We are always delighted when our visitors have a great travel experience in Washington; and even more so when they share their travel experiences with us! Over Memorial Day weekend, Bryan Nowak and his wife visited our beloved City. He shares their travel story below.

There are authors and poets who spend their entire lives trying to put feelings into words. Few of those feelings are as difficult to wrestle with as the feeling of serenity. Serenity is one of those things people generally don’t understand until they reach that state themselves. It is defined as the state of composure and peace, unruffled and quiet. People search their whole lives for that feeling. This story is about how I found just that.

I am a novelist and make my home, at least for the time being, in the Washington D.C. metro area in Virginia. My wife gave me an odd sideward glance when I declared my intention to sweep her away from one Washington to another Washington, further south, nestled along the waters of the Pamlico river.

Not knowing much about the city, other than it had received high rankings for places to retire in North Carolina, I did some additional homework. Deborah Holt Noel did a wonderful short video on Youtube which walked a viewer through the city. It hit the major spots and the things that one must do while visiting.

On a warm Saturday morning in May my wife and I loaded up our gear and made the pilgrimage south. Traffic was light and the drive was filled with the anticipation of relaxation. We made it to our home away from home at the When Pigs Fly Inn where we were greeted by our hosts Jeff and Linda. The choice of When Pigs Fly was fortuitous as it turned out to be our perfect launching point for all our activities.

The When Pigs Fly Inn

My wife and I checked in and took a quick walk to the water side. It was only about fifteen minutes when we met a local who invited us onto his boat for a chat. For the next hour we got to know them and they us. We talked history of the area, our personal stories, and were really made to feel at home.

Washington embraces you in a way that few cities in the world ever do. Instantly we felt like we were a part of the town. As if we were a native son and daughter who had returned to the fold after being gone for years. You can’t buy that in a store, make it in a pot, or bake it in an oven. That is genuine and real. Real people who are happy to see you, glad you came, and sorry when you must leave.

That night we had steamed seafood and potato soup at The Wine Crate and ice cream at Scoops. At both places we ran into genuine people who told us what they loved about their little city on the Pamlico. I have to say that by the afternoon of the next day, while eating take-out from Grub Brothers on the chairs on the Washington Visitor Center porch, I began to see the light.

Photo Credit: Bryan Nowak

Any lingering tension from life in the big city melted away when we took a trip with Captn’ Scott aboard the Noble Eagle. A short boat ride, but its restorative powers were unmistakable. I felt whole and human again. Or it could have been the genuinely lovely staff at Shep’s Grill and those amazing cheese biscuits they make. Either way, by Monday morning I felt like a different person.

Some people search their whole life for serenity. Poets and authors have used an incalculable amount of words trying to describe what that feels like. And yet, for others, it is as simple as living where you love and sharing that experience with visitors.

As we wrapped up our final morning in Washington, NC, I said to my wife, “I don’t want to go home.” I meant every word of that statement and what it implied. For the first time in my life I may have found somewhere that truly felt like home. We thank the wonderful people of Washington, NC and eagerly await another visit to a place which speaks to our souls. -Bryan Nowak