June 17-28, Raleigh & Nags Head, NC
I'm alive!! Promise. Life has been crazy with our move and unpacking but now that I'm finally settled I'm going to be catching up on the blog posts!
Before we knew we were moving from WI and where we'd be going, we had planned to spend a couple of weeks in NC visiting friends and family. So that still happened despite my inevitable end date with the orchestra in July. I guess that's the good thing about only working part-time and with no benefits. ha.
So we headed down to Raleigh (another 16 hour car ride- thankfully these are almost over!) and got into town around lunch time that Wednesday. Mom had picked up lunch foods so we ate at home and then Jon took a nap while we worked on some photo albums with wedding events. And since it was fresh veggie season in NC- we got yummy corn and beans from the Farmer's Market for dinner. Jon and I spent the evening hanging out with Tim and Aly in North Raleigh, catching up over drinks and playing with their puppies. We drove home in a crazy thunderstorm, complete with hail!! How I've missed good summer storms.
Thursday- we finally got out to run again- first time since my PR at the Bellin Run- and of course I ran into problems. I've mentioned this in my running updates but lots of hip pain. I ended up run/walk/limping home. :( We headed to Durham for the day to visit with my grandparents- lunch and lots of catching up followed. And we barely escaped rush hour traffic on our way home for another yummy home-cooked meal. Our evening was spent with Eric and Alicia, more catching up and hopeful planning for getting together more now that we will only be 3.5 hours away. And again it stormed on our way home.
Friday- what a hot day! We were still acclimating to the heat- so I went walking again because of the whole hip thing. We ran a few errands that morning before another yummy at-home lunch. Spent the afternoon relaxing and washing a few clothes before Jon went off to meet up with a Garner Band family and I headed across Cary to see Kristi and Jimmy and enjoy delicious Mexican. So great to catch up with everyone and so excited to be so much closer!!!
Saturday- we headed to Nags Head for the start of our free week at the beach!!! Only a 3 hour drive this time- it felt like nothing! When we arrived of course the house was awesome- but the upper floors were still being cleaned. We unloaded into the pool room downstairs and then headed outside to relax poolside for the afternoon. We walked across the busy street to food lion to get more beverages for the evening and next day and then a steam boil was dropped off! We had crab legs, shrimp, oysters, clams, and then bbq and all the fixings for those who weren't seafood eaters. Was quite delicious and then it was early to bed since we were all stuffed from food and from being out in the sun.
Sunday- I attempted to run/walk 6 miles. Still some hip pain so I was trying not to push it too hard. And boy was it sweaty out there!! Had to have lots of water and Nuun to rehydrate. Of course then we headed out to the beach for the rest of the morning- nothing beats sitting under an umbrella with a cool beverage in your hand by the ocean. We got to eat leftovers from the feast the night before and then spent the afternoon by the pool (you'll notice this becomes a trend for the week). For dinner than night we tried out a Mexican place within walking distance- not too bad, but it could have had better (stronger) margaritas.
Monday- This was the first day of our excursions (yay for free trips). Half of us drove up to Corolla for a Wild Horse tour. We got in a big 4x4 covered truck and then headed out for a drive on the beach. So many ponies were out enjoying the early morning wind and sun. We took lots of photos! Then we drove into one of their protected areas- the horses were so close we could almost touch them. Fun experience! Then it was a quick stop off at the Currituck Lighthouse before heading back south for lunch and pool time. We had dinner that night at Outer Banks brewpub- I had a sampler of all their beers. My favorite by far was the Lemongrass Wheat. So tasty!
Tuesday- We were supposed to go on a dolphin tour this morning but there was a mixup with the reservation. I found a tour for us to go on Thursday evening down in Hatteras- so we quickly got that booked in the interim. After getting back to the house, everyone went down to the beach while I needed to get a little work done plus I thought it might be a good idea if I stayed out of the sun that day (it was ridiculously hot!) and I was already pretty burned. Dinner that night was in Kitty Hawk at a local pizza place that did not disappoint. Yum!
Wednesday- We got to go hang gliding. SO AWESOME. It was pretty early and overcast but that ended up being a blessing in disguise. We watched a few safety videos before getting our harnasses and heading up the dunes. Each flyer got to 5 times and they spread them out over the morning. Only my second flight did I eat the sand but the others were really great flights and it was so fun! There were lots of photos taken that'll be in the slideshow at the bottom. Afterwards we were starving and headed back to the house to eat leftovers/sandwiches, etc. And then of course it was pool time! It was a salt water pool that was just warm enough to be incredibly comfortable. We loved it. Dinner that night we were hoping for Tortuga's Lie but the wait was ridiculous so instead we ended up at Red Drum. It was surprisingly great! I had shrimp and grits and LOVED IT.
Thursday- In a similar fashion to Sunday- we spent the morning at the beach and then the early afternoon by the pool. Then it was time for showers and to head to Hatteras for our dolphin tour. On the way down we stopped by Bodie and Cape Hatteras Lighthouses. I'd never seen either of them (even though I grew up in NC and lived there most of my life). So cool. Then it was tour time. At first it didn't seem like we were going to see any dolphins and then all of a sudden they were everywhere- jumping and playing and following the boat around. Such a great time. When we docked, we were starving but of course trying to find a place to eat was easier said than done since it was 8pm. Luckily we found a seafood place with decent eats for dinner. Then we got back into our cars just before the rain started. I pulled up the doppler on my phone- we were going to be in for a bumpy ride home. Really bad thunderstorms were moving through. We drove over the bridge and I swear I saw a lightning bolt catch something on fire. But we made it in one piece- and the dogs were happy to see us back at the house. What a storm!
Friday- Our last full day :( I went for a walk that morning (still no running with the hip). And then we spent most of the morning/early afternoon on the beach. Pulled out the bocce set to show Christopher and Jordan how Bocce leaguers get it done. ;p Then of course it was afternoon by the pool before we found a different/better Mexican restaurant for dinner. Definitely stronger Margs. Then it was time for Mini-Golf!! I played terribly but had a blast and it only rained on us once.
Saturday- Breakfast at Stack 'em High. So good. Then it was time to clean/pack and check out. What a week!! We had a blast and only wish we had a free house to stay in every year!!