Friday, August 22, 2014

A busy day on Rodanthe's beach!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Today's blog will start with last night!  I was getting ready for bed and glanced outside.  There was an incredible lightning storm way off in the distance over the ocean!  It was absolutely beautiful.  The waves crashing was all we could hear.  Lainie and I watched it for a bit.  So many stars, the lightning was orange and yellow, there was a nice breeze.  It was quite an experience.  I tried to take pics but they were all solid black.  Darn!

Today started as they all have.

I could never, ever get sick of this.
It was so hot and steamy again!  Unbearable.  Unless you are swimming!  So we all went.  Even me again!  The ocean was much kinder today!

There's Lea!
Swimming was really fabulous today.  There were breaks where we could catch our breath at least.  Grandma even came out with us!  It was so warm and nice.  We were out there for about an hour and a half.  And I stepped on a fish. Or something very fish-like.  It was slippery and squishy but firm.  And fish shaped.  Brad doesn't believe me and says a fish would not let itself get stepped on.  But I know a fish when I step on one.

While we were swimming, those rescue vehicles came by as usual, but today they had lights and sirens going.  They zoomed past and went up the beach a bit.  Three vehicles.  There was a small crowd watching them.  Lea and I were the only ones swimming at that time, and we stopped and said a prayer for whoever was in trouble and for the rescue workers.  Word travels fast from beach house to beach house, and we found out a man had a seizure in the water and passed away.  Absolutely heartbreaking.  Sobering.

A bit later, there was another crowd forming.  This time it was a beach fisherman with something huge on his line.

Turns out he had a huge stingray!  We could see it out in the water flopping all over.  Then his line broke and the crowd all said "Oh no!" together.  But soon enough, another dude was catching one!  It was HUGE.  We were upstairs at the time with a great vantage point of it in the water.

See that giant blob in the water?  That is it!
These dudes worked hard reeling these things in!  I have no idea how much they would weigh, but this one that ended up on the beach was measured at over 6 feet wide!  Incredible sight.  They unhooked it and it swam away!  And then, to my surprise, people went right back in the water.  Right there where it was!  I would be way too freaked out to do that.  Seems like he would be really mad and could attack people for revenge.  But all was well.

Then this happened.

A tug boat and some other thing came very close to shore!  We don't know what they were doing, but they were near a big barrel floating out there and a submerged giant pipe.  It all has to do with the dredging to rebuild the island.

And then, this.

Ummm, I have no explanation.  But if THAT was in the ocean, I am DONE.

A strange, strange day around here.

Brad and Lainie did some more swimming and wake boarding.

A bit blurry

We did some shopping at the local touristy stores for fun. It got dark and looked rainy, but didn't really rain.  We have lucked out on the weather!!

I am sitting here with my ear plugged up from ocean water.  It is totally worth it, though!  This week has been so incredible!  Today was our last full day, as we are beginning our drive home tomorrow instead of Sunday.  We always drive straight through to get home, but since we have a rental mini van, Brad is the only driver allowed, and it's just too much in one day.  So we cut our trip a tiny bit short.  We will swim and have fun in the morning, then get packed up and drive almost 7 hours to our half way point.

This trip goes down in Stull history as one of the best weeks EVER!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Ocean Fun (and some nudity)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

That title got your attention, I bet!  I will get to the nudity later.

Woke up to the usual view from our bed:

It is very hot and humid again today.  When I step outside from the air conditioning, my glasses steam up.  We went swimming again to keep cool!  The ocean was a bit much for me, again.  It started out fun, but one rogue wave was determined to kill me.  It slammed me into Lainie and I apparently was grabbing at her and pulled down her bathing suit.  Ooops!  I felt like I was drowning and she may be, too.  So I grabbed.  She was fine, thank God.  (This is the first incidence of nudity today.  Thankfully only the fishes saw it, though.)  The wave really got me and I swallowed a lot of water.  When I finally emerged, I was coughing and puking up sea water.  It was really lovely!  I sat out after that and took pics and enjoyed watching my peeps.  Lea didn't stay in long, either.

Grandma took a snooze in front of our house!  Because the weirdos moved over :)

Where was this guy when some little kids got in trouble in the water?  Some awesome surfers saved them and brought them in to shore!
So the neighbors moved over again and are not in front of our house.  But there they are!  I took this while sitting on the deck off the master.  Good thing I am not naked out here (but who would EVER be naked on their balcony?)

Another piece of my heart right there.
 We have been seeing these offshore rigs all week and the lady at the realty place for our rental house said they are dredging up sand from the bottom of the ocean and bringing it to shore just north of here in Mirlo Beach to rebuild the shore there.  Storms have done tons of damage in the past couple of years.  These rigs are active all day, and lit up at night.  The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a great job, it seems!  Today, a tugboat was pulling some super long thing.  The pic shows the tugboat, the big rig in the background just right of it, and then the super long thing.  No idea what it is, but it's interesting!

Lainie dug a hole and found this eensy weensy blue crab!  Isn't he adorbs?

We relaxed and did our own thing (music, movies, books, naps!) and Brad and Grandma ran out to the store.  When they got back, we went out for dinner.  There is a little bar and grill down the road so we stopped in to check it out.  I was immediately not happy because there was no indoor seating.  It is so hot and sticky and I am a big baby.  But we sat down anyway.  The menu was full of seafood!  And the waitress described all the daily specials and I just kept hearing the word SHRIMP.  Slightly panicking (anaphylactic allergy here!) I calmed myself down and asked her what I could order that she could guarantee would not have touched shrimp.  (This usually goes well and there are plenty of options for me.  At a buffet in Vegas, the head chef himself came out and took me around telling me which dishes were safe for me.)  She says "Oh, well, we have tried this before.  But there is always some utensil or something that the cook has used on shrimp and he always forgets something."  OK, bye!  Geeze, that is scary.  We went down the road a bit further to a place called Watermen's Retreat.  It's a little complex with condos, watersports and a great restaurant that could handle my allergy with no problem!  We had a terrific meal!  We walked around the grounds after, while a live musician played and sang.  It was like we were in a movie, so cool!

It's on the Sound side of the island.  Marshy, very pretty.


The ice cream truck was there.  We didn't get ice cream, but Lea was very excited to see it and wanted a pic.

So.  While we were out looking at the water, listening to the music and discussing how awesome life is, I glanced up to the condos.  I will forever remember THIS room.

 Because a dude came out on his balcony to hang up his wet bathing suit.  And he was completely naked!  And just hanging out there!  (Literally.)  He stood there.  Went back in.  Came back out. Dried hisself off.  A few too many times.  Now, realize that this pic is taken from space or an airplane or something.  We were close.  Close enough to see everything.  EVERYthing.

It was hilarious!  Unless you were a teenage girl.  And then it was not funny.  Especially when we talked about it for hours.  Bahahahahaha!  (By the way, he was yelling down to his friend/girlfriend/wife and was definitely from Europe.  So it's ok that he was naked in public.  They have different norms, ya know.)

Once we got over that shock and laughter, we came back and Brad, Lainie and I took a walk down the beach.  Got a few more shells for the collection.

 We talked to the weird neighbors who caught a 2 foot shark last night out in front (probably of OUR house) and a 5'7" sting ray!  We saw the pic of that one.  It was enormous!  That is bigger than I am tall.  Holy Monster, batman.

Lainie and Brad took a final swim for the day.

The surfers that were out all day were still there.  We haven't seen many in front of our house yet, but today was the day.  It is fun to watch them!  These guys swam and came in.  We are all so exhausted from all this fresh air and ocean stuff.

The main theme today is: even if you have to see naked people, life is good.  We are richly blessed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Angry Ocean. But still good!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Today the ocean was angry.  I don't know why.  But it was churning and crashing. It sounds great from inside the house!  But swimming in it was not so easy today.

Oh sure, it looks pretty and sparkly.  But it was angry!
Brad forgot to bring a hat, and ended up with a very sunburned face.  He borrowed Grandma's hat this morning.

The pink hat and beads really bring out his eyes.
Lea attempted to swim, but came out shortly after saying "There are too many waves."

Tried it!

Enjoying it safely instead.
We sat outside (sans those pesky neighbors who weren't seen all day!) and stared at the ocean, read books.  Talked about super important stuff.  Then we decided today would be a good day to visit our fave Hatteras Island restaurant, Frisco Sandwich Co.  We headed down south a bit to Frisco.  This place serves all homemade, natural food.  They even make their own potato chips, and serve them warm!  It was very crowded which was strange for us.  Since we usually come down here off-season and don't see many people anywhere.  But we found some tables and enjoyed fabulous gourmet sandwiches, chips and pickles.  And even all-natural pop!  We took the obligatory pics of our girls as pickles.

After our bellies were full, we stopped by the Hatteras Lighthouse.  Grandma's back was sore, so we didn't go up inside this time. Which made Lea quite upset.  Maybe next time.

But first, let me take a selfie.

We stopped at a few gift shops along the way, for Brad to buy a manlier hat, and for us girls to look at cute stuff.

Then came back for more ocean time.  I got a few pics from our deck before I ventured out.

I gave it the old college try. But the waves were wild today!  No breaks in between.  Just pounding me.  One huge wave pulled me out toward the sea, knocked me down, dragged me towards shore scraping my knees on the sand, and held me underwater while it swirled around me in all directions, so that I didn't know which way was up.  Yeah.  That was when I left.  But I sat and watched Brad and Lainie navigate it all like bosses.  Ocean bosses.

I did more of this.
Seriously?  This is my week?  I am so blessed!
I took a nice nap and have no idea what everyone else was doing.  Lainie has been hanging out in her room writing.  She is doing some script writing for her next play, and writing just for fun.  Lea has been listening to music and singing.  Brad has been playing his guitar.  Grandma has been napping and reading.  So probably some of that was going on.  We ate dinner and then took a walk down the beach, Brad, Lainie and I.  Saw some interesting sights, as usual.

Very large horseshoe crab.  Dead, as the little boy smacking it with a plastic shovel with all his might told us.

Sunset.  The sun sets over the Sound side and not the ocean.  But the clouds were picking up the pink.

Someone's fabulous, giant sand creation!
And for my last trick, my friend Laura saw the pic of the house from Nights in Rodanthe on here.  So she told me to take one like the cover of the movie, and with that house in the background.  So we did.  I think we look just like Richard Gere and Diane Lane.  Don't you?