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Last Day
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Here we are, cats and kittens, on the last day of my vacation. Sorry I didn't update more often, but a combination of factors including two days of computer-less travel and a lightning strike that left my mom's house without connectivity conspired against me. But here I am, 10 a.m. on Saturday, feeling weirdly wrung-out but also almost supernaturally relaxed, just one of the simultaneous and contradictory states I've experienced this week. I think the wrung-out part will fade as this cup of coffee hits my bloodstream...

A true recap is probably impossible. But for the highlights... Well, there was hurricane Alex, which made things rainy and windy for a bit, though it didn't do much in the way of damage around here. On the rainiest day we stayed home and watched movies, 21 Grams (a decent flick marred by a pretentious and unnecessary pomo achronological structure) and Calendar Girls (so sweet it should attract ants). We also watched the new version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with my brother, though that was on a different night. I liked the cinematography, the sepia-tone of the images, but otherwise it has little to recommend it (beyond being a gory and very formulaic horror movie, which has its own charms).

We went west for two days, to visit my dad. We went to Wilbur's barbecue, where I finally had good Carolina barbecue and hush puppies, which I've been craving for three years now, and then dad drove us around so Heather could meet a statistically significant sample size of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Then we zipped off for Raleigh, meeting Mike Jasper and Elizabeth and Jason Lundberg and Janet for dinner. That was fabulous, and involved good food, booze, and many hours of talking. Afterward Heather and I crashed at a hotel.

Then on, hmm, Thursday I guess, we woke and had coffee at Cup A Joe on Hillsborough street (mmm, vanilla train wreck), and did some bookstore-browsing. We went to Chapel Hill and had lunch at Pepper's Pizza and walked along Franklin Street a bit. We finally headed back east that afternoon, driving into a pretty bad thunderstorm along the way. We were running late, so didn't have time to see my dad again on the way past, or to stop and see Scott's parents. I would've stopped anyway, but since we just saw them a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like a permissable oversight.

We got back to the outer banks around 8:30 p.m., I guess, and we had to drive the last part in the dark, which I'd wanted to avoid, since mom lives down a not-very-well-marked road. But we found the place, though my eyes were burning and I was exhausting and very oh so much tired of driving at that point.

Friday was much better, and involved less driving! We went out to Bodie Island so Heather could see the lighthouse. We also spent some time on the beach, though the wind was tremendous and they had the red "No Swimming" flags up. The ocean was full of big brutal waves, so I wouldn't have wanted to swim anyway. Heather and I gamboled in the shallows a bit anyway (the water was quite warm). We came home, had pizza, and I raided my brother's mp3 collection. Good times.

Alas, Heather's ears started bothering her (or, rather, continued bothering her in a more intense fashion). So we went to the emergency room so she could get some ear medicine, since a cross-country flight is no good on two untreated infected ears! After many hours of waiting (Heather being understandably low in the triage), she got some stuff for her ears and some advice for how to deal with the nasty pressure changes that flying entails. We got home very much oh my late and slept.

And now it's Saturday, our last day, and how did that happen, hmm?

This isn't a very good trip report. I also read books. Heather saved a little kid from being swept out to sea. We saw not-yet-a-month-old kittens, and also many fire ants. I had good early morning conversations with my mom. We're taking back a suitcase full of books mom has been saving for me all these years. We watched hummingbirds. And so on. But it was a good week, a varied week, a week away, and I will go back to my real life refreshed.

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