Monday, October 16, 2006

Weddings And Crabs And Horses, Oh My!

Once again, I spent the weekend at my parents' beach house, this time with my sister and her boyfriend Mark. I mentioned last weekend how beautiful October on the Outer Banks is, and this weekend was particularly beautiful. The weather was great -- sunny and in the mid-60s with a brisk west wind. AND the olive bushes are in bloom, which means the whole island smells like heaven, or at least like heaven SHOULD smell.

It was a great weekend for a wedding, which was why we were there. Our friend MC, who my sister and I have been friends with since the early 90s when we all worked at a bathing suit shop together, finally got hitched to the great guy she's been dating for years.

The wedding was about 42 miles from our house, all but 15 miles of which were down 45 mph two-lane rural roads. We left the house at 1:23. For a wedding that started at 2:00. You do the math.

I was driving and I'm proud to say we rolled up to the wedding at 2:15, in time to catch almost all of the ceremony. I am, however, sorry that I scared Mark by passing three cars at once, although if he'd gotten in the shower sometime before 12:50 such maniacal driving might have been avoidable.

Anyway, the ceremony was awesome -- a small casual affair right on the beach, with bare feet all around.

Everyone slipped back into their flip-flops for the reception, which was on the Sound (west side of the island), and which, with the west wind, was fucking freezing. We spent most of our time chatting with our former bathing suit store employers about the evils of chain stores and then left right after cake, which was not too long after my sister looked at me and said, "Um, your nose is running" and I said, "Oh crap. I can't even FEEL my nose."

We snuck out the back to say goodbye to the caterer, who I used to work for and who was still cooking. "Damn, ya'll are still steamin' crabs?" I asked as I watched the poor little bastards scrambling around in a cardboard box. "Shit, we have about a bushel left, and there's still a bunch inside," the guy said. "What are you gonna do with them all?" I laughed. "Do you wanna take some home with you?" he asked.

And so we did. Two dozen of them, in fact. Then we went home and I made some hushpuppies (30 of them, in fact) and we sat around and picked crabs for the rest of the night. Yum.

Yesterday morning we got up and drove up North to what everyone calls four-wheel drive country because, well, the only way to get to it is by driving on the beach, and you need a four-wheel-drive for that. I had some reservations about this, what with it being completely environmentally irresponsible, but I'd never been up there before and I kinda wanted to check it out. This is one of the least developed parts of the Outer Banks, and it's also where the wild horses, who used to roam freely throughout the area, now live.

When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to walk outside and find a horse in your front yard, but as Corolla got more and more built up, life for the horses became more and more dangerous. Tourists fed the horses from their cars and perched their children on top of them for photos, and oh! ran over them, until the herd was finally rounded up and moved north away from civilization.

I miss seeing the horses, but it's merely one of the many things I miss about the Corolla of 20 years ago. And moving them was probably the best possible compromise between "progress" (I mean "rampant development") and conservation. It's been a good thing for the horses. When they moved the herd in 1994 I think there were about 20 horses. Today the herd is about 75 strong. And we saw five of those 75 yesterday. You're not supposed to go near them, but there's no law against them coming near you.

Anyway, some pictures. . .


vikkitikkitavi said...

Beautiful pictures. So jealous. I remember the news stories about the herd of horses but I didn't realize that was in your area.

This weekend I am going to Puerto Penasco in Mexico. Nice secluded condo on the beach. I can't wait. I go to the condo website every day and look at the pictures.

I want out of LA!

Phil said...

Looks like a lovely weened.

Chris said...

Interesting that the male in the group was the one to hold things up and make you late. Great pics!

Grant Miller, Esq. said...

I need to schedule a vacation there sometime.

Megan said...

Vikki: Yep, that's us. That made it into the news all the way out in CA? And have fun this weekend!

Phil: Indeed it was.

Chris: Some would argue that we were all equally late, and I did have an extensive bra vs. no bra debate with myself while Mark was in the shower, but had he been ready I would have just gone braless (which is what I ended up doing anyway) and not bothered to worry about it.

Grant: September and October are the best months. The place is crawling with tourists in-season, and it's a whole different experience.