Andare, Partire, Tornare

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Beaches, rain, and kites named Raoul

Back from my first, brief trip to the Outer Banks – Duck, North Carolina, to be specific. It’s quite the popular place, as everyone who has spotted one of those oval OBX stickers on cars knows. This trip was blissfully out of high season, though, and the rain from Hurricane Kyle probably contributed to the sparse number of people. So, we were just about all by ourselves, in a nice resort/spa type place called The Sanderling.

The trip up was miserable, although we left late enough to avoid the traffic caused by the roadblocks put up to attempt to catch the sniper. (I’m sure that you’ve all seen on the news that he hasn’t been caught. No more of that topic, because I’m sick of it. 24 hour news coverage of hints, possibilities, and tips on how not to be a target have gotten very old very quickly.) It rained, sometimes very heavily, the whole way there, which resulted in an additional two hours of drive time. Thankfully, after a certain point, mom relinquished the front seat to me, so Boop and I were able to play cd’s and sing and gab. Please note that mom is not just a back-seat driver, but a front-seat driver, a driver’s-seat driver, and a back, back-seat driver, so occasionally from the distant rear of the Navigator we would hear pronouncements. “Turn down the music!” “I’m too cold!” “SLOW DOWN.” “That driver is a maniac, stay away from him.” “I’m too warm!” “Stop here and get me something to eat.” “SLOW DOWN.” Mom is also fluent in curse words in several languages, so occasionally, Boop and I got to learn a new one as mom got frustrated and let go with a string of invectives.

It also took us several awkward U-turns to find our hotel, because we were all so slap-happy from the long drive. At one point, mom ploughed through a big puddle and a huge wave of water splorted up through my open window, soaking my elbow…and dousing Boop, who was sitting behind me. Result – we laughed like demented apes for the next two miles, nearly loosing bladder control and electrocuting ourselves because the seats have air conditioning built into them. Not a good way to die.

The plan after that was to get room service and then go to bed. That was altered because Boop forgot her contact lens solution, so we had to go toodling up and down Route 12, looking for a grocery or CVS or gas station convenience store that sold the stuff. An hour and a half later, we returned to the hotel with our prize, and called it a night. After, of course, I ran mom’s bath because she couldn’t figure out the mechanics behind the Jacuzzi tub. And after mom Clorox’ed the entire bathroom because she doesn’t trust the hotel maids. And after we paid entirely too much for a seared tuna steak and a turkey sandwich with veggie chips. So then, bed.

Up the next day, and off to breakfast, which unfortunately was way too rich. When Boop gagged on a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and bananas that had some sort of mystery syrup in it, we knew things weren’t good. Thankfully, the breakfast was part of the room package, so we didn’t have to pay nine bucks for oatmeal and twelve for my omelet, just so we could feel sick later on. Boop and I then took off, and ended up in a kite store down the road, where after much deliberation we went halfsies on a black kite with two Jolly Roger skull and crossbones on it. They were eventually dubbed Raoul and Phillipe, but over time, we seemed to end up referring to the kite as just plain Raoul. Me, I wanted to call it Chris the Ninja Pirate flag (see the Adventures of Weebl and Bob for an explanation) but that was too unwieldy a name. Raoul seemed to fit perfectly.

Down to the dunes to fly Raoul. The wind was gusting so strongly that it was impossible to not get him up in the air – his only weakness was a tendency to divebomb the top of the dune . We got him flying steadily, and both got a little giddy from excitement. I’m afraid I kept yelling, “Yarr, there be no law ‘pon the high sea,” and lurching around tugging Raoul behind me. Boop pitched sand at my legs, and we giggled about how they’d probably charge us eighty bucks for that kind of treatment in the spa. In between kite flying, we poked at horseshoe crab shells, tried to identify miscellaneous gelatinous bits of…things washed up on the shore, and both got slapped in the ass by a sneaky wave.

Later, we worked out in the fitness center and spent some time in the hot tub, found a Chinese place for steamed dumplings, ate entirely too much fudge (including some pistachio fudge – interesting but not something to repeat) and bought tacky beach store crap. Not necessarily in that order. We drove home early this morning and flew – five hours, so we were back by noon. And thus, I have spent the evening watching The Sopranos and back-to-back-to-back eps. of Trading Spaces, while forcibly snuggling the cats.

Sometimes, you just get a great weekend. And I have tomorrow off, so I can relax and sleep in and get ready for the hectic two and a half days before the opening reception. I’m sure I’ll be daydreaming of being lashed by an icy rain, pelted with sand, and flying Raoul into a sand dune while I’m stuck in the museum gallery, dutifully rubbing the plexiglass down with Brilliantize.

11:53 p.m. - 2002-10-13

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