What more could a boy (ok, middle aged man) hope for, than getting the chance to celebrate his birthday in the exotic town of Morehead City, North Carolina?
What is there to do in an obscure little place like Morehead City, I hear you ask. Well, in a town of just 8,000 people without much in the way of history or sights - not much.
UNLESS…. you just happen to be visiting while the North Carolina Seafood Festival is on. Because, we had chanced upon the city on one of the few weekends when there's in fact quite a lot going on – loads of food stalls, fairground rides, music, and about 100,000 visitors over the weekend (maybe about 20,000 people there on the Sunday we were there).
To be honest, this wasn't a particularly high brow affair, but there was a jolly atmosphere in town and the people were all very friendly. Being a fishing town, I was expecting lots of tasty seafood morsels on offer, but everything was deep-fried with a lot of typical southern fare, plus a few exotic touches as well – deep-fried snickers bars, and even deep-fried shrimp encrusted in Frosted Flakes. Now, as anyone who knows me will testify, I do love Frosties, but even I drew the line at fried frostie-prawns. Needless to say, there were quite a few big boned people waddling around the festival.
Fortunately, we had eaten before we got there, because we had caught a taxi over to the charming little town of Beaufort, just across the water. As the third oldest town in the state, there were a lot of historic houses (18th and 19th centuries at least) to look around, and the townspeople did a great job of welcoming us to the town and showing us round.
Without visiting Beaufort, this might have been a disappointing day, but in fact we had a very nice time. Actually, the people of Beaufort were fairly disparaging about Morehead – and, even when we asked some Morehead people what the best thing to do in their town, it took them a good 5 minutes to come up with anything. And, that involved getting out of town, and going fishing!
Some days you don't have stunning natural sights, or amazing buildings, or momentous history to discover; but, you can still have fun anywhere – even Morehead City.