“It’s going to be a Hallmark movie weekend. They’ve got stuff going on all weekend.” Lisa said.
Edenton’s Christmas celebration does come straight from a Hallmark channel movie set, snow the only thing missing. Plans include a Candle Light Christmas tour of homes, a local author’s book signing, an early morning Christmas parade, eggnog and hot cider on the square, with trolley and wagon rides for all. Let the festivities begin.
Rocky Hock Campground, site 34, started the weekend off well. An easy pull through site, it sits on the manmade pond, fire pit waiting to come to life. Ron parked the trailer and unhooked with little effort while I started the fire and unpacked the chairs.
Our evening started in Lisa’s kitchen with her delicious chicken casserole and fresh baked cookies for dessert. Her home welcomed us with twinkling Christmas lights, and yummy smells as we settled in for an evening of fun.
David’s New Red Barn sits at the back of the campground, waiting for special events to bring it to life. Tonight’s festivities included music of some sort, our camp hostess helping with the preparations.
“Our house band plays every Friday night down there.” Phyllis said when I asked her about the barn. She came early Saturday morning with our check-in paper. Small and petite with dark hair, her welcoming spirit made us feel right at home.
“I’ll be Holly and you’ll be Eve.” Lisa whispered to me as we drove into Edenton to tour homes on the Candlelight Christmas tour. Hallmark movies seem to always have a Holly and an Eve, or at least from our perspective.
Houses decorated with Christmas lights illuminated our journey Candles flickered from windows, lush greenery with red bows adorned picket fences, and fresh pine filled our nostrils as the clomping sound of horse-drawn wagons, multicolored lights highlighting the people filling the carts as they passed by us.
“The Butcher block is from France. I’ve been lying and making up stories, telling people it was Queen Victoria’s and has the blood of her victims on it, but all I really know is it came from France.” Said the dark-haired woman who welcomed us into the Victorian kitchen.
After touring, we walked to the newly opened Herringbone on the Water for a nightcap. Bustling with activity, no empty tables indoors caused us to move outside. The outdoor fireplace had a roaring fire that warmed us as we sipped our toddies.
Behind us, the lighthouse sat by the water, its outline sparkling with lights. Soft waves lapped the shore as the ever-vigilante outlook watched another year of Christmas festivities unfold before it.
Saturday morning’s movie scene began on the farm with a home-cooked breakfast catered by Dave and Lisa. Thick slabs of bacon, scrambled eggs, and Lisa’s persimmon jam on toast filled our bellies, energizing us for the day ahead.
Visiting Habitat for Humanity’s Restore filled Lisa’s car. A wooden rocker, missing a cushion but otherwise in good repair, caught Lisa’s eye. With a price tag of zero, the chair quickly became hers. Inside we found treasures galore, glasses, and mugs for sublimating. Old wood weathered and waiting for inspirational words to turn them into must-have signs, all a dollar or less, found their way into our baskets. The more we looked, the more we found.
At last, with the seats down and the back full, we headed into town to meet our princes.
“Mitchell, yesterday we were Holly and Eve; today we’re Noel and Belle,” Lisa said, explaining the weekend’s theme to her oldest son.
“Yeah, and the guys were Nick and Austin; today they’re Chase and Dash” I added. Neither of the men understood why Austin didn’t fit the bill as a Hallmark hero, obviously not having watched enough of the classic tales to know.
Roanoke River Lighthouse, a must-see in Edenton, opened its doors for the weekend. The only remaining building from the original three structures that guarded the Chowan River, the small rooms hinted at the lives lived within its walls. Smooth, well-worn wood floors, rustic furniture and the musty smell of historic buildings welcomed us as we entered its door. Climbing the winding wooden staircase to the top only had room for one at a time. A Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling lit the lighthouse, the 360 degree view breathtaking.
“This is a Hallmark scene,” Lisa, a.k.a Noelle, said when we discovered the delicious hot cocoa in the quaint Edenton library, free for all.
Ron discovered the free hot cocoa, offered in dairy or non-dairy options. Miniature marshmallows adorned the table, and silver tongs available to fill our cups with them. Dave got his library card while visiting, enabling him to access the hundreds of DVD’s available.
Built-in 1758, the Cupola House holds a vast history within its walls. Martha greeted us at the door in her 18th-century garb and regaled us with stories of the family home, now a historic site. Christmas trees lined the garden, all donated by local organizations. The angel tree stood as a memorial to all those in heaven; white tule folded to look like an angel’s wings protected the pictures of the departed souls.
Upstairs in the bedroom lay the original nightgown of one of the Dickinson’s, an owner in the 1800s. Downstairs, the wooden decor held a tale of its own. Once sold to a New York museum to pay the bills, the town restored the woodwork when they acquired the building. Current negotiations with the museum could bring the original woodwork back to its home. Time will tell in days ahead whether the deal solidifies.
“She used to be married to Potsy from Happy Days for a long time. But I heard that second hand.”
Of course, we had to visit King Street Marketplace, filled with beautiful art from the owner and local artist. From Virginia Beach, the husband and wife team welcome all with warmth to their studio. Smells of spiced tea tantalize t seehe senses, the free samples delicious on the tongue.
After a quick walk through of the still operating courthouse, we headed up town in search of an afternoon beverage.
When Lisa found the official Hallmark Channel Wine, the weekend’s theme took on new life as we fantasized about the plot over drinks at Malcolm’s, the infamous home of Vinyl night’s.
Every Saturday night, vinyl records fill the room with music as patrons enjoy an evening out in the eclectic atmosphere. Round tables, large and small have cozy chairs to settle into and relax. The low murmur of private conversations adding ambience to the scene.
Since we only saw the first half of the homes on the Candlelight Christmas Tour the previous night, we spent Saturday evening visiting the other homes.
After a lazy Sunday morning, we attended 10:00 mass at St. Anne’s then enjoyed brunch at Herringbone’s, a perfect ending to our Hallmark weekend.