Monday, July 13, 2009

First Days of Vacation at Ocean Isle

Wow was I ready for a vacation. The whole family was. Darla had a big “Cow Appreciation Day” at the Fil-A, which capped off a long week of work for her. It always takes me about two days of being away before I’m able to really relax. This year was no different.

We ate at the famous Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg SC on the way down to Ocean Isle, NC where we’re staying. It’s kind of a tradition. We got pictures of Darla and the kids standing with J.C., the well-known “caller” of the restaurant, saying “CALLLLL IT.” He’s been working virtually every day (except Sundays when he goes to church) for over 50 years. I got a “Beef-a-plenty, heavy on the red” (that’s a beef bar-b-q sandwich with extra sauce, covered with fries and onion rings in “Beacon language,” as Dara put it). Drew got a “J.C. Pounder-a-plenty” (a quadruple-patty cheese burger covered with fries and onion rings), and he ate it all! Drew’s never been afraid of a food challenge.

The condo we’re staying in has a view of the Eastern Channel of the Intercoastal Waterway and is a quarter-mile stroll from the beach. Always looking for a deal, we got this one for a little more than half-price through a relative of a friend. We are soooo thankful, as our budget has been strained lately.

Speaking of budget, we haven’t eaten out in two weeks in preparation for the trip (the only one who cheated was me—I ate a salad at staff luncheon). We love eating seafood and finding other local favorite eating establishments. For one meal, we plan on keeping another tradition. We usually go to a local seafood market and buy shrimp for a low country boil. We eat well for dinner, but we skimp for breakfast (cereal) and lunch (sandwiches or hotdogs packed for the beach).

This beach is pretty cool. It’s not overly crowded, but we can walk down the beach about 150 yards and be all alone! That’s what we like. There are lots of shells, no seaweed (so far), and the waves are great (we’ve even had surfers around). Pretty typical Atlantic ocean beach. The weather was sunny and windy yesterday, but today was calmer and cloudy. It rained a little. My only complaint about the beach is the rule forbidding use of any cabanas or canopies of any kind. They only allow umbrellas!

Sunday we stayed all day on the beach! I prayed for God to bless Providence (I did fight the feeling of wanting to be there). I even called Greg in-between services to see how it went. We all got lots of sun.

This morning Drew and I went to a used bookstore nearby. It was quite an experience. Not a lot of books. The elderly gentleman that worked there was an interesting guy (can’t really discuss why!). Many of the books were paperback romances, cookbooks, and outdated public school textbooks. Drew is fascinated with old books (I have no idea where he gets this!). He wanted South of the Rio Grande by Brand, Pride and Prejudice by Austen, Volume 4 of Reader’s Digest’s Condensed Books from 1976, The King’s Agent, a novel by Clark, and Mystery of the Hidden Face, by Honness. All were old hardbacks in good condition. I found a parallel edition of the Wycliffe Bible Commentary and the New Testament (over 1100 pages) for $1! The guy at the store didn’t even know what it was! It’s not often you leave a bookstore with your arms full of books for ten bucks!

We all ate lunch at the condo. Since it was rainy looking, Drew and I stayed on the deck and read our books while the girls went to the beach. A good time. Later we went to the dock and watched some folks crabbing and then went to find the girls on the beach. We played foxtail until time to shower before going to supper. After supper we played games together in the condo. I love vacation! Time for bed. Tomorrow's gonna be even better.


Janna Barber said...

Like the new look of your blog, Chad. It suits you well. Glad to hear y'all are having some good family time.

Rachel said...

Okay, I am SO jealous of your amazing book finds!!! I just got a new armload of books (two or three armloads, actually), but it was FAR from $10. More like $500!!! Ah, grad school.