Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vacation, all I ever wanted.

If ever there was a good week to be kind of unplugged from reality, last week was it. As luck would have it, we were on the road. In a rented minivan. Because of a fender bender. My wife got hit driving through a parking lot. Just in time for our road trip. Not a big deal, just a pain in the ass. The vacation began with dropping off a car at a collision center and bringing home the rental. We loaded that bad boy to the roof and headed south. Day one, we drove to Maryland and stayed in a hotel. Day two, we continued driving south to North Carolina. Now we knew we were heading through Goldsboro, NC and pretty close to the legendary BBQ joint named Wilbur's. Wilbur's has the best pulled pork I've ever had. We used to stop in when my brother and sister in law used to live in Raleigh. I haven't been there in 11 years. The GPS said we were going to be about 20 miles away. After sitting in a lot of traffic, it was going to take too long to stop in so we skipped it. Until, we came around a corner and it looked very familiar. and then there it was.

After swerving across a lane of traffic, we parked and went in. We had eaten lunch already so I picked up some pulled pork to go. A pound of damn good pulled pork, 4 buns, 2 dozen hush puppies, and a container of slaw...I got change from $11. From Wilbur's, we had about 2 more hours on the road. We checked into the condo and this was the view we were going to have to deal with for a week.

Rough, right? We were down there with another family and we had a great time. A lot of swimming in the ocean. There was a sand bar on this beach so you could be 40 feet out into the water and it was still only 6 feet deep. The waves would gently pick you up and put you back down. The weather was perfect all week and there was only one day that the waves were a little choppy. And this happened too. In front are my kids, my friend Joe and his kids. That little fin in the back is one of several dolphins that swam by.

We saw sea turtles at a rescue center.

And this happened every day at 4:00. Nothing like some beach side grown up quiet time juice.

Margaritas are just better with sand between your toes. I had never heard of this, but apparently sharks go through a lot of teeth. These teeth fall out and then fossilize in the salt water. Once you know what too look for, you can find a lot of teeth.  Some are still pretty sharp and others have grooves. My friend Joe is a shark tooth hunter savant.


We also popped into an old peanut plantation. It was an interesting tour. The family that owned it was pro-union during the Civil War but had about 50 slaves. Here's an old peanut picker. Kind of looks like a Rube Goldberg contraption.

The plantation had a blacksmith shop too. Check out this huge bellow.


One last look at the beach before heading north.

We spent the night in Newark, Delaware. In the morning, we headed to Citi Field for a Mets game.

I'm not a huge baseball fan, but if I'm picking a team, it's the Mets. And while they might be in a new stadium, not much has changed. It was a close game with the Mets down 1-0 for most of it. They rallied in the bottom of the 8th to tie it up. They bring in their closer while blasting Journey's Don't Stop Believin' - possibly the worst song to pump up the crowd. They cut the song off just before the "Some will win, some will lose, some are born to sing the blues" line. Here we go. First pitch...home run. Then they get the next 3 batters out. The Mets go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 9th with the last batter being called out on a check swing. What more could you want from a Mets game?

It was a good time. I'd do it again. How's next week looking?

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