On Saturday, July 12 we headed down to the Outer Banks for the Abbott vacation. Once we get to the Outer Banks, everything is great; the drive down there, not so much. On Saturdays, this is the scene on highway 158:
When I took the picture of the traffic above, Laura was immediately suspicious that I was going to publicly blame our hitting that traffic on her lateness in getting out of the house, but I would never do that. I’m sure that leaving half an hour earlier would not have helped us at all. No way. 30 minutes would never have resulted in a clear drive all the way to the island. At any rate, we were unlucky enough to run into an accident on 158.
Accidents on 158 should be rare. There are almost no stop lights or cars turning, which are common causes of accidents. Somehow, though, this guy overcame the odds and found a way to cause an accident on a straight road during daylight hours. The fact that someone managed to cause an accident generated so much road rage in me that I would have actually supported this punishment for the accident causer:
By the time we made it across the bridge and let the the kids out of the car, they felt like they had endured six months in the hole in a federal prison.
You can only imagine how their parents felt.
About a week before we went down to the beach, Hurricane Arthur had come through. While some parts of the island were very hard hit, the village we were staying in, Buxton, didn’t seem to have been hit as hard. We did see some of the hurricane’s effects, though.
These used to be stairs.
That used to be a visible dolphin at the bottom of that pool.
The water in the ocean, however, was crystal clear, far clearer than the pool water and much less likely to burn out my eyes with the excessive levels of chlorine used by the pool guy to destroy hurricane refuse in the pool.
On Sunday, the forecast for the days ahead didn’t look so great, so we decided to build a bonfire our second night there. Laura was able to construct an unorthodox looking fire from hurricane driftwood.
This year, we remembered our camping skewers, saving us from the fate of using a small stick to roast marshmallows while the fire singed off our eyebrows and arm hair.
Instead of having to smell arm hair burning, we only had to smell Laura’s marshmallows being charred into molten carbon.
Stephanie was apparently suffering a sugar coma and McKenna wasn’t far behind.
After the s’mores were eaten, Stephen and Damon started throwing the football. In a normal family, this would have been a friendly end-of-the-day activity. In our family, it was transformed into a gladiatorial duel. It was a battle of wills, with each participant trying to either grind down the other into quitting by throwing passes designed to lead the other person into situations that would cause maiming or intense pain.
Crap. He caught the ball before being led into that shark feeding zone.
The football death battle was unsatisfyingly called for darkness, so everyone was able to make it intact to the beach the next day. It was another perfect day with clear water that was around 80 degrees.
You are having fun, McKenna! FUN!!!
Having exhausted our stock of s’more supplies, we had to find alternative sources of dessert food that night, and we went to a nearby ice cream place after dinner. Tabby accidentally ingested some of the ice cream that she had clearly intended for an ice cream facial.
That’s ok, though. Our already-murky pool was perfect for rinsing off ice cream messes.