Exploring with Bears

“You need to go to New Bern,” the marina manager was quite serious. We were comfortably ensconced in a marina in Oriental with a pool, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. I did a little research on things to do with kids in the area and New Bern did seem promising.

So we chose a bumpy afternoon and made our way up the river a few hours to downtown New Bern. If Oriental has a thing with dragons, New Bern has an even bigger thing with bears. Skye has taken to bear-spotting as we bike along the cute downtown streets. Many businesses have bear statues out front where the bears are painted to cleverly show the business withing. The real estate bear is holding a “SOLD” sign, the lawyer bear holds scales of justice, and the seafood restaurant bear is dressed like a captain. Within biking distance are several preschools, amazing playgrounds (check out Kidsville, New Bern), swimming pools, the library, toy stores, book stores, splash pads, more awesome playgrounds, restaurants (check out the Cow Cafe), a doggie bakery, a wonderful farmer’s market, movies in the park, museums, yoga, ballet lessons, and much more. Basically, everything we need except a grocery store. Getting to the grocery store is only an Uber ride away, and I’ve gotten to know several of the town’s Uber drivers well.

Over the last month we’ve been settled in New Bern, we’ve started the process of making friends. Friends at swim lessons, friends on the playground, friends at the pool, and lots of friends at ballet lessons. Skye has been doing ballet on our boat through videos and the help of an online teacher, but enrolling her in ballet summer camp has been a wonderful experience for both of us. She is excited to go and happy when she is done.

We had hoped to make it further north this summer, but it looks like this is it for us. We are getting canvas made and will hopefully have sails before the end of the month. Then we’ll be pulling the boat and re-doing the rudder shaft so hopefully when we splash it in the spring, we won’t have the leak.

Are we leaving cruising a little early this year? Maybe, but I have obligations in the mountains, so Skye and I will be headed into the mountains for early fall and then off on more adventures this winter that I’m very excited about. Then when we get back to the boat in the spring, we’ll be set up and ready to sail north and really enjoy exploring.