Sam's skim boarding attempt
My fleet of turtles guarding my sandcastle.
The best part of living in DC is that it is close to so many awesome places I've never been! The list keeps growing but most recently I took a road trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina with Sam's family for a couple days of ocean fun. It's only 4.5 hours from DC!! I've always wanted to experience the Outer Banks for a number of reasons (namely that I drive by dozens of cars everyday with OBX oval stickers on their windows!) but being 12-14 hours from Ohio makes for a waaaaaay to long car ride!
Anyways, it was a great mini vacation with the exception that it rained every single day --- thank you hurricane Carl or Earl or whoever it was out in the Atlantic! But even with the rain, the ocean was still beautiful and the sand very clean and neat to walk on. If you ever think of going to OBX, go during the off season ~ the community and beach were deserted, no traffic, and no wait at restaurants! Perfect!
So, to start off with, I learned how to catch a Blue Crab using chicken necks, proceed to kill the crab in boiling water, followed by a very stinky and messy process of removing what little meat actually is found in crabs. I'd like to hear anyone dare call me a city girl after that process!! The only thing that would have made the whole thing easier would be if I had brought my dissecting kit from college biology ~ would have made cracking the legs, prying off the shell and separating the lungs from the meat much better. At first I felt bad for the crabs because they are a beautiful bluish color and really quite pretty, but after they stared me down with their beady, roving eyes and attempted to snap my finger off, I didn't blink an eye watching them boil! Ha!
My ritual tradition when I'm at a beach is to build a sandcastle....sounds pretty routine, huh? Well, a couple years ago I went to Lake Michigan with my cousins on vacation and my cousin made a sand turtle to conquer my sandcastle. It turned into a turtle vs. sandcastle fight with the turtle prevailing. Ever since then, I always build a fleet of turtles to guard my sandcastle. I like to think it's an intimidation factor to deter people from squashing my castle --- they either think the turtles are too cute and they leave it alone, or they think only a crazy psychotic person would make turtles to guard a castle and they leave for fear the builder is lurking around :)
Another fun part of the trip was learning to skim board. Sam, his brothers, and I found some wooden skim boards at the house they rented, so we decided to give it a try. Let me tell you, it's a lot harder than a YouTube video makes it look!! The basic idea is to run parallel or at a slight 45 degree angle towards the ocean and when the tide comes in, throw the wooden surf board in the water and jump on it to skim along the surface of the water. What the video didn't tell you is that A) there's only a few seconds to throw the board down and jump on to skim before the tide retreats taking the board with it, B) falling on wet sand is very painful, and C) don't try it for the first time when the ocean waves are strong enough to hit you in the back causing additional pain from face-planting in the sand. Otherwise, it's a very fun sport!
I can now check the Outer Banks off my list of places to see, although I would love to go back!