Wednesday, July 12, 2017

These Are Days

After recently being told I'm an evangelical for the beach, I'm wearing the title as a badge of honor.

What I hadn't anticipated was how quickly my proselytizing would land me right back there, albeit it in a much different configuration, a more southerly location and under a thunder moon.

Windows were rolled down for the drive down which was broken up with a leisurely lunch on the waterfront at the Coinjock Marina. "You'd have to know about this place," my companion observed about the unlikely location. I did.

This time the beach setting was Surf Shack #6 in Nags Head at a cottage peopled by three other couples, an obscene amount of beer and wine and crowned by a crow's nest with impressive views to the horizon and the sound.

Where we were especially clever was in arriving mid-day Sunday when the other couples had checked in Saturday and done all the heavy lifting setting up the house and porches.

Since that job always falls to me on my own beach week, it was a treat to just show up, throw on a bathing suit and be, not just on the beach, but in the ocean less than 15 minutes after arrival.

That and being back at the beach only two weeks after I left it are the kind of summer indulgences an evangelist could get used to.

And while I'd optimistically brought two books, four couples mean it's an ongoing party and not the reading kind.

Headquarters would be established on the beach every morning like magic while we walked (either beyond Jennette's Pier or past the Outer Banks Pier), so we'd come back to find the rest of the group arranged under and around a canopy while all we had to do was add our chairs and beach bags and - voila! - another day at the beach was underway.

One morning, we got back from our walk - the last half an hour listening to rumbling thunder - just as a major storm was rolling in, so we high-tailed it up to the crow's nest for a lightening and thunder show of epic proportions.

One of the guys said there'd been a tornado warning while we were gone and given the odd swirling of some murderous looking clouds, we weren't surprised when torrential downpours followed. We made the best of it with books, naps and a picnic in bed with a view out the open window of the driving rain and the ocean beyond it.

One afternoon, we spotted a plane pulling a message that read, "Amanda May Pabst, will you marry me?" and bantered about whether it was a real proposal or just a brilliant idea put forth by the plane company to entice business.

The romantic in me prefers to believe it was the first.

One evening we decided to lose the crowd and went to dinner alone at Ocean Boulevard for a gorgeously dry and zippy Rose of Sangiovese by Barnard Griffin which we sipped with a summer gazpacho piled with lump crabmeat, creme fraiche and parsley oil.

And that was before diving headfirst into a special of beer-battered monkfish over a jambalaya of summer corn, red peppers and crowder peas that was to die for and polishing off grilled shrimp over cheddar grits and black pepper coleslaw, too.

Afterward, we walked across the Beach Road and took seats in the sand to watch the waning Thunder Moon rise over the ocean, but only after making its way through bands of black clouds as elaborate as burnt velvet, behind which heat lightening put on a show.

As a bonus, fireworks were being set off in the direction of the Avalon Pier, so everywhere we looked, there was a spectacle to behold.

The two of us took lunch one day outside at the Nags Head Fishing Pier's new tiki bar, where we watched surfers, ate local grilled tuna and pondered the angry-looking guy nearby with the small American flag stuck in the sand in front of his beach chair.

Because some of the house's occupants were talented, there was guitar playing on the beach. Because the winds were ideal for it, there was kite flying so high it seemed likely we'd never get it back down. Because there was a screened porch, we had breakfast there. Because there was a crow's nest even higher,  we had happy hours and sunset-viewing there.

And because the ocean was a wonderfully warm 75 degrees (and clear as the Caribbean), we stayed in until our fingers and toes looked like prunes. Repeatedly.

Unlike the other couples, we were the renegades who slept in with windows open, a fan on and used the outdoor shower at the least provocation.

Because kicking it old school is just part of what I preach. Let's raise a glass of Rose and praise beach life.

Can I get an amen?

1 comment:

  1. Shout it loud!, Shout it Clear! Amen!!!