Off the shores 6
Long Weekend - Wish it was Longer
What the Shell
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
While returning from Woodbridge Virginia after attending Vidit’s birthday, I wished we could take the route via Chesapeake Bay Bridge we had travelled through when Bipin Jwain Saheb had taken us that wonderful part of our previous sojourn. I was invited to attend and address on the Newars in Sikkim and the occasion was 9th Convention and General Meeting of the Newah Organization of America in May 2010 at Potomac Washington DC close to their place. It being longer route and we already late was kept for some time next but had not realized this could be on our way that soon the following week itself. In fact it was a Long Weekend due to Labour Day falling on 7th and a Monday. Rachna had started planning it for a journey seven hour long drive northward but somehow could not be so and the Long Weekend was about to be going a naught with Karthik who was to be with us for the trip withdrawn, but she would not let it go so easily – more so when we were here and it being a much awaited holidays that Vimal deserved it more for the several weeks he had been deeply engrossed in the work recently. It was not difficult either if one was determined and they could decide for some place southward as we could well keep north for the coming Fall season to see the forest burning bright with colours all brilliant and beautiful there that we had a taste of it last time as well. It is never more or enough when it comes to adding colours to one’s life when it is the season Fall but no reason to fail or fall, be colorful and cheerful always whatever be the change that comes here with passing phase as you age and move on into the other season one time more the lesson we get from the Mother Nature so well to adapt and live life give more.
Onward: So, Friday evening we were heading in Acura mdx with Vimal on the driving seat to Corolla Beach in North Carolina that would take us to the longer than one been previously Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel off the Virginia Beach. It is one of the seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern Time that was built 50 years ago in 1964 and takes almost half-an hour to cross and we had the opportunity to see it by night when the lighting glittered as Queen’s Necklace the simile used for the Marine Drive in Bombay during our younger days and later with newlywed turned mother Ranjana in 1977. Wikipedia and YouTube have more to offer if you are interested and care to google search to enjoy the marvel that was again never more that we would be having yet again by the day time to stop over for a look to capture it in our mind whole life to cherish and treasure the memory forever. Another google for Corolla NC would lead you to find out what a wonder of the long stretch of narrow strip of land this place is made of with Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Bay in the west with a conglomeration of townships called Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil’s Head, Nag’s Head, etc. with rows and rows of two storied houses with decks made on stilts (wooden clamped on concrete base beneath like many electric poles here) to serve as garage, washing after a visit to the beach, fish clean table and storage. A four roomed well-furnished/all equipped Oceanside property at Ocean Sands Tern Inn was booked for three nights. As we reached late night, after hours arrangement was made to collect the keys from the office of the Carolina Shores Vacation Rentals at Kitty Hawk left in a white box at the entrance with a sealed envelope containing the eight-page agreement duly signed for the contract to let use it over the weekend and a well-illustrated Carolina Shores outer banks vacations to guide. Just before this arrival destination, we somehow suddenly realized to have missed carrying our linens and other stuff not being provided by them or pay for those charged heavily. Rachna on checking online found nearby the Super Walmart to our rescue and purchased our requirements including milk and some provisions for the breakfast while there.
Day 1: Early morning as I entered the kitchen for some warm water to drink, while going through the guidelines pasted on the fridge, my eyes fell on the password they mentioned for the Wi-Fi we tried frantically getting connected to last night with the code they provided that was old or incomplete. It mentioned 1 added to the code. After a good night sleep and breakfast, we were out to discover the beach nearby and found with waves bringing much froth to the shore lined with number of visitors already busy digging in the sand to make their day cool sitting inside. An official was telling us that the ocean was not that wavy the previous day and it could have turned so due to some rain that was also the weather forecast for the weekend. Early morning could bring such rain as I found it later on Sunday when I just opened the door to the deck for my Yoga practice like the previous day. Otherwise, our stay was showered lucky with pleasant weather throughout with sunny morning with cloud and wind as it was the last lap of summer season that starts with Memorial Day lasting till the Labour Day that was stretched extended for another weekend one more just to accommodate vacationers who might have missed being here so far. After the Labour Day enjoyed swimming pools in community parks were closed as it was time children get Back to School post summer vacation.
We had spent quite a while enjoying walk along the shore of the beach with waves splashing us quite often, some even violent even to drench lower half of our body. Ranjana was telling not to look down at the waves as these could make you dizzy. I was looking for shells to get back home as souvenir and was lucky enough to get two collectibles with unbroken edges as Rachna was mentioning that the collection she had in their home was from previous such visits to the beach here and in Florida. It was nice to find a curio-gift shop named What the Shell (amused for similar sounding idiom to remember) that we passed through that I could take a shot of when we were back to the place again for booking our Wild Horse Safari the next evening that we chose the best in offer after scouting in different places. Before this we had our lunch at Uncle Ike’s to find the ceiling covered with hundreds of bank notes hanging stuck, exceptional decor something new and unseen before - not fake bills but the real ones in use. Being in the southern part of the US meant enjoying the Mexican fare most topped with a locally brewed craft beer at Chilli Peppers Coastal Grill in Outer Banks. Eating out thus had different items chosen to suit the taste different but share what was there with the choice of sea food on the table to multiply the fun and joy of holidaying together. With Rachna and Vimal taking care of our needs with me going for things not hot that Ranjana had fire or ghost of Bhoot Jhulakia to taste while here that did not mean that I would not like milder jalapenos in between. Yet I liked the steaming hot hushpuppies similar to hot pakodas he found I liked best for my system well discovered by now. For dinner too it was nice choice to make along with other fares enjoying outside the cool breeze that nearly swept off our food with plates flying as the drizzle did not fizzled out our spirits to have the dinner outside the Steamer - Take Out Eat In on the Ocean Beach. Coming back to the Tern Inn, before going to sleep we topped up with a night cap of hot milk to settle down the goodies we enjoyed whole day – enough for our bellies to work overnight!
Next week: Long Weekend – Wish it was Longer: Always changing, always beautiful
This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life while in the US. Some names, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org