Friday, May 22, 2009

OBX with the fam - part 2

The weather has improved VASTLY in the last couple of days and this trip has been feeling like a proper beach vacation ever since. In the words of Calvin and Hobbes, the days are just packed!

One important piece of advice: If you ever decide to venture out on the beach in the dark of night in search of crabs, please PLEASE wear proper shoes - the type that cover your entire foot. I went barefoot and was soon terrified that I was going to step on one of the many many MANY crabs that were scrabbling across the shore. They were everywhere! And they'd stay still when we shined our flashlight on them, but as soon as we'd move that light they'd run TOWARDS us! Holy jebus, did I squeal. Cassie got a great laugh out of it, though.

Monday, May 18, 2009

At the Outer Banks with the family - part 1

On Sunday night (yesterday) we arrived at the beach house in Corolla. Unfortunately, this is not turning out to be the sunny, summer vacation we were hoping for. It's cold - highs in the upper 50s today - and very windy, but it'll get a bit warmer as the week progresses. No matter. We're having fun anyway!

The name of the beach house we're renting: Wave Watcher.

And there are certainly some waves worth watching.

Here's Ray on our boardwalk to the beach with the house in the background.

It's hard to tell in the pic, but this place is 3 stories tall, as are most homes here. It sleeps 14 people & has 3 living room areas. I think there are 10 TVs in this place. It also has a pool and a hot tub. It's totally insane ... as are we. Clearly.

What with the rain and all, we chose to stay indoors for most of our first 24 hours here. We played "Pretty Pretty Princess", which David won soundly (Can you see his earrings and necklace?), but he graciously let Sammy wear his crown.

We went to the aquarium. The otters were adorable, as one would expect from otters. I was also happy to see the giant puffer fish! Yay!

And we visited The Lost Colony, but I only managed to take photos of the ampitheater where they put on the big Lost Colony play every summer. This is the view of the stage from the stage manager's booth. Snazzy!

Just after dinner, a few of us decided to take a stroll along the beach.

Smile, Mom! You're at the beach!

Mom and Cassie search for interesting seashells ...

... while David and Sammy (and Ray) chase the waves.

At some point, somebody has got to get wet first. The four-year-old volunteered herself (and her mom) for the job.

Mom described the outing as "invigorating". I think that sums it up perfectly.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Pink Cake!

On Tuesday my mother will arrive. In approximately 90 hours, her plane will land & 2 weeks of fun & frivolity will ensue! We're going to visit the state farmer's market and see "The Color Purple" at the DPAC and maybe go to an arts festival. Next weekend my dad and Ray will show up and we'll all drive out to the Outer Banks where we'll spend a whole week hanging out with Uncle Buster, Aunt Fay, my cousin David, his wife Cassie, and their daughter, Sammy. Ten people in a beach house, visiting historic sites or splashing in the ocean by day, playing Rock Band and poker by night. It should be fabulous!

But before then, I have to get the house ready. That has been my whole goal this week. I'm trying not to be too much of a perfectionist this time around, but it's hard to turn that off. A part of me wants to make sure that everything is JUST RIGHT. Every surface must be scrubbed! Or freshly painted! Every need must be anticipated! Right?
I need to relax. It's just my family, right? They won't care if I still haven't painted the upstairs hallway. They won't care if the shower curtain is still a couple inches too long. They'll be happy just to be here. Right. I'll keep reminding myself of that.

By the by, it has been 2 weeks since the Big Ol' Audition and I have not heard from anyone yet. Le siiiiiiiiiiigh.

Random side notes (a la george)
Other things I did to celebrate my birthweek
1. Saw the "This American Life" live broadcast with Tim, Jennifer, and Kyle
2. Drove down to the new Ikea (only 2 hours away!) & bought a ton of stuff for the house
3. Got a giant 8 quart stainless steel mixing bowl that, luckily for me, also works well as an impromptu rain bonnet
4. Had the gang over (the usual 7 people) for a dinner party, for which we made the following
- swedish meatballs (yes, Ikea was the inspiration)
- boiled new potatoes
- sauteed french green beans
- yeast potato rolls (soooooooo amazingly good)
- 2 layer strawberry cake with buttercream frosting (because pink cakes are the best)