Wednesday, August 10, 2011

There's Nowhere Like the Carolina Coast

With school just around the corner and work becoming somewhat overwhelming, I knew I needed a change of scenery.  Friday after work I packed my bags, picked up my best friend and headed east as far as the road would take me.

For those of you who "aren't from around here," the North Carolina coast is a little bit different than most other coasts.  As you can see in the picture above, there is a small little sliver of land (The Outer Banks) that runs the length of the state and that separates the ocean from a body of freshwater called the Sound.  Whether created from storms or from God's magic touch, the Outer Banks is a place like no other.  

Mary and I arrived just outside of Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills around 11:45 pm (we were a little delayed in time due to a need for a candy stop) and headed straight for the water.  No, we didn't get in the water, but we sat on the dock and watched the stars light up the sky and the fish illuminate the water as they swam.  According to my friend's mom, during the summer the water glows with any sort movement.  I didn't believe this until I ran my hand through the water creating a fluorescent trail.  We sat and talked for about an hour or two before finally calling it a night.

The next morning, friends from Chapel Hill who also live in the OBX came over and we packed a cooler and made our way to the boat.  Oh, my friend and his family own a business - OBX Wakeboard and Waterski - and so we're really fortunate that every time we visit, we spend our time on the boat and in the water, learning something!  We spent the day wake skimming/surfing and tubing until the weather forced us inside.

Once inside we attempted to play card games.  That lasted for all of 5 minutes.  We then spent the remainder of the afternoon watching movies and drinking wine.  I guess I should clarify on the "we" - it wasn't long into the movie before I was out, as in sound asleep.  I woke up in time for dinner with one of my best friends and old roommates at the Bad Bean.  We caught up over mahi mahi (her) and chicken/steak (me) tacos and had the absolute best time together.  You can tell when someone is a true friend - you can go months without talking, but once you're around each other it's like you haven't spent a day apart.  That's how Liz and I are and that's why this dinner was so great.  Not long after dinner, we met up with the rest of the crowd from earlier for sushi and martinis at Aqua S - a restaurant and day spa.  Following that, we headed back to Southern Shores for round 2 of cards and movies.  

We spent the following morning on the boat again and I learned how to WAKEBOARD!  And by wakeboard, I mean in a relative way.

I made it up momentarily ...
And then ended up right back down.    
Though I was absolutely terrible, I had the most amazing time and enjoyed soaking up the sun (a little too much ... I'm now as red as a lobster) and spending time with good friends.  
After a little more wakeboarding (by the pros) and a little more tubing, we called in an afternoon and headed to the beach for an annual Float Away Party.  The only requirement: get ready to float.  Everyone brings their floats, surfboards, skim boards and beach chairs and spends an afternoon on the ocean.  Since the ocean was approximately 5 degrees, I didn't make it very far out on my shark floatie. 
Yes, that is me - brown hair, shark floatie, loner.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in and out of the water, playing cornhole and filling our tummies with the best food imaginable.  After that, Mary and I stocked up on sodas and snacks and made our way home.   

It was a low-key weekend, but exactly what I needed before classes start and I'm cooped up in the library day in and day out!  Have y'all taken any relaxing summer vacations?  Do any of y'all do something along the lines of a float away?


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