Thursday, August 15, 2013

More From The Crystal Coast!

Stormy weather in Paradise!
This area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina is referred to as The Crystal Coast. Emerald Isle is a quiet strip of Atlantic beach with colorful houses lining the shore, no high-rise in sight. The beach itself is soft sand, no rocks, and not too wide an expanse to the water. To me, it is the perfect beach. It's never crowded, even on the hottest summer day. Here, you can really appreciate the natural environment of the ocean and the shore. I'm mesmerized by the sea, always looking out there for something...and still searching for dolphins in the distance.

Rows of colorful beach houses!

A beautiful home-away-from-home!!!

We've been enjoying late-night lightning shows with dramatic rumbles of thunder. Unfortunately, the accompanying rain decided to hang on long after the light show ended, and we woke up to a soaking rain that just now (5 pm) stopped. The forecast calls for a lull and then more rain headed here for the remainder of our vacation. We were house-bound most of today (and if you have to be house-bound, this is the house to do it). After a short shopping trip to pick up a few things for Will's apartment in Charleston, Anne, Will, and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up ingredients for tonight's dinner: chicken marsala. I'm very excited to make this favorite dish tonight. I hope it comes out well. We're having baking potatoes (Idaho or sweet) and green beans, so it should be a really good dinner.

Anyway, rain has put a damper on the day, but we've really had an amazing time here. So far we've had two great beach days, and lots of fun at night with dinner in, and craziness afterwards! Ben and I started it last night with a dance-fest that started with one spontaneous song and ended up going into the wee hours with all of us joyfully dancing like fools in the living room! Anne captured it all in video on her phone and I hope no one ever sees it! It did provide lots of laughs today! I told Anne that if I am ever in a bad mood, all I have to do is watch that video and it will make me laugh out loud!

We've had some memorable experiences so far. We were very fortunate, last night, to witness just-hatched baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean for the first time. The original hatching/migration was three days earlier, and last night we noticed a bunch of people gathering on the beach. I went to see what was happening, and a woman told me that she was part of a group that would be excavating the nest, to count shells left behind and see if there were any babies that hadn't made their way out of the nest. There were two (of about 120-180) still needing a little help and direction. They were lifted out of the nest and started down a cleared path toward the ocean. There were probably 100 people on both sides of the barrier quietly cheering these little babies on. It was very exciting, but at the same time, unsettling to think what might happen to these little guys once they entered the water. I was anxious as the first waves pulled them into the sea, and then pushed them back up onto the beach, only to pull them back out and into the deeper water. It's amazing to see the instinctive pull that guided these sea turtles toward their destiny. I went to bed last night worrying about them, hoping they survive to adulthood and make their way back to this beach one day. The odds are not in their favor, but I'm pulling for them!

Waiting for the babies to appear and start their journey...

Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Ocean-bound!

Look who I met on my walk yesterday...

Pretty mosaic of seashells...

I'm going to get outside while the rain holds off, and hope to bring you new photos of our vacation and the recipe for tonight's chicken marsala in my next post.

Have a lovely evening, my family and friends!


  1. Looks like a great vacation! I didn't see your banana cake here--I got it from your FB page--it is FANTASTIC!


    1. Thanks for letting me know, Maura! So glad you liked it!

  2. Love your pics. Hoping you have a sunny day today and tomorrow!

    1. Thanks Di! Today (Saturday) is our last full day and it started out sunny. I took a walk on the beach to gather sea shells for Henry and Peter, but it started raining. Glad to have had that time this morning, though! It'll be hard to say good-bye to this place!

  3. Looking at your mosaic of sea shells but I swear I can smell chicken marsala. I guess your post was a success!

    1. The chicken marsala was terrific. Will be posting the recipe soon!