Tuesday, October 14, 2008

KDH Day Four - Tony Thinks He Just Turned 24

Getting out was hard enough

Coming in was an adventure!

That most often ended in a wipeout

(all these pictures are of course by JennySlash)

So I finally rented the kayak on Wednesday - it was warmer but the waves were still a lot higher than I realized. With the rental place right across the street, I just walked over and picked one up. And then walked across the street and immediately dropped it on my big toe. Ouch!

I managed to get beyond the breakers on my first try and spent a little bit just paddling parallel to the beach down towards the pier and back before deciding to ride a wave back in. I actually managed to get a fantastic ride in my first try and from then I was hooked. The waves did get a bit bigger though and it got harder to get past them as the afternoon went on - I'd either get dumped going out or I'd get dumped immediately when I tried to ride one back in. No matter, I was still having a great time, despite the bumps and bruises from having waves smash me in the shins and the head repeatedly with a 60 pound kayak. What wasn't cool but still didn't kill the buzz was when a wave smashed me in the back of the head, dumped me off the kayak and grabbed my prescription Wayfarers off my face and threw them into the deep. Of course as I told J, if I hadn't been willing to lost them, I wouldn't have worn them into the water - I need a new prescription and the frames were getting a bit worse for wear.

After a few hours of this, I finally relented and dropped the boat off across the street and limped on through the rest of the day. We went out to pick up a few things and then hit Flying Fish for dinner for yet another terrific meal. I'll admit that I still miss Osprey Island Grill that preceded FF at that location, but the food was really good and we also got a $7 off coupon for Sunday brunch, which worked out well since we had to be out of the condo by 10am on Sunday.

Topped the night off by soaking my horribly battered bod in the hot tub for awhile before hitting the sack for some well-deserved Zzz's.

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KDH Day Three - Tony Turns 48


Beach Pigeon

Managed to sleep in a little later on my birthday. The weather cooled off a bit (it hit 80 on Monday but wouldn't quite reach 70 on Tuesday) and the wind picked up a little bit, although nowhere near as much as it did later in the week. With JennySlash having to spend so much time working, we'd decided not to bring the tandem kayak with us, but I'd been planning to rent a sit-on-top to take out into the surf. Monday I ended up too tired and Tuesday was too cool and a bit choppy, so we opted for a walk out on the beach instead. Afterwards I took the bike out and rode down to Whalebone Junction and back.

Dinner was at Ocean Boulevard in Kitty Hawk and was a memorable experience! The scallops were fantastic and the creme brulee I had as a substitute for birthday cake was out of this world. This was only the second time we'd eaten there and I highly recommend it for a special occasion. Great birthday!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

KDH Day Two - Tony Settles In

Monday morning sunrise

J is the best dolphin spotter - she pointed out this little pod out playing in the waves

...until the damned alarm went off at 6:45 am. Apparently whoever had stayed there last had neglected to turn the thing off, so I was up WAY earlier than intended. I did wander out to the balcony to take a couple of pictures before going back to bed for another hour or two.

JennySlash had to work on her paper, so I went for a run down the beach road (I like running on the beach, but only barefoot and that's frankly not a good idea for a very long distance) before coming back for breakfast. Then I went for a swim or wade-and-splash or something for awhile in the afternoon. The water temp was still low 70s and the air temp was close to 80, so it was quite comfortable!

J knocked off for a bit late in the afternoon and wanted to get out, so we drove down to the outlet shops and did some serious damage to the Eddie Bauer outlet (if it weren't for Eddie Bauer, I'd pretty much be naked) before heading up to my favorite restaurant - Chilli Peppers. Besides having some of the best t-shirts around, the chimmi churri oysters appetizer is worth a drive to the beach all by itself. Mmmmmm-mmmmm!

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KDH Day One - Tony Breathes a Sigh of Relief

We often rent a really nice condo in the Pirate's Cove development on Roanoke Island just before you cross the causeway out to the barrier islands. This time though we wanted two things that place doesn't have - an ocean view and high speed internet access. So I did some searching on Sun Realty's website and came up with this place to stay, just across the line from Nags Head to Kill Devil Hills. Now we've always had good luck with Sun Realty but our choices have not always been good. The condo in Duck we tried would have been great for 4 guys hanging out and drinking beer all weekend but it was not particularly romantic. And the first house we rented in Duck had such a creepy vibe in the master bedroom that we spent the week sleeping on the sofa in the great room (which turned out to be not that bad and the week we spent turned out okay).

So anyway, I was a little concerned that we'd get out there and find that the place was a disaster, but instead found a romantic little second floor condo with a beautiful view over the dune to the ocean, a private balcony with a hot tub, working broadband access and the only real problem was having to lug all of our stuff up two flights of stairs. Score! The other huge benefit was the proximity to other places we needed to get to, like beach rentals, restaurants (although we were disappointed to find that Mama Kwan's was closed for redoing), grocery stores and other necessities.

After lugging an XTerra full of stuff up the stairs, we drove the horrible long distance (all of about 800 yards) to the Harris Teeter for beer, food and beer (I kid - I was actually quite uncharacteristically moderate the whole week) and then walked the half a mile down the beach road to Red Drum Taphouse for a really nice dinner and a couple of Dogfish 60 Minute IPAs. After that is was back to the condo and the hot tub (did I mention that it is on a private balcony - with privacy?) and one of the best night's sleep I've had in awhile. Until...

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KDH - Prologue

I don't like to blog about being out-of-town until after I'm back. I've never tried very hard to hide my non-Interweb identity and while it's probably not likely to happen, it wouldn't be all that hard for someone to figure out where I live, so blogging about being at the beach for a week is best done afterwards.

So NOW it can be revealed that JennySlash and I just got back from a week at Kill Devil Hills, staying in a rental condo right on the beach (something we usually don't do - we usually stay on the soundside on Roanoke Island). This was definitely a (much-needed) vacation for me but a working one for J as she was working hard on a grad school assignment most of the week.

Note on food: You'll note a lot of attention paid on where we ate. That goes back to our first trips out to the Outer Banks back in 1986, when finding anything other than fried seafood and steaks was nearly impossible (a little place on the beach road called Gandalf's probably saved our marriage and certainly kept us from starving to death). Since then every year there are more and more really good restaurants with a fine variety of styles and even though some of my favorites like Millie's Diner, Papagayos and the aforementioned Gandalf's are gone, there are new ones every year that take their place. So, yeah, it's important.

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