Tag Archives: beach

Survey says…

The recent passing of TV game show host Richard Dawson has me feeling a little Family-Feudish.

By the way, I know someone who knows someone who was once on Family Feud. Are you impressed?

You wouldn’t be impressed if I were playing.

You know it goes: Contestants are asked to “Name something that …” as they aim to match their answers with answers of others on their team, as well as with survey responses cast by the audience. If instructed to name something you would find your refrigerator, for example, you might say “milk,” knowing that might be a popular—and hence, high scoring—answer.

If I were to be truthful I’d say “a canister of 35-millimeter film,” or today, “a brick.” But then I’d likely win no points for a match.

Suppose I asked you to Name Something You Would Take on a Beach Vacation. Would you say, an umbrella, a good book, a Frisbee perhaps?

If I were playing Family Feud, perhaps I’d name those things too. But what if I were answering based solely on what I need to occupy a particular cottage, one that is perfectly situated on a beautiful beach, but is ill-equipped to handle my needs?

How many points would I earn I earn if I told you truthfully what will soon go into the trunk of my car?

  1. A specialty whisk, two knives and a cheese grater
  2. A pesto torte, along with the clay brick that makes it mmm-mm good
  3. A bottle of homemade ginger walnut salad dressing
  4. A jar of lemon curd (you never know when you’ll need one)
  5. Fresh mint, for making chilled cucumber soup
  6. Apples to Apples, Taboo and Boggle, three must-play beach cottage games
  7. A bathroom rug
  8. A sound machine, for playing my carefully constructed beach playlists
  9. A noise machine, in case the Atlantic isn’t white noise enough
  10. A large E-Z UP canopy, to shade our dune deck during Happy Hour (when we’re sipping cucumber soup, of course)

Say the game were reversed, you were packing for vacation, but you got points for unique answers.



Filed under Food, Hearth and Home, Movies, Television and Radio, Music, Sports and Recreation, Travel

Character study

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was delicious reading.

Last week, while my body was on a barrier island in North Carolina, my spirit was living in 1946, in the coastal town of St. Peter Port, in the Channel Islands, between France and England.  Fate takes the main character, a writer, to Guernsey, where she chronicles the stories of its people, who had survived—some not—the German Occupation of their island during World War II. 

It’s hard for me to shake a book.  Same thing with movies.  I linger in the setting for a bit, enjoying the company of the characters as if they were my closest friends, even adopting their speaking styles.  After reading the book, it was hard to resist the tendency to use “fancy” as a verb and utter words such as “twaddle” that don’t otherwise roll off my pedestrian American tongue.  I loved every page of this book and beg you to pick up a copy and dive in.

While on the Outer Banks I also enjoyed early morning coffee at the ocean’s edge and an occasional champagne at sunset.  I ate as much fresh seafood and key lime pie as humanly possible.

Also on this trip, my husband and I undertook a social experiment.  When eating out, instead of sitting at a table, we pledged to eat at the bar of each restaurant we visited, and get to know the people on either side of us.  Sometimes we sat long enough to get to know several rounds of patrons.

Our dining practice did indeed spur some fascinating conversations. 

At one place, we happened to sit next to a man we had met the previous summer—a retired high school basketball coach from the county where I grew up.  We met a sober-looking woman who ordered a cocktail made of six different liquors.  Another night we were drawn into giggling group of women in their sixties, away for a girls’ weekend. 

At Awful Arthur’s Oyster Bar, I struck up a conversation with a woman who had ridden to North Carolina on a motorcycle from Middle Tennessee.  I was familiar with Middle Tennessee because I have two very smart, clever and well-read friends from there.

This woman asked me where I was from.  I replied that I was from the Washington, D.C., area. 

She raised her eyebrows.  “Washington, D.C.?  Ain’t that where the president lives?”

Guernsey 1946 or Kill Devil Hills 2010, over potato peel pie or key lime, it doesn’t matter.  Interesting characters are everywhere if you just pull up a stool and ask, “where y’all from?”


Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Reading, Travel