This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Break 2011 Day Three

We decided that our "overnight" 'day' trip would be a trip to Ocracoke. In all the years that Tim and I have lived in NC (since 1989), we have never been to Ocracoke, although it's always on my "go-to" list.

We were originally going to take the ferry from Cedar Island to Ocracoke, which is roughly a 2 1/2 hour ferry ride (~3 hour drive to CI) but decided that we would go the _other_ way via Cape Hatteras, another place we have never been to in NC. Our usual Outer Banks trip is to hit Kill Devil Hills; we have also taken the route up to Corolla, to see the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.

This was all BK (before kids).

The trip to Hatteras was long but delightful. We stopped at a place to eat in Columbia, NC. I love local places and this was selected based on my philosophy. We sat and I noticed the menu mentioned a buffet so I got up to look for this buffet. It was simply a small heated area with burnt looking spaghetti sauce, I saw mac-n-cheese, and something that once was either fish fillets or pork chops.

Needless to say, the buffet was out of the question. But when the waitress said "we still have our buffet going on", I knew that this is what they would have wanted us to order...lest they have to cook anything else.

But we are stubborn. I ordered fried oysters; Tim a fish sandwich; the girls decided on cheese sticks and loaded fries. We asked for the sour cream on the side.

About five minutes later, the waitress came out and said they were out of fried oysters. How did she not know this when I placed the order? This troubled me so I decided to skip food and eat fries and stix with the girls.

The fries came out with about a cup of sour cream dumped on top. The waitress, I kid you not, said she could just scoop it off and put it to the side for us. "That's OK" we said politely. And on top? DRIED CHIVES. Not fresh green tasty ones but the ones bottled for herbs for whatever purpose...a nice gray tone.

The food sucked. And I didn't hear the end of it and probably never will. The name of the restaurant was simply "Restaurant" and CJ made sure to let me know that under no circumstances, will we ever eat at a place simply named "Restaurant".

The drive to Hatteras was nice. We stopped in Rodanthe - never been there nor did I really think about where it was, despite hearing a lot about it. The outer banks are simply laid back and beautiful. While some folks can't get enough of the eight bedroom, three level homes, the small cottages leftover from a less decadent period found its way to my heart. And the people left are certainly NOT the type to live in those overdone homes. There is little glitz and glam (think the destruction of Myrtle Beach), which makes the area even more appealing to me.

We decided around 5ish that we would settle for Cape Hatteras for our final destination of the trip and hit Ocracoke in the morning. We drove to the end, to see where the ferry station would be, and found an Inn right there. It looked too nice for us but I thought I'd find out what the rates were. After the lady started explaining the amenities, before giving me the price, I decided it was going to be too much: these are suites with kitchenettes, separate bedroom, blah blah blah..."hurry up with the sales pitch so I can leave and find a cheaper place..." But when she gave me the rate, I was like "hmmm..." and then a quick check with the family gave the SOLD sign.

The room was a great highlight. It was indeed a suite - like a freaking apartment! A nice sized living room, a kitchen with granite countertops (if only I could write this as people say it on House Hunters...the whole house could be the Taj Mahal but if it doesn't have "granite countertops", it needs updating),
and a bathroom with marble tiling. The girls were in heaven "let's just live here". BTW, they are pretty easy. We could stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Cary and they would be like "let's live here".

Best of all was the SEPARATE BEDROOM. This was especially nice as that meant NO KIDS. At least not in my room. They had the sofa bed in the living space and, as they liked to point out, a flat screen TV. I was like "every room in our house has a flat screen, what is so great about this one?" "YOUR room doesn't have one" and I realized, the one in our room was those old big thick ones that I once had (several) in the 20th century. On top of that, there was no remote so Tim and I were stuck watching a rerun of CSI since neither one of us wanted to go through the trouble (again) of changing the channels on the box.

I took the girls down to the shops that were right next to the Inn, near the pool. We browsed through every shop, touching every single thing that we could touch. At the Life is Good shop, we were agog over a young girl, about 6?, who was throwing the most amazing fit I have ever bore witness to, even with my own. She was screaming, I WANT THIS TOY NOW! And the mom was very calm, in a 'i-need-to-look-like-a-good-mommy-in-public' way, and explaining to her that they would not be getting that toy. She would stomp her feet and scream I WANT THIS NOW AND I WILL NOT STOP CRYING UNTIL YOU BUY THIS FOR ME.

Me and the girls giggled and moved on. About 10 minutes later, when we circled the store, I could still hear that girl screaming. I WILL NOT STOP UNTIL YOU BUY ME SOMETHING!!!!! Finally, the mom was trying to do something a little more physical, like REMOVING her from the shop, and I tried to get up and record it with my camera: have it in my pocket and record the audio. Of course, in my excitement I screwed it all up but I just knew it would have been a shocking revelation for you all to hear such behavior.

Coincidentally, I was reading The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom and I thought about the stereotype of Western families and how this little girl epitomized that stereotype...and her mother too.

It was time for dinner and we hit the first thing we saw around us, which was Teach's Bar and Grill. We got a great seat in the house. Tim wanted something from the bar and when we asked the waitress about the bar, she said "oh, we just serve beer and wine".
Well then, you shouldn't actually have "bar" in the name of the restaurant, should you? I said internally...I had asked for recommendations on twitter (and FB) the day before but for _Ocracoke_, not Hatteras, so we were left on our own to figure it out.

Despite the fact that the menu was very limited (no freaking oysters????) and the false statement of a bar, the food was really good, the view was amazing, and the staff were pretty darn cool.

We made it back to the room just in time for MiMi to pull out a - suddenly - loose tooth
and the parents retired for the evening. Apparently, the girls were up late up to no good. The next morning, there was a bathing suit lying in the bathroom, and my camera was nearly out of juice. I can't wait to see what kind of videos are on this thing.


  1. Sounds like a fun trip except for "Restaurant"! I was cracking up at your comment about the granite countertops and people on house hunters. I keep thinking I should go ahead and put granite countertops in our house because if we ever want to sell it, we would have to put them in before putting it on the market anyway! :) I do like them, but it cracks me up the way people can be on a really small, tight budget and be buying a teeny tiny house and still expect it to have granite counter tops. How are you liking Tiger Mom? That is on my "to read" list if I can ever finish trodding through Henrietta Lacks. Maybe we can have a book lunch to discuss Tiger Mom.

  2. You're having bad luck with trying to order oysters on this trip! Did you ever get any? I love the outer banks though. Especially the small-town feel in the places that haven't been taken over by Wings stores.

    I'd be up for a Tiger Mom lunch - i'm interested in that one as well. But i'm very very far down the list at the library (170th).

    Love the sign about what happens to wild children.

  3. @houseofestrogen: loved Tiger Mom. She really is crazy but pokes fun at herself.

    Also, had granite at old house and I hated them. I tend to slam stuff onto the countertop and was always reminded at how breakable stuff is. :)

    @Audrey: I almost saved my book for you! I wish I had.

    We finally got oysters at Ocracoke. I just haven't posted my Day 4 yet. :)