25 years is a long time, isn’t it? It was May 1st 1993 when I said ‘yes’ to Luca, and he said ‘yes’ to me, nearly half our lifetime ago; and I am kinda feeling like we are now more married than ever. And it is doing us a lot of good to be together in Manhattan just as ‘us’.
We celebrated our anniversary with a 5 day trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina: Ocracoke, to be more precise, a wonderful strip of an island with long sandy beaches, acres of bare (or should I say richly verdant) swampy land, giving a wonderful feeling of spaciousness and isolation. The warm friendliness of the people set the perfect balance, with their cheery waves as they passed us by in their golf buggies (don’t laugh: cheery is the only possibly word to describe the whole scene) or their conversation, given half a chance, in shops or restaurants or out and about. Early in the season, the amenities were mostly open but nearly empty of customers, which suited us just fine - I mean, who likes tourists, eh? - and we spent most of our time meandering about happily along lanes, through copses and on beaches, and in and out of craft shops and cafes. The American Crafts Centre was my favourite place, crammed with really nice pottery, woodwork, silver work and more, in the form of crockery, pots of all sorts, art, musical instruments, toys ... we could have restocked our entire home in that place! But didn’t, save for a new tea mug for Luca, and for me some sweet little earrings made to resemble ‘irish blackthorn’ in silver, green and white.
Good food, including predictably lots of fish; great beer, some of it brewed locally on the island; and a charming old-style B+B thanks to super host and local historian Alton Balance at The Crews Inn. To cap the whole experience, we treated ourselves to a most exhilerating ride in and out of the island in a 4 seater Cessna, which we chartered out of Norfolk Airport: a fantastic way to travel, and a special introduction to some local geography and history from our pilot Steve from Barrier Island Aviation.
25 years ago we flew from our home in Switzerland to the Shetland Islands on honeymoon, and travelled the last, most northerly stretch to the barely inhabited island of Papa Stour by tiny put-put boat. There is a definite pattern to our holiday choices as a couple, don’t you agree?