Jun 10, 2014

tales of the tunnel of doom

After arriving in Southport with a feeling of relief over the condition of our boat and a fresh outlook on the place in general, we discovered all kinds of hidden gems that we weren't aware of when we left our boat there three months ago.  One of the best surprises is that the marina has it's own small, private beach.  You just have to take a short walk through a woodsy tunnel to get there.

Easy enough, right?

Wrong.  So wrong.

Don't let the photo above deceive you.  I mean, it actually was a beautiful, sunny day.  And the tunnel itself did look kind of pretty. From a distance.

Up close, things got ugly.

We were about halfway through, enjoying our day and looking forward to seeing what this private beach was all about, when suddenly, we heard a violent thrashing in the woods, just a few feet away.  We both froze in our tracks.  We had startled some large animal and it was either coming or going or just plain stuck.  I had visions of wild boars and grizzly bears, this was certainly no squirrel.  My heart was racing and I didn't know whether to run or play dead.  Do I run towards Riley, or stay away in case this crazed creature wants to take him out first? He was just standing there as dumbly as I was, so I knew it was every man for himself.  I also knew from the sheer volume of frantic activity, that any contact with this animal (even if it was, most likely, a deer) would come in the form of vicious trampling or mauling.

After nearly forever, the noise stopped just as suddenly as it had started.  We gave each other a wary look and then continued down the path with trepidation.

And then, just as my heart rate started to return to it's normal speed, Riley took a gigantic surprised leap backwards.  Snake!  But not just any snake. A sneaky, slimy Copperhead just lying in wait to sink its fangs into Riley's flesh. As I took a timid peek around Riley to watch the vile thing slither by, I had to wonder if this was really such a good idea after all.  I mean, the beach is nice and all, but not if you're DEAD.

However, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel (literally), and I wasn't in any hurry to turn right around and go back through, so with senses on high alert and eyes glued to the ground, we finally made it to the end.

And I suppose it was all worth it, because this was waiting for us on the other side:
A small, empty beach where we could regain composure, relax with a beer on a log, and let Gidget run free.  All was right with the world.  

Until, of course, it was time to leave.  Fortunately, we made it back through the tunnel without anymore threats on our lives.  But I'll never look at it the same, that's for sure.

So, the next time you're taking a leisurely stroll through an innocent looking forest tunnel in the middle of the day, beware. Maybe sing a little tune to announce your presence to any lurking creatures.  Arm yourself with a big stick. Watch your step. And of course, always let your partner walk a few feet ahead of you, just in case.  I mean, somebody's got to make a sacrifice, right?

Jun 9, 2014

the boat still floats

"I hope it doesn't stink."
"I hope it's not covered in mildew."

"I hope it didn't sink."

I looked over at Riley in the driver's seat and said, "Maybe Gidget and I should have just let you come by yourself this first time."

He gave me a knowing look.  "Yeah," he said, "maybe."

The six hour car ride to the marina where we had left our boat three months ago had us both on edge.  Emotions ran from anxious to excited, and mostly somewhere in between.  After struggling to make it into that marina on that last day of our journey three months ago, we left poor Winbrandt in kind of a hurry.  And we certainly hadn't planned on waiting so long to come back and check on her.  But it was so nice to be back on land, with all the conveniences of home, and there was always something else to do.  The drive to North Carolina was so long, and really, I think we were needing to put a little time and space behind us.  We needed to find our footing on solid ground again.

As the hours ticked by and we got closer and closer to seeing her again for the first time, the clouds were rolling in and the sky outside of our windows was growing darker.  We didn't need to say it out loud, we both knew what the other one was thinking.

"I hope it doesn't rain the whole time."

You know, we haven't always had the best track record when it comes to boats and weather.

Our collective sighs of relief when we finally did make it to the boat could have probably been heard around the world.  She was still floating, she only smelled as bad as a closed up boat ought to, and the mildew was minimal.  She looked pretty darn good to us after all.

If living on a boat for five months taught us one thing, it was that we're not nearly as fond of "roughing it" as maybe we (he) once were.  After giving her a good once-over, our first step was heading out to the store to pick up a window unit air conditioner.  We had braved just about every kind of weather condition on this boat, and that was enough of that.

All said and done, we had a really productive (we had left her in need of a few repairs), really enjoyable weekend visit.  And I have to say, as disappointed as I was to not make it back to New Bern initially, I think I'm really going to enjoy being able to explore Southport just a little bit longer.

It was so good to see you, Winbrandt.  Thanks for the hospitality.  We'll see you again real soon old friend.

Jun 4, 2014

currently… a denim vest?

crowds enjoying the sidewalk art show and farmer's market in the gorgeous weather we had this past weekend

cooking: three meals a day.  Wow, it is so easy to get caught up in the "let's just go out to dinner" routine when you live in the city!  It was never an issue when we lived in the country because it took so long to get anywhere that it was easier and faster just to cook at home.  We're making a point of eating in this week to give our health and wealth a much needed boost.

watching: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  Riley and I just rented it, and both thought it was so good.  Have you seen it?

planning: a trip to the boat this weekend!  We haven't seen her since we moved back, and I'm feeling kind of nervous/excited about it.  It already feels like a lifetime ago since we lived on that boat.

reading: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb.  I was looking around on my Kindle library app for a new book to read and was thinking about The Aviator's Wife, but since it has a waiting list I decided to try this one by the same author.  I'm only a few pages into it so far, so I can't really say anything about it, but it's bound to be interesting, right?

wearing: okay, hear me out on this one.  A denim vest.  I'm not entirely sure if this is a thing that came back briefly and is on it's way out again, or if it's a current thing, or if it hasn't ever been a thing since 1990.  But really, it's kind of the answer to a lot of my summer wardrobe issues.  Mostly it's perfect for that plain jersey dress that needs a little something extra, or that spaghetti strap dress when it's either not really appropriate or quite warm enough for spaghetti straps.  It's as versatile as a jean jacket, except you can still wear it when it's warm out.  I feel like I've been seeing them around.  No?  Just me?  I don't have any photographic proof for you myself, but Pinterest does, of course.  

What things are you currently into?

linking up with Jenna and Anne today.
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