Monday, August 28, 2006

Vacation 2006 - Part 2: I Heart Manteo

A little geography and history to kick off this post:

Manteo, NC is located on Roanoke Island, which is situated in the Albemarle Sound between the North Carolina mainland and the Outer Banks barrier islands.

It was also the home of the first English colony in the New World, established in 1587, and the first English child born in the Americas, Virginia Dare. Those first settlers later disappeared and although there are many theories, no one knows for sure the actual fate of the Lost Colony. Since 1937 Manteo has been hosting an outdoor play every summer dramatizing the story of those first colonists. One of the play's more famous performers was Andy Griffith, very early in his career. Old Ange still makes his home on Roanoke island today.

The Manteo waterfront never fails to charm me whenever I'm there, with its prevalence of Elizabethan and Old World buildings inhabited by wonderful shops and restaurants.

Our rented beach house is located in south Nags Head, so we were within close proximity to the bridge to Roanoke Island, which afforded me the opportunity to go there not once but three times last week.

And here are a few things I saw while there:

House being moved to make way for new construction

Roanoke Island Inn - one of several B&B's in Manteo

North Carolina Maritime Museum


Wanchese Pottery

Manteo Booksellers.
I love this shop.

carving of Sir Walter Raleigh, which is located in front of:

Sir Walter Raleigh Antiques and Outer Banks Quilts

I browsed in that antique store/quilt shop and as I was leaving had a stroke of brilliance and asked the quilt shop proprieter if she knew of anyone in Manteo who sold yarn. Lo and behold, two streets over is a new yarn shop:


Yarn shop owner showing me a bag made from Sugar 'n Creme,
for which she gave me the free pattern.

Same bag knit with Noro
And on the same block is one the coolest ideas for a non-profit organization I've even seen:

Endless Possibilities

Their whole philosophy is win-win-win. They take donated clothes, tear them into strips, and weave them into fabric for handbags, totes, rugs, clogs, wall hangings, pillows, and various other objects that they then sell in their shop, and all the proceeds go to the Outer Banks crisis hotline. And the items they make are just lovely. They also teach weaving classes. Here is a bag my niece made during a class there:

Love those minty-green colors.
And a bag that I purchased for myself.
They leave the shirt buttons right on the fabric strips and weave them right in. Very cool.

On another evening, our group drove over to Manteo and ate dinner at Big Al's, a 1950's-themed diner with Coca-Cola memorabilia covering every square inch of the place. A fun place for kids, for sure, and they even have a gift shop (at the beach? shocking, I know!). I picked up a "Big Al's" t-shirt for my dad, who refers to himself by that same descriptive moniker.

Later that evening we walked around the waterfront, got ice cream for the kids and somehow shrunk them:

Honey, I shrunk my nieces, nephew and their friends!

There are so many other neat things to see and do and show and tell about Manteo, but this post is too long already, so I'll end it here.

Tomorrow -- Vacation 2006 Part 3: Cape Hatteras Lighthouse


LaurieM said...

I really like the shrunken kids photo. And the woven bags. And the treasure trove yarn shop.

Isobel said...

I love travalogues--especially when it is somewhere that I have visited too. Love Manteo. And so cool that you found a yarn shop! Now we know we could survive there!

emmy said...

Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. I will have to share your Yarn Shop find. Love the bags. You sure are making me want to visit the Outer Banks again....not that I ever stop WANTING to...

Robin said...

THAT IS THE COOLEST...EVERYTHING! My friend Nancy is actually making bags like those in the knitting shop! I love those woven bags..can you order them thru mailorder?

Great photo of the kids!

Krista said...

Yes, those endless possibilities bags are great! I'd love one too!

knitfriendly said...

Great pics Mary! Those recycled bags are very cool! I especially like the chair picture. Too cute! :)