VALENTINES DAY

Valentines Day is nearly here and the florists are all in a flurry. When we think of this day we think of love, flowers, candy, special dinners out, gifts of jewelry – all the traditional things associated with it. In Brunswick County, NC you will find some of the restaurants will have special dinners to celebrate the occasion. There is no shortage of florists, jewelry stores and places to purchase Valentine candy either. But there is a number of other events to choose from as well – some of them not so traditional. Why not do something different this year – maybe something your special sweetheart has an interest in or something in which the whole family can participate.

If you have an interest in North Carolina history, you might want to think about heading to the Brunswick Town State Historic Site in Winnabow, NC. On February 14 and 15 there will be dramatic interpretations of the fall of Ft. Anderson to commemorate the 150th anniversary of that event. (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/fort-anderson-civil-war-living-history/profile/)

If you like the fun and excitement of the Mardi Gras, you can head on over to Oak Island, NC for their three day event. Wouldn’t it be fun to spend Valentine’s evening in front of a bonfire on the beach? (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/mardi-gras-by-the-sea/profile/)

For a more traditional evening of dining and dancing, you can participate in The Golf Ball in Carolina Shores, NC where all proceeds benefit a good cause. (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/annual-events/february/the-golf-ball/profile/)

Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 11 is Mother’s Day.

Mothers – we all have one. Mothers are responsible for our very lives. Some of us are lucky enough to have our mothers still living. All of us are lucky to have one. Wherever your mother may be, you can honor her. It really does not take much – a phone call, a card, a prayer, a lit candle, a visit, a dinner, a kiss, a hug, some flowers, a gift as simple as candy. Most mothers just appreciate the fact that you are thinking of them. Some restaurants offer special menus for Mother’s Day. Flower shops offer special arrangements. If you are thinking of a gift of jewelry this year you will find jewelry shops in the area that carry lovely pieces. Here are a few:

Cape Fear Jewelers in Southport (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/shop/jewelry/)

This shop is the exclusive dealer for the Southport Destination Bracelet. You may also consider something from their line of nautical jewelry.

Carolina Jewelry Exchange in Southport (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/shop/jewelry/)

At this shop you might stretch your dollar a bit further when choosing from their large selection.

Island Jewelers in Oak Island (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/shop/jewelry/)

The owners of this local shop are two generations of goldsmiths and they specialize in beach themed jewelry.

Ahhhhh, Love

Image

Valentine’s Day will soon be here. It’s a time to celebrate those we love in ways that we often forget throughout the rest of the year. We get caught up in the tasks of our everyday lives and don’t seem to be able to find the time for the small gestures that mean so much. Roses and Valentines and candy are sweet and are definitely appreciated, however, time is the key. Time to talk about hopes and dreams and long term plans. To say thank you for all that you do. The one Valentine tradition that gives us the opportunity to share that time is a quiet dinner together away from everyday distractions. A time during which we can look at each other – tell each other – I know you. I love you for all that you are.

There are many fine restaurants in Brunswick County, NC where you can enjoy a scrumptious meal for Valentine’s Day and enjoy that bit of time together – just the two of you. I have listed some of them below, but remember to make reservations. Even those restaurants that don’t require them usually do on Valentine’s Day.

On Bald Head Island, NC try Mojo’s on the Harbour. Here, you can have a steampot – and in addition to shrimp, crab, and other shellfish, you will find steak, pork and chicken as well as fish like flounder, tuna and salmon on the eclectic menu. Ask about Italian specials and their gluten-free menu. Mojo’s has a full bar, offers wine by the bottle or the glass, serves cocktails and has Guinness draught.

Live Oak Cafe is an excellent choice for an intimate dinner in Southport, NC.  American nouveau cuisine using only the freshest ingredients is the basis for their eclectic menu. From starters to entrees, you will be pleased with dishes such as crab dip, Cajun-marinated fried alligator bites, low-country gumbo, shrimp pasta, grilled rib eyes, marinated pork tenderloin and more. In addition, there is an excellent wine list with selections from Australia, California and Argentina, among others.

Perched on the South Harbour Village Marina on the mainland portion of Oak Island, NC you will find Joseph’s Italian Bistro. Since 2003, Joseph’s has been providing Italian style meals using recipes handed down from his mama. Everything is homemade including the breads and desserts From antipasta to pasta to seafood to chicken and veal, the food is scrumptious – and the desserts are to die for.

For a more casual atmosphere and ocean views you can choose Paradise Cafe on Holden Beach, NC. Sit among the palm trees, tropical birds and local artwork hanging on melon-colored walls and enjoy appetizers, burgers, pizza and hot subs. You will also find local seafood and Caribbean and Greek Island dishes. Be sure not to leave until you have enjoyed a Paradise Sunset, the house drink.

Sugar Shack in Ocean Isle Beach, NC features authentic Jamaican home cooking. The house specialty is a huge steak, marinated, slowly grilled and richly flavored. Other offerings include award winning baby back ribs, a grilled mango tuna, spiced-just-right crab fritters, homemade soups, great burgers and nightly specials, such as lightly fried coconut shrimp served with mango-pepper marmalade. Then you just need to top it all off with a luscious slice of homemade Key lime pie. Guinness and Red Stripe beer are served.

Many tables at Twin Lakes Seafood Restaurant in Sunset Beach, NC offer a panoramic view of the region’s most picturesque watercourse. The Twin Lakes menu features many different seafood, beef and poultry combinations and preparations, such as fried, sauteed, grilled, broiled or blackened. The seafood is never long out of the water and everything is prepared by an award winning chef. Irresistible desserts are available as well.

Calabash style seafood restaurants abound in Calabash, NC but for a change of pace you may want to try the Grapevine Restaurant & Lounge. At the Grapevine, the motto is “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and us together.”  You will find yourself in a comfortable old world atmosphere with a menu to match. For example, you may choose Seafood Prosciutto Pasta, Mediterranean Pasta or Mediterranean Grouper. You will also find Original Calabash Style Seafood Platters and there are more than 30 wines from which to choose.

Eddie Roamanelli’s, in Leland, NC, serves some of the best American Italian fare in the region. The menu offers a variety of salads topped with dressings made in-house as well as Italian appetizers like Toasted Ravioli and Mama Romanelli’s Calamari topped with pepperoncinis sauteed in oregano butter and diced tomatoes.  Entrées include Eggplant Rollatini, meaty housemade Lasagna and flavorful Rigatoni Ala Vodka. You may also choose sandwiches including American favorites like Prime Rib Dip and Smoked Turkey Club and Italian classics like the hot Italian Sandwich.

Happy New Year 2014!

BE JOYFUL

Trust so you may be open.
Be open so you may embrace life.
Embrace life so you may live in the moment.
Live in the moment so you may live fully.
Live fully so you may love.
Love so you may be loved.
Be loved so you may give comfort.

Listen so you may learn.
Learn so you may risk.
Risk so you may grow.
Grow so you may flourish.
Flourish so you may share.

Be still so you may meditate.
Meditate so you may become wise.
Become wise so you may share your wisdom.
Share your wisdom so others may learn.

Be thankful that you can create beauty.
Create beauty so you may bring joy.
Play, dance, sing, dream, be joyful.
Be joyful so you may share your light.

Rebecca Pierre