Tag Archives: North Carolina

When in Manteo…..

 

Granted, it’s not Rome.

But Manteo, North Carolina has an interesting history all it’s own.

 

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Manteo is located on Roanoke Island, site of the famous Lost Colony.

A very brief history is here.

Living in North Carolina you encounter cities, towns, streets, schools, sports teams, forests, streams, hospitals etc. etc. with the names Raleigh, Virginia Dare and Croatan. Do we know for certain what happened to those early colonists?

No, we do not.

But after visiting this National Park, reading the history and having one extremely long conversation with a Park Ranger…. I wondered why it was a mystery at all.

 

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We stood at the exact site of that early fort.

 

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Granted, there wasn’t much to see.

 

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A few humpa humpas and a sign.

 

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There was also a squirrel with a very large nut, but I’m guessing he wasn’t an original 16th century squirrel.

 

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Walking around the park we did find a theater where they hold seasonal plays.

 

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Weird diving board not withstanding…

 

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It didn’t hold our attention for long…..

 

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Even with the interesting tree branches….

 

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And lovely old live oaks.

 

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Back at the visitor center I learned the whole story and basically, it goes like this.

The first English settlers arrived in 1585. They were a military group sent by Sir Walter Raleigh to colonize the New World. They built a fort, the effort failed, they returned to England.

 

 

The second group of settlers landed in 1587. This consisted of approx 120 men, women and children. They figured they would fish for food…. but none of them were fishermen. Great plan!They met friendly Indians who totally supported and fed them for 2 years until a drought in the 3rd year left the Indians barely enough to feed themselves. The English were ticked off that the gravy train had run out, so they slaughtered the chief and stole his food. Thus ending the friendly relationship with the native population.

 

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Disease, famine, and a harsh winter all took their toll. When Governor John White sailed back to England for supplies, he had no idea a war with Spain was about to start…. and didn’t make it back for 3 years. When he returned, the colony was deserted. The only clue? The word Cro scratched into a tree and Croatan scratched into a post.

 

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Did the Indians kill all the colonists? Maybe… but I doubt it.

The Croatan were a local tribe with a history of assimilating other peoples into their society.  Later English settlers spoke of meeting blue eyed Indians.

Where’s the mystery? Sick and starving, the remaining colonists set out to find the friendly Indians and scratched Croatan as a message to those who followed.

Blue eyed natives?

What do you think they were doing for those 3 years.

 

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See? There are memes about it…

It must be true.

 

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Anyway…. the visitor center had some interesting items.

And I adore old maps. This way there be monsters….

 

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Liz was there.

 

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As was Walt….

But how about that ceiling?

 

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Made my neck hurt just thinking about painting it.

 

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And the walls?

 

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Were not just any old walls.

 

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Yes, I’m really blogging about walls.

Just go with it.

 

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A pineapple…

 

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And a flying fish (painted by none other than Governor John White, the only unlost member of the Lost Colony) later…..

 

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We left Roanoke.

 

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Drove back through the Outer Banks…

 

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Just in time for me to try and snap some sunset pics at 85mph.

 

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That didn’t work well.

 

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But the sun was perfectly poised on the horizon…

 

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As we went over the bridge…

 

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And headed back to the mainland.

Two hours into the 3 hour trip back we stopped at Cracker Barrel for a quick dinner. You’ve all been there, no pictures required.

 

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But country fried turkey? Definitely reminded me we were in the south.

They’ll fry anything!

 

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Last photo of the day is that weirdo building in Virginia I asked about previously.

Although this time it was quite colorful as we went by.

 

 

Elizabethan Gardens… Manteo, Outer Banks North Carolina

 

Next up on our Outer Banks day trip? The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo.

But first?

Some rocks…

 

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You’re welcome.

From Nags Head to Manteo?

 

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Scenery.

 

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Scenery from a bridge.

 

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More scenery.

How’s that for detailed description?

 

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The Gardens were recommended to us as a must stop… so we did. Even though it was off season and very little was blooming.

 

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Gardens without flowers? Let’s go!

 

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It was a pretty spot… with lots of different areas to explore.

 

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They were in the middle of their annual Christmas light show….

 

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So of course we went in the middle of the day when the sun was shining.

 

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There was an impressive set of gates.

 

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Neatly trimmed boxwoods…

 

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And Queen Elizabeth I.

 

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There were paths with balls…

 

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And paths with statues.

 

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And some extremely large butterflies.

 

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Funky Christmas lights were everywhere.

 

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And I’m sure it would have been quite pretty….

 

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Had we been there at night.

 

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Okaaaay.

Not sure what that was all about, but I don’t like peas either….. so, huzzah!

 

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There was a lonely ruin of something.

 

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And a man shivering in the cold wind.

Oh, wait. That’s the husband…. I didn’t recognize him from the front.

 

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There were fountains.

 

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And ass ends of statues.

 

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Surrounded by tightly trimmed bushes.

Stop snickering…. I know where your mind went.

 

 

There were creepy garden gnomes.

 

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And an indoor butterfly garden…

 

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With no butterflies.

 

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But plenty of fluffy gnomes.

 

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Garden path U turns…

 

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And yay!

Finally something was blooming.

 

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There were also the type of Christmas decorations you only see down south.

 

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Wouldn’t be much point of laying these on the ground up my way.

 

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But there was an impressive old tree.

 

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And yes, I do mean old.

 

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Now that’s a senior citizen!

 

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More paths…

 

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More decorations….

 

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A courtyard….

 

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A gift shop….

 

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And a fellow with a wilder hairdo than me after the windy pier.

 

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By this time we’d looped back around to the beginning.

But not before we learned a few things…

 

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About bees.

 

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In case you’re wondering, Maine’s state insect is also the honeybee. Although we designated it as such in 1975.

Long live the bee!

 

 

And plagiarism apparently.

Jennette’s Pier Part 2…. and some fish whispering.

 

By the time we reached the end of the pier and turned around? We were walking icicles from the frigid wind…

 

 

And I think the husband was starting to rethink this whole marriage thing.

 

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I kept telling him it was a beautiful, brisk, clear day….

 

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And he kept stifling his impulse to heave me over the side.

 

 

Yes, like that.

 

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Heading back to the building we followed red memorial fish…

 

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Agreed wholeheartedly with a turtle….

 

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And discovered there was a miniature aquarium inside.

 

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Fish are wonderful.

 

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And sometimes wonderfully strange.

 

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I always wonder what the heck they’re thinking.

 

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Here’s my husband, the Fish Whisperer, having a moment.

 

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It’s odd. He sidles up next to a tank and they flock to him….

 

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Which allows me to get some fun shots.

 

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Is it me…

 

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Or is that an awfully small head for such a large body?

 

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Interspecies communing over, I thought about trying to get the husband to walk the beach with me…

 

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But I was envisioning another wife with a bad idea buried under that mound of sand and called it good.

 

 

 

 

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head North Carolina…. cold wind, cursing, birds and the death of a hairdo.

 

Continuing farther down the coast of the Outer Banks, I wanted to stop and walk out on a pier.

(Have I mentioned that I have a knack for picking the coldest, windiest, most frigid days to do this? Seriously… it’s a gift. If there’s one bitter cold day on an otherwise delightfully warm 2 week vacation? That’s the one I’ll choose to walk out on a pier.)

 

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There’s the husband, bracing himself against the wind and giving me (and my phone) the evil eye.

 

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And there’s the entrance to Jennette’s Pier, the biggest and best in Nags Head.

 

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Gladly.

This type… and the other. It was too damn cold for either of them.

 

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Approaching the entrance…. you don’t follow a yellow brick road.

 

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But a line of memorial blue fish.

I love this idea!

 

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A quick peek at the beach…

 

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The map…

 

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And me mumbling ‘Holy Crap it’s freezing! Can you read the pier history a little faster please?’

 

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A quick peek at the beach on the other side.

 

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Through the gate…

 

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Past the turtle.

And finally, the door…

 

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Where the husband had to hold on to his hat so it didn’t fly off.

It was that windy.

A brief warm respite inside to pay the $2 ticket price and out we went.

 

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As piers go?

It rocked.

 

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Even the birds agreed.

 

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These guys were everywhere.

 

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Fighting the wind just like us.

 

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Hairdo?

Not so much.

 

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So we walked….

 

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Shivering in the arctic blast…. with the husband cursing me under his breath.

 

 

Good times.

 

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Every now and then there would be a wind break where we’d huddle to catch our breath.

 

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And then finally, we reached the end.

 

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Where the husband realized we had to walk back, into the wind…. and started cursing me under his breath all over again.

 

 

Day 6…. The Outer Banks, Jerky, and Dirty Dicks.

 

During the 17 years we lived in North Carolina, we never managed to make it to the Outer Banks… though not for lack of trying on my part. So on Day 6 of this vacation? A three hour road trip.

 

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Past the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Hampton Roads…

 

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The largest coal exporting port in the country.

And if you think it’s pretty? Just imagine how nice it smells….

 

 

Yes. Kind of like that.

 

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Over and through the Hampton Bay Bridge Tunnel…

And past some tempting tourist attractions.

 

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Is it shocking we didn’t stop?

 

 

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No.

It is not.

 

 

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One more very long bridge later….

 

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And we were there.

 

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The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic.

200 miles of beach.

 

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Where the wind was so fierce it was blowing said beach right across the road when we got there.

It had been a mild 48 degrees in Williamsburg, but here?

It felt like minus 12.

 

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Beachfront condos and rentals were everywhere.

 

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And in every color you can imagine.

 

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Neighbor’s roof blocking your view?

No worries, just build a deck on yours.

 

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It never ceases to amaze me how little property they can build on these days. Our town has a 3 acre minimum….

At the Outer Banks? It must be 3 inches.

And though we were getting hungry for lunch…

 

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Awful Arthur’s was closed.

Damn… and I really wanted to see how awful it was.

But since we have a good friend named Richard, who is sometimes called Dick?

 

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We had to.

 

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen.

I got my crabs from Dirty Dicks.

 

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My She Crab soup that is….

 

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And my hushpuppies….

 

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And my Ocean Blue Margarita in a disappointing plastic cup as they had run out of funny bar glasses…. or so we thought.

 

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I’m not a Bloody Mary fan…. but that looks like a meal in itself.

 

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The husband had mussels and lamented over not getting a glass for his collection.

(Oh, did I tell you? Along with all the other ridiculous pieces of crap things he collects… he has now decided to acquire a glass from every fun bar or restaurant we visit.)

Did this place qualify as fun?

I don’t know….

 

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But with fried potato salad on the menu it definitely qualified as southern.

Finished eating, the husband asked the waitress to rinse out the plastic cups so he could bring them home to our friend as a joke…. which is when she pointed to us to their entire store of Dirty Dick merchandise.

We should have known.

But it was too good to pass up and we bought him a hat, a t shirt and a bumper sticker for Christmas.

(P.S… He loved them)

 

 

 

 

Can I take a serious moment here?

 

 

 

 

It’s a rarity, I know… but bear with me.

With all the attention that jerkweed weather reporter pretending to be caught in gale force winds received, it seems the blogosphere has forgotten that people are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Florence, and it’s far from funny.

We lived in Jacksonville, North Carolina for 17 years and rode out some terrible storms. They’re frightening, life changing and nothing to take lightly. We have a lot friends still in the area and thankfully they all evacuated, but I’ve been getting texts and picture updates from some of them and I wanted to share ….

This is I-40…

 

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Most of our friends can’t get back into town.

Because this is what happens when you try to drive through high water.

 

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In all the years we lived there, we never saw flooding like this.

 

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The entire town is literally under water.

 

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Thank God for the Marines..

 

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A neighbor took this picture of my girlfriend’s house.

 

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And the courthouse where she works.

 

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I hear Wilmington is completely cut off as well.

 

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There’s no power, no water, no gas and some of the cell towers have gone down.

 

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Now I like a good laugh as much as the next person, probably more. So yes, laugh at the idiot reporter trying to make a name for himself.

But don’t yell fake news at me. This is real for a lot of people we love, and that nimrod shouldn’t be the only part of the story we’re talking about.

 

 

Okay, I know.

 

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