Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Eight – “The Departure”

Day Eights itinerary:  load vehicles, pull chocks, head home

Caeli and Jameson('s nose)Kelsi and Juliet
We got up not much after the normal “vacation time” of six and took the dogs out, put some coffee on, and went to work finishing up packing.  That didn’t take long since we’d started the night before so while the final things were being packed, like the refrigerator stuff, toiletries, etc., I began to load up the van and my father in-law began loading his truck.  Once everything was just about loaded, I quickly took a shower (it’s how I start my day and I had a decent sweat going from loading the van in the heat and humidity), dressed in the clothes I’d kept out, and got everyone in the van.  About eight, we told my wife’s parents that we’d meet them at the Morning View Coffee House & Roastery and then headed out  with them only a minute or so behind.

As we headed out, in a light rain, but foreboding clouds on the horizon, we were greeted with a rainbow.  It was like Mother Nature saying “Hope you had a good time, thanks for visiting, safe travels!”
Rainbow

One last sign of Mother Nature showing us some love…as we headed across the last bridge from the Hatteras area into Nags Head, the dark clouds parted, letting the sun shine down along our path.

Exploiting The Breach

  A few minutes later and about an hour after leaving the cottage, we’d passed the rain and clouds completely and pulled into the Morning View Coffee House…perfectly timed for a fill up with great coffee.  We were back on the road within ten minutes and were home before noon.

We had a few issues with spiders bites, burns, and dogs getting sick from eating unknown pills, but overall, we had a great trip.  The bouts of rain and thunderstorms were brief or late so they didn’t interfere with our activities.  The food, for the most part, was very good, and the company was superb.

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Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Seven

Day Six’s itinerary: early departure (maybe), pool

As I mentioned in my Day Six post, Juliet, our little girl wiener dog, threw up around one-thirty in the morning, but went back to sleep and slept until just after six.  I took her and her brother out and fed them.  He got the normal amount and I gave her five kibbles.  She kept them down so an hour later, I gave her five more.  She kept them down, as well.  She drank a little water and it also stayed down.  We thought this was a sign that maybe she’d turned the corner on her problem so I convinced my wife to stay rather than pack and head home.

Because she seemed a little better, after breakfast, we all got ready and went to the pool at the Beach Klub at Koru Village to enjoy the beautiful day.  We stayed about an hour and a half and then popped back into Food Lion for more water.  [I guess I haven’t mentioned in any of these posts that the spigot and water in the kitchen was so foul that we’d been buying water to drink and use for coffee.  It’s amazing how much water you can go through doing that.]  We got back to the cottage and I got busy making lunch while everyone got cleaned up.

About three, we’d eaten and cleaned the kitchen, and I’d gotten cleaned up.  The girls were trying to talk their grandfather into taking them to see Ice Age 4 at the theater around the corner from the cottage and, since Juliet was still punky and not drinking much, my wife had called the vet she spoke to the evening before and we were waiting for a call back.  Out of the blue, Juliet threw up again.  I’d been in favor of staying through the next morning all day as Juliet had been throwing up and had been near her old self when we got back from the pool, but this changed everything.  My initial thought was to pack everything up and head home so we could take her to our vet on Saturday (the next day) morning, but the girls had already left with their grandfather to go to the movie.  My wife found an animal hospital in Nags Head that was open until six, so she, her mom, and I hopped into the van with Juliet and made the hour drive to take Juliet to the vet.

We arrived at the Animal Hospital of Nags Head around ten after five.  By five-thirty or so, we’d been moved into the exam room and had spoken to the vet tech or assistant or whatever the equivalent of a nurse is in an animal hospital.  She weighed Juliet, took her temperature, and listened to why we were there, symptoms, etc. and then left the room.  A few minutes later, Dr. Shae entered and shook all our hands and asked what had happened.  [On a side note:  Why do all vets seem so stand-offish the first time you meet them? Are they afraid you’re going to bite?]  He asked a few further questions and then said we needed to do an x-ray to make sure Juliet hadn’t eaten foam or something else that was still in her digestive tract causing the problem.  He was fairly blunt when he said that if this had been a fairly toxic pill, she’d likely already be dead.  After the x-ray, they would do blood work to make sure the drugs were out of her system and that all her levels were normal.  He would also give her some fluids and anti-nausea medicine.  We asked whether we’d be better off getting the blood work done back home at our vet or if they’d fax the results to our vet when they got them to which he replied that they run the tests there at their facility in about fifteen minutes.  We agreed and in a few minutes, Juliet had been x-rayed and we were being shown the image on a computer screen…much cooler than the old way.  Everything looked normal, so he told us that he’d now take her and do the blood work and give her fluids to hydrate her.  We were escorted back to the lobby.  My wife and mother in-law sent me out to go find coffee while they waited.

Good Views Coffee ShopOn the suggestion of a guy picking up his dog from the hospital, I headed north about three miles and found an awesome little coffee shop, Morning View Coffee House and Roastery.  Yes, they roast their own beans right there on the premises.  I got there just before they closed and was able to get the last cup of coffee they had, a double Espresso con Panna with a shot of peppermint, and a Salted Nut latte.  I also got a bag of coffee to go.  The drinks were great.  Very well made.  I knew where I was stopping for coffee on the way home.

Last sunset of the tripI got back to the animal hospital as the vet had just finished explaining that the blood work came back fine and that we needed to not feed her for somewhere between twelve and twenty-four hours.  Apparently, the three of us all heard a different length of time.  Since it was late, and they wanted to go home as much as we did, they injected all of the fluid they would have used in an IV drip behind Juliet’s right shoulder which made her look like a camel or The Hunchback.  Not surprisingly, she slept the whole ride back to the cottage.

We got back to the cottage just after seven, fed the dogs, packed everyone into the van and headed out to get dinner.  We called Ketch 55, one of the few restaurants at which we’d not eaten, and they had an hour wait so we called Oceana’s Bistro.  They told us it would be a thirty minute wait so we had them put our name down.  We got to the restaurant and waited out front on their couches.  It took less than thirty minutes and we were seated.  Again, we all enjoyed our meals, and we got an order of funnel cake fries to go.

Back at the cottage, we had coffee, funnel cake fries, and finished as much packing as we could before turning in.

Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Six

Day Six’s itinerary: yoga  (haha), pool

My day started normally with the puppies waking me up around six.  I let them out and fed them and then first sign of the pill incident from the night before…shortly after giving them their food, Juliet, the little girl puppy began throwing up.  Over the next hour and a half, she’d emptied her stomach to where she stopped throwing up.

Sun pushing away the stormThe rainy morning had broken up a bit and some sun was out so we all decided we’d run up to the pool for a little bit while Juliet rested.  As we were about to leave, though, she threw up again so my wife stayed at the cottage while the rest of us headed up to the pool, in two different vehicles because the girls and their grandfather were a bit impatient.  Shortly after getting to the pool, my mother in-law decided to head back to the cottage.  The girls and my father in-law and I played at the pool for about an hour and a half or so before packing up.

We hit the fudge shop across the street from the Beach Klub at Koru Village and bought five quarter-pound chunks of different fudges and then headed to Food Lion to pick up a few things we needed.  As my younger daughter and I exited the store, we ran into my wife.  She and her mom had decided to leave the cottage and visit the pool only to find us missing, so they headed to Food Lion, knowing we were planning to pick up some things.  We all headed back to the cottage to eat lunch.

By two or so, we’d all eaten and decided we wanted to go out to eat, but we needed to cook the pork loin we’d purchased earlier in the week.  When we’d bought it, I’d intended to grill it, but the grill was nasty.  The oven was fairly nasty as well when we’d used it to cook the girls pizzas for lunch, but since it was already hot, I decided to cook the pork inside a little foil tent to try to keep any of the smell and smoke from the oven from tainting the flavor of the meat.

Playing Wrath of AhardalonWhile the meat was cooking, the girls and I introduced their grandfather to “Wrath of Ashardalon,” a board game based on the 4th Edition rules of Dungeons & Dragons.  While he didn’t seem as into the game as the girls and me, he paid as much or more attention than my younger daughter.  About 40 minutes into the game, the pork loin was done and smelled wonderful so I took it out of the oven to cool, managing to burn my arm on the oven door that didn’t open all the way because our dog cage had moved in front of it.  After about an hour of playing, it was time to think about dinner, so we quit the game, packed up and started getting ready to find a place to eat.  I put the pork loin in a dish, covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the oven for the next day.

During the afternoon, we had tried giving Juliet little bits of water and a little while later, she’d throw that up so we stopped giving her water.  While we were playing “Wrath of Ashardalon“, my wife began calling the different veterinary clinics in the area…which turns out to be not many.  The closest one is only open on Mondays and Wednesdays.  She was able to get in touch with an on-call vet whose office is in Manteo.  When she explained the little white pill and the symptoms since, he told her he didn’t hear anything that made him think “emergency” or something like that.  He said we should see if she’d eat and keep down chicken baby food and the plain rice we’d picked up earlier.  Based on that guidance, we headed out to dinner.

Mad Crabber Brew is the Weeping Radish's Corolla GoldWe decided to try The Mad Crabber, one of the restaurants we’d not yet tried.  We were told it would be about thirty minutes, but were seated in about five.  The service was quick, as was the delivery of the food.  Everyone enjoyed their meal and I was very happy that their Mad Crabber Brew was the Weeping Radish’s Corolla Gold.

My wife and younger daughter headed to the Village Grocery (right next door to The Mad Crabber) for the  while the rest of us stayed to pay the bill.  We met them back at the van and headed home to see if Juliet would eat the rice and baby food.

Juliet wasn’t interested in eating anything so we just let her continue to rest while we watched the family movie Little Manhattan that was part of the DVD library at the cottage.  After the movie, the girls went to bed and the adults read or hit their computers before heading to bed.  Juliet slept in our room that night in case she threw up…which she did once, around one-thirty.

Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Five

Day Five’s itinerary: yoga, not-the-pool or beach

Ok…so…it’s now beginning to be kind of a joke that we’re going to make it to yoga, right?

We had another everyone-sit down-and-eat-together breakfasts this morning followed by a brief discussion about where we wanted to go today, then got ready and were out the door by ten thirty or so.  We headed north back toward the Waves, Salvo, Rodanthe area.

We stopped and shopped at a building that housed a Surfside Casual, a couple other stores that we didn’t visit and a coffee shop.  The coffee shop had a different name, but it was a little bigger, brighter version of Uglie Mugs, complete with the same mugs all over as decor.  They had a bigger room and selection of beads and a bigger area for sitting after ordering your beverage of choice….which, for me, was another Dane Bramage, hot this time.  Mmmmm.  Have I mentioned, Mmmmmm?  Hot or over ice, this is one yummy drink.  I must have more.  Oh, hello…I kind of zoned there.  The Inn At RodantheThe folks in the shop also provided directions to the house from “Nights in Rodanthe” which my wife and mother in-law wanted to see.

We left the shops and headed to “The House” in Rodanthe.  It was rather unimpressive, especially since it was moved from its original location and is now in the midst of other houses, has bright blue shutters and plenty of folks pulling up at all hours of the day to take pictures.  On bad weather days, you might even need a 4 x 4 to check it out as the road is unpaved and has rather large dips that create quite the water hazard.  I’m not really sure what the draw is, anyway.  It’s not like the house is pretty.  There are some much prettier beach homes with more land and much, much better views.

After our too long visit (about 5 minutes) to The Inn at Rodanthe, we headed back to the Pirate shop we had passed.  This is a tiny little building, not much bigger than two old school, drive-up photo marts and, true to its name, it is all about pirates…pirate flags (with a chart indicating which flag was flown by which pirate), pirate window decals, books on pirates, flasks with pirate logos, kid games with pirate themes, etc.

Pea Island Art GalleryWhen left the pirate shop it was still too early to eat lunch so we scooted on past Good Winds, the restaurant we enjoyed on Sunday, and headed to the art gallery my wife wanted to visit, Pea Island Art Gallery…just about the last thing you can visit before leaving the Rodanthe/Salvo/Waves area and heading south to Avon.  Viewing the building from the outside can be misleading as it looks much bigger than it really is.  It has a very high ceiling, but is only one story.  That one story is packed about as fully as possible, though.  While I can appreciate the time that went into most of the art, but most of it didn’t speak to me.  I did find a few reproductions of artist originals that I liked and My wife and I ended up buying a small reproduction.

From the art gallery, we cruised the fifteen minutes or so back to Avon and hit the Dolphin Den for lunch.  The prices were very reasonable and the sandwiches were good.  I had the cuban and my wife had caprese bacon sandwich.  I guess I was the only one in our party not annoyed by the group who came in shortly after us with very loud children who also kept kicking the seatback we shared.

That put a wrap on our adventures for the day.  We headed home (to the cottage) and got cleaned up.  Prior to leaving on our trip, I had prepped a few steaks.  While everyone lounged around, I prepared and then began cooking the potatoes and frying the steaks because the grill was absolutely disgusting.

As I was working on the dinner prep, out elder daughter came upstairs and reported that the female puppy, Juliet, had eaten a little white pill.  We had no idea what it was so we kept an eye on her and continued on with our preparation, cooking, etc.   The after effects of that pill will be discussed in the next two blog posts on our vacation.

Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Four – “Best Day Ever!”

Day Four’s itinerary: yoga, live band and BBQ at Beach Klub at Koru Village in the evening

So, what happened was…we didn’t make yoga again.  A storm blew through in the middle of the night and our cowardly elder wiener started acting really stupid.  He was whining, scratching at the door to get out of the room, trying to jump up on the bed, and, generally, just being a pain in the butt.  Even locked in his crate, he was whiny and noisy.  This seemed to go on forever, but I’m sure it was probably really only fifteen to thirty minutes.  Long enough, though, that my wife moved to the room with the girls to get away from his whining and slept in well past time to make it to yoga.  Maybe we’ll try to make it tomorrow…maybe.

While my wife was still in bed, I took my second cup of coffee and the girls to the hot tub.  While not the most peaceful and relaxing time in the hot tub with an eleven and a nine year old, it was certainly better than being at work. 🙂

Eventually, we’d all gotten up and eaten whatever breakfast we wanted and had decided on going to the Haulover or Canadian Hole or whatever.  I’m not really sure of those are the same place or two different places, but we hit a really small beach on the sound just a bit further south than Avon.  While the sound doesn’t have the same sort of tide and waves as the ocean, down here in the Hatteras area the wind blows almost constantly, causing a choppy, wave effect on the water.  The water is shallow for a long way out which is great for a lot of the water sports because it provides enough depth to do most of the actual sporting, while being shallow enough to allow standing (vs. treading water) to mount and dismount the equipment.  Without any of our own sporting equipment, though, the girls got bored quickly and we left for the pool.

We (my wife and I) checked into the pool at Beach Klub at Koru Village and left the girls and their grandparents there while we walked next door to the Atlantic Coast Cafe to grab some food to bring back to the pool.  In about fifteen minutes, we had our food and were headed back to the pool.  The food was very tasty and everyone was happy.  We spent another thirty minutes or so at the pool before heading back to the cottage to clean up.

Sunset Wheat with two margaritasWe took our time getting cleaned up (including a little beveragification time on the deck) and were ready to head out to hit a few stores about four  o’clock.  We hit the Dollar Tree -I’m not sure why, Island Spice and Wine -relatively small selection of mostly expensive wines, then a small knick-knack shop and an art shop/design your own art shop, before hitting Uglie Mugs again.  Today, I just tried their Tortuga’s Lie coffee which is supposed to be a dark roast.  It was tasty, but not as tasty as the Dane Bramage.  We started heading back toward the Koru Beach Club and got sidetracked by a nifty little crappity store called The Fisherman’s Daughter.  It had one floor with a small selection of women’s apparel, jewelry, Vera Bradley stuff, and a tiny fingernail parlor.  The second floor has a bunch of home decor stuff, including a Christmas decoration section.  Nearing six o’clock, and raining fairly hard, we left the store and headed back to the Koru Beach Club to see what was going on with the Tuesday evening performance and BBQ and found the parking lot nearly empty, which wasn’t really all that surprising considering the weather.

We turned around and headed to Oceana’s Bistro, a little restaurant about which my wife’s mom had heard great things.  We were told the wait would be around thirty minutes, but it ended up being closer to fifteen.  I had a Kona Brewing Company Fire Rock Pale Ale (very yummy), my wife had a five dollar margarita, and my mother in-law had an Old Fashioned.  Mom in-law raved about her drink.  Because it was Taco Tuesday, the tacos were only one dollar a piece and the girls were happy to have two or three a piece as their meals.  For dessert, everyone shared the funnel fries and a piece of chocolate peanut butter pie.  Mom in-law claimed the funnel fries were the best thing she’d ever eaten.

The greatness of my mother in-law’s day became a bit of a joke as she had previously found a shirt she really liked, loved the Old Fashoined drink, and now the funnel fries.  “It’s been the best day ever,” she told us.

We got back to the cottage, spent a little time watching some TV and the lightning through the back doors before heading to bed.  Hopefully, the storm will stop soon so the stupid elder dog will not keep us awake tonight.

Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Three

Day Three’s itinerary: yoga

Well, we didn’t make it to yoga this morning, but we’re going to make it tomorrow if we don’t have thunderstorms.   We just enjoyed our coffee and the view from the cottage.  Eventually, everyone woke up and got their own breakfast and we headed to the Beach Klub at Koru Village pool again.  We stayed there a little longer today than yesterday, even wandering down to the beach for a quick peek at the rough waves.  The pool was quite a bit busier today.  The family we met yesterday from Pennsylvania made it out a while before we headed out, and we met another family from Canada.

We left the pool and hit Food Lion on the way back to the cottage to eat lunch.  We ate, got cleaned up, and headed further south today to visit Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras.  We stopped at Buxton Village Books,  a tiny little building jammed full of books.  Their used books were a good price, but most of their new hardcover books were more expensive than you’ll pay on Amazon.  They do have a big collection of books about the Outer Banks and North Carolina.  We continued on and stopped at a Surfside Casuals store which ended up nothing more than a diversion since we didn’t buy from them.  We drove on down to the ferry, but didn’t take it.  Instead, we shopped at the little village shops.

Inn on Pamlico Sound's dinner view

On the way back, we stopped at the Inn on Pamlico Sound for dinner.  We were a little concerned that we might be under dressed, but seated outside, it wasn’t a problem. The view was spectacular and the food was very good…pricey, but very good.  The only down side was the annoying little may/horse/deer fly that kept buzzing around, keeping us all swatting at it…so we skipped dessert and headed back to the cottage.

Night three ended a little earlier than the last two.

Vacation 2012 – Avon – Day Two

Day Two’s itinerary: breakfast, pool, where the day takes us

morning coffee on the deckWe were up at six to take the dogs out for their morning walk and then feeding and just stayed up after that.  Got some coffee and sat out back on the deck for a while.  Eventually, my wife’s dad joined us and then the girls woke up so we had breakfast and then started getting ready for the pool.

Koru Beach Club poolSandwiches packed, waters made, Capri-Suns in the cooler and sunscreen sprayed/slathered on…time to hit the pool at the Beach Klub at Koru Village.  We arrived just after the pool opened and there was only one other family there so we had pretty much any chairs we wanted.  By the time I had my shoes and shirt off and was ready to sit down, the girls were already in the pool playing with the other kids.  Isn’t it amazing how kids can do that?  We hung out at the pool for a few hours, catching rays, playing in the pool, and eating the sandwiches we made.

We got back to the cottage and took our time getting cleaned up before heading out to Uglie Mugs, one of the local coffee shops.  The shop is fairly small, with not a lot of space for even a line to form in the room with the menu, but it also has a small ice cream case and bead store in the back.  Most importantly, though, their coffee/coffee drinks are great.  I had one that they call Dane Bramage (four shots of espresso, steamed half and half, and vanilla flavor) over ice…it was so yummy that since I finished it before the girls finished their ice creams, I got a second.  Did I already say Yum???  I think I’ll be back there a few more times this week.

From there we headed toward Rodanthe and found ourselves at Kittyhawk Kites watching folks kite boarding.  It looks really cool and my wife and I thought we’d like to give it a shot, but after talking to a couple folks who’ve done it, we decided that our money-to-fun value will probably be better served by renting wave runners instead.  We’ve been told that unless we were willing to dedicate a lot of time to learning how to do it and practicing to get to the skill level to really enjoy it.

on the deck at sunsetFrom watching the kite boarders, we went upstairs to Good Winds to grab an appetizer and a drink.  We were all much more impressed with the food and beverage quality there than at The Froggy Dog.  It also had a great view overlooking the sound and the kite boarders.

We headed back to the cottage, but got sidetracked down a few roads looking at the other cottages and lots available to rent and/or buy..not that we’ve got the money to purchase, but it’s fun to imagine we do sometimes.  We eventually made it back to the cottage, fed the dogs, had a little mead on the deck, and then walked to the beach, finding our way back just as the sun was setting.

A little after eight, we decided it was time to order a pizza only to find that we can’t make phone calls from the land line in the cottage.  Since we have very poor mobile connectivity, my wife and I headed to Nino’s Pizza to get a pizza and some wings to go.  They didn’t quite get the order right.  Of course, I didn’t find that out until we got back to the cottage.  Since we didn’t pay for the wrong thing, we decided to just eat what we got…which was crap.  Talk about a horrible eating experience.  The half of the pizza that was pepperoni might have had six or seven slices of pepperoni…on the entire half of the large pizza.  Very sad.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the taste of the pizza was unimpressive, as well.  We’d have been better off hitting Food Lion, getting a couple of their frozen pizzas, and cooking them ourselves.  The hot wings were also bad.  Their breading was crunchy, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but, inside the breading, the chicken had been shriveled away to almost nothing.  The only thing good about the hot wings was that they did actually have a little heat to them.  If you find yourself in Avon, I’d recommend avoiding Nino’s Pizza.

At that point, it was already late so it wasn’t long before everyone headed to bed.

on the beach at sunset

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