Saturday, April 20, 2013

Best Birthday Ever on OBX

The last stop before heading home to Maine was another visit with Bob and Glen Baldwin on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  We had stopped there on our way south in January and Glen convinced me we needed to come again before heading North.  They arranged to have the week at their rental house, which is a very short walk to the beach.  Little did I know the surprises she had in store for my 70th Birthday.

We arrived on Friday  April 5th around noon time.  Glen said her son Ben was coming for lunch and would we mind waiting.  Well, about an hour later the first bomb shell walked in.  It was not Ben, but our friends and neighbors, Chuck and Julie Burwell, who had flown down to spend the week and my Birthday with all  of us.  I could not have been more surprised or delighted, or so I thought! 

Late in the afternoon we took our first walk on the beach.  It was cool but exciting to be back at the ocean.

Beach reclamation after hurricane Sandy

Friday night a friend of the Baldwin's was having an open house for a new clothing shop, so we stopped by for support and to have a look.  Glen's son Adam had designed and made the signs for the shop. They were exceptionally cleaver and appealing.  Adam and his wife Cathy own and operate "Access Design and Print", as well as the quarterly news paper "The  Sun".

 The new establishment is in the town of Duck, therefore the name

Glen and Adam

The appetizers for this open house were extravagant.  We were sorry we had dinner already cooking at home, but of course we ate some anyway.

Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful and we were planning a lazy day with maybe a short hike on a near by Nature trail.  We were sitting on the deck enjoying the sun when Ben drove in and said he was freezing so we went into the house.  While we were greeting Ben and warming him up there was a knock at the back door, which is never used.  When it was opened I almost fell over, and I did cry.  James and Shellie jumped in yelling "surprise".  Makes me cry just writing this.  Again, I had no clue all this was being planned for months.  What wonderful, special, dear, friends and family.

James and Shell

Shellie is showing Charlotte (Glen's granddaughter), pictures of her cat.

The next day we took a picnic lunch on a hike.

 We hiked to the top of sand dunes that overlooked the sound side of OXB.  

Marlin and Bob stop for a breather

Views of the sound
Ben, James, and Shell enjoying the beautiful day and scene.
Soaking up the sun

Was he talking about the size of a fish he caught?  No, he is not a fisherman.

A picnic lunch.

The entertainment for that night was several knock down, drag out, light saber duels between James, the ultimate Star Wars fan, and Sam Baldwin, the latest line in light saber experts. Unfortunately, I don't know how to turn the video, but it is fun anyway.

Marlin, Chuck, and Bob did the tour of the Wright Brothers museum.

One more adventure during the week was a driving tour of Carova beach wildlife sanctuary Here is where the wild horses live, roaming through the dunes and resident's yards.

It looks like these horses are in a fenced space. However, that is just a decorative fence on someone's lawn.  The back of the lawn is open and the grass was green.  We watched for about 10 minutes and the male kept his eye on us the entire time while the two mares in his harem  chomped on the greenery.

The old Coast Guard rescue station is now a Real Estate office.

The weather was amazing. Most of the week the temperatures were in the 80's.  We had the beach to ourselves.  Marlin and Bob tried a bit of fishing, with a little help from Chuck.  No luck, but that doesn't  mean that they didn't have fun.

This is how we spent the fishing time.

It was a sad day on Friday when we had to leave.  What a fantastic week of surprises.  Even the weather treated me on my Birthday.  We expected it to be in the 50's, or at best, 60's, but temperatures topped 80's and no summer crowds anywhere on the island.

As we were preparing to leave the Baldwin's beach house, Glen said, "What am I going to do with these balloons?" She and Bob had blown up 70 multicolored balloons for the celebration and she couldn't leave them at the beach house.  Well, I couldn't bear to pop them either, so I stuffed them into our little camper and brought them home with me!

Good thing we did not plan to use the camper on the last leg of our journey home!

Now, at home, whenever I look at these balloons, I recall the most wonderful Birthday celebration I have ever had, thanks to my wonderful, imaginative, and sneaky friends and family.

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