Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair

I’ll be writing a post later on this week about the best county fair in the state, but for now, take a look at this commercial, edited and voiced by your’s truly.



Hurricane Irene


Hwy 55 after Irene

I hope everyone is doing okay now that Irene has moved on. She was a fierce, slow moving storm, and she battered ENC pretty good. My family got our power turned back on last night (Aug. 28), but I’m hearing reports that many in ENC may not have power until the end of the week. God bless the ones who are working so diligently to get things cleaned up and back to normal!

We had some minor damage at our home. The worst was that a tree fell onto our lab’s pin and trapped him for a while. I was out in the storm at about 6:30 Saturday morning trying to dig him out. Lots of fun. The good news is that the pooch is fine, just scratched up and shaken.

Here are some pics that I took around La Grange and Seven Springs as Irene was finally starting to move out. Good luck in your clean-up efforts!

Kinston, N.C. & The Neuseway Nature Park

Lenoir County, NC

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a bajillion times – “But, there’s nothing to do in this podunk town!” BALONEY! There is always something to do, if you know what you’re looking for. Just because these rural areas where we work and live don’t have theme parks, concert venues and other major tourist attractions doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to have some fun on the weekend.

If you live in Lenoir County, maybe you know what I’m talking about.

Kinston is a quaint little ENC town, located between Goldsboro and New Bern right along Highway 70. I lived here for about 5 years, and I can tell you that there are definitely some great ways to get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors in Lenoir Co.

The heart of this area is the Neuse River, which runs right through the downtown area. There are some wonderful shops and restaurants to visit, or you could even spend some time at the Lenoir Co. Farmer’s Market (open Tuesdays and Saturdays), located at 100 N. Herritage Street.

A couple of years ago, I hosted and produced a TV program called Outdoor Memories. It predominantly focused on hunting and fishing in NC, but we also dealt with wildlife conservation and traveling as well. While I was producing this show, a friend of mine introduced me to a wonderful little place in Kinston called the Neuseway Nature Park. My friend knew someone that worked there, and we ended up doing a half-hour show about all the park has to offer.

The Johnson Family @ The Neuseway Nature Park - Aug. 2011

Fast-forward to August 2011. We were having family pics taken, and we somehow ended up at Neuseway for the photo shoot. It turned out great – and it also got my wheels turning as to how I could incorporate it all into the Exploring ENC blog.

Side note: I’ve got to tell you more about the pictures. Catherine Alexander Photography, based out of Grifton, takes some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen in my life. Check out their website or find them on facebook. I’ll share more of our family pictures a little later.

I went back into my archives and dug out the master of the show we cut at Neuseway so that I could share some of it with you. Below is the closing segment of the show we did that day. I hope you enjoy the clip, and I hope you head to Kinston sometime soon the check out this great park!

Maybe sometime soon I’ll share some more clips of the show….or who knows, maybe we can even start producing it again. I had a lot of fun traveling all over NC filming Outdoor Memories TV. We closed every show with this thought: “Get out of the office. Get off of the couch. Get into God’s great outdoors, and make some outdoor memories!”

Downtown New Bern, NC

Reconstructed Tryon Palace in 2008

One of our family’s favorite places to visit is downtown New Bern. Almost seven years ago, I proposed to Charity at Union Point Park. We love spending time in this beautiful little ENC town. Some of the best restaurants in all of NC can be found in these city blocks. If architecture is your thing, there are some beautiful (and really old) churches to explore. Visit the home of Pepsi (the official soft drink of NC) or spend time browsing the various shops. Take a tour of New Bern’s many historic homes, or spend the morning at the New Bern Farmer’s Market. Downtown New Bern is a great place for a short get-away! Go to visitnewbern.com for all the details!

Edenton, N.C. – The South’s Prettiest Small Town

Edenton Bay

A couple of weeks ago, we took a little weekend trip to Edenton, N.C. A friend of ours was getting married, and we were excited for a little mini-vacation (and some time together without our two-year old daughter).

I had been through Edenton once before when I was very young – I remember this because my dad got a speeding ticket as we were traveling through – but I had no recollection of the town itself.

We quickly fell in love with this community. It’s easy to tell why people call it “the south’s prettiest small town.”

Edenton was founded in 1722 and named for N.C. Governor Charles Eden. Between 1722 and 1743, the town served as the State Capital of N.C. There is a lot of history in this place, dating back to pre-Revolutionary times. I won’t go into great detail about that here, but be sure to read up on the Edenton Tea Party, which took place in 1774. One notable resident of the town, James Iredell, was nominated by President George Washington to become one of the first Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. At age 38, Iredell is one of the youngest ever to serve in that capacity. While in Edenton, you can visit the Iredell Home, which is operated as a North Carolina Historic Site.

Listed below are additional sites and attraction to check out in Edenton:

The Cupola House, a Registered National Historic Landmark built in 1758

Historic Hicks Field, home of the Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League

Chowan County Courthouse,  a National Historic Landmark

The Roanoke River Lighthouse, a National Historic Landmark

In addition, there are many other beautiful homes and historic churches that you can visit as well. The town has many small inns and B&B’s – We stayed at The Pack House Inn, just a couple of blocks from downtown (to read my review of this B&B, click here). For more information about the town of Edenton, visit these sites listed below:



The Edenton Historical Commission