My wonderful Mom came to visit! She arrived last Wednesday and met us at our apartment after work. It was so great to see her and just be able to have a conversation in the same room; I miss that, being 2,000 miles away from the fam. We had homemade pizza and a tiny little zucchini for supper, then drove around town so my mom could see how her hometown has changed (and it definitely has). We went to bed earlyish to get some rest before our fun-filled weekend.
The next morning Mom and I left for North Carolina at five AM. Our drive was mostly uneventful (though I did send us on I-495 north-bound by accident about two minutes in), until the rental car alerted us to a change in tire pressure in the middle of nowhere. Kindly southern Virginians at 7-11 loaned us a gauge, and mom filled up the deficient tire and we went on our way.
We were having so much fun talking and laughing that we missed an exit and ended up maybe fifteen miles off course. Thanks to our trusty phones, we recalculated and made our way back to the freeway by way of tiny North Carolina towns.
Rolling into Surf City around 12:30 PM, we decided to pick up some bagels and fruit at Food Lion for the next day’s breakfast, and hamburgers at Hardee’s (a.k.a. Carl’s Jr., for all you westerners) for lunch.
My mom’s family has been going to the beach for some thirty years, and I think this year’s contingent was a good sixty people strong (give or take a few small children). We dropped our stuff at the Hendersons’ house, then put on our suits and headed out into the warm water. My mom’s best friend Alex joined us later; she is hilarious, and I enjoyed hearing stories about my mom’s adolescence.
In the evening, we had dinner with the whole crew. My Aunt Kathleen made a staggering nineteen dozen rolls (that’s 228 total!), and we had ham, funeral potatoes (a.k.a. hashbrown casserole), baked beans, the Henderson jello, and four flavors of homemade ice cream. We sat around talking with my cousins–many of whom I’ve not seen in a really long time–and met their adorable kids.
My cousin Dave performed an acoustic guitar mini concert for us, after which we all watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on a ridiculously huge screen. After a too-early morning, it’s a testament to the film that I was able to stay awake at all.
The next morning was kind of overcast and rainy, and the waves were really choppy. We opted to go see Alex and her family a few miles down the beach, then went to lunch at Sears Landing Grill with Alex, Aunt Kathleen, and cousin Laura.
I had crab cakes and my mom had scallops (which I’d never tried before and turned out to be most excellent).
Post-lunch, we hit up a souvenir emporium and found gear for Mariel and the boys. I considered buying this shirt for my Dad–who thinks cornhole is a hilarious thing–or Jason, but didn’t.
In the afternoon, we wandered the beach and hung out in the tide pools with the Dicksons. We visited the McClelland house and talked and played with babies. Then we had dinner, visited with the other Hendersons for a few minutes, and my mom and I decided to hit the beach again for the last time. It was getting dark, but the water was still nice and warm. We enjoyed the hot tub afterward until we saw lightning and went inside to bed.