Friday, January 06, 2012


As I mentioned on Tuesday, Lou Ann and I did a little traveling over the holidays. Ocracoke, of course, is a wonderful place to call home, but it is always fun to visit other areas and to have a few adventures. During this latest trip I had three new experiences:
  • On the way home we stopped in Wilmington, NC. As close as the city is, I had never visited there before. We enjoyed dinner in the historic downtown with a view of the Cape Fear river. The highlight was touring the WWII battleship North Carolina. Volunteers advised us to allot an hour and a half to explore the 728' long vessel. We spent nearly four hours! It was fascinating. You might want to consider a stop in Wilmington on your next trip to Ocracoke. Click here for more information about the battleship North Carolina:
  • Also in Wilmington I had my first cup of coffee! There is no real explanation. I simply had never had any desire to drink coffee...then, without warning, I decided to try it. I couldn't bring myself to order any of those "yuppie" drinks. I just had a real cup of java, but with cream and sugar. It was OK.
  • I had given Lou Ann a GPS for Christmas (we called "her" Gloria because the Christmas carol Gloria in Excelsis Deo was playing on the radio when Lou Ann opened her gift). We decided to let Gloria lead us on our trip. I never thought I would want a GPS, but Gloria sure came in handy in unfamiliar cities. The best time we had with it was on the way home. Even though I know my way in eastern North Carolina, I set Ocracoke as my destination. Gloria had never heard of Lawton Lane or Howard Street, but she did know of Fig Tree Lane (how could that be?). We laughed when she let us know that it would take about 30 minutes to go from Cedar Island to Ocracoke. Then we realized that she thought there was a road (a bridge??) across the sound. But it was stranger than that. Once on the ferry the monitor indicated that we were not on the "road." We decided to have a little fun with Gloria, and switched the GPS to "pedestrian" mode. Apparently she thought we were like the individual described in Mark 6:48. She never suggested that we don life jackets. 
We had a great time, but it's nice to be back home (where I don't need GPS to find my way around).

 Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Ocracoke and the "Lost" Colony. You can read it here:


  1. Toni Walls8:56 AM


    On our recent trip to Ocracoke while crossing sound on the Swan Quarter ferry I turned my garmin on in my car. It showed our car floating on water. I took a picture of it. Yes, I am that silly.

    I love my GPS. Now if we get turned around while traveling I have someone that will help me find my way back to where I should be.But I would rather be on OI where I don't need one.

  2. Anonymous9:42 AM

    I have heard stories from my police dispatcher brother of gps devices leading visitors to VT to the most remote, back woods dirt roads to get from one place to another. I guess the gps wants visitors to get the "real" Vermont experience!

  3. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Bah Humbug. I think a good Rand McNally or AAA trip tik map would keep me posted as to road construction etc. I think geo cacheing is a popular use of GPS . If map reading skills fall by the wayside some folk ought not be behind the wheel of a car. Are not those devices loaded with some info but for a price the machine is able to upgrade/update the data base -- just like your cell phone or my cell phone-- I will miss the taco party and it is another marketing PLOY to separate me from my hard earned money. HEY FCC are you reading this broadband is not just for broads.

  4. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Philip, you are too much! What does GPS stand for anyway? Mmm...Gypsy Play Station?

  5. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Enjoyed reading your experiences while venturing across the USA. Your NC Mainlander and late husband were attracted to each other because neither of us like coffee. Scott called it "Dirty water"....everyone else in our families drink it by the gallon so they thought it was odd that neither of us drank java!

    I suspect Ocracoke, Home Sweet Home, always looks especially beautiful and welcoming after traveling to other places.

    By the way, was there an especially vibrant sunset last night (Thurs)? In the northern Piedmont of NC the sky exploded with rich oranges, reds and purples. I instantly said to myself, "I bet the sky is even prettier tonight at Ocracoke!"

    Welcome Home!

  6. debbie s.5:12 PM

    YEs indeed WELCOME HOME! and you sure had me laughing with Gloria and her 'assumptions'.

    The battleship is an awesome place - be glad you went when it wasn't 100 degrees- its a big metal can with no A/C, after all ;)

    Ocracoke coffee is one of my favorite places... though, I don't do fancy drinks either. Just a plain ol cup of coffee and I'll fix it myself with milk and sugar :)