Reason #674 to Love Living Here

By Molly Harrison | Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Michael Davis's art is a must see at RIFP!

I just love raising my children on the Outer Banks. * Take the other day when we were on an after-school walk down our neighborhood sound beach and discovered a most unusual wash-up: a giant mola mola sunfish -- dead and smelly, of course, but fascinating nonetheless. We got to study this crazy deep-sea fish and have a little science moment, without leaving the neighborhood. That beats anything educational I could have dreamed up * And another thing I love about this place is its small-town vibe. Downtown Manteo on Halloween, for instance, is the epitome of that small-town feeling that I love here. Thanks Manteo residents for all your generosity and enthusiasm for everyone's kids on Halloween. You rock!...

Everyone who lives here has a long list of why they love it. We all have our reasons for loving the Outer Banks. We all have our reasons for trying to make a living here. Sure, we could be making more money in the city and we'd have all those great grocery stores, but most of us don't mind sacrificing dollars and organic goods for the chance to live next to the ocean on these sandbars. I'll take the possibility of seeing a mola mola on the beach over a Whole Foods around the corner any day...

PLUS, we have so much cool stuff to do here all the time. My friends from out of town think the Outer Banks shuts down in the off season, but that's just not true. We've got tons of stuff to do all through the winter. Just look at this:

Right now it's Fall Restaurant Week. More than 20 restaurants on the Outer Banks are offering prix fixe dinners for either $20 or $35 all week long. With dining this affordable, this is the perfect chance to try a restaurant you've not tried before, or to sample a dish you wouldn't ordinarily order. These deals last through Saturday, so don't delay. In fact, you could go out on a weeknight AND on the weekend! Plus there are two fun Restaurant Week events this weekend. On Friday it's the First Flight Wine and Dine Duo from 6 to 9 p.m., starting at Trio with wine and cheese and moving next door to Good Life Gourmet for wine and dinner. Saturday it's the Kitty Hawk Tapas Crawl: 5 p.m. at Ocean Boulevard, 6 p.m. at Good Life Gourmet and 7 p.m. at Trio. Go to www.obxrestaurantweek.com for more details and to see a list of participating restaurants...

First Friday is coming up on, you guessed it, Friday. This is downtown Manteo's monthly celebration, and it's a great place to connect with friends old and new. There might be a little nip in the air on First Friday this week, so bust out the boots and coats. Head downtown between 4 and 8 p.m. for drinks and dinner, live music, family activities and more. Combine a visit to Manteo with a Fall Restaurant Week special at Full Moon Café or La Dolce Vita...

While you're downtown, pop over to Roanoke Island Festival Park to see the opening of their November show: Art, Automata and Christmas Clocks by Michael Davis. The opening reception is Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., and the show will hang in the gallery through November 29. Davis is a most fascinating artist and it will be worth your while to make it to Festival Park this month to see his show. He is one of the most imaginative people I've ever met, and his clocks, toys and 3D art are so much fun. Call (252) 475-1500 for gallery hours...

Not in Manteo this week, but at the temporary offices in Kitty Hawk, Dare County Arts Council is opening another great art show for November. It's the combined forces of watercolorist Fay Davis Edwards and blacksmith Randy Hodges in their show called Iron and Wine. Nancy Pederson will also be showing her latest quiltings. Meet all these artists on Friday night from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DCAC office next to Trio in Kitty Hawk. If you're doing the Restaurant Week Wine and Dine Duo, you'll be right here beside the show, so don't miss it. The show will hang at the DCAC gallery through November 29. Call (252) 473-5558 for hours...

Here's something I'm really excited to see on Saturday: Ahead of Time, a film that tells the story of Ruth Gruber, an inspiring and trailblazing journalist who is now 100 years old. The film is part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers and is brought to us by the Dare County Arts Council. The film's producer, Zeva Oelbaum, will be here to talk about the film. See it Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Roanoke Island Festival Park's Film Theater. Tickets cost $12. Call DCAC at (252) 473-5558 for info...

Speaking of inspirational women, here's a gathering of Outer Banks women: Balancing Work, Home and Self -- A Women's Symposium. Hosted by the Virginia Dare Business & Professional Women on Friday at 11 a.m., it features keynotes by local star Kathleen Brehony, PhD, and Rhonda Hunter, Operations Director of Lincoln Economic Development Association, BPW/NC Federation President. Cost is $35 in advance and it includes lunch, the seminar, a silent auction, a raffle and door prizes. Go to www.outerbanksbpw.org or contact Fran Kapinos at (252) 202-8467...

If you missed the Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest at Sugar Creek Restaurant in Nags Head last weekend, don't fret. It didn't happen. The weather was too nasty so they changed it to this Saturday at 10 a.m...

All you motor heads out there could hit up the Car-Cycle-Truck Show this weekend. Motorcycles, cars, trucks and more will be on display at Currituck High School in Barco on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free, but you should bring a donation of pet food or kitty litter or pet toys for the Currituck Animal Shelter. Call (252) 232-3518...

There is a lot of good nightlife stuff going on this week, and you should check out our By Night listings for all of those. There's too much to list here, but here's a link: https://outerbanksthisweek.com/by_night/...

And now for a few random announcements:

The Ashtanga Yoga Center is hosting an Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Duck from November 11 to 13. Spaces are still available and you can register at www.ashtangayogaobx.com...

Fineline Designs is hosting its fourth annual T-shirt design contest. The deadline is November 30, and 100 percent of the T-shirt profits go to Outer Banks Hotline. Go to: www.facebook.com/finelineouterbanks...

Want to run a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot? You've still got time to enter the OBX Go Far Turkey Trot 5K and Fun Run. It's in Southern Shores at 8:30 a.m. and benefits the local Go Far running program for kids. Register at www.fsseries.com. * There's also the Third Annual Outer Banks Gobbler 5K and Fun Run at 8 a.m. in Nags Head. Registration is also through www.fsseries.com...

If you want to set up a booth at Hotline's annual Festival of Trees bazaar, it's time to register for that. The Festival of Trees bazaar will be held on December 1 and 2 at 108 Budleigh Street. Go to www.obhotline.org...

Volunteers are still needed for the Outer Banks Marathon next weekend, and spaces are still available for runners in the Marathon, Half-Marathon, 8K, 5K and Fun Run. These events benefit two very worthy local charities (Dare Education Foundation and Outer Banks Relief Foundation) so your help goes far in our community. Go to www.obxmarathon.org...

Finally, don't forget to vote next Tuesday! If you don't know who to vote for, check out the voter's guide on www.outerbanksvoice.com or www.obsentinel.com...

Happy first week of November...

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.