo, NC. Retail shops and restaurants along the water, homes and condominiums nearby, and a bustling marina. This new community is located within walking distance on a soundside boardwalk to historic Manteo with a variety of dining, shopping and cultural activities.

Categories: Arts, Historic Architecture, Home & Garden, Land Development, marina, Marshes Light Marina, outer banks, Real Estate, Roanoke Island, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , ,

A Thanksgiving List

November 25, 2011
  1. Starting the day with my Boot Camp friends in the Gobbler 5K in Nags Head was great.
  2. Happy birthday wishes to my friends Sharon, Cathy & Shearl.
  3. Cool winds gave way to warm sunshine.
  4. Turkey took forever to cook.
  5. Son’s mashed potatoes were the best I ever ate (secret ingredient parmesan cheese, but not too much).
  6. 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).
  7. Next time I’m going to slow-cook a turkey in a crock pot with cranberry barbeque sauce.
  8. I am thankful for my family, health, friends, pets and this beautiful community I live.

Categories: Environment, Fall Weather, Fitness, Food & Wine, Holiday Happenings, outer banks, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Manteo Community Comes Together

November 16, 2011

Categories: Environment, Fall Weather, Home & Garden, outer banks, Things to do, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

OBX Half Marathon. Check.

November 15, 2011

The Outer Banks Marathon and related events happened this past weekend, November 11-13. The weather was perfect, sunny with temperatures in the upper 60’s. This was the first time I have ever participated in a big race, and I’m happy to say that I finished the Half Marathon in a little over 2 hours and 20 minutes. The course was incredible providing views of the Sound, and winding along Nags Head Golf Links, over the bridge to Manteo. I drive to Manteo every day to my office at Marshes Light, but running part of that route gives me a whole new perspective.

There were 1,215 runners in the Marathon and 2,757 runners in the Half, and the oldest runner  was 83 years old! In addition to the Marathon held Sunday, on Saturday there were the Outer Banks 8K starting at the First Flight High School track, the Buccaneer 5K and a Fun Run. It was a great family weekend with something for everyone.

Franco's & daughters at the Finish


Categories: Fall Weather, Fitness, outer banks, People of Interest, Sporting Events, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


November 10, 2011

Marathon Fever!

Last day of Marathon Training was held this morning. We ran about 5 miles early this morning and witnessed a beautiful (almost) full moon setting over the Sound at Kitty Hawk Bay. Coaches Matt and Jay gave us a pep talk and reviewed what to expect and several things to avoid on race day (i.e., stick to your plan, avoid trying anything new – no new socks!).

We’ve been enjoying lots of sunshine and temperatures in the mid to high 60’s. Sunday – race day – is expected to be partly cloudy and temperatures in the mid 60’s.

On Sunday, traffic to Manteo from the beach will be diverted over the bridge to Manns Harbor and back to Manteo via the old Manns Harbor bridge.

For important Marathon information, click here:

To view the course map, click here:

Wish me luck! This is my first ever Half Marathon!


Categories: Fall Weather, Fitness, outer banks, Roanoke Island, Sporting Events, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Get Your Shrimp Fix On

November 5, 2011

“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.

Categories: Dining, Fall Weather, Food & Wine, outer banks, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , ,

Outer Banks Forecast: Rainbows and Wind

November 4, 2011
Early morning rainbow, sound-side OBX. 


It was a warm and rather cloudy morning, a little breezy and good conditions for an easy 3 mile run around the neighborhood with my friend Amanda. We headed towards the ocean and saw a patch of blue sky (Carolina Blue, that is) and then followed the road in the opposite direction. There it was, a beautiful crystal clear rainbow.

Lots of people around the Outer Banks also saw it and captured it on film, this photo looks like Colington in Kill Devil Hills.

The weather steadily deteriorated and we’ve been experiencing a coastal storm with spitting rain and northeast winds of about 25 mph.

If you’re thinking of visiting this weekend, here’s what to expect from the weather:

nt_rain Mostly cloudy. Rain likely this evening. A slight chance of rain after midnight. Very windy with lows in the lower 50s. Northeast winds 25 to 35 mph and gusty. Chance of rain 70 percent.
partlycloudy Partly cloudy and very windy. Highs around 60. Northeast winds 25 to 35 mph with higher gusts.
Saturday Night
nt_cloudy Mostly cloudy and windy. Lows in the lower 50s. Northeast winds 20 to 30 mph.
partlysunny Partly sunny and breezy. Highs in the lower 60s. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph.
Sunday Night
nt_cloudy Mostly cloudy in the evening…then becoming partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph.
partlycloudy Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s.


Looking forward, especially to the Outer Banks Marathon weekend on November 12-13, the Farmer’s Almanac predicts sunny & cool. The next full moon will be on November 10. I’m thinking of a walk on the beach when the wind calms down – a great time to find shells, beach glass and other treasures, followed by home-made chili or oyster stew! So come on down and discover why so many people love Fall on the Outer Banks!

Categories: Environment, Fall Weather, Fitness, Roanoke Island, Things to do, travel, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , ,

Outer Banks Real Estate – Sharing the Benefits of the CMA

October 26, 2011

I was approached by a neighbor recently about listing her home in Southern Shores for sale. Having been focused on Marshes Light in downtown Manteo for several years, I told her I was a bit rusty in the market outside of Marshes Light, but would welcome the opportunity to prepare a CMA, or comparative market analysis. After all, this would also reveal my own home’s current worth.

Our local realtor group uses a multiple listing service by Paragon. We recently converted to the newest version and it’s been a bit of a chore learning the new technology. It does have a great CMA wizard and it allowed me to enter information about the subject property (which can later be converted it to an active listing) and gather comparable properties, both active, sold and under contract listings. Using the wizard, I was able to prepare an attractive, easy to understand presentation that gave my neighbor a clear idea of what her property is worth in today’s market.

I also learned that the real estate market is strong on the Outer Banks.  On a national level, a recent CNN Money article states that “home prices continued a winning streak in August, the fifth straight month of price gains, but remain lower on a year-over-year basis.”

This new listing caught my eye:

Southern Shores west-side, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath home sits on a large lot with pool has a newly renovated professional kitchen with stainless appliances and granite counter tops. There are lots of decks overlooking a large pool. The home was built in 1989 by Olin Finch, and will appeal to a year-round family or rental investment buyer. $419,000. MLS 72296.

Categories: Home & Garden, outer banks, Real Estate, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , ,

Page 4 of 24« First...«23456»1020...Last »