Friday, July 15, 2016

Emerald Isle, Part One

Wednesday lunch -- Thursday afternoon
Adam and I celebrated our 27th anniversary with a little vacation to Emerald Isle. For those of you unfamiliar with the North Carolina coast, this is a gem on the outer banks, south of Atlantic Beach and north of Topsail. We started with lunch in Jacksonville at a restaurant Adam was eager to visit: Marakesh. This is a Mediterranean restaurant, #1 on TripAdvisor for quite a while. Adam ate their food when a church catered the presbytery meeting from them this past year.
We had the lunch special: shawarma meat from a roasting spit (beef/lamb combo), rice, hummus, tabouli, tahini, cucumber salad, and couscous. Adam is more fond of Moroccan food than I am.
He had Turkish coffee. I sipped it too because honestly the food is quite mild in flavor, and I needed something to give it a kick.

Very nice pita bread:
Lovely interior decor:
We wasted a little time in Jacksonville in blistering heat, 
and arrived at our B&B in Emerald Isle at 3:00 on the dot.
It looks out over Bogue Sound, a very quiet, calm, HOT place.
taken from the Emerald Isle bridge
I chose this place weeks ago after looking at B&Bs all over eastern NC. It had extremely good reviews; the morning we left I read online that a young couple had bought the guesthouse in May, but reviews were still quite good, and we were packed to go. The view from our balcony was lovely afternoon, sunset, or morning:
We arrived only to discover that we had come a week early. Do not inquire, dear readers, of the miscommunication that produced this mishap. Suffice it to say that it occurred and that it was our fault. The kind innkeeper informed us that our room was taken (of course), but that another room was available for only $20/night more. I sat, dejected and exhausted in the lobby, feeling the anxiety welling inside me. But in the end, one must do something, and I certainly wasn't going back home, unpacking, waiting another week, packing again, and then coming on vacation. Not when I was already here. So we took the room, which is a very nice room. It's only drawback was that it does not have a deep, clawfoot bathtub, which the other room had. It's the reason I picked the room, and why I picked this B&B. Sigh. Isn't there a saying about the best-laid plans...?
I like to watercolor on vacations. I find it relaxing. I'm no good, but I don't do it because I'm good. I do it to relax. That takes the performance pressure off -- haha!

Our breakfast spot.
Adam was finishing up one of those Lillian Braun "The Cat Who..." books. He picked it up at a thrift store in Swansboro the day before. We stopped there because I (of course) had dropped Moroccan food on my shirt and needed a replacement. And being a loyal thrift store shopper, I cannot stomach paying department store prices.
Thankfully we could just type "thrift stores in Jacksonville, NC"
 into Google Maps, and several popped up.
Did I say something about breakfast?
These sausage/cream cheese--in--croissant rolls were quite good.
This was to waken the palate.
A few minutes later: fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, grit cake
Before that we were brought a pot of coffee, but before that we'd served ourselves coffee and creamy sweet chai in the lounge downstairs.
I told Adam I wanted at leastto  see the beach and wiggle my toes in sand, so we took advantage of free parking at the Bogue Inlet Pier.
The B&B provided us with chairs, towels, and umbrella, and Adam lugged those to the beach.
He finished the Cat book, and then he passed it on to me. I hadn't read one of these before, but it sounded like light, silly reading, just right for the beach.
Adam slathers himself in sun block, covers with a towel and collared shirt, and sits under the umbrella. We do not come for sun burn anymore, thankyouverymuch. We are too old.
We'd barely sat down when a group of children with a flag ambled onto the beach. I thought they were a Boy Scout troop, but there were a few girls mixed in. Adam thought they were a Jr. ROTC group, doing a beach run. He went to ask.
These mere children are new US army soldiers. We watched their swearing-in ceremony. They are so utterly green -- they didn't know how to stand. One particularly naughty-looking boy with his ball cap perched backwards on his head the whole time will soon have his life altered at boot camp. After teaching high school English for a decade I can spot a naughty 17 year old a mile away. Oh dear. Bless them.
We only stayed until the beach became too heavily populated for my comfort, until nearly lunch.
We showered and headed to lunch at the Village Market. We'd been there two years ago when we took a B&B trip to Salter Path.
Adam had the Village Club sandwich.
I had the Cobb Salad with ginger/sesame dressing.
We also spent a lot of time in the car driving, and Adam reminded me of how tiresome it is to look at old vacation photos and not see any humans in them. So here he is again. I don't get tired of that handsome face :)
More to come ...


  1. It was so delightful to experience your vacation vicariously! The food looks yummy and you two enjoy all the same things I would. Reading, thrift store shopping, painting and eating! Aw, I pray all the best for those young soldiers. Bless their hearts! Thanks for sharing. I take it there's more to come? Great! :)

  2. Happy Anniversary to the both of you!
    I so enjoyed reading and seeing all about your time away, beautiful, just beautiful.
    The Lord bless you~~

  3. Happy Anniversary. : )
    At first when I read your title thought you'd gone to Ireland.
    Beautiful pictures from a beautiful holiday.


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