Day 1, still traveling, woke up in Philly
One of my students suggested that Jake and I visit Longwood Gardens on our way to North Carolina. So, we made a point to visit the gardens and immediately fell in love. I wasn’t prepared for the size of the estate (huge) or the variety of gardens. The weather was overcast and by the end of our two-hour excursion I was soaked, but we were both happy to see it this way. Somehow it seemed more real and the mistiness was just beautiful. And although most of the visitors and greeter seemed to favor the gigantic and impressive conservatory, we both loved walking through the outdoor gardens. They were a bit less manicured and felt more natural. One of the best features was an observational honeybee hive, where we could watch the bees working, traveling in and out of a small tube connecting the hive to the outside world. I’m so incredibly glad we took time out to visit the gardens.
Day 2, Outer Banks
Sleep in. Farmer’s market for veggies, strawberry jam, homemade cheese. Guacamole and burritos for lunch. I learn that the OBX bumper stickers stand for Outer Banks, which seems so logical now. Lay out of the beach for a while and get stung by high winds and sand. A bit of computer work for me and board games for Jake and our friends.
Day 3, beach
Sleep in. Leisurely bike ride to explore the “town.” Back to the beach, which is much calmer today. Jake swims out past the breaking waves. Incredible sand castles. Jake thinks they are representations of Helms Deep. Walk through the rising tide. I finally finish the book I started in March. Salad with peaches and blue cheese, sandwiches with gouda and avocado for dinner. We make such better meals than we can find in restaurants here.
Day 4, beach
Got up a bit earlier, but still a slow start. Bike ride to grocery store for maple syrup. My butt is killing me from biking yesterday. Most of the workers in the Outer Banks seem to be Eastern European, Google explains why. Way too much french toast (with pecan raisin bread) for breakfast. Jake beats me at Mystery Rummy about 25 times in a row. A bit more design work for me. A few hours on the beach, walking the shore line to look for beach dogs. A swim in the ocean, not as cold as I thought it would be. Lots of sunscreen, but still a little red. Happy exhaustion, dinner, board games.