Since I was a wee lil' thing my family has vacationed in the Outer Banks. We went down with a whole bunch of people, over a hundred some years! Cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, cousins of friends, grandparents of friends, aunts and uncles of friends ... you get the picture. We would go down in the morning and claim ourselves a good 50-yards, or so - and mark our territory with umbrellas, beach chairs, volleyball court, inner tubes, coolers of beer and pouches of CapriSun. We'd stay down there all day, eating peanut butter sandwiches and hotdogs and Cheez-Its that our mamas brought down for us. We'd pee in the ocean and post-up under an umbrella during a thunderstorm before we ever dared to leave the beach before the sun set. We even had a group t-shirt made each year. These are some of the sweetest memories from my childhood.
After my Sophomore year of college, I got to spend a summer in the Outer Banks working for Grog's Watersports. And what.a.summer. I lived in a house with 6 beautiful people ... I wonder how they are all doing? We took people on jet ski and kayak tours for 8+ hours a day. I would hardly call it a job. I remember warming up the jet skis at 9am each morning. Taking it out, before anyone had touched the ocean - when it was still and looked like an endless sheet of glass. I remember never wearing shoes and sleeping in my bathing suit. I remember swimming under a jet ski to pull out all the sea weed that it sucked up. I remember swimming in the bay during a thunderstorm and cooking the crabs we caught for dinner. I remember gaining 20-pounds from eating out and spending every dollar I made. That was and will always be one of my all-time favorite summers.
This past weekend, I turned 24 and Gus and I went down to NC. We drove down Friday after work and pulled into Jarvisburg, NC at about 2am. I knew we'd only be in the motel for about 5 hours, so I didn't want to spend too much money. I didn't tell Gus because I knew he'd ask how many "stars" the hotel had ... he's deathly afraid of bed bugs because, well ... he's had them. He's woken up in the middle of the night with those lil' buggers crawling all over him and his white sheets. I booked the hotel anyways because it was $70 a night and it was the best deal I could find. He woke up as soon as I pulled into the dodgy parking lot of the motel. I was hoping he'd be too tired to care by the time we got there. No. He made me put all our luggage in the bathroom and he tore apart the sheets and the mattress and the headboard and the box spring. No bugs! We drove to Nags Head in the morning and ordered some eggs, sausage, toast and coffee at Grits 'n Grill. After 4 hours at the beach we left with a terrible sunburn and went for lunch at Tommy's Market in Duck, popped open a few Corona Lights while we watched the storm brew over the ocean and then headed to Mama Kwan's for some Mahi Mahi tacos and ice cream. We drove over the bridge for a coffee date in Manteo and then to Austin's Fish Market for some crab sandwiches and macaroni and cheese which we feasted on at Jockey's Ridge. It was a divine 48-hours.