Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Sister's House

JennySlash doesn't see dead people

Tony Plutonium Self Portrait - "After the Halloween Shop"


Some of you may recall that my sister and brother-in-law's house burned down a year ago this week, the Sunday before Hallowe'en. After an initial slow start in getting any help from their insuror, they finally got the house rebuilt and were able to move back in around the first of July. We went down for the weekend to see the rebuilt place for the first time this weekend and I'm happy to say that the house looks fantastic and they're doing very well. They've always been known for their Hallowe'en parties and despite the fire (started by old wiring) starting the morning after their party last year, they're gearing up to have another one next Saturday, albeit on a smaller scale. It was great to see how well they've bounced back from such a life-altering event.

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KDH Day Eight - Tony Heads For Home

JennySlash taking a last few shots from the boardwalk over the dune

One last look...

Good thing we'd done most of the packing the night before since I set my alarm clock wrong and instead of waking up at 6:45 for a last walk on the beach at sunrise, I woke up after 8am with the sun shining in. Arghhh! We'd already made reservations at Flying Fish for brunch so we didn't have to worry about breakfast - just pack up what we didn't finish the night before and take four hundred and sixty-nine trips up and down the stairs loading up. We were supposed to be out by 10am and I turned around to lock the door at 9:59 just as the cleaning person showed up - great timing!

Had a nice brunch at FF and spent a little time messing about before heading back across the causeway to the mainland. As I stopped to fill up (gas had dropped from $3.59 when we got there to $3.19 in a week), a big SUV pulled up at the next pump and hollered over that he'd seen gas for $2.89 in Columbia on the way out, but I'd pretty much topped off by then.

I've got a bet with one of the guys at work that I made back in June - he argued that the $4.00+ gas prices were all speculation while I argued that real demand was a big part of that, so I bet him that gas would still be $3.00 or over Memorial Day next year. I figure I win either way - either I get $5 or I get cheaper gas.

So there you have it - after a mercifully uneventful drive home we're still trying to unpack and do laundry 2 weeks later, but I did actually manage to get some real rest and I've found where I want to stay for my 50th birthday in a couple of years!

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KDH Day Seven - Tony Packs It Up

Hang-gliding at KDH

Not as high up as he looked

Kiteboarder in the background

Saturday - last full day of vacation. And yet another new beach. I stepped out on the balcony and realized the wind was really blowing hard straight in off the beach and the waves were as high as I've ever seen them. Instead of the shell seekers and dog walkers or the surf fisherman, it was the day for hang gliders. As we had our coffee while bundled up against the wind, we watched a couple of gliders take off from the dunes in front of us and just hang in the air like a seagull before slipping down the beach. There were also a number of kiteboarders - surfers harnessed to a kite for propulsion. They zipped past a couple of times - found out afterwards that the speed record for kiteboarding was set the week before at over 50 knots!

After hanging around taking pictures all morning and playing a little Dungeon Siege while J finished up some stuff, we took a drive up to Duck as we'd bypassed it on Thursday. Last vacation days are always a little melancholy (one of these days I'm going to go all European and take two damn weeks in a row off. One of these days...) so we decided to treat ourselves to another dinner at Ocean Boulevard and this time sit back at the chef's "table" (actually a little bar overlooking the kitchen) so we could watch the kitchen crew. There were a couple of poor guys out on the patio trying to perform but the wind was blowing so hard they were out there singing away by themselves with the exception of one young woman who I assume was related to them in some way, but they soldiered on. We had another terrific meal (the best crab cake and one of the largest I've ever had anywhere) and were able to have a couple of laughs with the chef and his minions (I'm all about having minions!). If you're ever out there, I highly recommend asking for the chef's seating - it's a lot of fun.

Then it was back to the condo to pack and take one last long soak in the hot tub before calling it a night and a week and one of the best vacations I can recall.

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