Friday was our final day in the Outer Banks. What a wonderful week of relaxation and merriment with family! On our last day, we didn’t wander far or do much. We hung out at the house and splashed and played in the pool. Julie decided we should all wear white shirts and khakis (jeans for the Halchaks) and head over to the beach for some photo-ops. We alternated in and out of groups and took pictures of each other with our cameras. Fortunately, a couple of nice gentlemen near us saw our enterprise and volunteered to take pictures of the whole group.
After we finished with our photography, Cindy, I, Julie, Tracy, Jon, and Rachelle headed out for a final, celebratory dinner at the Sunset Grille and Raw Bar in Duck, just a few miles south of Corolla. I love that name. I’d like to move there just because the name is so cool. All their signs, of course, have pictures of ducks on them. Anyway, back to what I was saying before I was all too easily distracted — We had great food and drink in the upstairs part of the restaurant. This was definitely the best restaurant food we had all week. And, the view was gorgeous. From our table, we looked out across the sound to see clouds and rain showers off in the distance, chasing the setting sun over the horizon. Our meal formed a lovely conclusion to a superb week.
On Saturday, we all endured hours of driving. Thankfully, mine was shortest. I left a little earlier that the rest, beating some of the traffic. Nine hours after pulling out of the driveway, I arrived aboard Beatitude in her Charleston slip. She was fine, just as we left her. Unhappily, Cindy was not with me. She is taking the opportunity to visit with family. She drove back to Pennsylvania with Julie and Tracy and stayed there Saturday night to visit with our daughter Mariah. Mariah drove Cindy to Ohio today to visit with her mother and other family members for the week. She’ll rejoin me a week from Monday.
Someone turned up the thermometer since we left Charleston. My return was greeted with excessive Florida-type heat and humidity which appears to be hanging on for the rest of the summer. It’s not intolerable, though. This morning (Sunday, of course), I attended Divine Liturgy at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church nearby in Mt. Pleasant. The church is situated in a lovely neighborhood, is very attractive, and has beautifully cared for flower gardens surrounding the church. The interior, including the iconostasis, as is usual in an Orthodox church, was even more beautiful. Cindy and I are not Orthodox, but our son and Jon, our nephew, is (and we may be someday.) This is the first time I’ve walked away from an Orthodox service and said to myself, “This is a church I could be a part of.” There were between 80-100 people in attendance, most of whom stood the entire service, except for the preaching. The entire liturgy was in English. The priest was young and delivered an excellent message which correlated with the readings of the day and the church calendar. The choir and chanting were very good. And, most importantly, I could tell these folks took seriously the Orthodox faith and classical Christianity.
After church, I met our friends, the Argabrights, for brunch at the Coleman Public House Restaurant and Tap Room, here in Mt. Pleasant. All of our food was excellent, mine accompanied with a Smuttynose Durty-Hoppy Brown Ale. The more bizarre the name, the more I’m attracted to a brew. It was quite good. The rest of the afternoon was occupied by some small odd-jobs on the boat and a trip up to the resort pool to cool off. The water was pleasant and refreshing. I managed to temporarily rig our wifi extender/booster this afternoon and am now enjoying the best wifi since we arrived. The wifi went from a 3/10 to a 9/10 on the satisfaction scale. Later this week, it will be permanently installed on a stern pole.