Thursday, October 8, 2009

NC Seafood Festival

As you heard earlier, from the post about our dreaded B&B experience, RNH and I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City, NC. We decided pretty last-minute to attend and had a hard time getting a hotel room. The major hotel chains were $200 a night, and they were all booked. The B&B had one room left for $85 a night, plus breakfast... we were sold!
We stopped at Hinnant Vineyards on the way to the beach (another post!), and arrived mid-afternoon at the Lighthouse Inn. We settled in and decided to freshen up for dinner. The actual festival did not begin until Saturday at 10am, so we were told that Friday night there wouldn't be much happening. We fought a decent crowd in downtown Morehead and ended up eating water-front at the Ruddy Duck. It was excellent! When I asked the waitress what the restaurant's specialty was, she stated the obvious- Ruddy Duck! I've never had it and wanted to try it real bad, but I wasn't about to pay $20 for my plate when I had already ran up a pretty decent bar tab while waiting for our table! Oh well, next time!

Yuengling was sponsoring the event and they had a tent set up with live music that was pretty enjoyable. After standing around for a while, we decided to call it a night, stop at a gas station and pick up a six-pack. We drank a few beers on the Inn's awesome front porch and went to bed.

Saturday was a long day! We took off around 10am for the festivities. It was a pleasant day, but ended up being almost unbearably H.O.T. RNH and I bought a hat because we were getting fried! It's October, we're not supposed to have to worry about sunscreen too much anymore!

The Festival had a ton of arts and crafts that were pretty neat, just not RNH and I's style. We spent some time in the Carteret Catch tent. Each hour they had chefs from different local restaurants that were teaching how to cook a signature dish. Carteret Catch is an awesome company because they specialize in catching fresh North Carolina seafood, and providing it to the local restaurants. This means that when you eat in Morehead City, you get fresh seafood. Awesome! I love the idea behind it and love to support my state. They encouraged to ask your local supermarket where they get their seafood from, and request that they purchase locally. I doubt the fish guy at the grocery store would listen to me, but the idea behind it is nice!

A commercial fishing boat that brings the food in!

RNH enjoying his seafood by the sea!

There were several bands that played in various tents throughout the day. I really enjoyed being able to listen to bluegrass by the sea. Something about the sound of the music and feeling the breeze off the water at the same time. It was really awesome!

One of the best parts of the festival were the food vendors. Shrimp bisque, fried oysters, shrimp burgers, hushpuppies, crabcakes, oyster sandwhiches, cajun shrimp pitas, etc etc. We ate a ridiculous amount of seafood that weekend. Another awesome thing- hanging out with a fried basket of seafood, and eating it in front of the boats that catch the fish, right by the water. I loved every second of it! It was also made for some fun jokes!

A flounder toss contest... one of the many fun and odd events throughout the festival!

The other awesome part of the festival was the wine garden. O.M.G. Free samples of NC wine?!?! I'm in HEAVEN! Our friends from Hinnant vineyards that guided us through our tasting the day before were there. We were able to sample an insane amount of wine. I discovered some wines that I fell in love with, and some vineyards that I won't waste my time in visiting and feel that they need some more work! Of course the muscadine wines were the most popular and sold the best. But I also got to enjoy tasting chocolate with fruit wines, which created a sensation of eating a chocolate-covered-cherry... AWESOME! I drank peach wine for the first time, as well as habenero wine (YUCK!!!!) Omg... that wine buuuurned!!! We also got to sample "Arrogant Prick" and "Sassy Bitch," wines named after the owners of Somerset Cellars out of Morehead. I think the lady in charge of this winery was trying to sell more wine by showing off her voluptuous boobs. You couldn't help but stare. It was disturbing. I also wondered secretly if she was the Sassy Bitch the wine was referring to. RNH and I walked away in one day, with 9 different bottles. At the end of our trip, our total amout of wine= 15 bottles!!! Duplin Winery was there, the biggest seller of wine in the Southeast. The numbers they produce with wine sales was obvious that weekend. They ended up having to send people back to the winery to get more wine- they had sold out. RNH had his eyes on one bottle: Queen Anne's Revenge. This is a reserve wine that usually can only be bought at the winery. For $20, he made it his. He is thinking he'll save it to be his birthday wine, but I'm not sure he'll be able to wait until January to open it!

Crowds of the Wine Garden.

After blowing all of our money on wine, we decided to call the festival quits, mid-afternoon. We dropped off our baggage and hit the beach! It was our first time visiting Atlantic beach and we both really liked it. No high-rise hotels, no huge commercial buildings everywhere. It seemed much more relaxed, and there were actual empty lots, with nothing but trees on them. At the beach. Odd! But we loved it!!!

Surfers in the water.

After a shower, we decided to eat dinner again in downtown Morehead City at The Icehouse. I had fried scallops. It was the most disgusting plate of seafood I have ever had in my life. It arrived to the table luke-warm and tasted like it had been sitting under a heat-lamp. I should have sent it back, but didn't. The rest of the meal I tried to choke down but had quite a bit of trouble and finally quit. I was extremely disappointed! $60 bucks disappointed! We had better luck at the bar next door, Beach Bumz, where we racked up a good tab, got nice and toasted, and met some NC State fans that were excited to meet an ex-football player of their favorite team. After getting blitz, we headed for probably my favorite part of the weekend: Chairmen of the Board.

There is nothing, just nothing like being able to listen to beach music live, at the beach. I mean AT the beach. Like, able to see the water and have the breeze of the ocean hit you in the face as you're belting out the lyrics to "Gone Fishin'" with the band. Absolutely amazing. I am in love with General Johnson and loved trying to shag with RNH. We're terrible, but we're terrible together, so it makes it alright!
The rest of the weekend went great. We went back to the festival Sunday morning because we just couldn't get enough seafood. On the way home we also stopped a bunch, which is pretty rare. We tried to stop at a Civil War museum that is closed on Sundays, two different Army surplus stores, an outdoor fishing and hunting mega-store, Walmart, and finally a J.R. Outlet. If you have ever been down I-85, I-95, or probably any other major highway in America, I'm sure you've seen by a JR Outlet. Maybe you've never gone in, but just wondered what was behind those blue and red doors. Well. This was RNH's first time.

I tried to prepare him. I told him this would be the most white-trash thing he has ever done. I explained that the place would probably be crowded with a ton of Hispanics and trailer-trash. Well, I was wrong. The outlet was great!!! There was so much to look at, such awesome deals, and the people inside had all of their teeth and didn't smell bad and weren't trying to shoplift everything!!! RNH fell in love with the cigar store and we both got pretty excited about the wine section. We picked up 4 more bottles (still only 15 bottles total over the entire trip!) After blowing some more dough on worthless junk, we finally headed home for good.

The NC Seafood Festival was an awesome experience. RNH was kind of disappointed that there were so many crafts, but I mean it was a festival- what do you expect? We decided that we'd love to return. Maybe not next year, but it is definitely something we will do again!


  1. I love the ferris wheel and bird pictures. Jeez, I leave for three days and you post like 70 blog posts. You MUST have been bored!

  2. Thaaanks! I WAS bored because YOU weren't here DUHHH! Several of these posts were while sitting in a parking lot at 4am... BORRRING!!!