Friday, June 22, 2012

Swansboro, NC 06.11.2012

After our photo expedition to Tryon Palace's kitchen garden we pressed on down US 17 to Maysville. Maysville is a little larger than Swink. It's where US 17 intersects with NC 58, which runs south from Maysville along the east bank of the White Oak River. At Cape Carteret, NC 58 intersects with NC 24. Turning west on 24 took us over the White Oak into Swansboro.

I remember Swansboro as nothing more than a small fishing village, with not much more than fishing, and possibly some more fishing ... but that was, oh, forty years or more ago. Like the rest of such places, Swansboro has apparently felt the pinch brought on by shifting economies, changing fisheries markets, and outsourcing of supplies of seafood.

We stopped at the visitor's center, which was well-stocked with information; the fellow manning the place was friendly and helpful. The Swansboro downtown area is small enough that a walking tour is quite feasible and quite enjoyable. 

Whoever is in charge of economic development for Swansboro seems to have had their heads screwed on reasonably well, for Swansboro's small downtown area has been turned into a tiny but pleasant enclave of touristy shops and reasonably decent restaurants. Sadly, at least for Swansboro, we had stuffed ourselves at the Sting Ray Cafe in New Bern, so we had to pass on lunch.

We did, however, go for the coffee at Bake, Bottle, Brew. But before that, Leece had to try the ice cream.

The ice cream was excellent, as was the coffee. We chatted briefly with the owner, Jack Harnatkiewicz, who told us that he used locally roasted beans from an outfit called Green Truck Coffee. We liked it enough that we picked up a bag of Ethiopian for Louie. Bake, Bottle, Brew is well worth a stop. You can enjoy your coffee or ice cream - or both - on the pizer overlooking the White River waterfront.

It was an overcast, rainy day. One shop we tried, a quilt shop, was disappointing, as we noted that almost everything was hechoed in China. Sorry, but we didn't travel all the way to eastern NC to buy a made in China quilt, or made in China anything else, especially after the quilters' art we are used to from our Mennonite neighbors.

There are a couple of restaurants that have pretty good reviews. One of these, YanaMama's, received a good review from Louie. Unfortunately, they were closed so we didn't get to go in even for a small sampling.

We have a small gallery up on WritingPlace's galleries page:

Swansboro, NC 06.11.2012