Date of Trip: November 2007
My wife and I have been enjoying weekend mini reunions with 2 other couples that I reconnected with via the internet, for the past six years. Five of us attended Sheepshead Bay High in Brooklyn, NY 45 years ago. Each year we select a different place to meet. This year we decided to meet in Edenton, NC.
Edenton is a small historic coastal community located in North East North Carolina about 1 1/2 hours from Nags Head, NC and about 2 hours from Virginia Beach, VA. We stayed at the Captains’ Quarters Inn and were wined and dined by host Don Pariseau and his bride, Diane, who is also the chef, par excellence! We couldn’t have picked a better place to stay!
On our first evening, Friday, we sampled choice wine (selected by Don) and cheese (selected by Diane) that was fit for the palate of the finest gourmand. We learned that Don is a wine connoisseur and obtains choice wines from California, Australia, and Spain, etc. He has wine to accommodate the most sophisticated wine palate. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have ‘Ripple’ which is more to my liking (lol). Additionally, he had just returned from a trip to the Napa Valley where he had purchased wines that were in excess of $100 a bottle.
After the wine tasting, we walked and went to a nearby local restaurant; Sean’s, and had an enjoyable meal. All of Sean’s meals are prepared from ‘scratch’ and are prepared to the taste of the particular patron. After dinner and conversation, we walked back to the Captains’ Quarters Inn and sat and talked for several hours in the warmly decorated and comfortable parlor. At 11 pm we all retired to our respective rooms, which were immaculate and decorated with nautical themes. My wife and I stayed in the ‘Captain of Her Heart,’ room, complete with a large bath area and two person Jacuzzi tub, not to mention bubble bath and rubber duckies!
On Saturday morning at 7:00 am we awoke to a choice of coffee or tea and goodies placed outside of our rooms. At 8:30 am we had a sumptuous breakfast prepared by Diane that included fresh fruit, orange juice, coffee, tea and eggs and bacon. After our leisurely breakfast, we took (walked) an escorted tour ($10 each) that took in 3 hours of the historic sites of Edenton. All the sights are within a short walk of the inn and it amazed us how this small hamlet has been able to retain so much of its history.
One particular building, which is located by the water, bears my surname. It is the “Barker House” and was inhabited by Thomas and Penelope Barker in the seventeen hundreds. Regrettably, I am unable to determine if Thomas and Penelope were relatives. My grandfather didn’t come to the United States, from England, until he was 12 years old, about a hundred years ago. I was able, though, to purchase a Christmas ornament inscribed with the “Barker House” and presented it to my son and his new bride, as they had just put up their Christmas tree, in the home they recently had purchased. While at the “Barker House,” we were treated to cookies and hot cider as the tour guide continued with our history lesson.
Another structure, of note, that we visited, was the “Cupola House” that was built in 1757. This home had remained the abode of the same family for over 150 years. This is hard to believe in this day and age when so many people on constantly moving from one place to the next. (I‘ve been in Charlotte, NC for the past 21 years, along way from Brooklyn, NY.) Of particular note, in this home, is some very ornate woodwork on the interior, some of which was sold to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in Brooklyn, NY and is still located there today. It appears that a Museum Curator for the museum was passing through the area and made an offer to purchase all of the interior woodwork. When the local historians heard about what was being done, they were able to purchase back most of the woodwork that was sold and reconstructed what had been removed and subsequently sent to the Brooklyn Museum.
After our tour we had a leisurely lunch at Chero’s. After lunch we visited several quaint local shops and then went back to the inn to rest before church services and dinner. At 6:00 pm we attended church services (short walk from the Inn) at St. Anne Catholic Church. St. Anne’s is over 150 years old. At the end of Mass, the Pastor asked any visitors to stand and be recognized. After we introduced ourselves, we were greeted to a warm round of applause. Additionally, we met some local residents who had moved from Brooklyn (Mill Basin, NY) and had originally lived less than 10 miles from where 5 of us had grown up (Gerritsen Beach, NY).
After Mass, we walked backed to the Inn, and at 7:15 pm a four course gourmet meal was prepared by Chef Diane that one could die for. Dinner (changes with what is locally available) included pallet pleasing white and red wines, that we had tasted the prior evening, and an absolutely divine pumpkin flavored flan for dessert. After dinner we retreated to the parlor for more conversation and at 11:00 pm we once again departed to our respective rooms.
On Sunday morning, coffee and goodies were once again placed outside of our rooms and at 8:30 am we were treated to another sumptuous breakfast. We checked out at 10:00 am and we each departed our separate ways. Prior to leaving, we all agreed that we would re-visit the Captains’ Quarters Inn in the future. With the other couples gone, my wife and I drove (free parking) to the water front (minutes from the inn) and took a leisurely stroll for a final glimpse of the town and to count our blessings for having such wonderful friends and the opportunity to visit an outstanding B&B in a tourist friendly environment. One final comment; Edenton should be renamed Eden. This is definitely a heavenly spot on earth.