Well, I’m Home Sweet Home

Well, I’m back in Philadelphia after two fabulous weeks in the Outer Banks. I had to leave a day early since I’m scheduled to work tonight, and the second I hit the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, it rained for most of the rest of the trip.

There’s nothing better than unpacking a full Jeep at 1am.

Sorry for being absent most of the days. Our regimen was as follows. I’d wake up around 9am and take a ten-mile bike ride. (The owners had two bikes, and were available for use. I stopped using the first one after the chain popped and got stuck… three miles away from the house.) I’d come back, we’d have lunch, and head to the beach. We’d come back from the beach around 4pm, eat dinner, and do something together.

We played miniature golf twice. Julia won the first match, and I won the second, to my kids’ chagrin. On the 9th, the missus and I went out to dinner alone, which was nice… and quiet. We ate out as a family a few times, took the trip to the Currituck Lighthouse – where Mrs. Earp’s car wouldn’t start – and generally had fun.

It rained a few times, it always seems to thunder on the island, and two beach days were ruined by dozens and dozens of jellyfish in the surf. We tried to make the best of it, but between that and the hurricane scare, the kids were getting frustrated.

Overall, however, the vacation was calm and fun-filled. It’s nice to be home, but I don’t look forward to going back to work.

Mrs. Earp and the kids should arrive around dinnertime, so I won’t see them until later tonight.

It’s Okay, I Ran In Slow Motion

So my vacation is wrapping up – sadly – and yesterday was likely our last day at the beach. It’s supposed to rain on and off all day, so we stayed in the water yesterday until nearly 7pm. Kevin and Julia spent the day on their boogie boards, and I stayed close by because the waves were rough as the tide came in.

At one point, I noticed a husband, wife, and their teenage daughter – she looked about Kyle’s age – floating in the surf in a raft. The family was sitting near us a few days ago, and they were speaking both English and Arabic. They seemed nice enough, and weren’t a bother, plus the daughter was really pretty.

The raft came closer toward where the kids were swimming, and I saw the husband rowing, the wife resting, and the daughter lying back and sunning herself. The raft was headed north/south but the waves were headed east/west. Did I mention the waves were rough?

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Last One…

When I left for the Outer Banks, I was sitting pretty at 183 pounds. It’s still entirely too fat, but the gym and jogging is certainly helping. I jogged every morning in OBX, but the amount of ridiculously fantastic food was too much to bear.

This morning the scale said 186 pounds, but I’m thinking I’m heavier than that right now.

So why the round face? Well, we can thank Capt’n Frank’s Hot Dogs to start. After a round of miniature golf, we decided to do lunch. Mrs. Earp saw this establishment (at the right) and thought it was a good choice. Boy, was she right! The hot dogs were amazing, the soft drink refills were free, and the upstairs deck had a nice breeze and great views. I ordered a Mad Dog, which was a hot dog with chili and hot peppers. My god, it was phenomenal.

I did notice, however, many of the eateries in Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills had some fairly odd names. To wit…

The story goes like this. The diner is only open for breakfast and lunch, and it’s usually packed. However, the locals would come in and sit drinking coffee for hours, clogging up the tables. The owner, Bob, finally had enough, and apparently told people to eat and get the hell out. Pretty funny.

There’s more below the fold…

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More Vacation Tales

Our other big adventure – besides miniature golf; I didn’t win any of the three games we played – was a trip to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.

The tallest living sand dune on the Atlantic coast is a premier location for kites, sightseeing and sunsets, with a view arcing from the ocean to Roanoke Sound. A visitor center with museum and 360-foot boardwalk with exhibits explain the dune’s ecology and are a gradual entry to the massive dune field.

The dunes are massive, as you can see above, and what the site doesn’t tell you is visitors can surf the dunes. Take Kyle, for example…

Kyle and Erik had an easier time hitting the slopes, but they were not fond of the return climb. I pulled Kevin and Julia down the dunes by dragging the board’s tether, but after five or six runs, my knee was completely shot. We wanted to stay and watch the sunset, but naturally, a huge storm came in and ruined the opportunity.

There’s more below the fold…

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Well, We’re Back From Vacation

It’s a rare occurrence when I return from vacation feeling truly rested and not the least bit annoyed about returning to work. A lot of that may have to due to the fact the Outer Banks is freakin’ epic! Most of today will be posts from vacation, so if that’s not your thing, You can skip past them.

The first big thing we experienced was the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina – the coolest town name evah.

(Oh, click the photos to embigggen.)

Most national parks bore kids to tears, but this was different. The park is not overly large, but it has a lot of history, and some great stories about Orville and Wilbur Wright and the men who helped them fly. The memorial (above) is at the top of the sand dune hill where the brothers launched their planes. Climbing to the top of the hill on the paved walkway was difficult enough in the heat – it became very steep the closer you came to the memorial – so I cannot imagine the men dragging the plane up and down the sand dune time after time.

The view from the top is impressive, however…

There is more below the fold…

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