Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Vacation, Part I

A month later and I'm finally remembering to update about our whirlwind road trip! I think it has just taken me that long to recover. This trip was not spur of the moment, we had an inkling about what we were going to do. The transition from notion to action occurred a little faster than we anticipated.

We never went on a honeymoon. I lost my job four months before our wedding, and started a new job four days after. When we had the time, we didn't have the money and taking care of our home and creatures always took priority. John got it in his head that when he was done fishing for the winter we should just jump in the car and go, for like a month. However, finding someone to care for our animals for that long is just impossible. Not to mention, he brought home six little ducklings before his last fishing trip that were growing insanely fast! So he got done fishing on a Wednesday, and we were heading out the next Monday. I managed to get Monday through Friday off from work, but just couldn't get anyone to cover my shifts on Saturday and Sunday.

Day 1 of our trip was off to a rocky start. For one, we needed money, so we had to wait until we could get to the bank and cash his check. Then there were a number of other little things that needed to get done, and it took up half the day! It was early afternoon before we were finally on the road. We stopped that night for a nice dinner in Massachusetts, and since we didn't want to just use our hotel passes for 5 or 6 hours of sleep, we decided to drive through the night to the Outer Banks, North Carolina!

Around 10pm I really had to pee, so we pulled off the highway into a town where apparently everything closes at 10pm. The gas station didn't have a public restroom, McDonald's dining room was closed (but drive thru was still open), Lowe's was closed, and WalMart had just closed. FINALLY we found a Taco Bell that was still open and had a usable restroom. I really wish I could remember the name of this town so I could never ever go there again, but alas, I will probably end up there on our very next road trip.

Around 2am I dozed off. We saw so many signs for things that looked interesting, and so many thrift shops I wanted to see! But nothing was open, and we had to take mental notes for "next time". John was a trooper, he kept on driving. Finally, around 6am, we were near Chesapeake, VA, he got tired and asked if I could drive for awhile. I was thinking, "Sure! I'll just drive us to the next Rest Area, and we'll take a snooze in the car." There were no Rest Areas. I kept on driving and we made to the Outer Banks around 9am. Trouble is, the campground we were staying at didn't have check-in until noon.

This is where Day 1 runs into Day 2. We drove to the end, checked out the ferry to Ocracoke, and decided that would be a fun idea for the next day. We walked through the "Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum", and then I got to sit in the sun with my toes in the sand for about 20 minutes. This was easily the best 20 minutes of the trip for me. Right as I was about to fall asleep on the beach, we decided it was a good idea to find our campground and take a nap. Unfortunately, when we arrived at our campground, no one else was there either. No one answered the phone when we called. Tired and cranky, and definitely hungry, we set off to find lunch and decided if we saw another campground, we'd just stop at that one.

By the time we made it to lunch, we called the campground again, they would put up a map to our tent site on the door, and we could just setting up in the morning. Finally we had definitely plans to sleep at some point!

After a very late lunch (we might as well call it earlybird special dinner), we got our tent set up, and went for a walk to check out our surroundings. Our basic plan was to use the campground as our "base camp" and go exploring a lot more the next day. We drove all over the Outer Banks on the first day, and stopped and saw a lot of things, but our sleep deprived brains didn't fully enjoy everything. I managed to choose the one campground without beach access, but we did manage to find a marshy area we could sit and watch the sunset. We stayed up grilling, having a few drinks, and managing to stay warm as the night temps were in the 40's. Turns out the campground had just opened, and the hot water wasn't on yet.

Within a few minutes of putting food on the table, we had a kitty friend coming to visit! She was quite pretty, VERY friendly, and a completely unapologetic beggar. After an appetizer from us, she went in search of larger prey, and we watched her gracefully climb a tree next to a bunch of birdhouses. And then later she came scratching at the sand next to our tent, and we hoped and prayed we weren't sleeping in a giant litter box.

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