Around the middle of August some of my girlfriends decided to take a mini vacation to the edge of the state where it meets 'Le Atlantique,' and invited me to come. I was thrilled, and of course agreed to go; I've wanted to go to the Outer Banks for three years. We all five piled into my car around 5pm and amidst a lot of laughing, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" car karaoke and a stop for groceries, we made pretty good time to Surf City.
Getting there well after dark we turned onto the right street, and drove back and forth for about 10 minutes right around the set of numbers that fit the house, and finally found a mailbox with the right ones. Pulling in we noticed that a window was busted, and suddenly five girls got jumpy and the the driver (me) not thinking, jumped out to investigate the house number more closely.
One asked, "Shouldn't we leave the car running for a getaway?"
When I saw a shadowy head moving around inside the door panel I was squinting at I was more than startled enough to exit the property at record speed to find the house we were staying at just next door.
Despite a late night of Nat King Cole, wine and watching the moon shimmer over the sea marsh, we all voted unanimously to jump out of bed at 6:15a to see the sunrise. We got there just in time to see the sun peeking out over the top of the water.
It was a morning made of pearls and coral and we began it by gazing around in awe, then walking in the waters edge, which felt just right.
We walked along the beach for awhile, and as the morning got lighter we did too, and the food back at the house started to sound necessary. Since we had a preggo with us we decided she needed food, never mind that the rest of us were starving, and headed back out to the little brick house.
In back of the house was a deck, set up at one end with the perfect place to drink coffee and eat Saturday morning baleadas. It was a place made of green and light and wood, and in the morning was tolerably comfortable enough to eat outside.
Having decided that this was the best dining room, we set about cooking, grinding coffee and working to the music of Norah Jones, "The Long Way Home." It sounds a little sentimental to say, but this little vacation rental had an unusual magic about it that made it feel as if anyone stepping into its rooms was endowed with a sense of belonging. Oddly decorated, lined with clocks that can only have been influenced by a steady diet of Dr. Suess nevertheless it was peace and charm, and one rested there.
It's hard to define what makes a vacation perfect, but having gone on a fair share I'd say it mostly depends on what the person going wants from it, and whether or not the other people going want the same things from it. This makes the biggest difference in how fun, or relaxing, or adventurous a vacation is: in the likemindedness of the vacationers. In this case we all just seemed to do the same things, in a place that had all the right elements: music, privacy, good food, wine, books, Big Band, goblets, soft seats, water, sand, wind and waves, and a view.
Of course, Food
I feel it important to give food another mention, because who doesn't take pictures of their food nowadays? I must say, we had most excellent cooks among us turning out delicacies like kale fried with mushrooms and topped with soft French cheeses.
..who knew the secret to making frozen pizza into an artisan creation.
On a sandy beach at sunset
Anticipating olives, ginger sodas, cheese, bread and grapes on a windy beach evening.
Sun, Sand, Water + Vacation