Dear Presidents Washington and Lincoln- thank you for being born!
Dear Kathy and Tom- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for letting us use the beach house!
Dear ocean- thank you for soothing my soul.
Dear Steve- thank you for taking that picture. I’m digging the composition!
The only intellectual stimulation of the weekend (well unless you count watching Overboard, which is indeed a brilliant film.)
We left Friday. Gruesome traffic, even leaving long after rush hour should’ve ended. Got to beach at 1:30am. Yuck.
Next morning, revitalization!
Dear Jolly Roger- thanks for being open during the winter.
The Jolly Roger is a landmark sort of restaurant in the Outer Banks (which is where we went. Obviously). It is decorated with pirates. The waitresses wear pirate costumes. There are Christmas ornaments on the ceiling. It is a DELIGHT.
The off season is great. Minimal waits for table.
Opportunities for important photographs.
Coffee is simply an assumption (Steve ordered it! That’s the fifth time he’s had coffee this year, and he’s now thoroughly convinced he’s a caffeine addict).
Dear International Delight- I admit defeat. I am powerless to resist you.
Dear Jolly Roger- that homemade bread is the greatest thing everrrrrrr.
Studded with sunflower seeds, it’s the best (of many delicious others) component of the Jolly Roger Special.
I opted for grits, scrambled eggs, and that toast! That toast!
Then Steve and I got plate envy of people around us receiving plate-sized pancakes, so we split one. Excellent choice.
Dear Steve- God bless the nerve endings in your feet.
The beach was sooooooooooooo lovely. Uncrowded. Just us and the always serene whooshing of the waves, flying of the gulls, churning of the sea foam.
Followed by need for bathroom.
Dear Biscuits n’ Porn…
… seriously, that is the name.
… Dear Biscuits n’ porn, thank you for having a bathroom.
Biscuits n’ porn is in a Citgo gas station. It is exactly what it sounds like.
Kathy (my aunt, the wonderful human being who let Steve and I use her beach house free of charge) said we had to get a biscuit, that they were the best.
Steve totally didn’t even see the smutty stuff while I was in the bathroom (yeah, sure), as he was buying a cheddar cheese biscuit.
I had a bite or two. It was exquisite.
Dear Ocean- thank you for providing me with a beautiful seashell. Thank you for letting me discover it by it washing up ahead of me… rather than it whacking me in the shin the way a large conch shell did one time, leaving me with a scar.
I turned it into a lovely hairdo, which Steve photographed.
Then another beautiful shell! I attempted to double them up.
We strolled along and saw cute dogs and cute children and other cute things. Awww:
Dear walking on the beach- thanks for being exercise in disguise!
Dear Steve- God bless the nerve endings all over you.
Yep, Steve did a polar bear swim. In FEBRUARY. Later we learned the ocean was 53 degrees.
Dear mini golf course- Thanks for not locking your gates during the off season. Fun photoshoot!
A place tragically closed. I wish I could go and see what they were all about…
Lunch didn’t really happen, and I decided I needed frozen yogurt.
Dear Steve- thanks for putting up with my need to get frozen yogurt. And also emotionally coping with the styrofoam.
I got this creation!
Whipped cream (this is vacation), berries (the first fruit of the day!)…
… cake batter, peanut butter (!) and pistachio (the green one).
Steve got all the cake flavored ones with a buncha candy on top.
Place I’ve been to previously and wish I could go to again:
Instead, went to one of my faaaaaaaaaaaaaaves. Mama Kwan’s!
I knew Steve would love this place because it starts with ti and ends in ki. Steve turned his bedroom into a Tiki hut with paper bags and hours of labor (have I ever posted about this? Remind me.)
Dear Mama Kwan’s adorable bartender- thanks for the tasty margarita!
Dear Kathy- thanks for introducing us to the seared tuna when we went here before. It is now non-negotiable.
(though perhaps even better than the immaculately fresh, rare-in-the-center fish is the subtly sweet, sesame oil enriched cucumber salad on the side. Nom!)
Ostensibly we were sharing both of these items but we basically dominated our respective categories.
For him, the Special Occasion Pasta.
I knew Steve would love this because it combined carbs, soy sauce, and copious amounts of butter.
I don’t know how they make this- it’s penne with roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and snow peas in the most wonderfully flavorful and rich creamy sauce that’s tangy with soy- but it’s great.
A single entree managed to fill up Steve. Insane. (Though most normal people eat about a third of this pasta and admit defeat).
For me, what I’ve stated in prior blog posts would be my last meal:
MAMA KWAN’S FISH TACOS!
Perfectly sauteed mahi mahi, rice, cabbage, green onion, cheese (you wouldn’t think it goes with fish but oh it does), and wonderfully rich and unhealthy lime sour cream.
Dear change of scenery- I love you.
It’s amazing, sometimes, the things you end up talking about just by virtue of talking somewhere you haven’t talked before.
And yknow, that margarita and a strawberry daiquiri that also somehow appeared in front of me didn’t hurt.
The next morning- HOT BATH!
Dear bathtub at the beach house- thanks for being deep enough that I had water up to my EARS!
Next- surprise, surprise, return to Jolly Roger.
Sunday brunch= marginally longer wait for table= photoshoot!
Steve is a scary pirate. I am a happy pirate who didn’t comb my hair after that nice hot bath.
Steve is on the case for me to put Christmas ornaments on my ceiling. (He can’t put them on his because of the aforementioned Tiki hut).
Dear Jolly Roger- you are awesomely affordable. If I lived near you, it’d be trouble.
Steve decided that since the Jolly Roger Special was only $3 (!!!!), he’d go ahead and order two.
Thus enjoying toast (four pieces- he just snatched one off the plate before I took a picture), hashbrowns, grits, and both scrambled and fried eggs.
I had a breakfast sandwich the size of my head.
Dear Jolly Roger- thanks for being so cool and including the omelet veggies so I’d get at least one serving of produce on this vacation.
This was SOOOOO delicious.
We looked dreamily out the window at the rain for a bit- fortunately we knew and expected this rainy day and relished the sunshine the day before. We had rainy day plans, oh yes.
I LOVE AQUARIUMS SO MUCH DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT ME?
(I assure you that now my boyfriend and anyone within earshot of us at the aforementioned aquarium for sure, no doubt, knows this).
I, the girl with no knowledge of photography whatsoever, love how when you take pictures of fish one of them always pops out into focus.
I like turtles.
(I said that to be HILARIOUS and reference Youtube but the truth, of course is that I LOVE turtles. There was a sea turtle rescue simulation involving plastic terrapins that was designed for children but that I did… with gusto).
My favorite fish at the whole place was this awesomely peculiar looking dude, who evaded my camera’s focus at every turn.
Dear Steve- thanks for spending so long at the aquarium.
Dear North Carolina aquarium- thanks for being AWESOME and letting us pet rays!
After the aquarium, nothing seemed better than having a hot beverage somewhere cute.
We went to the Frontporch cafe, which indeed had an adorable, if waterlogged, front porch.
Steve fueled his growing caffeine addiction (sarcasm) with a ridiculously sugared-up heat bar coffee creation that featured chocolate whipped cream (!). I had soy au lait. And forced Steve to eat some of my biscotti.
Once again having skipped lunch, we headed to the FISH MARKET to buy dinner!
Loved the whole vibe:
Loved the local:
Could not resist the smell of hush puppies.
Dear Steve- kind of thank you and kind of not for buying hush puppies.
Steve is a master mixologist… of dipping sauces. That ketchup- mayo- Texas Pete’s- malt vinegar combo was grand.
More would-be-cool-to-sit-outside places. If you squint, it’s a dock.
Then we had to go home and watch Overboard.
Dear readers- if you have seen Overboard (actually, if you haven’t seen Overboard, go see Overboard, then come back to answer this), what is your favorite line?
Mine is: You shot a chicken?
Soon enough it was time to eat again. These things happen.
Dear Kathy- the beach house is awesomely well stocked. And now I want a grill pan!
Swordfish marinated in lime juice (lots), honey and oil (a bit; only had olive oil and I feared burning).
Three minutes a side.
(Dear Steve- thanks for documenting!)
Also: oven yuca fries.
Dear Cooking Light- thanks for giving that tip about soaking starchy vegetables in water before turning them into oven fries. They did cook up better.
On vacation I GARNISH! Ooh la la.
Steve brought veggies, what a guy.
Zukes and chayote sauteed with oregano:
Spinach sauteed in olive oil with lotsa garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon.
Dinner by candlelight with Carmeniere.
Final night. Dramatic storm. Crazy wind.
Cozy beach house. (Mostly. Except when Steve got up and went to see if there was a burglar. There wasn’t).
Packing up to leave the beach, felt crazy sick. Nauseous. Dizzy.
Simply my body not wanting to return to the everyday? Perhaps.
Dear oatmeal (and yes, Jolly Roger will make that for you too, and blissfully)- thanks for always being there.
Dear epic traffic driving back north- way to remind me that I refuse to live in the DC metro area for the rest of my life.
Dear carefree, unwhiny, blissfully-in-love President’s day weekend me- I miss you already. Let’s repeat this feeling soon.