Here it is!! Finally! I can’t put it off any longer because if I do, then it will never get done. I was just looking for details on Thanksgiving last year and ever since the whole relationship debacle thing, I feel like I’ve not been very good about details. Whenever I go back to look up something, it’s not there because I just didn’t feel like writing it. I’d say it the result of a minor depression! Even video games didn’t interest me like it did. I can’t let it stay that way. My work game is back, my video game playing is back, let’s make this post right.
…if I can still remember it all.
Saturday, October 20:
SO EXCITED. We had packed things up in the Yakima Skybox with some arguing, but overall success and driven down South Friday night to ease the dogs but also to help with traffic the next day. It’s a good thing we decided to do that because later I found out that there was a major accident on 95 north of Stafford. It was rainy. My wipers are annoying, but there was no traffic. We stopped by the NC visitor’s center because I realllly had to pee. Bought a water bottle, and then let the dogs pee for a bit in the rain. Off we went again and stopped at our traditional BP gas and Chick-fil-a. Exit…473? Something like that. Then it was more driving. My brother decided to drive the entire trip. We ended up reaching there right around 4pm, checked in (since it was under my name this time) with Topsail Realty and BOOM across the bridge! The worst part of it all was driving through the back roads and seeing how much destruction was wrought and how much recovery was still ongoing. It had been over a month. Topsail itself also had lots of homes needing repairs and giant piles of debris and trash from compromised homes, but it was much better off there than inland. We reached the house and in we walked! It was very cute and quaint, though with immediate evidence of damage and new paint. We had been warned that Topsail hadn’t allowed anyone to rebuild the beach accesses properly since the dunes were all messed up still, so to be careful. She wasn’t kidding! Immediately, though, we had an issue with the modem, so no internet. Didn’t matter! First Harris Teeter run with my mom! Liana refused to eat. She was anxious the entire ride this time and not Gable. It’s like they flip flopped this year. I can’t remember if we walked out to the beach that night or not. Sleeping! The dogs were craaaazzzy excited but we all took our rooms. AAaand my mom ended up with a GIANT cockroach in her room, so we lured it down and I trapped it in a trashcan to throw it outside. I really try not to kill things. It did not manage to find its way back into the house, but I did have one more brush with it, seeing its shadow skitter by in the darkness one night.
FIRST SUNRISE AT THE BEACH on the trip! I was up first as usual, though not as early as I usually get up. Probably something to do with the fact that it was late October. Still, I got my first pictures, and took my dogs out to walk. Gable’s so funny, he never forgets the bur plants. It’s always hard to make them poop on the side walk walkies. I was actually glad for all the debris because it made him interested in pee/pooping. I feel bad for this one house that was still shuttered up because that was basically their pooping grounds all week. Then we excitedly waited for my mom to get ready for a beach walk! While waiting, Liana was so impatient she parked herself by the back door. It’s amazing that they remember. Every time we go we have a routine: Morning walkies, beach walkies, then breakfast. It’s been an entire year and they don’t forget. First step on the beach! Thank goodness there was a private access right next to the house that seemed unaffected by the storm because the bottom of the stairs of our house (Appel Cottage) had a makeshift fix and was hella scary. We basically just used that the whole week. It didn’t matter because there was no one next to use and no one at the house with the beach access. The beach was gorgeous. There was a lot of debris around, giant balls of dead vegetation rolled up by the waves and probably filled with dead things (Liana LOVED them), shells, trash and so many broken pieces of wood. It was humbling, depressing, but still beautiful. The dunes were completely eroded. A good 5-6 ft missing. I couldn’t help but think about how natural it is when storms erode the shores, and how humans strive to resist a natural occurrence. All of the areas that retained their thick native vegetation were mostly unscathed. Palm trees that bunched together saw minor damage, while the ones on their own did not fare well. Breakfast and off to do more grocery shopping! Topsail had added a Publix since we came last. My brother and I were hitting all of the Pokémon Go gyms and Pokestops.
The rest of the week came and went with grocery shopping, Golden Corral and other shopping at Target for water, the Dollar Store, etc. We went to Jacksonville twice. I just can’t remember the exact days we did them. Monday and Tuesday were the most beautiful days there where it got at most 78 degrees warm. It was fall, so it was expected to be cooler, but I was only able to wear my 2 bathing suits twice. It was funny because that Tuesday (or was it Monday?) was so nice there were actually other people out on the sand too! I spent an afternoon looking for shells and ended up with at least 10 fly bites. Awful creatures.
Our lack of wi-fi was dragging on me, so after a massive blowup about how I literally have to do EVERYTHING, I finally managed to call Charter and try to have it fixed. We tried to switch out the modem at the Spectrum store, but we still were only able to have either cable or internet, never both. As it turned out after having a tech guy come out, it was a problem with the main line and not getting enough signal which was why we could only have one or the other, not both. Sigh. Always something wrong with the house hardware. Last year it was the door, this year the internet.
I spent the first half of the trip reading my books, writing in my journal prompt thing, and Pokémon Go. It wasn’t until the second half that I pulled out my DS and got hooked on finishing Pokémon Moon. I think every single day there was an excuse to drive somewhere to hit the Pokestops and Gyms. It was to rain on the Friday and get cold by Wednesday and Thursday, so we took the opportunity to go sightseeing on Thursday to the USS North Carolina Battleship! I’m SO GLAD we went because even though they have to do lots of work there, too, it was awesome! We’d never even thought about doing things like that because this time it was just the immediate family and not extended family. It was just the dogs left in the house which is always a worry (because anything could go wrong!), but I purposefully waited until they were comfortable in the house before leaving for a few hours. They were fine.
It wasn’t until the very end of the trip that we went to Cora’s Deli, a local sandwich shop because for whatever reason we’d never really gone into Topsail Beach the city before. It made me really think about why we were giving business to large corporate stores when we should’ve been patronizing the locals there instead. It’s a deli inspired by and with a greyhound! The owner guy actually turned his car around when he saw me walking my pups and invited us to come. The sandwiches are GOOD too!
I ran into a dilemma towards the end where I was freaking out because my phone refused to charge. Turns out it had gotten some sea foam or salt dry on the charging thingy and it wasn’t until I picked it out with my mom’s plastic toothpicks that it was charging again. Of course by that time I had already bought a wireless charging pad and some emergency phone drying packets. Figures.
As usual, everyone hated taking pictures, but got some good ones I did. The dogs are hilarious. Gable was SUPER GRUMPY OLD MAN in the vast majority of the pictures while Liana was pretty good in them.
When it was time to leave, Liana was a wreck. She was upset, and angry, and sulky while the old man was super happy to finally go home. The trip back was, as usual, quick, and we took our traditional 473 exit. We returned South to leave the Skybox and went back North (I drove the 50 miles back) where I finally was able to enjoy a night in my own bed. Ahhh. Nothing like your own bed. Liana continued to hope we would return to the beach for the next few days. I can’t deny her that, so it seems I will have to try and make it work next year too, if she’s willing and healthy enough to go.
I dunno, I keep saying that, but these two are such happy pups, I might have them years yet.
Wow. I can’t believe how much I’d forgotten already! Next time, gotta write it ASAP! Or better yet, day by day during the trip.
If you were to ask me if I prefer off-season like that or shoulder-season like we usually go, I’d have to say…I’m not sure. I like that there was literally no traffic. That was the smoothest I-95 run we’ve ever had on vacation. Topsail is usually not full of visitors anyways, but this was even less than it would be in off-season given they’d literally opened the beach mere days before our trip. We were the very first wave allowed to come after Hurricane Florence. There were vacationers, just not as many. The weather was cool. There were warm days, and the sun was relatively warm, but I think I’d prefer it warmer than that. Certainly the dogs would enjoy less clouds and more sun. I mean, I wore shorts the vast majority of the time (well, capris). Friday rained torrents and the saturated ground ended up flooding the streets. It was kind of concerning. I can’t even imagine what it was like during the hurricane. So, given the pros and cons, I…don’t know which I’d prefer. Can’t beat the off-season price, though, let me tell you.
All in all extremely enjoyable and I just loved it. The dogs loved it too and the pictures are a great reminder of why you should always go see it in person because no picture could ever do it justice.