beach, enjoying family, Having fun, love, Outer Banks, vacations, Writing

The Day After Vacation

My husband and I desperately needed a getaway.  The first two times this year that we tried to grab a vacation fate intervened and distinctly told us “NO!”  First, we missed the Steampunk World’s Fair because my husband’s small umbilical hernia decided to go rogue and need emergency surgery.  Then, a  month later we attempted a camping trip, but I ended up with Norovirus, courtesy of my grandson.  Knowing that we still had our August beach trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina coming up, my husband and I guarded our health like the Hope Diamond.  It seemed miraculous that we reached our day of departure unscathed and  happily made it to the shore of Kill Devil Hills on August 12th, as planned.

We had our usual blast.  We scoured the beach for shells and joked that our shell overlord would punish us if we didn’t find the best and brightest shells on the beach. (Yes, we’re slightly silly!)  We visited the newly renovated aquarium in Manteo. We ate a ton of delicious seafood from all of our favorite restaurants (I’m not weighing myself until next week!). We swam and sunned with SPF 50, went to an arts and crafts festival in Manteo, and a drag queen brunch in Nag’s Head.  We saw four really good movies and viewed the eclipse* whilst on the beach (unlike our “president,” we managed to look ONLY with our little paper eclipse glasses).  While these were all wonderful activities, my favorite part of the trip was limiting our usage of all screened devices and just talking, reconnecting, and remembering why we’re so great together.

Today, my husband is back to work with a better attitude. I’m home, reinvigorated, knowing that by the weekend things will get busy again, but that I’ll happily embrace what comes my way.

Here are some delicious highlights from our trip:

We managed to take in the gorgeous sunset on only one morning–we managed to sleep in all of the rest!

I’m usually a wine drinker, but I just had to try the Lemon Grass Ale at the Outer Bank’s Brewery.  Their food is also quite amazing!

The two drag queens pictured are Jennifer Werner  and Naomi Black at J.J. Brewbaker’s Eggs, Bacon and Diva’s Drag Brunch.  Both were so naturally funny and  just lovely people inside and out!

The NC Aquarium has a sea turtle rescue.  The turtle shown in the specialized tank is Izzy.  She suffers from a balance problem and was unable to dive down to feed.  She’s fitted with special weights that allow her to regain her balance.

The Osprey nest was outside of where we were seated at Basnight’s Lone Cedar restaurant in Nag’s Head. Ospreys mate for life and they shared their nest with their juvenile offspring. The food and view were awesome!

*The eclipse pictures are courtesy of my daughter.  They were shot in WV. In NC, the eclipse had slightly more coverage at it’s peak, but I had no devices to film it with. The rest of the pics were taken by me.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

blogging, cats, dealing with food cravings, enjoying family, Food Addiction, Having fun, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Travel, weight loss journal, Writing

Temptation

I walked along the windswept shore among the broken fray.

The angry sea, she call to me and begged for me to stay.

The cloudy sky, he beckoned,  too, and filled me with his lies.

I trudged a few steps closer, despite the wise gull’s cries.

‘midst stormy waves, and blowing sand, I stood there all alone,

Then thought a bit, and changed my path, and headed back towards home.

~ by The Ravenously Disappearing Woman

This poem was inspired by my very windy evening beach walk.  After I writing it, I realized that it could be interpreted as a seaside version of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.  I assure you, it’s not as dark as all that!  This vacation has been relaxing, amazing, refreshing, and deeply laced in temptation. My husband and I love it here, so there’s the temptation to chuck life as we currently know it; say goodbye to family, friends, and his very secure job and start over in this new, fresh place. That’s not at all like responsible us, but it’s so very tempting.

There’s, of course, the continual temptation of food here.  Everywhere I look, a restaurant sign or billboard beckons.  I actually had a dream last night about putting my mouth on the nozzle of  one of Sweet Frog’s frozen yogurt dispensers and sucking down the sweet stuff until my stomach nearly exploded.  I had a similar, but very awake, dream about spending the day eating McDonald’s French fries.  These are not healthy thoughts.

It’s not quite time for a move, and definitely not time for me to slurp up the contents of  a frozen yogurt machine, or consume a heart attack’s worth of greasy fries.  I need routine and accountability.  I need to hug my kids, pet my cats, and sleep in my own bed.  So, after one, last, perfect sunny (or even not-so-sunny) beach walk today, it will be time to pack our bags and head back towards home tomorrow.

What are you tempted by?  Have you ever wanted to start over in a new place?  How well do you handle temptation? Tell me about it.

The path to the shore from our rental condo.  This picture looks calm, but the wind was really blowing! (photo by me)
The path to the shore from our rental condo. This picture looks calm, but the wind was really blowing! (photo by me)

 

 

 

 

 

blogging, Having fun, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, optifast, photography, Travel, weight loss journal, Writing

I’m on Top of the World!

Yesterday evening, I completed one of my many goals associated with my weight loss. I climbed the giant dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park! I write this with much excitement, because last year, climbing the steps to our rental condo was a sweat-inducing, asthma-attack-inciting adventure due to the extra weight I was carrying around.  In fact, for many years, my husband and I found other activities do (usually involving desserts) while our kids swiftly scurried up the tallest natural sand dunes in the Eastern part of the United States. My only way to enjoy this beautiful, natural landmark was through their pictures.  Happily, this is no longer the case, as I have a whole slew of pictures of my own to share.  The best part is, very little sweating and zero asthma attacks were involved in this endeavor.  The other best part is that I’m sharing a photo of me–looking kind of scruffy with no make-up and in my baggy climbing clothes!

The photo doesn't do the scale of this particular dune justice, but it's a pretty big climb! (photo by me)
The photo doesn’t do the scale of this particular dune justice, but it’s a pretty big climb! (photo by me)
Before reaching the apex of the highest dune, we had some steep, smaller dunes to climb. (photo by me)
Before reaching the apex of the highest dune, we had some steep, smaller dunes to climb. (photo by me)
The little nooks and crannies of plant life were amazing! (photo by me)
The little nooks and crannies of plant life were amazing!
Those aren't bushes in the background.  They're the trees below us! (photo by me)
Those aren’t bushes in the background. They’re the trees below us! (photo by me)
At the peak of the tallest dune, we were rewarded with a view of the Currituck Sound.  It looks much closer than it was; I used my zoom. (photo by me)
At the peak of the highest dune, we were rewarded with a view of the Currituck Sound. It looks much closer than it really is; I used my zoom. (photo by me)
As w began our decent, I managed to capture the beginnings of a beautiful sunset. (photo by me)
As w began our decent, I managed to capture the beginnings of a beautiful sunset. (photo by me)
Ever the animal lover, I was elated to find this little fellow nibbling in the grass on the trail back to our car. (photo by me)
Ever the animal lover, I was elated to find this little fellow nibbling in the grass on the trail back to our car. (photo by me)
Nothing like a celebratory shot in the bushes!  That baggy shirt I'm wearing used to just fit me! (photo by my hubby)
Nothing like a celebratory shot in the bushes! That baggy shirt I’m wearing used to just fit me! (photo by my hubby)