Oh, Ocracoke, if only you were not so far away. If only the drive home from your lovely village didn’t eventually result in tussles over which cousin was touching the other and the inevitable traffic backup. If only I had a larger car or shorter legs. If only. Because I would come down all the time.
Why was I there? The fabulous Sundae Horn hooked me up with a speaking engagement at the Ocracoke Friends of the Library annual meeting and a book signing at Books To Be Red, and a cooler bunch of people cannot be found anywhere on the Outer Banks.
For a long time, I didn’t know how to vacation properly. Oh, I sight-saw the shit out of places. I visited every museum/ historic marker/ biggest ball of twine. I dragged my loved ones to every lighthouse we encountered. I did research on what lunch venue was most satisfying. But I never got the knack of relaxing on vacation. I’d been to paradise, but I’d never been to me.
This vacation, I think I finally got the hang of balancing the activity with the relaxation. You can bet your bippy that there was activity—dining out, walking around the island, a kick-ass time at karaoke, the library and bookstore events—but I think what I’ll most remember is the relaxing moments.
Sundae’s husband Rob captains The Windfall, and they kindly offered to take us out on it for a sunset cruise. I’d never been on a sailboat before, but can I channel a little Drew Barrymore here? It was just beautiful and peaceful and, damn, I loved it.
The other moment of relaxation was at the hotel pool. This was the vacation during which Caleb and my niece discovered that adults can be lifted quite easily in the water. Caleb hoisted me up like a tiny groom and my niece administered a surprisingly good scalp massage. They called it my “treatment.” As in, Mama’s got the nerves and she needs her treatment. They gave me my treatment for quite some time before they got bored and moved on to underwater tea parties and cannonballs and handstands. But I have to say: It was divine.