Letting loose along the Sounds and side roads of North Carolina...
Every once in awhile, I book a stay at the local canine spa Acres of Fun in Powhatan, Virginia. While I luxuriate, Clarke has to find something to do, somewhere to go. So, Clarke meandered on down to one of the great beach meccas in the United States---the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Sounds of Currituck and Albemarle, it is a great place to spend the summer, or maybe an even a better place to be just before school lets out or in early October.
The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC provide a cool respite after basking along the sunny Sounds of North Carolina.
You may want to skip the beach thing for a day or two and head down to Manteo on Roanoke Island. Saunter through the Elizabethan Gardens and be sure to see the first and longest running outdoor drama The Lost Colony. Stay at The Tranquil House Inn.
Clarke hangs out at The Pepsi Store in New Bern, NC, where Caleb Bradham concocted the soft drink in 1898.
Amble on through the North Carolina countyside headed west from Manteo on Route 64 toward Washington, North Carolina. Take a side road off Route 32. If you are looking for Canna, Peonies or other bulbs fresh from the field, stop in at Terra Ceia Farms in Pantego. Head on south down Route 17 to the pretty little town of New Bern, home of author Nicholas Sparks. The Aerie Inn is a nice place to call home for a night or two. New Bern will be celebrating its 300 year anniversary in 2010.
A colorful field in North Carolina
If sailing is your thing, a 30 minute drive to Oriental---which bills itself as the sailing capital of North Carolina, is a spot where you may want to drop anchor.