Vacation 2013 – Duck – Day Five

Day Five’s itinerary: beach, pool, Duck boardwalk, kayak, Taco Thursday

All the dogs decided to wake up around 0545 to be taken out.  When we got back in, though, the upstairs was still dark and quiet so I put them back in their crate and got back in bed.  They slept for another hour or so, at which time I heard movement upstairs and smelled coffee.  Nana was up so we went upstairs…they ate and I got coffee.

Bucket Full Of Moon JellyfishMoon Jellyfish Mountain

They day was mostly overcast and warm, but not raining so everyone had their own breakfasts and we went to the beach for a while.  It turned out to be a bit windy and not as warm on the beach.  My wife and Nana didn’t even get out of their coverups.  The girls all played in the sand and were only allowed to get in the waves up to their ankles since the slope of the beach was pretty steep, making for a kind of powerful pull back into the water.  Our older daughter made a mound of sand to cover the beach ball they brought while our younger daughter and Bubba’s daughter made a bucket full of moon jellyfish.  Eventually, they used the jellyfish to decorate the mound.

Shortly after the completion of Mount Jellyfish, we left to stop back by the pool.  Our younger daughter, who had developed a stuffy nose, complained that her ear ached after getting in the pool for a few minutes.  My wife took her back to the cottage and used some of her niece’s swimmer’s ear treatment which seemed to do the trick.  ViewFromBoardwalkThe rest of us played at the pool a bit longer and then went back to the cottage for lunch and to get cleaned up.

We decided to go into Duck and find the boardwalk.  We had an easy time of it.  There was no traffic and plenty of parking at the public access area of the boardwalk.  I don’t know how much the town of Duck spent on this boardwalk, but it had to be significant.


It’s a nicely built raised boardwalk that meanders along the banks of the sound, winding around the backs of some shops while providing sound front views for others.  We walked along the boardwalk for a while, visited a few shops, walked back, and then went back to the cottage after stopping at a market briefly to pick up items for dinner.

Sometime before getting to the boardwalk, the cloud cover broke, providing plenty of sun and a warmer temperature, so when we got back from our trip to the boardwalk, we got the kayak out again.  It turned out to only be my wife, our younger daughter, and I that went out.  We paddled out a bit and just floated for a while before heading back in and enjoying the late afternoon sun on the deck before getting cleaned up.


While I went to work in the kitchen preparing Taco Thursday, the clouds started coming back, resulting in some really beautiful views as the sun started to set.  We finished the meal, had dessert, and tried to play Clue with everyone, but Nana.  It didn’t last long before we called the game due to too many distractions and attention span problems.  SunsetFromCaptainsRoostBubba and his daughter went to their bedrooms.  My wife disappeared to our room and our girls, Poppop, and I played a game of Gubs before we all went to bed.

Vacation 2013 – Duck – Day Three

Day Three’s itinerary: beach, pool, kayak.

The dumb dogs slept in until their normal time between 0530 and 0600 so after letting them out I just stayed up, fed them, got coffee, and opened up the laptop to work on a few blog posts. Everyone else eventually got up and had breakfast, individually, while I toiled away.

We got ready and headed for the beach with a planned retrograde back to the pool before making it all the way back to the cottage. Today, though, we carried everything to the beach instead of using the truck and packed sandwiches and snacks.
Beach and pool completed, we decided not to shower before lunch since we planned on kayaking afterward. Poppop cooked shrimp while the kids got themselves lunch and I worked on making fresh peach daiquiris. KayakingI’d never actually peeled peaches before nor made peach daiquiris, but I did a pretty good job. We just needed to add a little sugar to the concoction to sweeten it up a bit.

Kayak time. We bungee-corded a tube to the back of the kayak so we could pull people along. I took the back seat, my wife got in the front and our younger daughter got in the tube for the first trip out. We went out a way, turned around, and came back to the dock. Kayaking - under the pierOur daughters swapped spots and we paddled another circuit with the older daughter. I made three more trips with each daughter taking a turn up front and my wife paddling once more. We beached and stowed the kayak and got cleaned up.

Nana and Poppop had friends who were in the area for their son’s wedding, so they stopped by the cottage for a couple minutes before the four of them went out to dinner. The rest of us, hopped in the van and headed into Corolla to find some food. We checked out Bad Bean Taqueria, but decided we weren’t interested in the fast food style ordering and seating. We tried going to Agave Roja, still looking for Mexican food, but apparently you need reservations for that place. We ended up at Tomato Patch Pizzeria. It’s a loud and hustle-bustle atmosphere, but the kids got to make their own pizzas so they were happy. My wife and I split a Super Supreme which was not super and I tried Honker’s Ale,  which is now on my list of beers not to have again.
Overcast Sunset

We got back to the cottage a few minutes before Nana and Poppop, spent a few minutes chatting with them, and everyone went to their own rooms to crash.

Vacation 2013 – Duck – Day Two

Day Two’s itinerary: beach, pool, rent kayak.

Day two started early for me when the stupid dogs decided to get up at 0430. I took them out and put them back in their crate, and they whined for another half hour before quieting back down…for about an hour, at which point they decided it was time for me to get back up and feed them. They got food. I got coffee.

sunrise over the cottageThe house sits at a location that makes watching sunrise break on the horizon difficult, but we drank coffee on the deck, and watch the sun’s light move slowly across the sound toward the houses as it climbed. After a little while, we had a group breakfast fixed by Poppop, my father in-law, the pancake master, then spent a few more minutes on the deck before getting ready to head Having A Good Laughto the beach.

Slathered with sunscreen, we loaded beach chairs, sand pails, umbrellas, and small coolers into the back of Poppop’s truck for delivery across the street. My wife, her mom, and I walked across and down the street to the beach, four to five hundred yards from the cottage, and helped carry the beach items the rest of the way.

The adults got the chairs and umbrellas setup while the kids got busy testing the water temperature and playing in the sand. The kids weren’t allowed much past their ankles without an adult next to them because the undertow was pretty strong and the waves were coming in pretty rough…and someone may have read/watched too much about sharks biting people on the east coast.

Moon Jellyfish Collection
Moon Jellyfish

We found LOTS of these clear white jellyfish with no tentacles. We picked them up, used them to decorate sand castles, and tried to see how many high we could stack them. [I did a little Googling when we got back to the cottage and learned that they are Moon Jellyfish.]

We played at the beach for a couple hours before heading back and stopping by the pool. The showers helped rinse sand from “places” and the pool water felt great. We didn’t stay too long, though, because it was now getting near 1300 hours.

We went back to the cottage, fixed sandwiches and leftovers from the night before, and decided it was time to go get a kayak. Conveniently, we’re about half a mile or so from a water sports rental business. We had Poppop drive the wife and me up to the place where we rented a kayak for the week, and then we paddled the kayak back down the sound to our cottage where we beached the kayak and got cleaned up to do some shopping.

Poppop and Bubba, my wife’s brother, took our younger daughter and Bubba’s daughter with them to the grocery store while I chauffeured, My wife, Nana, her mom, and our older daughter shopping in the beach clothing and crappity stores. We hit three or four. Nana bought herself a hat for the beach and an ankle bracelet/anklet for each of the girls.

We got home and heard how it had been a mistake for Poppop to take two little girls with them to the grocery store because it was a madhouse…which it is. The Harris Teeter and Food Lion down here service a lot of people and they are always packed full of folks. Poppop and Bubba picked up food for a couple days, but the charcoal they got wasn’t MatchLight and they didn’t get lighter fluid.

Last Rays Of Day TwoFor our good, old-fashioned cookout, I had the burgers made, the beans and corn heated up, and no fire in the grill. Poppop managed to use enough paper and sticks to catch the charcoal and eventually we got the burger and hot dogs cooked and ate dinner.

We got the table and dishes cleaned up and had a glass of wine on the deck as the last rays of the sun disappeared for the day. We had coffee, chatted a bit, and headed to our rooms to sleep.

An interesting observation: Movies always show late night partying when folks go on vacation, even as families, but it seems that I get much more sleep on vacation than I do at home. We rarely have a night that we’re all still up at 2300, much less midnight.


Vacation 2013 – Duck – Day One

Day One’s itinerary: drive, move in, find food, relax.

Sure I Can't Have Any?Packed and on the road before 1000.  Not as early as I’d hoped for, but it worked fine for beating the traffic.  There were plenty of like-minded folks, but not enough to cause a delay in traffic.  Very happy about that.

We arrived in Duck around 1230, about two and a half hours before we thought check-in time was, which was two hours later than the 1300 early check-in we were hoping for, which was three hours earlier than the actual 1600 check-in time.

To pass the time, we parked for a short while near some shops to let the dogs potty and the girls stretch their legs, we hit a coffee shop for a fresh coffee, we picked up some fudge at a fudgery and then went to see if the cleaning folks had finished with the cottage.  There was no one home, so we parked and checked the house.  Soundwatch - back of the houseIt was unlocked so the girls explored, being sure to look under all the beds for little white pulls**.  We got word from my wife’s mom that the cleaning folks had not yet been there so we got the girls out, got back in the van, and headed toward the Harris Teeter to see if it had an off-brand Frontline.  While there, we just picked up the rest of the food for making dinner.  Leaving Harris Teeter, we still hadn’t gotten the “all clear” to go to the house so we parked across the street near the pool and waited for word, which came a few minutes later.

View With A FriendWe headed to the house and began the unloading and moving-in process, which includes taking pictures, getting room assignments, and putting stuff away.  Once settled in, the kids were eager to hit the pool.  Not much time for relaxing, but I did manage to steal a couple minutes in a comfy chair with the elder wiener taking in a fantastic view before throwing on swim trunks and heading to the pool.

After the pool, the adults enjoyed some Lavender Metheglin on the deck while our younger daughter did some birdwatching.  While everyone got cleaned up, I started working on dinner:  spaghetti and salad.

Birdwatching at SunsetThat pretty much did it for day one.  Tired from travel, playing int he pool, and full bellies, it didn’t take long for everyone to find their beds.
**Read about our vacation last year for more on the little white pill our puppy ate.  The first mention of the pill is Day 5.  The effects of the pill continue over the next few days.

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.

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