I just returned from a week long vacation in North Carolina and it was just what I needed after a pretty grueling summer. I spent the week in the western part of the state, which by process of geography, is not where the Outer Banks are located. This was hard for many people to grasp. Conversations usually went something like this:
Me: "I'm leaving for vacation next week."
Person: "Where to?"
Me: "North Carolina."
Person: "Mmmm, Outer Banks...beautiful!"
Me: "Yes they are, but I won't be anywhere near them."
(Person leaves with confused look on face)
Anyway, my wife Tara, three friends, and I rented a cottage just outside of Hendersonville, NC in a cute little town called Tuxedo. Our cottage, aptly named "The Sunshine Cottage," was a perfect fortress of solitude for the five of us. We spent the week doing a whole lot of nothing and everything. Specifically, we hiked through various mountains, saw some cool water falls, went for scenic drives, swam in a lake, hung out in the hot tub, imitated southern accents, watched many DVDs, read books, gave each other bizzare nicknames (ex: Bacon Betsy), caught up on a year's worth of sleep, wrote impromptu songs (ex: "The Ballad of Bacon Betsy" and "Phil Bits"), and ate tons...tons of food! More than anything, it was a wonderful time of marriage renewal for Tara and I, as well as a time of growing closer to three wonderful friends.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then below are 15,000 words (well, more if you count the captions).