Monday, September 18, 2017

COROLLA NORTH CAROLINA TRIP - 5TH DAY - 9-5-17 - PART 1 - SUNSET

Corolla, North Carolina Trip - Fifth Day - Part 1
Sunrise 
Wright Brothers' Memorial
Lost Colony
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017



It is now 6.50 p.m. and I am back at the house.  I got up today for the sunrise. Gregg almost had to see it on his own as he left before me, with me mumbling some poor excuse about being too tired.  I mumble things incoherently when I am almost all-the-way asleep.  However, after he left I could not bear the thought of him seeing that sunrise on his own.  I heard the door close and I had immediate regret, so I kicked my lazy butt out of bed and dressed faster than I usually do, literally throwing clothes on, raced down to the beach without any thought of twisted ankles - I have a history - had momentary panic when I couldn't see him, but looked and looked and there he was.  


I snuck up behind him and gave him a big hug, experiencing a few seconds of thought that I might be hugging a complete stranger.  I have been known to rush up to someone - rarely thank the powers - pat them on the back, chatting away for what seems like an eternity,  thinking it was Gregg - that happened not so long ago - only to be greeted by a  strange face in complete shock at being accosted by, whomever he thought I was.  I don't blush too often but when I blush I am my own sunrise, and it was a wee bit dark that morning.  I needn't have worried.  Gregg saw me coming as he had a big smile on his face and he wasn't surprised.  He knows me better than I know myself at times.  A few minutes later here comes the sun.  Surreal!  










"Sunrise offered a very beautiful spectacle; the water was quite unruffled, but the motion communicated by the tides was so great that, although there was not a breath of air stirring, the sea heaved slowly with a grand and majestic motion."

~George Grey~


These are all Gregg's sunrise photos.  I have some of my own which I will share at a later date.



It was a lovely time at the beach in that very special light. There were a few other sun worshippers.   







As it got lighter we could see a familiar figure approaching.  It was Gregg's sister.


We had a nice time chatting for a while....

  
and watched as these two cute dogs trotted by. 


They were certainly enjoying their walk.


Gregg and his sister took a walk further up the beach and I meandered back to the house, taking lots of photos along the way,


 finding a few shells,






I thought this was some kind of seaweed and was very surprised to find that it was an egg casing for a skate.  I would like to spend more time at the beach to improve my knowledge of such things.




I came across the following here and here which gives more information.



I came across the remains of a horseshoe crab earlier.  I look forward to the day when I can see a live one.



I see traces of those ghost crabs again...


and occasionally see them scurrying down into burrows as I walk along the path back to the house.  


The dunes are high and you can't see the ocean when you reach the bottom level.  It is very private and incredibly pretty.  


There is a row of sea oats on the top of the dunes, and I believe this pink flower, quite tiny, is a perennial sand bean.  These and the other fauna keep me well occupied.  I am not sure what the spiky plant is.




I believe these are pokeweed berries.  There is an interesting article at this link.



We have a private entrance and there is no one else to disturb my thoughts, and no one awake in the house yet.  Once I had finished searching for wildflowers and ghost crabs, I found a comfortable chair and sat outside for a while enjoying the peacefulness of it all, looking up at the dunes and the pretty glow that still filled the sky.  It was a perfect time of the day to do this.  I stayed there for a half hour or so, before going in and getting ready for another day of sight-seeing. 


MONDAY RECIPE POST - OUR GO TO POTATO SALAD


Not a new recipe this week but I am taking a one-day break from my vacation journal, as I want to add this.  It is the Blue Apron potato salad from our meal here.  We liked it so much I wanted just the salad on my blog. We have made it twice since that first time, and it is definitely our favorite potato salad so far.

If you want to make this yourself, you can obviously adjust it to your own taste, and add any vegetables you enjoy in addition to the potatoes, and also seasonings.

I doubled most of the ingredients as we wanted leftovers the next day, which were even tastier.  




Potato Salad:

1 large Red Bell Pepper
2 stalks of Celery
1 large yellow Onion
1-1/2 pounds of Yukon Gold Potatoes
4 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar, or to taste

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high.

Wash and dry the fresh produce.

Medium dice the potatoes.

Peel and small dice the onion.

Take the pepper, cut out and discard the stem, ribs and seeds.  Cut into small dice.

Cut the celery into small dice.

Cook the potatoes by adding them to the pot of boiling water.  Cook them for 7 to 9 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Turn off the heat.

Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the vegetables:

In a medium pan (nonstick if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot.

Add the onion and pepper, season with salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Add the celery, season with salt and pepper.

Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to the pot of cooked potatoes.

To your potato and vegetable mixture, add the mayonnaise and vinegar.  Stir to thoroughly combine. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.





Additional thought:  for this recipe we changed the green bell pepper to a red one, just our personal taste.   It made it look prettier too.

We may have overcooked the potatoes as we didn't hear the timer go off.  It did not detract though, and as it is a heated potato salad it was just as delicious.  


Saturday, September 16, 2017

COROLLA, NORTH CAROLINA TRIP - 4TH DAY - PART 2 - SEPTEMBER 4TH, 2017


Corolla, North Carolina Trip 
Fourth Day - Part 2
Currituck Beach Light Station 
Monday, September 4th, 2017


3.20 p.m. Gregg and I have just returned from the Curritcuck Lighthouse.  Fortunately we had no problem parking the car on a street nearby.  



The lighthouse stands 162 feet from its base and you will climb 214 steps to reach the top, but apparently the views up there are phenomenal.



We could see people at the top but we were happy to stay on the ground and enjoy our surroundings. The last time I walked to the top of a lighthouse was in Bermuda 20 years ago.  I remember having jello legs at the top even back then, and knew that it would be my last climb.  I am not sure how I made it down.  So, I looked at the people waving above, waved back and wished them luck on their descent, silently.  They were young, need I say more?  I also quickly add that I truly admire people my age and older who can still climb to the top of these things, I'm just not one of them.


There were two pretty buildings nearby.  The keeper's house in the above photo was completed in 1876, and three keepers and their families shared the duplex.  When the lighthouse was automated in 1939 and the keepers were moved out, the house fell into ruin. Happily, restoration of the propery began in 1980 and today it looks like a house I would love to live in, as I would this house below. 


It is the keeper's smaller house which was built in the 1870's, moved here in 1920 from the Long Point Lighthouse Station on Currituck Sound.  It served as the principal residence for the keeper and his family until 1939.  There is a web page here that shows photos and history of the lighthouse and its houses.  Also this site has a lot of great info.


We walked up the street to an area where there were a few eateries, and we stopped for lunch.


Gregg ordered pulled pork sandwiches with baked beans and potato salad for sides. 


There were picnic tables outside, and we settled down to eat our meal.  No photos of the meal but I did take these.


We are big fans of Colman's Mustard and it was fun to see a very large can used as a vase.  A novel idea.  Coleman's mustard was one of the things I missed when I first moved to the States.  It was very hard, nigh on impossible, to buy nostalgia foods.  Now it is being sold everywhere, as well as a lot of other British items.  You can find a whole international selection in many supermarkets. I am always stocking up on my two favorite teas,  Yorkshire Gold and P.G. Tips, and Colemans.


We are making our way back to the car but there are many distractions along the way.  We came across a playground.





I headed straight for the chair!


A very cute idea for little ones.


Leaving the park we came across our little friend I shared in a previous post.  There were air pumps next to the playground and his human was tending to his tires.


The cute little guy's body was actually wriggling furiously, most definitely inviting a fuss, but I didn't give into temptation this time.  He was, however, adorable.


We came across the old school house, which was thought to be built between 1890 and 1905.  It was in session until 1958 when it was closed due to lack of students.  



You can read about its history here.



Look what Gregg found?  There are a lot of big chairs in this area.



We were walking along one of the narrow roads back to our car, and we passed a few private residences.  In one particular area we startled dozens of frogs.  At our approach they jumped out of the grass into a long ditch filled with brackish water.  It ran along the whole length of a garden, and the jumping frogs continued until we walked its length. No way to get a photo, they were not only very fast but very small.  I have never seen so many frogs jumping.  It made us wary of where we were putting our feet.


That was our day and we made our way back to the house to spend our evening with the family.  As you can see, a puzzle was in progress.