Thanks to Outer Banks for Second Vacation


The sole of my sandal started flapping, then came off all together (which made me limp), while walking to an interstate rest stop in Tennessee.  Well, duh!  People looked at me like I was Clem Kadiddlehopper.  Ginnie pretended she wasn't with me.  While getting gas at a Casey's store, I bought some Guerrilla Glue, with the intention of reattaching the sole. 
At our motel in Knoxville, TN, that we didn't get to until 9:00 o'clock at night after 12 hours of driving, I noticed my bottle of antacid had spilled inside my bathroom bag, coating everything, like toothbrush and bottles of medication, with white, syrupy gunk.  Yuk.  I'd better not have any acid indigestion!  I glued the sole back onto my sandal and hoped for the best. 
We were headed for the Outer Banks of North Carolina, for the second time this year.  A friend of ours has a time share there, and he graciously let us use it.  If you don't know what the Outer Banks are, don't feel like the lone stranger.  I didn't either before Ginnie brought me to them in June.  The Outer Banks are a narrow strip of islands just off the coast of North Carolina on the Atlantic Ocean.  They may be best known for Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills where the Wright Brothers first tested their flying machine.  Wilbur and Orville liked the sandy soil for softer landings (go figure).  The Outer Banks are now a tourist, artist and ne'er-do-well's paradise.  At a stop light, we were sitting behind a Rolls-Royce convertible—the first time I've ever seen one. 
Hurricane Lee was off the tip of Cuba, and threatening to visit the U.S. Eastern Coast.  I could see Mr. Lee on the weather radar.  If he (hurricanes can be men now) got bad, we would just pack up and head home.  Lee behaved himself, so I went jogging on the beach every morning while waves crashed, the sun came up, and shore birds and sand crabs skittered.  Some of the seagulls were big enough to roast and eat.  I swear.  
On Monday of our week at the Outer Banks, Ginnie and I went dolphin watching.  We were on a pontoon tour boat that could hold fifty people.  There were five of us.  September is the beginning of the off season.  We almost immediately saw a pod of bottle nose dolphins, and they were putting on quite a show.  We actually saw dolphins throwing fish up in the air and catching them, only to throw them up again.  For Iowa land lubbers like us, it was an amazing sight.  The tour guide was flabbergasted also. |
The next day, we went to see the island's wild horses.  Yes, the Outer Banks are well known for their wild horse herds, left over from when the Spanish first occupied the Carolina Coast.  We took a tour in a huge Humvee and, I'll be danged, but there the Wild Mustangs were, right on the beach with the waves crashing in the background.  What a photo op!  I was so fired up I told Ginnie our next vacation could be an African wildlife photo tour.  She said I could go by myself.  No sense of adventure.
Vacation time is also reading time, at least for us.  I'm not sure there is a finer feeling than to be sitting on the beach reading, and look up over the top of the book (or smart phone) and see and feel waves crashing.  Ginnie and I are both reading David Grann books: she “Killers of the Flower Moon” and me, “The Lost City of Z.”  We both feel our David Grann book is superior to the other.  Not sure who's going to win this one. 
 In case you're wondering, the sole of my sandal stayed affixed.  What's a sandy beach without sandals?  And the surf became more powerful as Hurricane Lee came within a couple hundred miles of the Outer Banks.  But his bark was worse than his bite.  Everyone needs two vacations per year.  Be chill. 
Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com     

Curt Swarm, editorial, opinion, vacation, Outer Banks, dolphins, horses, trip, road trip, North Carolina, Pen City Current,


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