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Outer Banks Travelogue

It’s been a while since I've blogged, but I’ve been enjoying this beautiful summer! I hope you’ve been able to catch some pictures and reels of the flowers in my garden. I just got back from vacation to the Outer Banks – specifically Nags Head, North Carolina. I have an oceanfront condo that I rent out throughout the year, but I try to get out there at least once or twice a year if I can. This trip, I went with my daughter Sydney and her boyfriend Huck. They are great travel partners. I thought I’d try giving you a travelogue of sorts with events of a couple of days and some general observations.

Saturday, July 29 - We left at o’dark hundred and flew Southwest Airlines for the first time. They have their own culture of sorts. It’s not bad, just different. Most of the flights were timely and it worked out as promised. From the Norfolk airport, it’s a 2-hour drive. We stopped at a market on the way and Sydney picked out a perfect watermelon! Once we got settled in the condo, we took a nap and later headed to Manteo (sounds like Manteeo) on Roanoke Island to a Tex-Mex restaurant called Ortega’z. Manteo is a sweet seaside town that we love to visit. We stopped at a Brew-Thru (beverages in a drive-thru setting) and an ice cream place on the way home (as you do!).

Sunday, July 30 – Syd and I headed up the island in the morning to get coffee and bagels. Some places are closed on Sunday, but we found a Starbucks to “fuel up”. It’s a bit of a drive to Corolla (sounds like Corahla), but it was nice to catch up and have a great conversation with Syd. We picked up bagels with various cream cheese choices and a crazy heavy coffee cake at Lighthouse Bagels and headed back.

One our way, we stopped at the new Target in Kill Devil Hills. I always like to refresh things in the condo and we found things that really worked out well. Back at the condo, we sat on the deck looking at the dunes with sea grass and watched birds fly close. It’s cool to watch birds in flight. We had a hearty dinner at the Outer Banks Brewery and went to a place called Fish Heads to get a drink and listen to some live music. It’s a bar, eatery, pier and good place to people watch. It’s on the water and we watched kids with headlamps hunt for crabs.

Monday, July 31 – I woke up very early and watched the sunrise. I love both sunrises and sunsets – both never get old on the beach. We ate bagels and Sydney did my hair which was so cute if I do say so myself! We went back to Manteo to visit shops and one place that is a favorite of mine is Sam & Winston. It has a lot of fun and fancy things for the house, but also has some cool jewelry. There is an artist, Mary James, who takes old European medals and pairs them with a beautiful necklace of pearls. Syd and I ended up with Angel of Victory medals given to soldiers after WW1. Hers was from Belgium and amazingly matched a tattoo she got recently. Mine was from England and on the side it had a name – Private E. Ballard. I looked online and his name was Ernest Ballard. What is his story??

This is how I get inspired! I love it that my daughter is okay with getting matching jewelry, etc. She said,"These will be heirlooms that are passed down in our family.” It made me tear up. I feel sad that the families that owned these medals gave them away, but I feel so lucky that she shares my sentimental side. This perhaps started a chain of emotional thoughts and tenderness in me. Life is short and fleeting, and what will be kept and remembered...well, how much does all of it matter? We picked up yummy sandwiches from Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop and ate them in the park facing the water. On the way back, we stopped at Austin’s Seafood Market and picked up some fresh grouper, steamed and seasoned shrimp, pimento cheese spread and some banana pudding I never did get to taste because it went fast! Syd is a brilliant cook and she made us a Mediterranean meal of sorts with lots of fresh veggies, fish marinaded in a lemon and dill mixture, and couscous – all cooked to perfection! Syd is a person that I think could do absolutely anything she wanted including being an amazing chef!

Tuesday, August 1 – It's the first day of August and we welcomed the Full Super Sturgeon Moon! A full moon over the water is the best. We slept in, ate at Mulligan’s (best place to get hush puppies)

and went to the nearby outlet stores - another trip to Target. We made 3 trips total – mainly because I was a bit slow understanding what I needed for new drapes. One of the renters must have put something metallic into the microwave, so I had to call Joe to call Ross the handyman to see why running the microwave was blowing the fuse. We ended up needing a new microwave that Joe brought by on Saturday and Ross installed. I have a lot of people helping me maintain my house and condo – it takes a lot of angels. Huck, Syd and I went to dinner at one of our favorite places – Village Tap and Tavern up island in Corolla to watch the sunset and listen to music. I love listening to live music.

The rest of the week was kind of the same pattern: wake up in a beautiful place, get a bite to eat, shop or see the sights, and relax. We went to an outside market in Dowdy Park in Nags Head, which is lovely, and I got to see one of my favorite artists – check out @RoseRast. She takes Richard Scarry books and recycles them into journals and pins. She also makes beautiful earrings and other art.

The new microwave is in place, drapes are hung and I miss the place already!

One thing I realized on this trip is that I can never spend enough time with my daughter. She is an amazing human and I’m endlessly proud of her.

I discovered a new love poem by one of my favorites – Pablo Neruda.

XVII (I do not love you…)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;

thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,

risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;

so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Let’s chat soon.

With affection,

Carrie VS

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