Monday, October 20, 2008

KDH Day Six - Tony Chills Out

Friday was another day to relax a bit, although I did get up and go for a run. It was overcast and mizzly again with the beach once more covered with SUVs and fishermen, so I ran up the beach road again - didn't make it far as it started raining a bit more and I was still pretty worn out from my kayak beating. Can't complain - Friday was the only really rainy day we had. After a shower and then spending some time playing around with my new laptop through midday, we took off for Manteo for the rest of the day. We often stay in Manteo so it was a little weird that we weren't getting back over there until the end of the week. The waterfront and "old town" around Shallowbag Bay is a great place to spend a cloudy day messing around, hitting the antique stores and craft stores and looking at boats in the marina. I found a great old Reader's Digest swing collection on vinyl at one of the antique stores and a book on Carolinas music that I was unfamiliar with (the book, not the music) at Manteo Booksellers. Since we'd again skipped lunch, we stopped in at Full Moon Cafe for an early dinner. We've been eating there since they started out in the small space in the Waterfront building where Darwin's had been, then a few years ago they moved into a new much larger building across the street. I know I sound like a broken record, but yes, they too are one of our favorite restuarants in the OBX area. Even with a week we didn't make it to all of our favorites, like Black Pelican (usually too crowded) or Mama Kwan's (closed for refurbishing). The seafood enchilada at Full Moon is both ginormous and delicious - I'd actually been looking forward to it since before we went out there and it didn't disappoint.

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KDH Day Five - Tony Tends His Wounds

KDH-style surfing

Way too often I do too much on vacation and end up exhausted. This time there was actually a method to my madness as I intended to front-load the stupid stuff while J was working on her class and use the second half of the vacation to recover. So Thursday I slept in a bit, let my bruises color, and chilled while J got some classwork done. This was the first overcast day and tad cooler and when I walked out on the balcony, the beach was totally different than earlier in the week. Where before during mid-morning you saw shell-seekers, dog-walkers and a few joggers, Thursday the beach was covered as far as the eye could see with large pickups trucks and enormous SUVs with surf casters in front of each one. The condo is right next to a public access point and around 10:30, there was a traffic jam as they started to clear the beach. By 11:15, there were very few of them left, leaving the beach to the walkers again.

Mid-afternoon we took a drive up to Corolla to poke around the shops and walk around a bit (plus I like driving up into Currituck County past the $3M houses and do a little fantasizing). Unfortunately most of the places up there that weren't closed for the season were closing at 5pm, so we didn't get a lot of time since we'd gotten a late start. As we'd kinda skipped lunch, we opted for dinner at North Banks Seafood rather than driving back down to Kitty Hawk or KDH. We'd eaten there once before a year or two ago on a day when their A/C wasn't working and the fact that we'd even consider going back was a good indication that the food was good. This time it was cool and the food was even better - it's a pretty laid back, bar-oriented atmosphere but I like it. The "crab grenades" appetizer rocks. I've seen some poor reviews of the place but I like it.

Little note about the Outer Banks - you could blindfold me, drug me, and drive me around for two days before sitting me down in a restaurant and I'd be able to immediately tell you whether I was on the Outer Banks or not by whether the Weather Channel was on the bar TV. From fairly upscale places like Ocean Boulevard to bar-oriented places like Red Drum and North Banks, unless there is a local-interest sports event and only one TV, you'll see the Weather Channel.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meanwhile, back on the campaign trail

I'll finish the vacation blogging in the next day or two, but I had to comment on a couple of election things from the last couple of days.

On the good side, the $150M that the Obama campaign raised in September is pretty damned phenomenal, but of even more interest is the number of donors - over 600K. Hard to call him a captive of special interests when the donations are from that widespread a demography. The next bit of good news is the endorsement of Colin Powell. While unsurprisingly a number of wingnuts are chalking this up to the black folks sticking together, I think this has real resonance for the few idiots that are left that still haven't made up their mind who they'll vote for. The lefter-leaning like me haven't forgotten or forgiven Powell for playing along with the great Iraq bamboozlement of the first Bush term, but for most people I think he still carries some clout. Then there's the 100K people in St. Louis and the 75K in Kansas City (including a buddy of mine who had been undecided until a few weeks ago) who showed up to hear Obama. And the Supreme Court decision on the spurious suit brought against Ohio - yet another voter suppression effort but this one actually stopped.

On the other hand, things are getting really nasty on the right as McCain's hopes fade. Between voter suppression efforts in a number of now-purple states, including my own, crowd attacks on journalists (an N&R reporter and an MSNBC cameraman were attacked during Palin's appearance at Elon College) and horrendous (and annoying) robocalls in NC and other states, the Repuglicans are determined to either steal the election through voter suppression or to try to invalidate it if Obama wins.

So in summary it's looking good but I won't rest easy until the election is actually over. I'm already planning to call in sick the day after, as I'll either have had a couple of bottles of champagne in celebration or I'll have killed a fifth of Jack Daniels in shock and anger.