Sorry, did I say house? That place was a freaking McMansion. And it had to be, with the number of people staying there; even with all those bedrooms, some folks were sharing rooms and others were sleeping on couches. By the most incredible stroke of luck, Matt and I arrived the day another couple left, so we scored a master bedroom with a king-size bed, the most gorgeous shower I've ever seen (seriously you could have thrown a party in it) and the corner of a wraparound porch that overlooked the ocean.
View from the balcony.
Let me tell you, there is just nothing like falling asleep every night with nothing but the sound of the waves in your ears.
We drove back Saturday, which we realized in retrospect was definitely too short of a stay. And I've been spending the last three days just trying to re-acclimate to life in central Ohio, where the nearest large body of water tends to be infested with algae this time of year. Talk about heartbreaking.
Anyway, I mostly just laid on the beach all day, with occasional breaks to join Matt as he frolicked in the sea. And of course, many photos were taken. I took my DSLR, but was so afraid of getting sand in it that I wound up shooting mostly with my phone. I did manage to brave the beach with Lucy (aka my camera, which I literally just this second named) and get some nice shots. This post has a mix of the two.
Our group did not make any of these sand creations. We just admired them. And in the corner there you can see Matt kayak surfing, which he spent approximately seven hours doing over the course of two days. I tried it and even rode it in without tipping, but I was too intimidated by Matt's frequent spills to do it a second time.
I did let him take me out in the kayak before I tried it solo. We rolled coming in on a wave and I took a paddle to the cheekbone while he got conked on the head with the kayak itself. Still kinda fun. I managed not to lose those sunglasses, or my phone, so that was a big success.
Matt's little cousin and their aunt. Adorable.
Critter shells and live critters.
I took a LOT of pseudo-artsy photos like these. The sun wasn't quite setting yet, and the light was kind of cool. Lots of folks were still milling about on the beach, so I didn't get as many long shots as I would have liked. If you're interested in seeing anything else like these, check out my Flickr album.
Naturally, some slackline shenanigans were in order.
And then there's this. This, my friends, is the surf & turf at the Paper Canoe in Duck. (Yes, the town is called Duck. I love it.) If you're ever in OBX, you must go there. I didn't get photos of the appetizer (littleneck clams in a bacon tomato broth) because frankly, we inhaled them before it could even occur to me. Don't let the name fool you--I don't think I've ever had such meaty clams. This sucker, of course, was so stunning that I could barely dig in at first. It was beautiful. And everything was cooked so. damn. well. That steak just about melted in my mouth. I also failed to get a shot of dessert (blueberry crème brûlée) because I was a little tipsy (great wine, too) and frankly, I was nearly catatonic what with my full belly, haha. They practically had to roll me out of the restaurant.
We were trying to stretch it out to catch the sunset, as the place is on the west side of the island (the sound side) and it would have been gorgeous, but we were off by about an hour. I could probably have stayed and just napped until sunset, but somehow I thought that would be in poor taste. Still, that would have been the only thing that could have made a sensational meal literally perfect. Okay. Enough gushing.
Don't let anyone tell you the Atlantic can't put on a pretty sunset.
The best thing about this vacation, I think, is that we actually took it. We do the occasional weekend trip to the Red or New river gorges, and we've done a long weekend to visit my sister and brother-in-law in South Carolina, but we haven't taken a real vacation together since my senior year in college. Four years ago. And I'll say this: Our little trip has me really excited for our honeymoon next year :)