Saturday, May 16, 2009

beach surprise

Months of planning lead up to this moment last Friday. The kids were on their own all weekend, “here’s 60 bucks, find something to eat, we’re outta here!” Grace and I threw the last few items into the back of the car and hit the road. Two and a half hours later we were rolling into the little port town of Morehead City, NC. Grace gets a text message saying “come on, he’s getting in the shower right now”. We pass over the Intercoastal Waterway on the huge bridge that stretches over to Atlantic City. In less than 5 minutes Blair Herndon meets us at the door and points to a corner of the kitchen where we are supposed to stand and wait. Quiet as a mouse we pour us a glass of wine. Blair’s husband, Barry takes his time getting out of the shower and getting ready for dinner. I eventually pour myself another glass of wine just before it’s time to scare the absolute shit out of him. Blair joins us in the kitchen. In a mirror in the living room I can see the unsuspecting birthday boy walking the hall to the surprise of his life. He turns the corner and just as he sees us, we say loudly “How you durin’!!” He grabs his chest in faux heart failure. For a split second he looks like the cartoon character coming out of his skin. We got him. We got him GOOD! Barry had no clue we were coming to the beach to join the no-kid weekend. We had a great laugh about the shocker we played on him during our fantastic super high dollar dinner at Scotch Harbor, a few miles down the road. We all agreed that the most appealing of the items on the menu was the trigger fish, shrimp and scallops sautéed in garlic, spinach and olive oil over linguini. A couple of bottles of Zen of Zin (recommended!) and we were what they call in the South “shittin’ in high cotton”!
The next morning, with nary a kid’s mouth to argue with, we had a pleasant breakfast at Four Corners. We sat in the section patrolled by the waitress they called “The Machine”, who unfortunately was too busy to be our server. Instead, we were waited on by a member of the Munchkin family. Since most of your schedule at the beach revolves around eating and drinking, we ate our eggs and grits and discussed the plan for the day. I decided I would make guacamole and grill some salmon to throw inside some cheesy tortillas. For drinks, margaritas were a can’t-miss. Having agreed on the essentials, our beach time fun had to be decided. I loved Barry’s vote for Bocce ball but a set had to be found and purchased, oddly…no small task. Two hours later we finally hunt down the elusive pack of nine heavy balls, grab the groceries and head back to the trailer where we find Grace waiting patiently to hit the wind and surf. Cooler loaded, the four of us waste no time getting it over to the sand and parking our four beach chairs facing the waves. Barry and I immediately got the bocce balls out and marked off our court in the soft sand. After a game of that, he showed me a much more engaging game of random target, anywhere-on-the-beach Bocce ball that that was about as much fun as you’re allowed to have. We threw the target ball anywhere we wanted and then had to roll or throw our balls closest to it. It was a cross between bowling and putting on golf green especially close to the water where the sand surface was hardest. With the (frigid) ocean as our toilet, cooler and girls nearby on a beautiful May day what in the hell else would you want? The wind was fierce though and the girls were getting a bit chilly later in the afternoon. We headed back to the place and jumped in the golf cart. Drinks in hand, we made the rounds of the neighborhood ending up as we often do at Miss Vickie and Dorsey’s place. She’s a hoot and is always ready with the next joke. Our drinks were empty so we had to go back for refills and they followed. I began prepping for dinner as we all sat around and shot the shit. After our meal, we took another golf cart ride. We kept meeting some kids on the narrow paved paths on their carts, “hAAAy!” We stopped and talked to a few. Paul (pronounced “PILE”) from Grantham was a 13 yr. old hot rod who never EVER wanted to go to a big city like Raleigh. He was gonna be happy the rest of his life hunting and fishing down around Grantham (wherever the hell that is!). We needed Paul (pronounced “PILE)’s outdoorsman-type skills when we returned to the trailer though as a screech rang out from the upstairs deck. Blair noticed two little beady eyes connected to a big white face perched in the corner. “Possum!”
Hearing this, Paul (pronounced “PILE”) came running to the rescue. “Where’s a broom?” he says.
The possum played dead for as long as he could during Paul (pronounced “PILE”)’s prodding, finally jumping from the high deck and into the dark.
Sadly, the next morning we had to all get back home and join the real world again, checking on our babies, houses and getting ready for the week. Grace and I hit the famous “El’s Drive-In” on the way out and had shrimp and oyster burgers for breakfast. It was all great fun and it really made it hard to get up and go to work all week long. Thanks so much to Barry and Blair (who masterminded the trip) for having us down for an awesome two day escape.

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