After a wonderful month spent visiting family, friends and various medical professionals, we left New Jersey on Wednesday, November 1, heading to Traveler’s World RV Resort in San Antonio, Texas, for the winter. During our close to eight years of workamping, we have always traveled quite quickly to our destination, but recently we have slowed down a tad and stopped along the way to explore more of this awesome country. I would strongly recommend this approach while workamping if at all possible.
After a rather rocky ferry trip across the Delaware, our first stop was Virginia Beach, Virginia. We have stayed here several times and have always enjoyed a seafood dinner at a hidden gem called Margie’s and Rays. This trip was no different as we enjoyed crab cakes, shrimp, salad, and hush puppies – oh, and wine of course – although Bill drank beer. In 1964, Margie and Ray’s was a small country store on a dirt road near Sandbridge Beach, owned by – you guessed it – Margie and Ray! They passed the store down to their son who renovated it – somewhat – and turned it into a seafood restaurant, where for the past several years it has become known as one of the very best seafood eateries in the southern end of Virginia Beach. Search for it and enjoy the next time you are in Virginia Beach!
Our next destination was New Bern, North Carolina, where we planned to stay two nights. We had been here before and had really liked the town, so we wanted to spend some time and investigate it further – you never know where we might finally drop anchor when our workamping days are over! It was less than 200 miles from Virginia Beach to New Bern, so we got an early start in order to have a good portion of the day to explore.
What an absolutely charming town! New Bern is located on the riverfront where the Neuse and Trent River meet. It was founded by a baron from Bern, Switzerland, who named the city after his hometown. New Bern was the first State Capitol of North Carolina, with Tryon Palace being the Governor’s Palace. The city is filled with historic homes, art galleries, music events, boutique stores and abundant culinary choices!
In 2010, New Bern celebrated its 300th birthday by placing 50 fiberglass, ceramic bears (“bern” in German) throughout the city as various businesses adopted them and selected artists to design and paint them. We didn’t find all fifty but certainly enjoyed the ones we spotted! We walked more than five miles all over New Bern, eating lunch at MJ’s Raw Bar and Grille, and delighting in the shops and gorgeous, historic homes. We stopped for a late afternoon ice cream cone at the Cow Café, “New Bern’s only 4-Hoof Restaurant!”
New Bern is also the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola where in 1893, a local pharmacist, Caleb Bradham, invented the recipe and originally called it “Brad’s Drink,” before renaming it Pepsi-Cola in 1898. The Pepsi-Cola museum is housed in that original pharmacy right in the center of town. Even though Bill and I are both Coca-Cola fans, the museum was very interesting.
Last evening, after exhausting New Bern, we returned to our campground – New Bern KOA – and walked down to their dock, with wine in hand, to watch the sunset. As the sun set – and wow, was it a beauty – the full moon began to rise in the opposite direction. It doesn’t get much better than that!
This morning we returned to downtown New Bern to have breakfast at a restaurant that had been recommended by multiple people – Baker’s Kitchen. When we arrived and diners were waiting outside for tables, we knew we were in the right place! In most cases, when we have to give a name to the hostess, Bill uses the name “Elvis” which always gets a chuckle, not to mention my embarrassment when a hostess comes out screaming for “Elvis – party of two!” Here at Baker’s Kitchen you do give a name but you also get texted when your table is ready. Can you just imagine how quickly I proceeded inside when we got the text so as not to see people’s expressions when they called for Elvis! All in good fun!
And talk about good…I feasted on “Bun and Sum,” which included eggs, a breakfast meat and one of the Baker’s Kitchen’s made-fresh-daily cinnamon buns. In fact, our server, Rick, shared that all breads and baked goods are made fresh each morning starting at 3a.m. in the kitchen upstairs. Nothing is kept for more than a day! Bill enjoyed a blast from the past as he ate “Eggs in a Frame!” A twist on a popular at-home breakfast treat is that here at Baker’s Kitchen they take the bread circles out of the “frame” (aka toast) and make French toast with them – all the more to enjoy! We also had the opportunity to meet the new manager and the owners of this remarkable eatery!
After walking around town a bit longer and then looking at some available properties in the area, we were curious to see how far the Atlantic Ocean was from New Bern, so we took at ride to Atlantic Beach – about a 40 minute drive. It was 82 degrees today and you can’t believe how many people were on the beach. You know us – we found an oceanfront restaurant and delighted in peel-it shrimp for me and blackened mahi for Bill.
Another glorious day on the road! Next stop…Clemson vs. NC State tomorrow in Raleigh!
Stay Calm and Travel On…