Beach 2000 - The Outer Banks in North Carolina

Beach Trip 2000

This is our third trip to the Outer Banks. The first time, the wetaher was incredible, and we got out just in time to miss Hurricane Bonnie. The next year we were chased out by Hurricane Dennis after being there for just one day. So we decided to got opposite of hurricane season, and went in late May instead of late August. Then we got slammed with a freak "Nor'easter." You can't win. At least the company was good. The first four days the freak "Nor'easter" hit the islands, and our cottage was pounded by some of the most severe winds and rain I had ever seen. I mean, SHEETS of rain fell like gigantic shards of pane glass some nights, and our house rocked back and forth in gusts of wind that reached up to 72 mph. Yes, *seventy-two mile per hour* winds were recorded in Manteo just a few miles north of us. Most of our deck furniture was made of heavy wood, and even that had to be tied down. The hot tub cover barely survived, and nearly ripped the hot tub from the decking. We lost a lot of roofing tile which ripped from our house like post-it notes. I have seen ceilings leak, but the pressure of the wind and rain were so strong, our walls even spontaneously leaked in some places, spreading dark patches of soaked stucco here and there. The storm kept elbowing the islands again and again as it spun just offshore. Parts of the island chain flooded. But we had a good time, I just wanted to explain why we have so few pictures; we were barely outside.

The last three days of the vacation we had great weather. Although I overdid it, and after being stir-crazy for four days, I spent the better part of the next morning in the hot tub despite the winds and clouds. I spent TOO much time in the hot tub, and got the worst sunburn since my childhood days across my face, chest, and arms. I mean, my skin turned a reddish-purple. Yowch! Turns out I also got sun-poisoning. I had to be bedridden for a while, which wasn't so bad, because that's kind of what I wanted to be anyway. I got to catch up on a lot of TV. It hasn't changed much, has it? Daytime TV has gotten even worse! I am not missing much. My computer refused to work, it would only get AOL mail and instant messages for a few moments before just hanging. The line noise was awful.

The players in our little vacation were our family, which were me, Christine, and Christoper. Our friends were Jeni, a prosperous dog-groomer and artist from Damascus, Brad, the soon-to-be-ex-manager of Leased Lines Operations of Digex, Sara, a friend of ours from the University of Maryland, and Chance, Sean's eldest daughter, who came as a companion of Christoper.

The gang

Here is the gang that went with us. CR is busy watching for dive-bombing seagulls.

Ahfu in a moment of reflection

Ahfu's not even a year old yet. All he has seen is the South Dakota area, a pet shop, and his owner's house up to this point. He made a mad dash for the beach, and didn't have a problem with the sand. We also had another caninie companion, Jeni's Pomerainian, Bear. But he never stood still enough to have a picture taken of him. Ahfu waits until I stop taking pictures so he can have a mad dash at the kids at the shore.

Ahfu didn't care for the actual shore much. He'd put his paws forward, and tug backwards. Those tracks to the right are not from sea turtles, but his own paws. He didn't mind getting wet, or having the waves lap at him, but there were some screaming kids, and then he got hit by a large piece of seaweed later. So afterwards, he stayed away from the shoreline...

Who turned out the lights?

... but he did like to dig. He was in heaven. He must have dug over several hundred holes. Apart from the occasional twig, he never got anything, and I was always wondering what he was digging for. I had to follow after him and bury the holes, for fear beachgoers would get sprained ankles. His face here is covered with sand. When it snows, he looks like this, too. As a puppy, he loved to frolic in the deep snow we got in 1999.

Reminicent of a Hitchcock film, birds would aggrigate on our deck if they thought we even had a scrap of food. We found they liked animal crackers, and they were easier to throw than potato chips.

Feeding the birds

Boy, you sure could get a lot of birds with minimal effort.

Lots of gulls

Brad... that's enough birds. They are on the roof and perching on people now. Brad? BRAD?

Naughty Gull

SQUAWK! Well, note to self, don't feed the gulls. They got so numerous, that the people in the beach house next to us started squirting at them with a Super Soaker. Truthfully, it was fun.


Brad shows off his new Swami act to those who care to smile back. Brad has been with us for every single beach trip we have had. He has been through the disasters and triumphs. He brought his kite, but the winds were so fierce, that even though it was a $100 stunt kite, the gales would have shredded it to ribbons. It just wouldn't be a beach trip without Brad.


Jeni and Sara, showing off their "tequila hrons," because tequila is an evil drink. Some of the adults took to drinking later in the evening. I was not one of them, so I got to film it all. I will be holding these pictures for blackmail purposes later. Jeni, remember Dick Rabbit? And the "shetland" dancer? You will, Jeni... in time.


On the last day, the sun came out to stay, and Chance and Christoper got to build a sand Castle. Say, it's that a little close to the shore, guys?


Look out for that wave!


Oh well. It was grand when it lasted.


If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Christopher, Jeni, Chance, and Sara enjoy one last swim at the end of Hatteras Island.

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