Considering we had a lot of challenging weather between when the seeds were planted on January 1, and when we picked that first tomato of the year, I would say we made a nice recovery.
Once the weather started improving towards the end of April, it was not long before we were wading the surf over at the beach. Now the water temperature is over seventy degrees and May is disappearing so fast that I want to put on the brakes.
As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, we have enjoyed some beautiful boating days, had some great times walking on the beach and now the fish are even biting.
Memorial Day itself was nearly perfect as long as you were not caught in the traffic. The strawberries have been around since the third week in April and now we have blueberries ripe at the same time just in time for a red, white, and blue Memorial Day weekend.
With such great weather and the knowledge that plenty of people chose the Crystal Coast for their first 2014 beach trip, I picked my Memorial Day activities carefully. First I went for an early morning boat ride down the White Oak River to Swansboro. The river was about as pretty as it gets and aside from a couple of boats fishing, I had the river to myself.
After a short cruise which let me check out the fancy boats in the harbor, I took advantage of the smooth river and headed home as quickly as possible. While I was on the water well before 7:30 AM, I managed to be back at our dock by 8:30 AM. I am sure traffic on the Intracoastal was heavy not long after I got back home.
After having breakfast, I went for a nice hike in the marshes and did some garden work around the house. In early afternoon we headed off to the grocery store to pick up a few supplies for a dinner we had scheduled with some friends. Experience kicked in and we chose the Piggly-Wiggly in Swansboro with the full knowledge that other grocery stores would be more crowded because of Memorial Day weekend.
Our friends coming for dinner got caught in the traffic jam leaving the beach. A trip that usually takes 25 minutes took them over three hours. All it takes is one accident and the bridge traffic can slow to a crawl. It was a reminder that sometimes staying close to home is the least stressful choice especially when you have some of those great Crystal Coast waters right in your back yard.
Memorial Day generally means traffic, sometimes cars and often boats in the ICW. Yet most people will put up with some traffic for a little taste of the Crystal Coast, the paradise that we call home.
For those of us who live here, Memorial Day weekend means an opportunity to have a neighborhood party to get together with some friends, and use our local knowledge to enjoy an area where you can usually find some waters which are not very crowded if you choose wisely.
Memorial Day is also a deadline for my wife and myself, it is the time of year when we hope to have our yearly revisions done to our Emerald Isle travel guide. We managed to get it done and our new Kindle version is already live. We included some new restaurants like Shark's Den and Angie's Lighthouse Cafe. We also discussed some new places to visit like Salty Air Open Market in Cedar Point.
We also did a special inexpensive print version without color pictures. It was supposed to be here for Memorial Day but it did not make it. However, it should be here this week and we hope to have it in some stores shortly thereafter.
Still it was a beautiful weekend and a great kickoff for summer. You will not find any better tips on how to enjoy the Crystal Coast than what is in our travel guide.