Close

The close to our beach trip aligned in perfect symmetry with the entire weekend. We had a fantastic morning. We felt good when we woke up, we packed quickly but not hurriedly, everyone made it out without feeling rushed, and the keys were in the drop box almost an hour before required.

We mostly said our goodbyes at the hotel. Shoobs and I were on board for some more rest on the beach, but the rest of the crew was less enthusiastic about driving home covered in sand. Shoobs drove a block over to park the car (silly) and I walked over to meet him. Up we carted our handful of gear, down the stairs, and settled in to our spot from Saturday under the umbrella. Shelby walked a while to the right. Then I walked a while to the left. We sat a few more minutes and were just convincing ourselves it was time to leave, find a shower, grab some grub, and put our perfect little beach vacation to bed when some old hag waddled down and put her chair on the sand beside us.

“Is there a reason you decided to put yourself in front of my house?”

Verbal daggers launched from both sides, and it was vehemently determined that we would not be leaving for quite some time. If we had been in their furniture, or had been literally placed at the foot of their beach access stairs, I could have understood her position. But we were placed on a public beach that is lined with oceanfront rentals, none of which have sole ownership of the sand and water. She was being miserable.

A bit of time had passed (who the heck can tell time on vacation) and rough and tumble dude comes traipsing down the stairs. He wouldn’t even come down off the platform but proceeded to shout at us from where he stood.

“Sir, ma’am, I’m gonna have to ask you to get off my property.”

Oh really, public beach is your property? After some additional exchanges of wit, Shelby finally shouted at him that he was more than welcome to call the police. And again it was decided that we would be staying put.

More time passed  and I finally decided that I had had about enough sand, water, and sour grapes so I put on my best pouty face for Shoobs, telling him I was ready to go whenever he was. He let go his grudge, kissed me sweetly, and started to take down our umbrella while I folded the towels.

And then dude come hurtling down the stairs again, shouting at as more!

“Dude, can you not see us packing up? We are leaving. You do not need to talk to us anymore.” And some other choice words I will not include so I can continue to pretend  for my family that I know no swear words. 😉

So, that was an awesome encounter before we sat in a car for three hours covered in sand, smelling like sweat and sea water, and Shelby with the tiniest hint of a burn.

But we survived. Bad attitudes will not ruin the beach! Ever!

Part 2

Saturday at the beach was perfect. The sun was bright, the sea was warm, and the shade was cool. We loaded up our cooler with some sodas and beers and pimento cheese (thanks Shoobs!), grabbed the umbrella and beach bags (now complete with towels) and walked one block to the public beach access. We picked a lovely spot away from the crowds and hoodlums and commenced relaxing.

In short order, a counselor and three boys from “surf camp” settled directly in front of us to wait for their comrades to return from the waves. I must say, my view improved greatly.

We spent most of the morning doing nothing much, occasionally walking, sometimes swimming, mostly laying around reading or listening to music. We all started to get a grumble in our tummies at about the same time which conveniently aligned with a dark cloud that was rapidly approaching. I made the executive decision to pack everything up and head back as a group to the room. No sooner had we gotten in and settled into lunch than the sky opened up and the rain poureth.

The storm only lasted about an hour or two. Luckily, we had been warned that rain was imminent and we packed games. We played for a while, and when the storm let up, we went back to the beach.

We had dinner at Shelby’s favorite restaurant. We walked around the stores a little bit, but mostly we were interested in settling on the back deck at the hotel which we had commandeered as our own for socialization and close proximity to beds. Perfection.

Sunday on the other hand…

Holy Crap I Love the Beach

The only place Shelby and I have ever gone together is Topsail Island. I love that place. I am sure I would love just about any other beach as much as I love Topsail, but this place really feels like our beach. We have our special spots, the slam dunk restaurants, the savvy to find the best places on the sand. It reminds me of Pensacola, knowing exactly where to go and not go, exactly what you need and don’t need.

We left much later than we expected to on Friday. I was hoping for a 2 pm departure, we left closer to 4. That put us through Raleigh at rush hour in the rain. Once again, a crappy start to a blissful vacation. Despite the traffic, we still made pretty good time. We pulled in to our beach dive hotel/house thing and were pleasantly surprised at how nice and not divey it was. We were the first of 6 to arrive so we unloaded the cooler, claimed our room, and got the space prepared for a weekend of friends.

While we waited for the others to arrive, we took our first crack at a walk down the beach. It was super windy, but overall a wonderful stroll. The sun was setting behind the dunes. The pelicans were soaring. Hardly anyone was left to bother us. We then went to WINGS, if you know the beach, you know WINGS. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky. We realized that in all of our preparation, we had everything anyone could possibly want for a weekend (or week for that matter) adventure to the beach with one exception…we forgot to pack our beach towels. 😉

Purchases made and a phone call later left us heading back to let in the next couple, S and M. Ordered pizza, talked, snacked, and shortly A and N arrived and our party was complete.

BEACH

I cannot even believe it has taken us this long to get to the beach this year. We are mid-way through the middle of the summer, and still I have not touched sand and surf. But we are going this week my friends. Thank goodness Shoobs was born in the summer and double thank goodness he likes the beach. I married right!

Tomorrow is the day he gets his ACTUAL GIFT. I can’t wait. I reeeeeeeeeeally hope I got him a good/right thing. I shant say it here just in case someone let’s it slip. But it is super and will benefit both of us, because let’s face it, gift giving in marriage is a little selfish sometimes.

So anyway, he will get that tomorrow, and then we will have everything we need for birthday beach times. Friends, games, sunblock (he was not super excited about that gift. Whatever, 31 days in this month. Deal with a crappy gift or two.), sand, sun, surf, and surf city crab shak or whatever it is. Shoobs’ fave beach dive.

I took a half day Friday so we could go up early together. I took a half day Monday so we could spend all day Sunday if we wanted. I am doing this beach thing right.

And then not getting another vacation for like ever.

Cedar Point

Holy crap that place is awesome.

We got up at a decent hour Friday. The three of us ladies shared the bathroom remarkably well, no fighting, no hitting, just rotating through showers and mirrors. (Cor’s shower is also pretty awesome. Three girls took showers, not condensed in any way from our everyday shower [I don’t think] and the hot water and water pressure kept up.) We woofed down some cereal, packed a bag, and headed out the door by 8:00am. One quick stop and we were on our way.

Three hours later, we pulled in our parking space, shoved everything to the trunk, and waltzed in to Cedar Point.

The decision was made to work our way methodically through the park. We started to the left and tried to hit every coaster as we made our way around. The park is huge. In 11 hours, we were able to ride only one ride twice.

I don’t know if it was due to it being Friday the 13th specifically, or Friday in general, but we hardly ever had to wait. Even the longest of lines took only 45 minutes. For the most part, our wait consisted of waiting for the next train to show up and let us on. The weather was quite agreeable, a little warm at times but the set-ups over and throughout the place kept us nice and cool.

My favorite ride…the Dragster. I think if I had been required to wait in line much longer than I was, I would have like it less. The entire ride takes about 15 seconds. You are shot forward. Literally. You hit 120+ MPH in three seconds. You go straight up 420 feet in the air, crest, and head 420 feet straight down. Holy crap it is incredible.

Cak and Cor agree that their favorite is Millennium Force, my number 2. It swiftly scuttles you to the top, 310 feet in the air. All three of us compared notes and all three of us grayed out at the top a little. It was weird. But then, oh but then, it drops you off the top, launching you to speeds of 93 MPH on one of the smoothest tracks I have ever ridden. You seem to glide over the rails. There’s no jerking, no slamming your head against a head rest (because the headrest doesn’t exist), just a sensation of flying.

The girls are up now, so I better socialize and decide what we are doing today. Sister weekend!

Continued

Apparently, rearrangement was not limited to the office last week. Sitting, staring, hating the house even more this weekend, Shoobs took matters into his own hands and we rearranged the front room!

It is a temporary fix for a more permanent problem. We are over the house. It has served it’s purpose, but it is too small for two. We are grappling with the decision to look again, but the finances seem overwhelming. I don’t even know what questions to ask, if we can transfer our loan, how much we’ll owe in home-buyer credit, how much we don’t have for a down payment. I think we’re gonna start looking again soon.

That is all really. No new news.

Rearrangement

We hired another new HR team member, and as such are having to redistribute a ton of filing cabinets and such. The current plan is to build an office in the HR suite, but until the money gets approved, we’ll be rocking it cubicle style.

In this shuffling, I have decided to rearrange my office just a bit. In doing so, I’ve noted that the few pictures I have up are very limited. I don’t have many pics anyway, but… As an example, the picture I have of me and Shelby is from my older sister’s wedding. Like, 5 months after we became officially exclusive. Old.

So, I am on a mission. I have actually gone out and ordered 3 (I know only 3 but still 3!) wedding pictures. 1 for Shoobs’ birthday, one for scuz, and one for my office.

Oh! Did I tell you about Shelby’s birthday!? No, because I was trying to keep it super secret. July is Shelby’s birthday month, and since we did something very spectacular for my birthday month (ummmm St. Lucia followed by New Orleans) I wanted to give him something special. So, we are celebrating birthday month. All month. Everyday this month he is getting a gift from me. Some are crappy, some are great. He will get his official, big, this is your real birthday gift gift on the 19th. That’s his actual b-day (cough – hint). And we are going to the beach for a long weekend from Friday the 20th – Monday the 23rd. We’ve discussed and decided that next weekend, when I am otherwise unavailable to mysteriously deliver packages from my secret hiding places, I will hide them about the house and send him hunting everyday.

Because, I am also totally going to OH! It’s almost a year later, so about freakin time I visited the sis to check out her digs in my old stomping grounds. A year since she and her spankin new hubby moved into their apartment.

So much news, so little time. Check you later!