There will be several things about the South that will make me nostalgic for years to come. The beauty of fried chicken in a biscuit, taking time to talk to everyone you pass in your day, abundances of gardenias. But I have to say.. I will always love how people from the South have a beach vacation.
We had a busy morning Saturday, cleaning house and packing. Drove to Atlantic Beach with newlyweds Adam and Corienne and took pictures of the aftermath of Irene. Or "I-rine" as we called her the rest of the trip.
We reached Thomas's family condo and immediately got down to the beach for beers in coozies and conversation as the sun set. My favorite time of day at the beach is around 5pm. We finally walked back to the house for a big dinner of grilled shrimp and other beach goodies.
Then round two. Lots of card games and tropical drinks made with coconut rum. We were absolutely silly and rowdy and it was a blast. We headed down to the beach to go "Ghost-Crabbing," a completely Jean-tastic game where you spot tiny crabs with flashlights and chase them down and pick them up... and then put them down. I couldn't resist a midnight swim and was pleasantly rewarded by bio-luminescent algae!!! It was magical and I yelled enthusiastically enough to get everyone in the sea with me. More playing in the pool and rowdy adventures before crawling into bed in the early morning hours.
Up Sunday feeling pretty good and off for a long swim with Thomas in training for our upcoming Ironman. We did a nice and mellow 45 minute swim along the shore (I only ran into one bluefish!) and then Trent joined us for a 30 minute run. Back home for watermelon for breakfast and then down to the beach. Amazing fried scallop burgers for lunch, and onion rings at 3pm in honor of my grandmother. An intense touch football game for a couple hours (we won! no thanks to me, but still!!).
More lounging on the beach and visiting with other folks in the area. I read New Yorkers a bit, but mostly just listened to stories from friends. I was the last to leave the beach, it was tough to leave (the water was a perfect temperature and absolutely turquoise). Trent and Thomas went to get fresh fish for dinner and I made mashed potatoes and a big salad.
Another lovely dinner with good friends and another rowdy night of highly competitive spoons, beer-ball, Girl-Talk dance parties, and another round of Ghost-Crabbing. The water was too rough for another swim but we did play in the pool for a bit.
Sunday morning was melancholy. The weather was a bit cloudy (Hurricane Lee has been a way bigger deal for us here in the Piedmont than Irene was) so Trent and I took a long walk on the beach before helping clean and pack. Hit the road by noon, home to see the puppers (Heather stayed with them), and lots of laundry and grocery shopping. A wonderful, recuperative, hilarious weekend with dear friends and my sweet fella. Just lovely.