I don’t think that North Carolina is the ideal destination for Europeans travelling in the USA, it is at the very least an unusual choice. However, when Clara and I were planning our trip, I was fixated on the idea of going to North Carolina because, well, I have always loved Nicholas Sparks’ novels*.
The trip to NC was annoying, exhausting and full of surprises. We left San Francisco on the last flight to Charlotte, where we were supposed to take another plane to a minuscule airport with a name I have forgotten (Radcliffe, maybe?). There wasn’t much around there, so we had decided to drive to Beaufort straight away. The first flight was delayed for at least 3 hours, which gave me time to finish my Winnie the Pooh book I had acquired in Napa. But I can’t sleep in airports and I was frightened that we would lose our second flight, which we did.
For some context, when I was a child I went to a Catholic school in my hometown, Palma de Mallorca. The founder was a woman named Alberta, who later became a nun and was called Madre Alberta (Mother Alberta) by her students. I’m not much of a practicing christian, but when I think I need some divine help, well we all believe in the powers that be, right?
Back to the story, so we are praying to Madre Alberta to please let us catch the first flight available so we can get to our lovely hosts’ home. Madre Alberta, in all her kindness did get us the last two seats in a small jet, which were at the front row!! The next surprise is that, well, the car we had initially rented had been given away. Not to worry, though, Madre Alberta got us a shiny new black Ford Mustang.
North Carolina. Beaufort is a beautiful town by the Atlantic Ocean. Their main attraction is a museum on the wreckage of Black Beard’s ship and a bunch of haunted houses. The people in Beaufort are simply fantastic, that myth they tell you about Southern hospitality is absolutely true! The fish is great, and I doubt I’ve seen better sunsets. There was something about Beaufort that made me feel nostalgic for the quiet life of the sea and small towns. Clara and I joked that one day I’d buy a house in Beaufort and forget about the rest of the world, and I think it will happen.
My favourite part about Beaufort was the artisanal boat shop. We spoke with the owner for a while, and we learnt that although they only make boats for show now, they’re preserving a profession and an art that would otherwise die.
Beaufort is a must go. A small town to rest your head, drink some beer and eat some crab. There are lovely coffee shops in which you can just write or work from your laptop, the architecture is beautiful and sometimes it feels like time has stopped. Go to Beaufort and tell them I miss them.
*Now that I am studying gender and the naivety of teenagehood has made way to some maturity (allegedly), I can see how problematic they are, but that’s another story.