Saturday, November 7, 2009

Outer Banks 2009

The last week of August, 5 couples, 7 kids 4-years old and younger and Albright rented a beach house in the Outer Banks, NC. (In the picture: front row kids L-R - Kate and Abby Edwards, Jack and Emma Jeter, Henry Viscardi; 2nd row Adults and infants - the Kennedy's, Tim and Nicole Callhan, Meg and Keith Edwards and Olivia, Vanessa and Rob Jeter, Mike and Sarah Viscardi and Caroline, and Brian Albright).

This is probably my favorite picture from the trip. Abby randomly pulled this book off of the book shelf and was running around with it. Tim asked her what she was reading, so she held it up. Everyone in the room lost their composure!!!

This is Henry Viscardi. Henry normally has arms, legs and a torso attached to his head. Very few 4 year olds will lay still long enough to be buried in sand. Henry obviously will. He ran around most of the week covered in sand. When he was not digging on the beach, he ran around inside the house with his Handy Manny tool set repairing everything in sight.

This is Olivia hamming it up for Tim's camera.

Rachel with Abby and Kate.

(Albright making steamers). Every family was responsible for dinner one night. Brian boiled crab pots for Friday night's dinner. They were D-Lish!!!

Sweet Caroline

Me and Albright making our fashion statement. (Please note that he is sporting Lilly Pulitzer, while mine are a more economical brand).

Me, Rob and Albright enjoying steamers.

Olivia wearing "Pasta Night".

Rachel, Sarah and their matching tops.

Rob and Emma chilling in the living room.

Sarah Viscardi - lifelong Vanderbilt fan, caught sitting in a University of Tennessee beach chair - SCANDALOUS!!!

Tim, Nicole, Rachel and I rode from Philadelphia to the Outer Banks together. We left Friday and stayed in Norfolk, VA. While we were there, we went to see the Norfolk Tides baseball team play. Above is a photo of Tim, Nicole and Rachel outside of the stadium before the game.

The Tides is a AAA team and at least used to be affiliated with the New York Mets. I believe that they are now with the Nationals or Orioles, as the Minor Leagues re-aligned several years ago to place Minor League franchises closer to their Major League home market. For instance, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are now one of the Philadelphia Philly affiliates (only 90 minutes from Center City Philly). Trenton, NJ is the A affiliate for the New York Yankees (again, they are only ~90 minutes from Yankee Stadium).

The Tide Mascot was very active before the game started. He took a special liking to Nicole (see video below). He was very good interacting with both kids and adults.

Tim and I left in the 2nd Inning to pick up Brian Albright from the airport. Brian currently works at the Dow Plant in the San Fransisco area, and flew in for the week. Brian's flight was delayed due to the hurricane, so we did not make it back to the stadium until the bottom of the 8th inning. We saw the Tides seal the win and donned our sporty 3-D glasses for the Fireworks Extravaganza.

Below is a video of the Tide Mascot torturing Nicole.

Above is a picture of the sunrise I awoke to on the first morning. I took this picture from the deck outside of our kitchen.

This is our big green house. It comfortably slept 11 adults (some might argue that there were fewer adults than this, but technically 11 people met the legal definition of adulthood) and seven children 4 years old or younger. We had a pool, hot tub, a Playstation 2, pool table, foosball table, horseshoe pit, basketball goal and wireless internet. It also had many, many bedrooms, bathrooms and dual dishwashers, which comes in very handy when living with 18 people.

(View from our overlook deck)

(Another view from our overlook deck)

We arrived to the beach house on Saturday afternoon, while Hurricane Bill was about 150 miles east of the Outer Banks. Before we left the following Saturday, Hurricane Danny rolled directly over us (luckily, it was a lower grade storm). Due to the storms, the lifeguards kept everyone out of the ocean Saturday through Monday. Below is a picture from that Sunday. As Keith so eloquently stated many times during the week, "The Sea Was Angry, My Friend."

Tuesday was "Mothers' Day Out". For their event this year, the ladies chose to take surf lessons and eat lunch. (Pictured above L-R: J.M. (Instructor), Sarah Viscardi, Rachel, Vanessa Jeter, Meg Edwards, Nicole Callahan).

The girls arose early and headed off for their 9 AM surf lesson, leaving the dads (and Tim and I) to execute breakfast duty with the kids.

(Surfer Meg). The entire session was about 2 hours or so, including the time it took them to get fitted for their wet suits. After getting their suits, the ladies received instruction on the beach for about 30 minutes and then spent about an hour in the water. According to Rachel, this was plenty of time in the water, as they were all worn out.

Surf Nicole won the distinction of being the first surfer to get up on her board. Her reward... a free lunch.

(Surfer Rachel) Tim and I left the house when the Dads took the kids to the beach in order to get some pictures and video footage of the surfing. We made it to the beach about 15 minutes before the end of the lesson.

After the surf lesson, the ladies came back to the house and showered before their lunch.

Sarah and Meg even decided to dress alike.

Below is a video of Rachel getting up on her board. This is the first shot I got when Tim and I arrived to take pictures.

On Tuesday night (our normal trivia night in Philadlephia at the Lucky Dog), Rachel and I hosted trivia for the three teams. The winning team of Tim Callahan, Meg Edwards and Sarah Viscardi are shown here. They were a well-balanced and solid team (do not ever go up against Sarah in "Entertainment Trivia"; she is lights-out).

Rob, Vanessa and Brian are shown here. Going into the night, they were the favorite. We played the normal 6 rounds - Current Events, Sports, Random, Music, Portrait Round, and Entertainment. According to Brian, I chose lousy music, lousy pictures for the portrait round, lousy entertainment and current events noone would know (which was somewhat true, as nobody had been watching TV or reading the newspaper). Nice blanket, Albright.

Wednesday was Guy's Day Out. The group (present company excluded) decided to play golf. This was also one of the Decathlon events.

We had a 7:45 ish tee time at Nagshead Golf Links, which meant we had to be up at the crack of dawn, as it was an hour drive from the peninsula. The course was very nice, but pretty tight, which meant I lost several balls throughout the day.

Edwards preparing to tee off.

Callahan winding up for his tee shot.

We split into two-threesomes. Keith, Tim and I played together. They were great partners for me, as I am fairly confident that we were the less serious-minded of the two threesomes.

As expected, Mike Viscardi took the golf event, shooting near par. Callahan edged Albright, who had not played in over a year, for second by one stroke. Also, as expected, I finished dead last.

Following golf, the guys had lunch at a micro-brewery in Nags Head. Here is a picture of Callahan eating his first hush puppy ever. Somehow, the great southern fried delicacy that are hush puppies did not gain wide acceptance in the north. Although, I am confident that with the gaining popularity of NASCAR and country music, hush puppies cannot be far behind. The food at the pub was pretty darn good. In addition to hush puppies, I loaded up on fried okra, too.

(L-R Rob, Keith and Mike passing an appetizer to me at the Brewery after golf)

Wednesday after golf, all of the families loaded up and headed to Corolla for Wine Tasting and a picnic near the lighthouse.

It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon, and we had a wonderful time. There was space for the kids to play (and for Albright to conduct his Fantasy Football Draft conference call).

(The Sound at sunset)

(Currituck Lighthouse)

(Artsy sunset photo - Courtesy of Brian Albright)

(Chef Robert Jeter and Emma) Rob and Vanessa provided bar-b-que for the picnic dinner. It was great being back in the south, where we could get some good old North Carolina pork bar-b-que.

Meg, Nicole and Rachel before dinner.

Tim, Nicole and Rachel enjoying dinner after wine tasting.

Nicole at the conclusion of a long day.

Thursday, the day was spent relaxing on the beach and male competition in more Decathlon events (horse shoes and obstacle bocce). Callahan won both events. Thursday night was poker night. This is a shot of Rob and Tim at the outdoor picnic poker table. Notice Tim's shirt, advertising the Philadelphia Phillies, the "losingest" franchise in sports history... any sport. The pain is somewhat dulled by the World Series Win in 2008.

Keith invoked the "40 Rule" for poker night - No beer at the poker table smaller than a 40 oz. As you can see in the above picture, Tim quickly violated the rule. Here, the refined Brian Albright is enjoying the "Champagne of Beers" Miller High Life.

Keith and I with our "GARS". Keith is wearing his "Rolling with my Gnomies" T-shirt, which is one of my favorite T's. After jumping out to a quick chip lead, I faded fast. Albright ultimately took poker night. Edwards was 2nd.

Saturday morning, after the passage of Tropical Storm Danny (it was afraid to upgrade to a Hurricane following the angry taunts of Keith Edwards yelling at him from the ocean on Wednesday night), we all packed our cars and headed home. It was a great trip with great friends. Special thanks to Rob and Vanessa Jeter, who spent a week with us during their relocation to Midland, MI (I mean this literally, as the movers took their furniture the night before they left to come to the beach. They would reunite with their furniture after there LONG drive from the North Carolina coast to Midland).