Carolina on my mind

Friday afternoon, Jill dropped the dog off and picked me up at work, then we headed south. The last time we were down that way we started from Williamsburg, but we’d be competing with beach traffic, so we went down 95, then jumped off and headed down back roads roughly southeast until we arrived in Hertford, NC. Our friends John and Meredith were already there, and we unloaded our junk, then hung out and chatted. The other couple joining us hadn’t left Richmond, so we went over to Captain Bob’s seafood and BBQ joint. I thought about having seafood – Jill had the fried scallops, but decided I needed to try some BBQ Carolina style. I ordered the sliced BBQ and hush puppies as bread. What I didn’t realize was the bread I ordered would have made the sandwich, ad the meat came almost devoid of seasoning – no matter, I devoured the hush puppies and poured some of the vinegar sauce of the meat and ate it. Very different from the BBQ I’m used to, but very good. Steve and April finally arrived, and we stayed up for a bit, but I was first to bed – had been getting up very early to work long hours so I could leave so early from work.

A good night’s sleep refreshed me, and I got up at the crack of 11 the next morning and made scrambled eggs and sausage for everyone. In the afternoon folks scattered. I was on the porch in back for a while reading newspapers and popping in and out of conversations, then headed down to the dock with some Rolling Stone mags and papers and some beer. My favorite bit was discovering I could stand in the water and read – that was refreshing after being in the sun for a while.

In the evening we made a return visit to the Beechtree Inn, but it wasn’t the same, now the restaurant part was called “Emilio’s Bistro”. The hostess claimed her husband was a “four or five star chef”, but when the guys all ordered the prime rib medium rare and there was only the faintest hint of pink on the cuts, we kinda doubted it, especially since it was served with steamed rice and what appeared to be canned peas and carrots. Still, the crab appetizers I had were meaty, and the blue cheese dressing on the salad was homemade. Later on, we celebrated Jill’s birthday with peanut butter and chocolate ice cream and cupcakes, then played an epic guys vs. girls game of Cranium (guys winning of course).

Everyone was up early as most of us wanted to get back early (Meredith was staying as her parents were headed down). We retraced our route to 95, tried 295 instead of 95 through Richmond, then became tired of the inchworm pace as we approached Fredricksburg and got off on 3, taking 15/29 up to 50 over to pick up Illa. I spent this afternoon walking Illa (he’s wanted to go out a lot), watching the Concert for Diana on MHD while finishing off my periodicals, and grilling a tenderloin for dinner. Next: surfing time.