Oak Island 2018

Cara Christian and I spent a week on the beach this year. My cousin Mark Sowa recommended Oak Island and Cara found us the perfect spot, from the thousands available. The beach starts at the south end of the NC outer banks beaches, and tracks pretty much straight west from there.

We checked all the boxes of a perfect sea-soaked getaway, from skim boarding and boogie boarding and frisbee and paddle ball on the beautiful wide beach right outside our door, with a huge tented umbrella as our base, to surf shops for sunscreen and board shorts and skim boards, from sun burning to bronzing and browning, to recuperation on a perfectly shaded second-story-balcony view over the dunes and grasses to the beach and nightly sunsets, to a breakfast at Old Bridge with all the locals, to Italian dinners at Castucci’s, to endless breakfasts lunches and dinners from the trunkload of groceries we brought in, to tons of multiplayer Beeswarm Simulator and Gary’s Mod (Christian you rock!), to a spontaneous adventure to Bald Head Island that turned into an amazing DOT ferry ride to an incredible natural maritime forest tour via golfcard (where we stopped to see a family of small deer cross our path, including a curious fawn, before they disappeared into the reeds…) to a 5-story run up to the top of the oldest lighthouse in NC, to fresh Raleigh-roasted Larry’s Beans and locally-roasted The Rooster and The Hen french presses, to Frosty’s frozen goodness, to the healthy and local goodness we found at Inergy, to the best tacos and burritos ever at Kai-Joe’s, to a boat tour of the Atlantic and the Cape Fear River and the Intracoastal Waterway and all its sights, ending with the most beautiful sunset. Blissful.

2018 Men’s World Cup party

2018 World Cup wasn’t all that since the USA didn’t even qualify, and no one’s favorites seemed to have made it to the final, but it didn’t stop us from having a banging party.  :-)  Thanks everybody for making the trek to hang out – especially Rei and Julian riding out on the China Bus.

Cara and I discover Winston-Salem

Both before and after my good news, Cara and I had a great time discovering Winston-Salem.  We stayed at the Historic Brookstone Inn, originally built in 1837 and converted into a beautiful set of suites full of character, tons of ancient brick and massive lumber and generously sized – we loved it.  It has a bit of a brick campus, lots of nooks and crannies and pretty much all ours, with the exception of the resident cat.

 

Even parking lot geese deserve a little care and love

Paty my kind coworker called that a family of geese were in distress and I met her to see what we could do.  The poor little goslings were too small to get up the curb next to where they were hatched.  We got some tape and rocks and made it a bit better for them.  Such cute little ones!  But don’t get too close or dad will have a word with you.  By the end we found that the most wonderful kid working in the Mexican restaurant was their guardian angel and brought them food and water regularly.  The wildlife officer came and said there was no need for him to intervene, even though the dad looked like he had a sprained leg everyone agreed their best chance was to carry on.  And that they did.