From Snow to Shirt Sleeves

By Michael Lay | Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Snow on the rooftops of Manteo!

Never a dull moment, as they say. In my last blog installment I bemoaned a week-long stretch of gloomy, gray, chilly and fog-draped days that had settled like a wet blanket over the Outer Banks. Since then we've ridden a veritable weather rollercoaster. Only a few days ago I was bundled up like an Eskimo scraping snow and ice from the windows of my car and from the steps leading up to my third-floor apartment. Today, I left a morning meeting and, detouring by the Waterfront on my way back to the office, I sipped my Earl Gray tea and reveled in a bright, sunny, shirt-sleeve weather day. The upcoming week's events and activities are just as varied as our Outer Banks weather.

Most would agree that sharks hold a complicated space in our collective subconscious, simultaneously inspiring a set of conflicting emotions including admiration, fascination and dread. Snack with the Sharks, a two-hour program held Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 12 p.m. at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, takes participants behind the scenes of the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit for an up-close look at the sharks and other fish as they feed (participants will not be able to assist with the feeding). After the feeding, enjoy a light afternoon snack in the Aquarium classroom while you learn to separate shark facts from myths with the help of an Aquarium educator. To register, visit the Aquarium website or call (252) 473-3494. For ages 8 and older; children 12 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult. Closed-toe shoes are required. The price is $15/person; $13.50 for NC Aquarium Members.

Breakfast with the Rays, another fun and informative NC Aquarium event, takes place Thursday, Jan. 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Roanoke Island. Participants will learn about this fascinating species while assisting staff with the animals' morning feeding in the Aquarium's touch tank. After feeding the stingrays attendees will enjoy a light breakfast. For ages 6 and older; children 12 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult. Closed-toe shoes are required. To register, call (252) 473-3494, ext. 232. Admission is $15/person; $13.50 for NC Aquarium Members. Admission fee includes all-day admission to the Aquarium.

Guys, I don't need to remind you that Valentine's Day is just around the I? As "luck" would have it, the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in Downtown Manteo marks February's First Friday with an exhibition featuring the creative and unique jewelry designs of College of the Albemarle's Professional Craft students. The jewelry show will run concurrently with a display of watercolor paintings by artist Susan Van Geison. Don't miss this opportunity to select a one-of-a-kind gift for your special someone! The reception begins at 6 p.m. and will include live music, refreshments and wine.

Here's a perfect activity for an enjoyable morning with your toddler. Check out the Canvas & Cork Toddler Class offered by Brooke Mayo Photography from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg across the Wright Brothers Bridge in Currituck. This free event includes a story followed by a related art activity. Dress for mess and BYOS (Bring Your Own Snack)! Register at {encode="" title=""} to take part in this entertaining and educational activity for children aged 18 months to 4 years old. This event will be held at the same time every Tuesday throughout February.

Good health is priceless, but as so many of us have witnessed first-hand, the cost of maintaining our health can be exorbitant, and beneficial check-ups and screenings often are bypassed to satisfy more immediate needs, such as groceries, school supplies or essential utilities. In an effort to help address this situation, Outer Banks Hospital is providing free screening mammograms to uninsured and underinsured Dare County residents, and Hyde and Currituck county residents who work in Dare County, as part of the hospital's Get Pinked! breast cancer awareness campaign. Free mammograms will be conducted at Outer Banks Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pre-screening and an appointment are required. Call (252) 449-5918 for details. The value of early detection cannot be overstated.

If you're a fan of the Carolina Shag, North Carolina's state dance, then slip on your dancing shoes and head for Kelly's Outer Banks Restaurant and Tavern in Nags Head on Monday, Feb. 4 (and on every subsequent Monday in February) and join members of the Outer Banks Shag Club from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for dancing, food and fun. There is no cover charge, and a tapas menu and tavern menu are available.

Proactively and pre-emptively setting the mood for Valentine's Day, Aqua Restaurant & Spa, Luxury Lingerie and Duck's Cottage Downtown Books have joined forces to present Fifty Shades of Sexy, a pre-Valentine Girl's Night Out. Held at Aqua Restaurant in Duck on Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., this "ladies only" event celebrates ways to be, feel, and radiate sexy! So gather your girlfriends (who must be 21 or older) for a good time getting empowered and feeling beautiful! Experience mini-spa services courtesy of Aqua Day Spa, indulge in sexy chocolates from Chris Carroll, peruse lingerie and naughty Valentine "toys" from Luxury Lingerie, learn some enticing new dance moves, find out about great book gifts for lovers from Duck's Cottage and much more! $5 Drink Specials will run all evening. The $10 ticket can be purchased online and includes glitter tattoo, glass of bubbly and more!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Blue Pelican Gallery and a $35 gift certificate to Ortega'z Southwestern Grill & Wine Bar!

For more information about Blue Pelican Gallery, check out their website.

For more information about Ortega'z Southwestern Grill & Wine Bar, check out their website.

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Michelle Miller‎!!!

You won a $50 gift certificate to ARTspace Gallery and a $35 Gift certificate to Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

For more information about ARTspace, check out their website.

For more information about Basnight's Lone Cedar Cafe, check out their website.

About the Author Michael Lay
Michael Lay is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer and writer. He lives in picturesque downtown Manteo, NC, and is the manservant of two beautiful and willful feline princesses, Sophie and Sassy. You can contact Michael at