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I Was Off the Grid, Part 2

While I can’t complain about having a week off of work to spend at the beach, I will say that Hugh and I were less than thrilled when the 10 friends who had inhabited our giant house left us mid-week.

That afternoon we had about 45 minutes of beach time before thunder storms rolled in and forced us inside for less than entertaining daytime TV and afternoon naps. We eventually got up the motivation to go see a movie (Bad Teacher), came back and made dinner from the remnants of various friends’ shopping trips, ate dinner, watched more bad TV, and slept again. Ah, the joys of vacation.

The next day we were determined to have an adventure, so we drove a few miles over to Roanoke Island to see some history and take in some sights. Roanoke Island was the infamous site of the “Lost Colony,” a group of settlers who went inexplicably missing within three years. It is also where the first American child, Virginia Dare, was born. This is a monument to her:

Sometime after settlers came back, they built a fort to defend against the Spanish. I’m pretty sure it’s call Fort Raleigh.

It’s pretty much just earthworks with a flag in the middle, but I’m sure it did the trick at the time.

Roanoke Island is also home to the country’s longest-running outdoor production, a play about the Lost Colony called, “The Lost Colony.” Andy Griffith got his acting start in the production, and lives on the island to this day. It’s actually in an outdoor theater in front of this building, which I apparently don’t have pictures of.

When we were bored of the Lost Colony — approximately 30 minutes later — we took a last minute left turn and parked it in Manteo for the afternoon. We walked across the bridge to Manteo’s Waterfront Festival Park, declined to pay $8 to see the museum, make believe Indian Village, and recreated ship Elizabeth II, and walked back.

We took in the sights at Manteo’s tiny waterfront full of boats, restaurants, inns, shops and boutiques…

And ran into this little guy (who I’m convinced is a fox pup).

Before sitting down for lunch and a beer at the Full Moon Cafe, we stopped at the Marshes Lighthouse only to find that the stairs to the top were roped off.

We spent the rest of the afternoon (and week) with some family that happened to be staying less than a mile down the road from us:

When I say family, I mean they’re not related by blood but they are family. They’re my godparents (my parents’ best friends) and their parents, siblings, siblings-in-law, nieces and nephews. And they were just wonderful to include us in their fun for the rest of the week.

I’m sad vacation is over. On to planning the next trip!

I Was Off the Grid

Sort of.

Last week I was in Nags Head, NC with friends for our fourth annual Friends Beach Trip.

These guys came:

And so did these guys:

And these guys came to teach everyone how to expertly boogie board:

I was there, too!

We started July 4th with a salute to the Star Spangled Banner at 10 a.m. and continued it with American beer:

In between days with too-cold water and jelly fish-infested water, we played in the ocean:

And Benjamin enjoyed his half-day before having to head home to go back to work. Adulthood sucks.

Jessie was not a fan of Benjamin’s early departure:

But we managed to get a group photo before he left (unfortunately we were missing D for this one):

After showering up from the beach, our America celebration continued with matching (blurry) girls:

And unruly boys:

And slightly less unruly (blurry) boys:

Despite many, many attempts, Jessie and I got a blurry picture:

We feasted like champions the next morning on gourmet breakfasts of mac-and-cheese-with-cut-up-hot-dogs, pasta salad and eggs.

On the last night before all the friends left, we had an accidental/mandatory uniform night:

And on Wednesday we had a fancy group lunch at Sonic before everyone left Hugh and me to fend for ourselves the rest of the week.

It was quite the pig-out session and it was Jessie’s very first Sonic experience:

I think she liked it.

Then we said goodbye, everyone left, and Hugh and I went back to the big, empty beach house and settled into our friendless depression.

Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad.

But I will save that update for tomorrow.

Memorial Day Weekend Down by the Bay

I feel so very blessed to have a family outpost in the Northern Neck of Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay to call a weekend home every now and then. The summers I’ve spent there with family and friends for the past four or five years have been rich with joy and an occasional sunburn. So it was nothing short of fitting to kick off the summer at the Rivah.

I only had my camera out for one day, but with Jessie’s help, we documented Sunday pretty well.

We tend to make a waterfront camp by the dock in front of the house.

Some awesome people, keeping cool with a beverage. Hugh got that hat for $5 from Eastern Market a few summers ago… I just use sunscreen.

We had two unplanned but totally welcome visitors show up Saturday evening. We had to cram a whole weekend’s worth of fun into Sunday for Jessie and Troy, so we took a spin on the jet skis, did some swimming and jumping off the dock, and took them for a thrill ride on the tube.

Jessie was grinning this big her whole time on the tube, because I’m that good of a driver.

It looks like Mom took some pictures, too. I’m going to need to see those pictures, Mom!

The adults hung out on the boat, where the radio was turned up.

Harry was a trooper, hanging out with us old folk while Dylan was MIA for a while. Hey Harry!

Troy did some serious kayaking — you’re making wake in a no-wake zone, Troy!

I didn’t get Saturday night’s seafood fest on camera, but it was epic. Mom and Dad went to a local shop and picked up tuna steaks, shrimp, scallops, mahi mahi and oysters and I made pasta salad and cole slaw. De-lish.

I also don’t have action shots of the skiing that happened Saturday — Clayton is always the most fun to watch, especially when he asks to be towed back sans skis. I got up on my first try and Dylan took me for  a quick ride out of the cove, across the channel and back again. Since my back was already sore after that, I quit while I was ahead and let Hugh take a turn (he also did great).

Foot note: my back was still sore from skiing when Hugh talked me into the 10K. Something must be off kilter in my brain.

I probably need more vacation.

Where Did May Go?

Besides the fact that it was 80 degrees at 6 a.m. today, I’m having a hard time accepting that it is June already.

June!

I don’t even know where May went, and I’m already half-a-day into June.

May started slowly and calmly, after a whirlwind April, with a trip to Dick’s to oogle kayaks and buy a kickball.

I ventured out into the sun for a lobster roll from the Red Hook Lobster Truck. (It was worth the $15).

Spent some time on the roof of our office building. Pretty, isn’t it?

Went bridesmaid dress shopping twice.

Cut out of work early one afternoon to visit with Mary (hi Mary!) who ventured out of New Orleans for a week. We had lunch and wandered through the Newseum.

Hugh and Mary fought over the Perry Daily Journal.

 

And eventually became civil again.

Hugh took a bunch of pictures that all look like this:

The most interesting part of our Newseum visit (since I’d seen it all for the millionth time in November) was a little current events addition to the 9/11 exhibit. On the far left is a wall of newspaper front pages from the day after the attacks, in the middle is an antenna from the World Trade Center. Now, projected onto an empty wall in the center of the exhibit, are front pages from the day after Osama Bin Laden was killed.

Very interesting, indeed.

At the end of Mary Week, I took care of my nephew for a few days. He’s so sweet when he’s sleeping.

Went to my first-ever WMZQ-fest at the now no-fun-zone that is Jiffy Lube Live

Had to try twice several times for a decent picture, and we still weren’t successful.

The next day, tired and overloaded with country music, I whipped up some cupcakes (and other things) for a bridal shower, chased a dog through the neighborhood during a downpour, and bought some Pampered Chef goodies.

On a lunch break from work, we took a long, long walk to get some mac and cheese from the mac and cheese truck. I had the original – macaroni, cheddar and pimento cheeses, and Cheez-It crumbles on top. YUM.

I started teleworking on Thursdays, so I got to experience Rebecca’s daily life with the cats. It seems that Lily makes things like present-wrapping difficult.

We spent Memorial Day weekend at the Bay house having a great time with tons of people I love (plenty more pictures to come later).

And on the last day of May, I finally won our monthly inter-cube food trivia challenge.

Oh, and I let Hugh convince me to sign up for a 10K in July.

I guess June’s recap will include a lot more of this:

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