Living in Vacation Land

This weekend I attempted stand up paddle boarding for the first time solo. Tyler set me up on a board from the marina he works at and sent me on my way with the guess that there was an 80% chance I would end up accidentally in the water. Rude.

Early in the morning is the best time to paddle around Wrightsville Beach. There are still too many boats but once I got off the Inter-coastal Waterway there was a stretch where I was all on my own. At first I was preoccupied with how I didn’t seem to be moving anywhere and how my legs kept shaking from trying to keep my balance. Finally I noticed how quiet it was. I couldn’t hear anyone talking or boats passing. It was just the sounds of water, birds and my oar ineffectively gliding through the water.

Okay, so I'm not that bad ass... but I do remain standing!

Okay, so I’m not that bad ass… but I do remain standing!

As I looked out over the houses and boaters I could see in the distance, I realized when you cross the drawbridge you enter the heart of vacation land. It’s a world where people are constantly saying things like “Who cares, we’re on vacation!” when referring to activities like drinking alcohol with breakfast and eating multiple doughnuts.

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I don’t understand how anyone actually lives in Wrightsville Beach (unless they’re independently wealthy). How could you get up in the morning, iron your work clothes and head to real life with everyone vacationing around you? Each time I spend quality time at the beach sitting on the sand, cruising the waters on a boat or paddling around the sense of total abandon is strong. Nothing else matters. But when you cross the drawbridge you feel yourself cross the barrier. You’re back in real life now. Traveling home from your vacation may only take 15 minutes but you lose all that freedom and remember only the chores that await you at home.

Oh vacation land, how did we live without you before?

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Hay Gurl Hay

There are some good things about moving back to North Carolina. People in Texas really need to get on the Hay Gurl Hay train. I overheard this multiple times today. The things you forget to miss…

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hay-gurl-haaaay

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Music to my ears.

Is May Seriously Over?

May is my birthday month. I never knew about birthday months until I lived with a fantastic roommate, Garth, in college. He celebrated his birthday all month long. He bought himself little gifts, or let himself go out more and so on and if you commented to him on this he’d always say, “It’s my birthday month.” as if this explained everything.

This year May has truly felt like my birthday month. It started with an early birthday party (complete with keg, jello shots and a bad ass pinata that had candy, alcohol and black & milds inside). This was followed by my real birthday where I had a great lunch with some fantastic coworkers and a great night with some of my favorite Austin folks. It was a very Austin night with beers and so-so food at Opal Divine’s on West 6th, free swim at Barton Springs and drinks at Uncle Billy’s. But of course, the best part was getting to go home to North Carolina. I normally don’t make it home very often but this is the third time in less than a year that I’ve made it back. Not only that but my sister came with her family as well. It is truly amazing getting to watch my nieces grow. All of the sudden, they have true definite personalities. They are becoming distinct individuals, instead of just little kiddos. And they’re pretty adorable too.

And now, all of the sudden May is coming to a close! Mixed feelings on that one. We’re getting closer to the true horrible temperatures that are a Texas summer. I’m going to have to break down and turn on my AC. But then again, pretty soon I can start counting down to my August trip to Alaska and I’m a pretty big fan of that. 

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My roomies and I in college.

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Can you guess who these little munchkins are?

Crash Davis

My friend and blogger, Yepindeed, does blog posts called “Why Aren’t You Real?!?” and I have found a fictional character I truly wish was real: Crash Davis. If this name is unfamiliar to you, it’s because you’ve missed out on the classic baseball film, Bull Durham.

I love this movie for several reasons.

  1. As much as I don’t really enjoy watching sports, I love watching sports movies. It’s so much easier to get into a game when you care about the players. I cared in The Blind Side, Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights and I cared in Bull Durham.
  2. It’s set in North Carolina. I love seeing sights and signs that are familiar to me. The mention of Winston-Salem (minor league team used to be called the Warthogs but is now the Dash-very disappointing) makes my heart skip a beat. When the shoot a short scene at the Asheville Tourists field, I recognize the area and the sign for Fuddruckers on Charlotte street makes me sentimental.
  3. Susan Sarandon is magnificent. Her high cheekbones, curly red hair and long legs are just the start. Her character, Annie, is vulnerable, strong and hilarious. You just want to befriend her.
  4. Crash Davis. I think I would gladly marry Crash Davis, if he’s the marrying kind of man. He is genuine and kind and always says what he thinks. He is sexy and funny. He isn’t closed off. If you don’t love Crash Davis already, watch this video. If you tell me you still don’t love him, I just won’t believe you.

Austinite

Twice in the last two weeks I’ve discussed the word “Austinite”. How long do you have to live here before you are an Austinite? Should you ever be considered a native? Are natives better than imports? One life-long Austin resident told me she was proud to be from Austin and it made her feel cooler (maybe even a little better) than an import like myself. On the other hand two Austinites were arguing at a party over whether or not imports like myself should go ahead take on the name. One person took a welcoming stance and the other took the stance I agreed with and said you couldn’t just move here and call yourself Austinite.

Newsflash: Not all immigrants to Austin want to be Austinites. While it is the greatest city in Texas and one of the greatest cities in America, I am who I am because of my home state pride. The Old North State is my home and I will gladly claim myself as a North Carolinian for the rest of my life. I like pulled pork barbecue, sweet iced tea and shrimp and grits is a meal I could base my life around. Listening to “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show makes me homesick and a little teary.

At the end of the day North Carolina doesn’t offer the lifestyle I want. I like the absence of winter, the emphasis on arts and music,  the bustling city with the small town feel that Austin provides. It has almost everything I could desire… except for mountains, Moravian lovefeast buns and dogwood trees.. and probable a few other things.

This is how North Carolinians feel about their state.

Texas Beer: A Connoisseur’s Dilemma

As previously stated I’m at the prime of 24 which means I’ve recently entered the age where I drink beers based on their quality rather than price. This is a new thing and not necessarily a regular thing as I am also still poor.

Coming from the land of North Carolina we don’t have an overwhelming number of great local microbrews but every year it gets better and if you’re in the area of Asheville, then you’re definitely in luck. Asheville Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing, and Highland are only the first ones that pop to mind. My mouth starts to water as I think about a Pisgah Solstice. If you really are in the area then stop by Barley’s Taproom where they have 55 beers on tap, many of them local.

But as a young person the important thing is to know our inexpensive beer of choice. In NC we proudly stand behind:

But not say as much as this guy:

Yes, that is a man with his PBR coffin

And usually not as much as this guy:

Classy people usually run rampant with PBR. Obviously.

In Texas I’ve tasted only a few “nice” beers. I’ve sampled (translation: gotten drunk off of) the Thirsty Goat Amber and the Buckethead IPA made by Thirsty Planet. The Amber is pretty strong, two got me feeling pretty good. And the Buckethead IPA was almost too hoppy for me, but I’m a light weight. Overall I would definitely order both again. I’ve been to Uncle Billy’s BBQ and Brew where they make a good Blonde and have excellent rotating beers on tap.

But obviously my texas beer training has been focused in the under $4 arena. The Shiner Bock proved to be the easy drinking beer of people not quite willing to purchase a Lone Star. But Lone Star you are truly the beer for me.  Your tallboy cans (convenient indeed), your watery taste has  just enough flavor and kick to keep me coming back for more. I’ll two-step the night away drinking your fine elixir cause I’m in Texas now, and a Texas girl I’d better be.

Any beer that calls itself the “national” beer of texas is pretty sassy and should be drunk by the case. Go out and by yourself one.

For a good source of information about Texas beers check out tipsytexan.com