Sorry for the late updates, folks. My husband and I just got back from our three-day weekend vacation in glamorous Enfield, North Carolina! Okay, so Enfield’s not so glamorous. But I had procured a discounted stay for us at Bellamy Manor & Gardens Bed and Breakfast via Living Social’s deals months ago. The Enfield bed and breakfast is convenient to Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck, NC. Joe and I had planned a day trip to the bird park for eons, and the bed and breakfast deal helped us make a real go of it.
The Bird Park was awesome. So many rare and birds from around the world, and so clean! We were allowed to walk in and out of the aviaries, where the birds freely crossed our paths. We even had little baggies of food we could feed them. (We had so much fun at the bird park that we got a membership that gives us free access to NC’s aquariums, too!) Let me show you the birds we met!
Sadly, while Sylvan Heights Bird Park was a totally happening place to be, we found both Scotland Neck and Enfield half dead. The mechanization of cotton harvesting along with the economic crash sent the rural employment prospects into sharp decline. Although, there is still money. How else would houses like these stand a mere street away from the gutted Main St?
It was the first time in my life that I saw a place that was more poor than where I grew up (Patrick County, Virginia, highest unemployment, lowest incomes in the state). At least Stuart had a sit-down Hardeez. Enfield had no place to eat downtown with the exception of a lone café (which we didn’t have time to visit), and a Hardeez that had no table nor chair inside. It was eerie to walk through a town with so man buildings standing testament to a once bustling farm economy.
Our bed and breakfast was an island of modern comfort and could easily have been in Raleigh. It was within easy walking distance of downtown. On one of our trips thither, I kept wondering out loud how people with such nice houses could feel okay about their downtown drying up so completely. “Don’t they want to go out for a nice dinner? Where do they go for fun? Doesn’t this make them sad?” It’s probably a case of “bad becoming normal.” People with money drive out-of-town to eat in Rocky Mt, and they just slowly got used to not having a downtown anymore. Very sad. But our bed and breakfast hosts are very active in the downtown renewal committees, so perhaps there is still hope.