Mini-Vacations; Try It, You’ll Like It!

It was a rough week. I blogged a serious whiner post this last Monday, and the week just sorta spiraled downward from there. On Tuesday I was all but convinced one of the higher-ups at the day job was out to get me. On Wednesday I got some bad news that I couldn’t digest like a normal person. By ten Wednesday morning I was on my way out the door in tears because not only did I get bad news, my blood pressure was high enough for me to go home. So I went home.

I talked to several supportive friends, drank some wine, and went to bed early. My boss, She Who Shall Not be Named, recovering gum addict, let me take Thursday and today off, thankfully.

Now, the hubs and I are going to celebrate our 9th anniversary on 12/12/12 (there’s a number for you) and we decided to take a long weekend at the coast.

So I am sitting on the balcony of our room at the Seahawk in Pine Knoll Shores, NC, with my iPad in my lap, a glass of wine on the table next to me, and the surf breaking just a few short yards away. This is exactly what the soul-doctor ordered.

It doesn’t take long for my Zen button to reset when I am near the ocean. I was born in late June, making my zodiac sign Cancer, the crab; a water sign. It’s natural for me to want to be by the water, so to say that just about all is right in my world? Yeah, that is a fairly accurate statement.

The Seahawk’s rates are ungodly low for an ocean front room during the off season, so how could we not come out for a two night stay?

A little sushi for dinner and a chilly walk along the beach afterward are medicine for the soul.

Saturday’s itinerary include the aquarium and a stroll through historic Beaufort, with a side trip to the Old Burying Ground, a cemetery that is over 300 years old.

Of course I brought my camera and plan on shooting my ass off. 🙂

I won’t be posting this until after our return home on Sunday, as there is no sense in advertising that Baby Boy is home alone with vicious, flesh eating dogs, and an armed alarm system.

What I can tell you right now, during this peaceful few moments in time is this: if you can find a way to escape your everyday nightmare, even for just an extended weekend, DO IT! If you can make a run for it during your local tourist attraction’s off season all the better! It is a whole lot easier on the wallet. I think we spent more on groceries for the weekend than we did for two nights in the room!

Even for December (today is the 7th), the weather is unseasonably warm, so we will sleep with the balcony door open and will drift off to sleep with the sound of the surf singing its timeless lullaby.

Until next time…

Ok. Wait. Maybe not. More pearls of wisdom.

7:28 a.m.: when the girls and I were out here last July for our chick-fest, the first thing we discovered was that the coffee packs in our room were just as bad as the coffee packs in every other hotel room any of us had ever stayed in. Fortunately, the hubs asked me about coffee in the room while we were at Lowes Foods last night getting the groceries for the weekend. Between the two of us, we can knock out two 12 cup pots on any given weekend morning, so I am glad he mentioned it. We picked up some filter packs of a brand we love, and saw where one pack will make 4-6 cups of coffee. Remembering that the pots in the rooms here are little, I figured that would be perfect. It is. My advice? Bring filter pack coffee. Really.

How did I sleep? Thank you for asking. Because the room was really warm, we decided to take the bed by the sliding glass door, and kept it open a little to circulate the air and to listen to the surf, not necessarily in that order. I went out hard. For three hours, and couldn’t get back to sleep for what seemed like hours, but I’m sure it was no more than 30 or 40 minutes. How stupid would it be to say that the sound of the surf kept me awake? Yeah, I thought so, too, so we’ll just chalk it up to being in a strange bed.

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This is the view from the balcony where we are having our (good) coffee this morning. It looks cold, but it isn’t. It’s actually a pleasant 61 degrees.

Sunday morning 7:19
On the balcony with coffee. Sunrise was gorgeous!

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We did go to the aquarium yesterday morning and let me tell you! Going during the off season was amazing. There were probably 25 people in the whole place. This was a far cry from taking the kids slam in the middle of tourist season. You could actually get to the touch tanks; I rubbed a little ray and was going to lay hands on a horseshoe crab until the lady said that they are in the arachnid (read: spider) family and she turned the little guy over, and yes, it was true! It was like looking at a huge ten legged spider with armor, so my hand going in that tank simply wasn’t happening. I brought my camera with me and used my fast 50 mm lens, which is amazing in low light conditions without a flash. I think (based on the camera preview function) that I nailed some pretty wicked shots. My favorites will be of the jellyfish. They were absolutely beautiful. I will share some of those images upon returning home. I could do an entire blog based on the aquarium alone, which I will probably do on my other blog – the one on starting a photography business – but will say that if you are ever in the neighborhood and can visit one of the North Carolina Aquariums? Do it!

Our travels then took us to Beaufort, a ridiculously picturesque little town just up Highway 70. We did a lot of walking around the waterfront and the historic district, and visited the old burying ground (which I think is its actual name). We did a little shopping and I took a LOT of pictures.

It was three o’clock when we got back to the room, and both of us were wiped out, but knew sunset was right around the corner, so we hit the beach for some more picture. This whole “getting dark early” think has really thrown me off my game! The up side to shooting on the beach in December is that there isn’t that radical temperature change that fogs up the lens when you bring the camera outside. The hubs said I tried to walk him to death.

We decided to go to Amos Mosquitos for dinner, but got there and found them closed, so we decided to go to Surfari, which is right by the hotel. We’d gone to the same building to have dinner when we came out some years back and remembered the food had been terrific. It was owned by someone else back then, and it showed. The food was less than stellar, and we should have taken a cue from the empty parking lot at six p.m. I am not sure which was the lowlight of the day; dinner, or hitting that possum in the road on the way to dinner. I know it’s the off season when the staff is sleepy and a girl can’t get a mojito. Nuff said.

Back to the room for a chill evening on the balcony, bed at a decent hour, and up at sunrise. Checkout time is around eleven, I think, so we will probably visit Fort Macon before we head back inland. I saw this place last summer when the girls and I came out, and have wanted to explore it ever since! So we’ll finish our coffee, get dressed, pack our stuff and head down the road just directly.

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