What To Do When It Snows...at the Beach

My impeccable sense of timing is still intact, you will be happy to hear. But, before I get to that, a little background information.

You may recall my observation (OK, some might call it more of a rant) about "the same thing happens every year" in November. About Mr. T and his use (or lack thereof) of his 5 weeks of vacation time...whereby he arrives at the final month in the Fuso vacation calendar with nearly as many vacation days to "use or lose," as there are working days left in the month? Well, it seems he isn't the only one in his company doing this...and, at their annual meeting in January, they were all "encouraged" to spread those days off more evenly throughout the year. Brilliant idea! Now, why didn't I think of that?


Anyway. In an effort to comply, we mapped out a more "consistent," shall we say, vacation plan for 2013...with our first days-off being a long weekend over the Presidents' Day Holiday. In mid-February. Which is still Winter, last I checked. What were we thinking?

We managed to book our dogsitter, Ms Jan, and counted ourselves lucky that she hadn't planned a trip to her beach house. That should have been our first hint. Then, we headed to Raleigh on Friday...me to a Friday Favorite concert of the NC Symphony and Mr. T to work with his main salesman at the dealership there.

We were pushed for time as we tried to get on the road, but remembered to stop by the pharmacy to get the new prescription my dr had phoned in...second one for this ear infection that has been lingering. I know, I know...yet another homeless germ has found comfort in my compromised immune system. But I wasn't going to miss our first getaway of the year for some ol' bug I was battling, now was I?

And, we knew before we left HPNC that some severe weather was in the forecast for the state: sleet and snow for Friday-Saturday. But we were going to the coast, for goodness sakes! Snow? Bah! I mean, really, how likely would it be to snow at the...

Have I ever told you about the time Missy M and I had to fly from Columbus, OH, to Pensacola, FL, to "rescue" Nana/Momma/Edith? She had made a car-trip with her friend Thelma to Destin for a week at the beach in March of 1993. Th. fell while walking in the sand and wound up in the hospital with a stress fracture in her back. Momma didn't want to drive Th's car (which was too small to accommodate an injured passenger) back to OH by herself, after Th's son drove his van to FL. What else could possibly go wrong, you ask?

Well, on the morning we were leaving Destin, we awoke to snow. In Florida. At the beach. In March. We decided to push on with our plan to drive that little Toyota back to Pickerington, and off we went. Up and over the Back Bay Causeway bridge...which had iced over...in 35 mph winds. I kept saying "if we can just get a little further North, it'll be OK." Right. We nearly mired up to the running board of the car in the single-lane ruts on Interstate 65 in Alabama...making it as far as Montgomery before the State Troopers closed the road. I think we got the last vacant room at the last Holiday Inn in town.

Snow at the beach? You'd think I'd learn...

We did have a fun day in New Bern today...the calm before the storm, so to speak. Never been to the state's Colonial capital before. Spent some time at Bradham's Pharmacy, the Birthplace of Pepsi-Cola...enjoying all the memorabilia and the excellent film on the history of our favorite soft drink. One of my earliest memories is Daddy singing the jingle "Pepsi-Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces and that's a lot." Only, I remembered it a bit differently from the one in the video: "Pepsi-Cola hits the spot, just a nickel not a lot." Either way...tells the story, right?

We strolled one of the lovely downtown streets of this 300+ year-old city, with its beautiful churches and all sorts of antique stores and cute little shops. Loved looking at all the decorative bears...you know, ones like the horses in Louisville and the cows in Chicago? Since we have been to Bern, Switzerland (for which New Bern was named by Swiss settlers), we "got" the reference to the Bear City, as "bern" is the old German word for bear. We bought fancy cupcakes at a local bakery. Got some doggie treats at a local pet boutique. And then checked out Tryon Palace, restored home of Royal Governor William Tryon and first Capitol building for the state. As the weather conditions were deteriorating, we decided to leave our tour of the house and gardens for our next trip...and get back across the causeway bridge to our hotel in Atlantic Beach (or, Pine Knoll Shores, to be exact) before any precipitation made an appearance...and made the roads as icy as all the signs were warning it could.

Once we were back on the island, known as Bogue Banks, we felt a little easier, so we checked out Fort Macon and picked up some shells on the beach...until hunger and the increasingly cold winds caused us to scuttle to a much-mentioned local eatery, the Channel Marker. Yummy Shrimp Scampi! A good choice, indeed!

We decided to save visiting the NC Aquarium, which is located a couple miles away here in Pine Knoll Shores, until tomorrow. I'm imagining we'll be happy to have an indoor activity, don't you think?

By the time the sun went down, we were back in our room...snug as bugs...and enjoying our dessert (remember those cupcakes we bought in New Bern?). We each fired up our iPads and tapped into an e-reader: Mr. T was using Kindle; I had a book on Nook I'd saved for "vacation." Gotta love technology! And we were as gleeful as little kids when the snow started to fall outside our window.

It's been falling steadily all evening, although none is sticking, so far as we can tell. I tried to take several pictures, but they didn't really come out. What does tell the story, though, is this screen capture I took of the Weather ap, showing the bright colors of the precipitation. Blue is snow, in case you are wondering.

And that big blue dot in the middle of all that swath of blue weather? Well, that's "our current location." At the beach. With the snow.


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