So we went to the Outer Banks for the week and stayed in a pretty nice house with one exception, no high speed Internet access.
So all of our great stories and photos had to wait to be posted when we got back, which was yesterday. But if you recall we brought a U-hauls worth of our house with us so we have spent the better part of the last 30 hours unpacking and doing laundry (9 loads today, poor W/D).
So where shall we begin...
ah, with Paradise.
So late into the week we decided that we would like to partake in some miniature golf. We like those mammoth courses with the dinosaurs or caves, or at the very least gigantic windmills. So Thursday afternoon we loaded the small children, the 90 year old great-grandmother, the brother and his girlfriend and the grandfather into the Canyoneer and headed for some great fun at Professor's Hacker's Lost Treasure in Nags Head some 15 miles from our Beach House in Duck. On our way we passed a smaller, less impressive looking miniature golf establishment with hardly anyone playing golf. We didn't think anything of it until we saw the long line just waiting to buy tickets at the Professor's. We asked how late they were open and decided to come back later in the evening.
So later on that evening Ward and I made the decision to leave our six month old children for the first time EVER with my younger grandmother and go play miniature golf. This time the 90 year old grandmother stayed home because it was 9:30 at night and we took the sister and her husband instead. At first we decided to not take the car seats out but after driving a very uncomfortable 15 miles with four adults in the third row (of whom I was one) we decided to take one car seat out.
Anyways, the Professor's was much busier this time with a line that wrapped around the building so we decided to go somewhere else. Our choices, Hancock, the newest movie starring Mr. July, or Paradise Golf up the road. For some reason, and I think that reason had something to do with wanting to spend time together and the driver not taking our request to see a movie serious we went to Paradise Golf. At two dollars cheaper a game and no line in sight we should have known something was up from the very beginning.
So we pay our $7 a person and go out to play. We'll play all three courses and get our money's worth.
But by the third hole we had changed out minds about playing all three courses.
On the first hole we noticed a small number of insects, on the second hole we noticed a larger number of bugs which we think were a combination between ants, termites and cockroaches and on the third hole we had to chase after a beetle that took off with Lucy's ball. Paradise, we determined, was infested.
Playing 18 holes of any miniature golf course with my father, Mr. Competitive, is a struggle on any day but when you are distracted on every hole by a different army of invading insects it is a struggle but also reminiscent of the twilight zone.
We played 18 holes. Not because we were having great fun but because we had paid for 18 holes. I somehow came in second, probably because I was trying really hard to not focus on all of the bugs and the bites and hurry up with the game, getting PAR sped up my turn considerably.
So we decided unanimously without even conferring to leave after the first course. I had wanted all week to visit a Pier even though Ward had complained incessantly about the idea of hanging out with the smell of fish guts and fisherman but I just kept bringing it back up anyway. The previous night we had walked to a pier that turned out to be a Naval Research Pier, No Admittance. So after Bug Land we decided to drive along the ocean and find the first pier we came to, that pier was the Avalon Pier across from Awful Arthur's Seafood Restaurant in Kill Devil Hills. I got out anxiously awaiting my walk of Adrenaline.
You see I enjoy piers because the idea of them is so damn scary. I mean were talking a few dozen posts in the ocean holding up a sinking formation that sways badly the farther out you walk. Seriously. These places are scary. But when no roller coasters are in sight and hang gliding is just too expensive I like to visit the Pier.
So this place was just as bad as Paradise Golf even without the bugs. It was very dark, which I think is the best time to visit a Pier. Before I even exited the car I could smell salt water and seafood, oh yeah. But then again I was the one who really wanted to come.
So we walked by some fourteen year old girls smoking (which only added to the savory smell we were already enjoying) and talking on their cell phones and we past a game of pool going on with a group of drunk, shirtless Rednecks. The look on Ward's face; priceless. So we each paid our dollar sightseeing fee and got our stamp that was good until 5 am the next morning. We walked out, each at our own leisurely pace (could that be a hint of fear I was detecting in some?), and took in all the sights. No, not really any of the ocean, it was 11pm. But we took in the cleaning portion of the pier that smelled of, you guessed it, fish guts. We walked slowly past all of the staring fisherman whose turf we had invaded. We walked very carefully over the obviously sinking portion of the pier and made it all the way out where there was 'Caution' marked all over the end of the pier. For a greater adrenaline rush, I walked out there. This is the best part of the pier in my opinion, the part where it sways gently and you can discuss in that 'If I won the lottery tone' what would happen if the pier collapsed.
After viewing the look of boredom, irritation, and fear on my companions faces I asked each of them if they wanted their dollar bill back. No one took me up on my offer. Could it be that the Pier wasn't so bad or did they just feel bad for me that I was enjoying this at all?
We didn't stay much longer though we stopped and gawked at some rowdy teenagers on our way out contemplating whether we were ever that loud and obnoxious (and in our own way we probably were). We headed home from there and all I could think for the rest of the night was we left our children at home for this?
**UPDATE** If you click on the picture you can see my bitchin' score. I came in second and beat Mr. Competitive.