Sometimes, a girl just needs a fun day. Recently, I made plans to meet one of my life-long friends in New Bern. We were hoping for sunny weather that would have allowed us to walk and dine on the waterfront. But, as luck would have it, it was a blustery, rainy Saturday. Although we didn’t get a chance to do all that we wanted, our adventure didn’t disappoint. By the way, if you ever need an Elvis, we saw one for sale. Strange, but true.
For me, New Bern is about an hour-long drive. I arrived at the Double Tree in New Bern to pick up my friend around 11am. Although I didn’t get to sample, I heard that the fresh-baked cookies were amazing! I’d definitely recommend the Double Tree by Hilton because of the cleanliness and the views of the waterfront. As I’ve said before, Hiltons are always my favorite because they are very consistent!
Our first stop was the Lake Road Winery in Havelock. It was an easy 20 minute drive from New Bern. Lake Road Winery is owned by Mitchell Smith. Check out his website, which is how I found the winery. As you know, I love visiting our local wineries! I never miss an opportunity. You can read about my Gregory Vineyards adventure here.
We were given several wines to sample. The atmosphere was friendly and comfortable. The owner/wine maker took great pride in his wines and we learned about each of them. Some of them, we had to taste over again *wink*. When all of the wines are so good, it’s hard to choose a favorite!
The Lisa Marie was a favorite. It was a sweet, light blush infused with raspberries. The Merlot was absolutely as smooth as silk.
One of my favorites was the Holiday Classic, heated with the mulling spices. It was perfect for the damp, cold day!
Although there were a variety of meats and cheeses to purchase, we opted to drink another glass of wine, as we chatted with the owner and other couples. I always love the people we meet at wineries. As many wineries as I’ve visited, I have yet to see anyone overly intoxicated. #keepingitclassy
There were many local handmade artsy items that could be purchased. I chose to add another wine shirt to my collections. Imagine that…..
Two and a half hours later, we were back on the road towards New Bern. Our next stop was the Birthplace of Pepsi. We browsed through the memorabilia, and then ordered Pepsi and popcorn. Honestly, that was the best fountain Pepsi and popcorn I think I’ve ever tasted. Then again, we had skipped lunch.
We browsed through several of the shops downtown. There were several that sold antiques and clothing. While shopping, we ran across a balsamic vinegar shop, Midtown Olive Oil. I’m obsessed with flavored balsamic. At only ten calories per tablespoon, flavored balsamic makes the best low calorie salad dressing! I have a fig balsamic at home that I use frequently. We were allowed to sample the different balsamic vinegars and olive oils. There was a chocolate balsamic that I can only imagine on strawberries and ice cream!
Next, we visited the downtown chocolate store, Bear City Fudge. I made the mistake of sampling the sugar-free fudge. It wasn’t lacking anything in the way of flavor. Of course, I had to buy some! I ate it before I even made it home. I will always have zero control when it comes to chocolate.
Since it was beginning to sprinkle, we stopped inside a beer and wine shop. After purchasing a bottle of wine to split, we spent more time catching up. Wine is always better when shared with friends. I was wishing I’d bought some of the cheese from the winery, as I was still really hungry. Note to self…….when wine tasting, always pack cheese and crackers. I should be a professional at this by now.
And after the wine, it seemed like a great idea to have my picture taken with a bear.
We had planned to eat at Persimmons, which is always a favorite. However, we didn’t feel like walking in the temperatures that were rapidly dropping. Instead, we ate at the restaurant in the Double Tree, Christoph’s On the Water. There, we sipped champagne as we had a leisurely dinner. We opted for the shrimp dip which was bubbling with cheese. I had the chef salad. It was the only thing healthy I’d had all day… At least my body got a few vegetables. Although we were skeptical about eating at the hotel restaurant when there were so many other good options, the food didn’t disappoint.
I’ve always loved a day trip! Although the weather was less than ideal, we had the most fun day. We shared good food, great wine, and many laughs. We did a lot of reminiscing. We even got a little exercise with all of the downtown walking. We spent very little for an entire day of enjoyment. That’s exactly what this girl-on-a-budget needed! Definitely, put New Bern on your list of places to visit!