Army personnel get more holidays than private sector workers. Columbus Day. Veterans Day. Presidents Day…Or at least, that’s how it works in theory. In reality the Man usually ends up running the ICU on holidays. However, this fall for the first time in living memory he got a long weekend for Columbus Day. Right now most spare time goes to studying for ICU boards, but before the final preparation marathon begins we decided to take a quick two night trip to the coast.
Based on a recommendation, we drove to a quiet harbor town founded in the 1700s. Thanks to a military discount we stayed in a rambling Civil War era home that once housed a doctor and his eleven children and now operates as a bed & breakfast.
Since there’s no actual beach in the village and no easy highway access it lacks the build-up of many commercial beach towns: no high-rises, neon lights, or cheap souvenir stands. Storm-weathered trees shade 18th and 19th century clapboard houses, small boats bob in the harbor and a few restaurants and shops line the one business street. Exactly what we’d hoped for.
We forgot the camera, so a list will have to do:
- Long sunny walks along the water and through the town.
- Catching a ride on a skiff to one of the barrier islands for an afternoon collecting shells, body-surfing in the (chilly!) waves, and napping on the warm sand between the dunes. We had the beach to ourselves. As a Great Lakes child, the whole “salt water” thing still throws me off a bit…
- Breakfasts in the inn – there’s something very luxurious about having someone else cook for you.
- Admiring wild horses grazing on the barrier islands around the town. They are descended from Spanish horses shipwrecked in the 1500s.
- Browsing a little book shop.
- Splurging on an amazing dinner at a small bistro – lamb chops on ravioli with sautéed mushrooms and au jus, fresh herb bread, and a Belgian chocolate tart with raspberries and vanilla ice cream to finish it off.
- Biking up the long coast road (me) and going for a morning run along the ocean (Carl).
- Stopping for a hike in a national forest and lasting five minutes before the swarming mosquitoes drove us back to the car. Deep Woods Off meant nothing to those little vampires.
- Wandering through an old city settled by the Swiss – beautiful architecture, historic buildings, delicious coffee, and an unexpected street festival that made parking difficult. The used book sale at the Episcopal Church almost made up for the chaos.
- Exploring back roads on our circuitous route home.
- Spotting a State Park just off our road and detouring to visit: cliffs, a river, camping, a beautiful swimming lake, and rambling hilly trails. Not a bad find!
- Home to a peaceful Saturday evening with cocoa and a movie, and back to church, studying, chores, and routine the next day. Carl had Monday “off” (i.e. he spent the whole day studying for his upcoming boards) but I had to work. Those pesky civilian jobs…