Duck, North Carolina— We took a short trip to Duck, North Carolina, and stayed at the Sanderling Resort and Spa. The resort was simply fabulous. As was the whole area.
The town of Duck only has about 500 people living in it all year round, but in thew summer it gets quite crowded, kind of like LBI used to be about 25 years ago. All in all, they have some very good restaurants, fabulous beaches, and a whole array of shops, museums and tourist type stuff. It’s well worth paying a visit, and for more than a few days.
Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the state of Virginia. Located on the southeastern coast of the Commonwealth, it has a population of about 450,000. We recently spent a few days there as part of a larger trip of exploration of the South East.
Although relatively large, Virginia Beach tends to be rather suburban in character. It is also a huge vacation destination spot that gets visitors from all over. The beach itself is very commercialized, like Seaside in New Jersey. The boardwalk, ringed with hotels, is paved with separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists who charge along with all the caution of New York City cab drivers.
There are lots of restaurants and bars, as you would expect, but there appeared to be a paucity of high-end gourmet type establishments. We were there (coincidentally) for most of the annual Sand Soccer tournament. This tournament has a match between established teams in a temporary beach stadium. Other matches—they go on for two days—are between teams of similar age participants who form teams ahead of time and register for the tournament.
The participants play on the beach—hence the Sand Soccer name—and the temporary playing fields stretch for many blocks accompanied by food and beverage stands.
All and all an interesting place, but like Seaside it’s a bit on the tacky side.
Well, we are back from a long Memorial Day weekend in New Orleans with friends. The Big Easy is an interesting town, especially if you are in the mood for food and music, and lots of it. There are bars and restaurants everywhere and there are jazz bands playing everywhere. This doesn’t leave out pop or any other type of music.
But it’s jazz and blues that dominate the city’s musical history. And it is a colorful history. Titular control of New Orleans, the Big Easy, went back and forth between Spain and France in the 17th and 18th centuries before Thomas Jefferson bought it in 1803. The Louisiana Purchase included a lot more than New Orleans. All told it was a vast amount of territory that amounted to 828,000 square miles. Soon after purchasing it, Jefferson commissioned the Lewis and Clark expedition to exploration the land he had purchased for the United States.
To this day New Orleans proudly displays its French roots. Over the years it kept and developed its unique brand of French culture, while still assimilating into the broader culture of the U.S. There probably is a lesson there.
While we were in town we visited the New Orleans Jazz Museum, went to some historic above ground cemeteries, went for a ride on the Mississippi River on a paddle wheel boat, toured the French Quarter and (of course) went to some fine restaurants.
Some photos from our trip are included below. You can click on the photos to see bigger, high resolution versions.