Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Georgetown Canal

Dude, there's a canal that runs right through Georgetown!

It's a lovely little stroll in the middle of the city that feels historic and authentic. It has locks and gates and bridges and an abandoned boat and ginormous carp living in it.

It needs more quaint canal-side cafes tables and euro-style bistros, but since it doesn't have any shopping or restaurants lining its banks (yet) it's nice and quiet with some shady benches for a peaceful break from the hot crowded sidewalks of Georgetown.

Yes, I got a haircut.

We saw some baby goslings finally, we were wondering if the city was taking some sort of birdie birth control measures like they did in Bend. Well, these little guys made it happen.

Long Weekend at the Outer Banks

Hello friends!

It's been a while. I've been busy learning Spanish.

But we've also been busy having fun in our little eastern land that we're still enjoying as a novel new thing.
It's 5 o'clock on a Saturday and I can't believe we're just chillin' out at home. But it's hot (91 degrees, 42% humidity) and we felt like enjoying a mellow day catching up on chores and staying inside with the refreshingly cool air of our air conditioner. (Don't worry, we're heading downtown Falls Church tonight with some friends for dinner and drinks, and I did go to a great Zumba class this morning and to Farmer's Market for strawberries and greens... so we're not letting the day slip by completely...)

Last weekend we rented a car and drove 8 hours down to the shores of North Carolina. We camped on Ocracoke Island with some friends, a 2-year-old and a sweet little dog. It was amazing. The weather was scorchingly sunny, the ocean was swimably warm, and we had a local island-style radio station to provide the soundtrack for our weekend at the Outer Banks.

On Friday night we barely made it on the last free ferry boat to ride out to the island, we pitched the tent and crashed out at 2am. We chilled out all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and after one last boogie-boarding session on Monday morning, we hit the road at noon and made it home by 9:30pm. That was our one and only long weekend while we're out here since Hubby can't take any time off from class so we were stoked to go somewhere far away to take advantage.

The Outer Banks, it was a long drive but so worth it to be able to see this famous little area of the east where crazy beach houses on stilts live and easterners go to play, buy pirate memorabilia, eat crabs, and where things like boat shoes and sweaters tied casually around the shoulders look right at home. Love.

This is what I was picturing the Outer Banks to be like:

And it totally was! There were miles and miles of these crazy stilted beach houses everywhere. Huge! You could fit 5 families in there! No Richard Gere though.

We ate some amazing camp food, including grilled pizza, with fresh arugula on top, that I am now craving and will be needing to feed my addiction all summer. 
Portabella burgers with grilled corn on the cob and potato salad.
Brie on baguette, chips and salsa, S'mores.
Coronas, margaritas, camp coffee...
It was a good food weekend.

Apparently Ocracoke Island used to be Blackbeard's hideout so of course we had to get into the spirit with eye patches, bandannas, and a little pirate flag for camp to fly underneath our US flag, which, the boys were proud to point out was the biggest US flag in the campground that weekend.

The beach was THE PERFECT beach: 
the water was warm
the waves were the perfect size for body-surfing and boogie-boarding
the sand was soft and white and full of big shells
there were sand dunes to play on
crab holes to poke our little fingers into
dead birds to roll in
Park Rangers to hassle us about the leash law
fires were allowed
and it was miles long so it never got crowded
the biting no-see-um gnats were out in big swarms in the morning and evening, but as long as the wind was there or you were walking around in circles at a slow pace they left us alone
the sunburn and bug bites are a nice little reminder of the weekend

What else made that weekend awesome?
a campfire on the beach under the full moon
leaning that 100 pushups on the beach in the water are doable but difficult
also learning that 2 out of 3 $1.99 kites will fly quite well
Trivial Pursuit, Battleship, and Cribbage by lantern light
getting 60-miles to the gallon in our rental Prius
free showers that we never had to wait in line for because they were cold
bunny rabbits on the grass every morning
coming up with hundreds of new pirate jokes and learning a new one from a local
(What's a pirate's favorite food? B-aaaaarrrrr B-aaaaaarrrrrr Q!)
(What's a pirate's favorite letter? you say: aaaaaaaaRRRRRRR! Nope, it's the P; it looks like the R but it's missin' a leg.)
the sunburn and bug bites are a nice little reminder of the weekend