Vacation 2018, Part 1


Hello!  Summer is in full swing and I have been fortunate to spend a good part of the last two weeks at North Topsail Beach.  I don't have a recipe today, but thought I would share some of my vacation pictures.  If you're only in it for the food, you might stop reading now!

My Mom has been talking about going to the beach for the last few years and this past winter she booked two weeks through VRBO. North Topsail is an old-fashioned, quiet beach.  It is not crowded, there are no high rises, and no big condos.  The house was beautiful.  It is nicely renovated and is decorated in a clean and coastal style.   It is on the second row, but since there is a vacant lot across the street you can see the water from the porch and the dining room table.  

My mom drove to Winston-Salem the Friday before the first week started because we both needed new cell phones and AT&T had a buy-one-get-one promotion.  We also wanted to caravan down together so we could take a little detour through Kinston to eat at the Boiler Room Oyster Bar that is owned by Vivian Howard of A Chef's Life.  If you haven't watched her show on PBS, you are missing out.  It is really cute, quite informative about southern food and farming, and very entertaining.  You can watch it/read about it here.  She has an episode about creating a "butterbean burger" for the Boiler Room.  I have wanted to try it ever since I saw the episode years ago.  We couldn't check in the house until 3, so we had plenty of time to stop for lunch.  It was worth the extra drive.  We shared homemade saltines with ranch dressing. I had the butterbean burger with salt and vinegar chips, and mom had a chicken sandwich with blueberry BBQ sauce (for which they are renown) and French fries which were so good.  

Being at the beach was all I thought it would be. I got up to watch the sunrise most days, and walked 4 or 5 miles every morning. I collected a few shells each day and even found a Great White Shark's tooth! The sunrise was incredible.  We had a couple of afternoon showers, but otherwise the weather was sunny and hot.  Below are some of the photos.  Topsail is also a common place for sea turtles to lay their eggs. I only saw one nest and sadly we didn't get to the Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.  You can read about it here.   Something to do next time! 

We cooked at the house for most all of our meals. We took so much food we could have eaten for a month!  I pressure cooked some white beans at home before the trip, and one night made a white bean and broccoli bowl with parmesan.  It was delicious.  Another day I had open-faced lettuce sandwiches with humus I made/brought from home, sweet onions, avocado, and sharp cheddar.  Another night we made roasted sweet potatoes with broccoli and humus.  Pictures are below. I also made an excellent salad with faro, sautéed zucchini, spring onions, peaches and goat cheese.  It was so good, but the only picture it is only in the background.....

So that's it for today. I unfortunately need to get outside to mow the lawn, and work on the fence I am painting. I'll be back with part II later in the week.  Have a great week!