Tag Archives: bald head island

My First Real Vacation (As a “Grown-Up”)

I finally have an opportunity to blog about the beach trip I took in August with Daniel and his family.  This was my fourth year going to Bald Head Island with his family, and I have to say that this year may have been the best yet.  That’s partially because this is the first year that I actually took a vacation from a real full-time grown-up job.  That felt really good.

I took so many spectacular pictures while I was there, and I’ve posted them all on Facebook, but I will put a few of my favorites at the end of this post.

Of course, everyone spent a good part of the week just relaxing, eating well, and drinking a lot.  On most days we would go to the beach in the morning and spend almost the entire day there.  The weather was absolutely perfect almost everyday.  There was one day when I woke up and it was storming pretty hard, but by the afternoon we made it out to the beach and it was beautiful again.  Every evening we would head back to the beach house for drinks and dinner.

This year, Daniel and I spent the first night in the beach house that Daniel’s parents rent every year.  Unfortunately, the mattresses probably haven’t been replaced since the house was first furnished…in the 70’s.  At least, that’s what it felt like to my back the next morning.  And I can honestly sleep anywhere, but I was pretty sore the next morning.  So Daniel and I took the opportunity to stay in the crofter at the house rented by his aunt and his uncle.  They had the extra space that no one in their house was going to use, since they already had 4 bedrooms in the house and were only using 3 of those.  It was an adorable crofter over the “garage” consisting of a bedroom and a bathroom, which was perfect for Daniel and me to use for the rest of the week, and their house was just a short golf cart ride or bike ride away from where Daniel’s parents were staying.  And the bed was so much more comfortable.  It was the first year at the beach that I actually got substantial sleep and didn’t wake up tired everyday.  When you’re on vacation, that’s how you’re supposed to feel.

This year was unique because we saw so much wildlife.  You get glimpses of some of the animals that live on the island every year, but this year we saw everything from birds to foxes to alligators, and I was fortunate enough to get pictures of almost all of them.

There were turtles. Lots of turtles.

There are some deer that live on the island.

There are beach foxes. This one visited us right at the beach house.

Oh yeah, there was also an 8 foot alligator, but he’s not the largest on the island.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of truly being on vacation for the first time.  It feels really good to be getting paid while you’re lounging on a beach.  Paid time off is something I will never take for granted.  As always, I look forward to the next time I can go to Bald Head.  It’s always a treat, and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it.

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July

It’s hard to summarize a month.  I certainly intended to update a few times throughout the month, but one day it was July 1, and the next it was August 1.  So, this month went by a little fast for me.  I think we had something going on every weekend.  July 4 found us at a small party in our backyard, thrown by our neighbor Max.  It consisted of beer and delicious grilled food.  Afterward, Daniel and I walked over to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to watch fireworks.  That following weekend found us at a party at Luke and Carrie’s place.  As I’ve mentioned, Luke graduated from the University of Rochester and Carrie grew up in Pittsford, so they are very familiar with Rochester.  That was a fantastic party.  Our other neighbors Glenn and Mary were there, along with two of Mary’s sisters.  I learned that I’m really awesome at Flip Cup and that there is no way of knowing just how many back-up plans Big Boi has.  Luke and Carrie actually live right around the corner from Daniel’s best friend’s mom.  Speaking of Daniel’s best friend, we went out to dinner last week with Jeremiah, his girlfriend Mae, and his parents.  This is the second time we’ve gone out with them in the last two months, and they are good people.  We also met up with one of my co-workers, Nic, and his girlfriend Chelsea for drinks at Bull City Burger and Brewery.  Nic insisted on driving us to Sam’s Quik Shop, which used to be a run-of-the-mill gas station, but is now “Durham’s Craft Beer Specialty Store”.  I bought a beer on tap there while I browsed and got to keep the glass.  It was very cool, and they have every type of beer imaginable.

This past weekend was a bit more quiet; Daniel and I drove to the western part of the state to visit my grandmother, aunt, and uncle.  I found out all kinds of interesting things about my uncle, like how he has a meteorite collection and built a decorative water fountain from scratch.

As always, I will strive to update this thing more often during August.  I should have more time, since I will be on a lovely beach vacation in two weeks.  It’s the annual Baroff Family trip to Bald Head and I am so excited.

Forgive Me, Readers, For I Have Sinned

It has been 3 days since my last update.  I’m going through a bit of a weird time right now.  I did not discuss my last Saturday night, so I will do that now.

On Saturday, after Roc Con, we went to Matt’s house for food, drinks, and poker.  I was ecstatic to hear that he was ordering pizza because Daniel and I haven’t had pizza in forever.  Salvatore’s is delicious, I recommend their business.  I will just throw that out there.  It was a pretty good turnout, considering that, for a few weeks, it was just me and Daniel showing up to their house and eating their food.  Jess’s brother Sean was there; we haven’t seen him since probably Park Ave Fest.  He is fun to hang around, so that was awesome.  Dan and Karen didn’t show up until later.  We haven’t seen them since Park Ave Fest either.  They don’t seem to come around the store as often now that they have moved out of the neighborhood, which is such a bummer.  But I want to give my very official congratulations to them because they recently got engaged!  He proposed while they were on vacation in Disney World.  It sounded amazing.  I’m so happy for them; they are two of the nicest people you could ever meet.  Also, Daniel and Dan get along really well because they can both nerd out together about comic books, more so than anyone else I know.

It was a great night, and I almost won the poker game.  Daniel pulled ahead in the end.  I’m so proud because I taught him everything he knows.

Tonight was Taco Tuesday which is always a pleasure.  I actually worked at the comic store this afternoon, but because it was a Tuesday, business was slow.  After Daniel finished his shift and closed up the store, we headed over to their house for tacos and a few rounds of poker.  Daniel won again!  Just another sign of Armageddon.  That, and the fact the Bills are 3-0.  I think I’m starting to believe that the world might end next year, especially if the Bills miraculously make it to the Super Bowl.  God help us if they win.

I’ll try to resume my regular updates again.  My life has been boring lately, so I haven’t had much to write about.  I hope that changes soon!

Yes, I miss when my life was like this every day.

This picture was taken literally moments before I dumped that glass of wine all over my Fantastic Four shirt and my newest bathing suit underneath it.  Awesome.

Bald Head Island Day 7

Today was our last full day here.  Tomorrow we leave for the ferry around 10am.  It’s been a good week.  I’ve enjoyed myself.  I spent my last day sunning on the beach, briefly swimming in the ocean, driving around the island with Daniel, and enjoying some appletinis.  I will be sad to leave tomorrow, and even more sad to drive the 3 hours back to Durham.

Another beautiful shot of yesterday's sunrise.

Bald Head Island Day 6

This morning I woke up to Daniel saying “No, thank you” to his father when his dad came in to ask if we wanted to watch the sunrise.  I got out of bed, grabbed my camera, and trudged sleepily to the golf cart that would take us to East Beach to watch the sun rise over the ocean.  And it was spectacular.  It was absolutely worth getting up early to watch it.  I had never seen it before, and it was amazing.

Honestly, a picture could never really capture it.

Most of today was spent swimming at East Beach until a storm blew through and we all ran to the golf carts with all of the beach gear thrown in various bags.  I ended up actually dropping my beloved junior year D’Lion t-shirt so I made Daniel drive me back after the storm passed to go look for it.  Luckily, it was laying on the side of the beach access, unharmed.  Before the storm really hit, there had been some nice boogie boarding waves.  I have been looking forward to some boogie boarding all week, but up until today the waves had always been pretty miniscule and the tide was always low in the afternoon.  It was a lot of fun until water and sand started whipping our faces and everyone decided it was a good time to leave.

Bald Head Island Day 5

Today was a pretty relaxing day.  Daniel and I decided to avoid the sun since we’d spent all day in it yesterday.  We were also pretty tired.  We went for a short walk along the nature trail near the marsh this morning.

A view of the marsh.

This afternoon was spent playing games around the house, reading, and beginning the annual Baroff Family Corn Hole Tournament.  I lost in the first round.  I was not playing my best today.  Also I’m not a Baroff.

Tomorrow I plan to get up to see the sunrise, so I hope to have some pictures of that up tomorrow.

Bald Head Island Day 4 (Sea Turtles!!)

While today included all of the regular beach things (i.e., going to the beach, swimming in the ocean, tanning, etc.), I was witness to something truly extraordinary this evening.  I watched a sea turtle nest excavation.  The nest officially hatched 3 nights ago, which was considerably earlier than they had initially predicted, for August 24.  This evening, they had two people dig out the nest and retrieve any remaining hatchlings and survivors that could not crawl out on their own.  There were 18 turtles left in the nest alive.  Daniel suggested that a major obstacle for them came two nights ago, when it rained heavily and packed down the sand, making it difficult for them to crawl out on their own.  This seems like a plausible explanation, since last year when we watched a nest excavation there were probably no more than 10 (probably fewer) that made it out alive.

Digging out the nest, including unhatched eggs and dead turtles.

A bucket full of baby sea turtles!

They are so cute.

These are both the hatched and unhatched eggs. They keep track of all of the hatched and unhatched eggs in all of the nests on Bald Head for statistical analyses.

Right before the turtles are released into the ocean, everyone is given one last look at them.

The short crawl to the ocean.

If you think about it, these guys have it a little bit easier. The people at Turtle Central carry them most of the way, so there is a smaller chance they will be eaten by predators on the way to the water.