Friday, July 15, 2016

Emerald Isle, Part Two

I feel kinda silly doing a part one/part two. But honestly, at my age, trying to do a really long blog post can stretch the capabilities of one's brain.
Anyway ... Thursday afternoon we relaxed in our room. And this brings up another topic: the layout of a B&B establishment. Most B&B's are houses with front doors, hallways, and bedrooms with baths attached. But the Harborside Guesthouse is unusual. The porches wrap around the building with stairs connecting them. These are the "hallways." Every room/suite has an exterior door onto a deck with a table, but NO interior, connected space. It's lovely looking. But it means that if you're not in your room, you're sitting on a blistering hot deck in the full sun and heat in July. We did eat breakfast out there, and that was lovely, if a bit windy. But once the sun hit the deck ... boom! It's hot as blazes and off limits. And although there is a lounge, we'd have to walk all the way around the building on the hot deck, down some stairs, through the lobby, and into the lounge. Too much trouble, especially if you find you've left your glasses in your room.
The end result is this: Harborside is a B&B where you tend to stay in your room the whole time instead of enjoying the entire house. That's a significant limitation, IMO.
For dinner we returned to Flipperz, a beachy/casual restaurant. We anticipated a wait; they told us an hour, but it was only 35 minutes. It was hot waiting outside. We had a waitress and a waitress-in-training.
I was still full from lunch, so I told Adam I didn't want to order a full meal for myself. We'd had the fried green beans before, so he ordered those first. $7.99. And not a large basket - this is it:
Adam ordered fried shrimp. His salad arrived -- very pretty.
That chunk of bread is just that: a chunk of bread. Boring, dry. 
Should have been buttered and garlicked and toasted.
When it came time to order, I said I'd have a bowl of seafood bisque. I thought I remembered that we'd ordered it last time, and somebody liked it. Seemed safe. A bowl of soup is small.
Both waitresses stood over my head.
The waitress asked me, "Do you want a cup or a bowl?"
"Uh..." I said."A bowl?"
 I didn't want a little cup of soup. Besides, I wasn't getting anything else.
When the soup arrived, the bowl was about 12" across. It was massive.
And boring, and too sweet, and I didn't like it.
So Adam ate most of it.
(What was I thinking anyway? I don't usually like seafood!)
Adam's dinner came. It was supposed to be a shrimp platter ...
It was a plate with some popcorn shrimp and some french fries. $17.99.
I nibbled half of his fries.
And that bowl of soup? $9.99.
In the end, with a tip, that meal cost us over $43. And we drank WATER.
Such is eating out at the beach, and I'm mightily weary of it.
I'm even considering dumping the whole B&B idea and 
renting a little condo next time so Adam can cook for us.
 It was a grouchy drive to the B&B, I'm sorry to say. I'm a miser and hate to spend money, and this B&B trip was fast becoming a pricey enterprise. But as the sun set I asked Adam if he wanted to walk around outside, in spite of the latent warmth. We sat on the dock, on the bench.
 This is a shot of the ground floor deck and lounge for use by the guests.
I wish I could say we took advantage of it much. It's lovely, but just too warm to walk around there.
The deck seating from above:
Here's an outside view of Harborside Guesthouse. You can see how it's laid out a bit. Our room was right in the center of that middle floor. You can see one of our red breakfast chairs.
You can see that each room has many windows -- ours had 5 in the bedroom and 2 in the bath! All had white mini-blinds. See all those deck lights, especially the glaring one on the left? Those are security lights, and they shone all night long. It was tough sleeping with them.
 It's a very lovely building with fabulous views of  Bogue Sound on three sides. Quiet and peaceful. Sweet, kind very-young innkeepers who work hard. I think it would be much more enjoyable in the fall or spring, or even winter!

 I realize I've not posted a photo of myself, and this is all I've got - haha! It was quite dark on the dock, giving these a watercolor effect.

I also watched part of a Tom Hanks movie and read more in the "Cat Who" book. I'm ashamed to admit it has replaced Jane Austen temporarily. Adam moved on to more serious reading: The Collapse of the Third Republic by William Shirer about France in 1940. Adam has wide reading tastes.
Speaking of taste, here was our breakfast appetizer this morning, a peach something-or-other. Crumble?
Very yummy. Then nutella pancakes with sausage links and watermelon. One of my pancakes was still gooey in the middle, and the sweet innkeeper apologetically took it back and brought me another one. 
 Breakfast is served at 9:00 and not before, which is unusual for a B&B. But it gave me time each morning to read, sip tea, and paint. I did this:
Some flowers on their deck.
We planned to take our time returning home, spending several hours at the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knolls, but such was not the Lord's plan! Julia called and said that Ned was injured and crying loudly. His face was very swollen and he was in extreme pain. She had to go to work. So we headed straight home. Julia had a lot to care for in our absence, what with dogs and chickens and her own job. Adam took Ned to the vet, and the poor pup had been bitten by a snake. He's much better now. He was so pitiful! No idea where the snake went, but we do seem to be having a snakey summer. Did I mention that Adam killed a 4-foot king snake for me that was in the chicken coop? Yep.
So that's our little vacation. Adam and I do perhaps over-analyze these B&B trips, but they are important to us, and (for us) they are expensive. Because we can only do them about every other year, we want them to be perfect. This time we really conversed about the most important criteria (for us) in a perfect B&B weekend. I may be posting about that another time. I think sometimes we've gotten distracted from what actually makes us content and happy. Vacationing in 95 degree weather with a heat index of 105 and full-blown humidity is probably not the first good step. Crowds dampen our spirits too. Next time we should go in February!


  1. Oh my! Heat and humidity are a killer, so are high prices. I agree, next time rent a little condo for a weekend and let Adam do his wonderful cooking. You will save $ and you will enjoy your quiet, peaceful atmosphere.

    So sorry about Ned. What a scare! A 4 ft. big snake would freak me out for sure. Makes my little garden black snakes look small by comparison.

    Belated happy 27th. Love is all you need, love is all you need ... by the Beetles I believe.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. I think I could overlook some of that if it wasn't so stupid expensive!! But it does sound like a long list of negatives, and I think you're right about going in the off-season and renting your own little condo. Anyway, it made you appreciate home that much more! :)

  3. I felt this way going to Mackinac Island here in Michigan. Beautiful and charming, but very pricey. I don't like vacations where we have to pay for all our meals! We have rented condos and cooked ourselves, and I've found it much more relaxing, as well as less expensive.

  4. I'm with you about eating out. Most of the time it's not good and crazy-expensive. I'd rather spend my $$ on good food to cook at home. My hubby hates the B&B scene. Give us a good hotel with our own bathroom please.

  5. This has got to be one of the most interesting how-I-spent-my-vacation narratives that I've read in a long time! My goodness. Not planning on staying in this kind of place. Bless your hearts. Here's to a lovely condo next time!


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