Tag Archives: beach

Stonington, part four.


Our last stop in Stonington wasn’t planned, and we just happened to drive by… but it was a lovely end to the day.



Random public access to beaches is common in Maine. They’re not marked, they’re not named, they just are.



And sometimes they have a fabulous rock that looks like a sleeping walrus.



Ah, Maine…



This float had been pulled up for the season.



And if you know anything about the coast of Maine, you know sand is at a premium.

Mostly it’s rocks, which my ever intrepid husband continues to climb…



Not always gracefully.



For the love of all that’s holy… no.


What the Hell Texas!



Loyal readers know I dislike dolls. Those dead eyed, soul stealing little human replicants have haunted my dreams for decades. So when I read about the abominations washing up on shore in Texas?



I cringed.



Figuratively and literally.



The thought of casually strolling down the beach and bumping my toe into that makes me want to scream.






Of those…. things.




Thank you John. You’re doing the world a great service.



Burn them.

Burn them all…..



Random stuff cluttering up my phone.


Am I the only one who does this? You see something and think to yourself… I need to blog that. Then you save it on your camera roll only to have it languish there for weeks because it doesn’t deserve its own post?



Yeah, like that. Weird, probably worthy of a joke, but not enough to build a blog around.



And I’m sure that’s perfectly delightful, for everyone but the chicken who’s suffocating in a plastic bubble and probably terrified at the cornucopia of sweaty flesh on display at the shore… but an entire post? No.



Maine real estate has always been high, but right now it’s absolutely insane. When the average median price for a house is 3/4’s of a million? You know people have lost their minds. And in case you’re wondering, the cheapest price shown is in a town that was nothing but redneck trailers and two bedroom ranches a decade or so ago.



Yes, I could blog about how no one but the wealthy can afford a home up here anymore… but that’s too depressing.



So I’ll end with Lord Dudley Mountcatten helping me make the bed.



Needless to say, the bed did not get made that morning.


Jennette’s Pier Part 2…. and some fish whispering.


By the time we reached the end of the pier and turned around? We were walking icicles from the frigid wind…



And I think the husband was starting to rethink this whole marriage thing.




I kept telling him it was a beautiful, brisk, clear day….




And he kept stifling his impulse to heave me over the side.



Yes, like that.




Heading back to the building we followed red memorial fish…




Agreed wholeheartedly with a turtle….




And discovered there was a miniature aquarium inside.




Fish are wonderful.




And sometimes wonderfully strange.




I always wonder what the heck they’re thinking.




Here’s my husband, the Fish Whisperer, having a moment.




It’s odd. He sidles up next to a tank and they flock to him….




Which allows me to get some fun shots.




Is it me…




Or is that an awfully small head for such a large body?




Interspecies communing over, I thought about trying to get the husband to walk the beach with me…




But I was envisioning another wife with a bad idea buried under that mound of sand and called it good.





Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head North Carolina…. cold wind, cursing, birds and the death of a hairdo.


Continuing farther down the coast of the Outer Banks, I wanted to stop and walk out on a pier.

(Have I mentioned that I have a knack for picking the coldest, windiest, most frigid days to do this? Seriously… it’s a gift. If there’s one bitter cold day on an otherwise delightfully warm 2 week vacation? That’s the one I’ll choose to walk out on a pier.)




There’s the husband, bracing himself against the wind and giving me (and my phone) the evil eye.




And there’s the entrance to Jennette’s Pier, the biggest and best in Nags Head.





This type… and the other. It was too damn cold for either of them.




Approaching the entrance…. you don’t follow a yellow brick road.




But a line of memorial blue fish.

I love this idea!




A quick peek at the beach…




The map…




And me mumbling ‘Holy Crap it’s freezing! Can you read the pier history a little faster please?’




A quick peek at the beach on the other side.




Through the gate…




Past the turtle.

And finally, the door…




Where the husband had to hold on to his hat so it didn’t fly off.

It was that windy.

A brief warm respite inside to pay the $2 ticket price and out we went.




As piers go?

It rocked.




Even the birds agreed.




These guys were everywhere.




Fighting the wind just like us.





Not so much.




So we walked….




Shivering in the arctic blast…. with the husband cursing me under his breath.



Good times.




Every now and then there would be a wind break where we’d huddle to catch our breath.




And then finally, we reached the end.




Where the husband realized we had to walk back, into the wind…. and started cursing me under his breath all over again.



Day 6…. The Outer Banks, Jerky, and Dirty Dicks.


During the 17 years we lived in North Carolina, we never managed to make it to the Outer Banks… though not for lack of trying on my part. So on Day 6 of this vacation? A three hour road trip.




Past the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Hampton Roads…




The largest coal exporting port in the country.

And if you think it’s pretty? Just imagine how nice it smells….



Yes. Kind of like that.




Over and through the Hampton Bay Bridge Tunnel…

And past some tempting tourist attractions.




Is it shocking we didn’t stop?






It is not.





One more very long bridge later….




And we were there.




The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic.

200 miles of beach.




Where the wind was so fierce it was blowing said beach right across the road when we got there.

It had been a mild 48 degrees in Williamsburg, but here?

It felt like minus 12.




Beachfront condos and rentals were everywhere.




And in every color you can imagine.




Neighbor’s roof blocking your view?

No worries, just build a deck on yours.




It never ceases to amaze me how little property they can build on these days. Our town has a 3 acre minimum….

At the Outer Banks? It must be 3 inches.

And though we were getting hungry for lunch…




Awful Arthur’s was closed.

Damn… and I really wanted to see how awful it was.

But since we have a good friend named Richard, who is sometimes called Dick?




We had to.




Yes, ladies and gentlemen.

I got my crabs from Dirty Dicks.




My She Crab soup that is….




And my hushpuppies….




And my Ocean Blue Margarita in a disappointing plastic cup as they had run out of funny bar glasses…. or so we thought.




I’m not a Bloody Mary fan…. but that looks like a meal in itself.




The husband had mussels and lamented over not getting a glass for his collection.

(Oh, did I tell you? Along with all the other ridiculous pieces of crap things he collects… he has now decided to acquire a glass from every fun bar or restaurant we visit.)

Did this place qualify as fun?

I don’t know….




But with fried potato salad on the menu it definitely qualified as southern.

Finished eating, the husband asked the waitress to rinse out the plastic cups so he could bring them home to our friend as a joke…. which is when she pointed to us to their entire store of Dirty Dick merchandise.

We should have known.

But it was too good to pass up and we bought him a hat, a t shirt and a bumper sticker for Christmas.

(P.S… He loved them)





Cape Cod Day 4, Black Dog Tavern, Vineyard Haven.


map 15



If you live in New England, I can guarantee you’ve seen numerous bumper stickers, t shirts and assorted swag with the ubiquitous black dog silhouette.



But on day 4 of our fabulous Cape Cod adventure, we had lunch at the real thing.




The original Black Dog Tavern on Martha’s Vineyard.

For a sweetly illustrated history, click here.




It’s a rustic little place…




With some fabulous views.




Filled with maritime history as well as the flavor of the sea….

And on the day we had lunch there?

Even an adorable real life black dog on the beach.





(No worries… it was a cool day, he had water and his owners checked on him regularly.)





Don’t mind if I do….




Since we were at the Black Dog, I tried a Black Dog Orange Crush.




Which might have to become my new favorite way to wake up the day.




Happily sipping, we enjoyed watching the ferry.




The boats..




The harbor…




And local craft beer disappear.

But yes, the food. We came for food…




Quahog chowder. Thick, creamy and delicious with homemade croutons made for a nice start.

What’s a quahog you ask?

It’s a large hard shelled clam.




Isn’t that just typical human behavior?

Name your pet, then kill him to find out how old he is.

Sorry Ming, you deserved better. And I sincerely hope you weren’t in our soup.




I was in the mood for a good chargrilled burger and this one didn’t disappoint.




The husband? He inhaled two dozen mussels.

Replete, we said goodbye to the real black dog….




The views…




The pier….




And the original Black Dog Tavern.




Fervently wishing they would come to Maine and build one on our coast!


Cape Cod Day 4 … a special moment in Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard


When we left Edgartown I saw a sign saying Menemsha, and something in the deep dark recesses of my brain sparked.


map 14


To be honest, I didn’t even know why until I got there.




The art wasn’t familiar.




Neither were the warnings about jellyfish and nude bathing…. two things that should never be experienced together.

So while the husband made a new friend…




I walked around wondering why this particular place had called to me.




Just a wee bit…




It was a lovely spot.




And as I wandered…




I realized what I was doing.




I was walking in my late father’s footsteps.




He was an artist….. and had painted this very spot.


IMG_1466 (2)


That’s why we were there.


Img_3995 (500x375)


Because all my life….. I’d seen the word Menemsha on a few of his paintings and never knew what it meant.




I lost my father when I was 15.

Much too young…




We missed so many things.




But for a moment, on this day….




He walked with me.




And my heart was full.





Cape Cod Day 2… Beer. More beer. And a sunset at the beach.


Heading back to our resort after lunch we stopped in at Devil’s Purse brewery in South Dennis.




It’s an unassuming little place in a warehouse, with a beam for a bar…




And slab topped barrel tables with no seats. Personally I’m not fond of this concept, but space was limited and they probably don’t want to encourage you to linger.

That being said their beer was good. Very good… and we enjoyed our time there.




Sadly, they didn’t do flights which is my preferred way to sample a new brewery’s offerings.




But they did offer 4 ounce pours… (at roughly a dollar an ounce!)  and we tried quite a few.

They specialize in European style beer and we specialize in never liking the same one. The Pollock RIP IPA was too bitter for me, while the Shore Laddie blackberry porter was too rich for him. But we both loved their plum saison Season In Hell…. enough to buy a growler to take home.

The tasting room is also dog friendly which is fun.




No, Fido wasn’t drinking. His owner just wanted a good picture.

Sound like anyone you know…?



Back in Hyannis, we decided to stop at the Cape Cod brewery which is by far the largest and most popular.




But as with most things, size doesn’t matter.

(Sorry fellas, but it’s true)




Saturday afternoon at 3:45 and the place was packed. Though why that was, I really can’t say.




When we got to the bar…. we were told they were closing in 15 minutes and wouldn’t be able to do a flight, but we could order a small pour or two.



Please explain this reasoning, because I’m confused. You do flights, but won’t give us one because you’re closing soon…. but you will pour us multiple smalls.  What’s the difference?

And to that…. closing at 4:00 on a Saturday afternoon. WTH? When we asked why they closed so early on the weekend, we were told it’s because their workers want to have fun too.



It’s a good thing the entire restaurant and bar industry doesn’t follow this trend….we’d all be forced to have fun at home.

And no one wants that.




But, it was beer and we must drink. Which we did, though I wish we hadn’t…

Personal table top ring toss games aside, their beer was as flat and uninteresting as their let’s close early!  business plan. We drank 4 between us and I couldn’t even finish one of mine.

I. Left. Beer. On. The. Table.

Yeah, that’s bad.




And yet we had bartenders tell us this is the tourist’s preferred brand.

Okay, they have a gift store.




And heavily merchandise their product.




But it will take more than that to get me to drink it again.

We drove back to the resort at dusk, remembering that the desk clerk recommended we watch the sunset at the nearby South Cape Beach State Park.




So thank you Sea Mist Resort desk clerk.




We took your advice.




And ended our first full day at the Cape….




Surrounded by natural beauty….




Fresh ocean air…




Beautiful colors…




And a growing appreciation for your part of the world.