Making Memories

A few years ago when we were talking about moving to the coast, we decided that we really wanted a place where our family could make some wonderful memories.

We investigated a lot of areas from the mountains to the coast. Then we checked out the coast from Assateague Island to Oak Island.

We ended up settling along the Crystal Coast because it looked like the best place to make memories without investing a fortune. It has turned out to be a fantastic place for our family to get together.

While we have only been here a few years, we already have some wonderful memories with family and friends.

Perhaps the neatest thing about living in Carteret County is that you do not have to travel far to enjoy the area's wonders.

In our case we can be walking on the beaches of Emerald Isle in less than ten minutes. Our friends who live south of Myrtle Beach have to find street parking with a meter. We just drive to one of several public access points with parking.

We often stop by the Tideland Trails of Croatan National Forest in Cedar Point. They are actually on the way to the grocery store for us. With them being five or six minutes from our house, the trails are our afternoon exercise when we don't have time to go to the beach.

I am especially lucky in that I can slide my kayak in the water just behind our home. It means if I want to go for a late evening paddle, I do not have to load the kayak on the car. This evening after we got back from the beach, I went out for about one hour. It was a nice way to relax after a busy Sunday.

Last Friday afternoon I noticed the water on the White Oak River had quieted down. I called a fishing buddy of mine and asked if he wanted to go fishing for a couple of hours. I did not have to twist his arm, and he was at our house in ten minutes. We were on the water in my skiff by two p.m. and managed to get in a couple of hours of fishing before the rain started. We even caught fish.

My wife and I often go biking just from our home. We have not managed to get the bikes over to Emerald to try their bike trails, but we did take some visiting friends to Emerald Woods Park to catch the sunset last Monday evening. I bet that beautiful clear sky sunset will be in everyone's memory for a long while.

Since moving here we have gone by boat from our home on the White Oak River to Shackleford Banks. We have explored the shores of Bear Island with our skiff and trolled down the ocean side for Spanish Mackerel. I have surf fished in Bogue Inlet with a friend on an island that disappears at high tide.

Last spring we had friends visit us for the Swansboro Oyster Roast. We ate steamed oysters until we dropped. It was unforgettable. One of my favorite memories was going over to Beaufort to view Blackbeard's cannon just after it was raised. Even my son who is twenty-nine loves the Martime Museum in Beaufort.

Last year we had Christmas at the beach. The kids loved it. There was plenty to do from walking their dogs on the beach to taking a Christmas eve boat ride. We even had a crabpot Christmas tree.

This past Saturday we attended the annual Lobster Fest at Saint Francis by the Sea in Salter Path. Today we drove up to catch the end of Kite Festival in Atlantic Beach.

Then I finished the day chasing fish and the sunset in my kayak. It was another gorgeous Crystal Coast day full of great memories.

Our spot in the sun has turned out to be perfect place to make those memories. I continue to believe it will also be a good long term investment for our family.

I certainly do not regret finding a place in Carteret County for making memories.