Beach House Arrival
Tom and I drove to Chicago early Thursday morning (August 2) so he could attend an AWS (Amazon Web Services) conference at McCormick Place and I could visit my brother Jon at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. We both had a great time in Chicago, as Tom picked up info and freebies, and I was able to see the amazing new rehab center, visit with Jon & Diane, and do a little shopping with Beth on Michigan Avenue.
We had packed up the car with all the things we'd need for our Carolina trip, as we would not be going back home before heading south. We got a good night's sleep in DeMotte at my parents' house Thursday night, and on Friday, after I took my Dad to a doctor appointment, we were on our way!
Our departure time was a few minutes past 11:00 a.m. (CT), but ten minutes into the trip we had to make our first stop at Fair Oaks Farms to pick up some cheese for the week. We managed to stop for only one meal (Pot Belly's in Dayton, OH) as we snacked on the cheese, crackers and beef sticks for our "dinner."
Our late-in-the-day start made our long road trip seem even longer. Tom drove the whole way...the curves through the West Virginia and Virginia mountains kept him on his toes, and a couple of long tunnels through the mountains added some interest to keep us awake.
We finally arrived at Brian and Jill's house at about 12:20 a.m. (ET). The trip took us a little over 12 hours. After our "hello hugs" they showed us to our room, and it didn't take us long to fall asleep.
The next morning, we woke to the smell of coffee and Brian's delicious egg casserole. We found everyone sitting on the back porch, and were greeted with more warm "hello hugs" from Gord and Annie. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and a walk around Brian and Jill's neighborhood, before packing up the cars for the last leg of our drive.
We all left Brian and Jill's house at 11:30. They led the way in their white Ford Edge, with the bright orange kayak on top, followed by Gord and Annie in the Prius rental, and then us in our blue Ford Edge with bikes on the back.
We stopped for a delicious lunch at City BBQ in Garner (near Raleigh), NC, and made another stop at the Neuse River Sport Shop, where Tom and I picked up a couple of new beach/bag chairs. We're quite excited to try them out!
We arrived at Emerald Isle and the Shangrila Beach House at around 5:00 p.m. We were all excited to get inside to check it out and to view the ocean for the first time. Much to our dismay however, the lock box wouldn't open and we couldn't get our key out. I sent a text to the VRBO owner, and tried to call a few times, but got no response. The people staying on the other side of the beach house also tried to help us out, but we still couldn't get it.
As Brian climbed through the kitchen window which Annie had managed to open from the outside, we finally heard back from the homeowner who realized he had made a typo when sending us the lockbox code! He was very sorry and apologetic, but all's well that ends well. We were able to get into our beach house, AND get the key out of the box.
We had a lovely dinner of grilled pork loin a la Brian, fresh green beans, tomato slices with basil and parmesan, and Annie's "corn bread." After dinner we enjoyed our first walk down the beach as the sun went down and the stars came out.