Saturday was all about the beach.
Tropical storm Andrea was moving up the coast, so we didn’t want to follow her and delayed our trip to Virginia by a day.
Finally, we got to swim in the ocean. The waves were really high, and the water was pretty warm. We walked along the shore, swam, and relaxed in the sun.
Then we decided to go find some lunch before coming back for a second serving of beach time.
The Oceanic was exactly what we had in mind – ocean front, seafood lunch specials, and free parking for customers.
Here, we had our first serving of hushpuppies ever.
They seem to be deep-fried cornbread? You may have noticed that this is not a health-food trip, despite my good intentions. But we have been getting a good idea of Southern Cuisine!
Dave and I both ordered Oceanic Cranberry Seltzers, which we enjoyed in the shade on their outdoor patio, overlooking the ocean.
I ordered the lobster salad wrap from the specials menu. It was very good.
With full bellies, we returned to the beach, walked up and down the shore enjoying the salty breeze, sat at the edge of the water for a while, and then ended up going back into the water for more wave action.
The waves were really intense. First, we just kind of stood there and jumped up when a wave was particularly high. But, with time, we got more daring. We swam out and met the waves before they were actually breaking. Eventually, Dave showed me how to stand directly where the wave will break without getting swept away. I was not very good at it, so I was swept off my feet several times. Then, he actually jumped into a wave and let it carry him ashore. I thought that looked really fun and decided to give it a try. Not a good idea. All I remember is that the wave somehow grabbed me and spun me around under water before violently smacking me onto the ground. My lower back felt sand-burned immediately, and I emerged out of the water proclaiming that I was done.
As we walked back to our towel, Dave realized that my back was bleeding badly, and I got pretty worried. We took our stuff, went to wash it out at the showers, and returned to the hotel. It stopped bleeding after the shower, but still hurt pretty badly. At the hotel, I could see that it was fortunately not as bad as I had imagined – at least, the injured area was a lot smaller than I had feared. Dave went to the store to get some antibiotic ointment and some huge band-aids, which he then helped me apply. I was pretty shaken up, especially imagining how much worse it could have been, so I took a nap and watched some Netflix before we had to leave to meet our friends at the last conference event.
The event was at Dirty Martini, which was conveniently located right by our hotel. We walked over there and found yet another elaborate buffet and drink offering.
I had spinach salad, lobster pasta (soooo good), crab dip with crackers, and some cheese cubes with grapes. For my two free drinks, I got an Old Fashioned both times.
Oh! We also had shrimp & grits cocktails. How could I forget?
Another fantastic Wilmington location. There was a little pond along a mall of small restaurants and boutiques. It was a humid night and the mosquitoes were out, but at least their bites don’t itch as badly as Wisconsin mosquitoes’ somehow.
I enjoyed my last night with these two ladies. Living away from good friends is not fun…
… especially when they’re not all in the same place somewhere else, but scattered across the globe, so opportunities to get several of them together at once are extremely rare.
Good thing I have this guy to keep me from getting lonely.
Anyway, we had so much fun again, First, we danced outside to an amazing live band, who played classic rock. Then, we continued dancing inside to current club music.
Two nights of dancing in a row = happy Suzan. At midnight, it was my friend Ally’s birthday, so we stayed until a little past then.
These three days in North Carolina have been the best. We got the perfect mix of warmth, historic sightseeing, great food, friend time, intellectual stimulation via the conference events, dancing, beach time (minus the wave incident and sunburn), and cultural immersion (the Carolina accents are awesome, along with their people’s extreme friendliness).
I hope to be back here in the not too distant future!