We left for Ocracoke, NC last Sunday at 11:30am out of midtown in a rented PT Cruiser. Mapquest said it would take 10.5 hours to get there but with stops we knew we’d be pressed to make the last ferry to the island at midnight. Traffic was moderate, the rain was spotty, and my driving was slow and defensive to match the antique look of the car.
I got a little turned around after the Chesapeake Bridge and Tunnel going on 64 to 168 near Norfolk. The storms picked up. Lightening bolts straight across the whole horizon. Tornado warnings suggesting we lay in a shallow ditch if proper shelter could not be found. Luckily, I spotted the Kill Devils Hill Hilton and we called it a night. I was exhausted from my first real drive in 5 years and all the unexpected hydroplaning. My survival technique was to brake before the puddle and release just before entering. I couldn’t remember what we were taught in the training film in high school. Turn sharply into or away from the spin? I think it was opposite was common sense would recommend but I didn’t want to chance it.
More damn rain and hydroplaning extended the final little leg of the trip an extra 2 hours. Also, we missed the ferry out to the island by 20 minutes so we had to wait 40 more. But once we got there…wow!
My cousin, Jen, who has lived there for a dozen years set us up with condo for the week for less than a song. If anyone is interested in good beach resort property, let me know. These were super nice.
This was a great time to be there, aside from the rain on the first couple of days. I really recommend the Back Porch Restaurant (Jen works the wine bar there), The Flying Melon Cafe, and Thai Moon. While we didn’t actually get to eat at the last place, Jen is friends with the owner/cook and we were treated with a special lunch at her house. The best Thai food Carolyn and I ever had.
It took a couple of days for me to unwind. I don’t think I actually have yet. Or I’m in that weird head space of being slightly off and on. The pace of life is so different there. Ocracoke Coffee is closed Dec-Feb. I would have to move off the island. We took a yoga class on Tuesday at the Deepwater Theatre. It was a great thing to start the unwinding. I think I conked out that afternoon because I was given a Benadryl after being eaten by mosquitoes several times while we looked at Jen’s chickens.
It was interesting to go a week without being connected. AT&T doesn’t work out there and I didn’t want to take my laptop. I came back to over 150 emails. Most of which, of course, were junk. I got to most of them on the ferry back to the mainland. The drive back was decent. Light traffic. Again I got messed up around Norfolk. Should have bought a road atlas. I used to have one. Then again, I used to have two vehicles. The traffic built up on the turnpike. We took the Goethals Bridge to the Verrazano to the BQE. I drove back to midtown over the Manhattan Bridge. Wound up on Houston St. Bought some extra gas at the Hess on 44th and 10th for $3.79 a gallon. Better than the $6.99 a gallon I’d get charged if the tank was under 5/8 full.
I’ve never really gotten away like that before in my adult life. It was like learning you can use electricity.
I’m off to get a cup of coffee. The rain seems to have made its way up here from down there. I have to figure out what I’ll do with my playwriting kids in the Bronx now.