Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunset at Sunset 2011

Family vacation 2011 has finally arrived.  And for this post, I cannot take credit for all of the photos.  I turned the camera over to the Ex-Ex and to college-grad son, who took the first photo.  And they did indeed get some good ones.  We are at Sunset Beach, our family vacation spot since... we are not exactly sure.  We started coming here with friends right after (or maybe right before) we were married.  I know we were here the summer I was pregnant with college-grad son.  And I know we were here when high school-grad/soon-to-be college-son was really little, riding on the back of a bike, strapped into the little seat.  It is such a great feeling to load up the car and head out on I-40 east.
We have recently decided to take this route as opposed to the little two-lane roads we used to always take.  Too many traffic jams (which the Ex-Ex hates).  We crossed the new bridge leading to the island for the first time.  It opened last fall.  No more long lines at the draw bridge.  I do not know who designed it, but my hat is off to them.  I think it looks very elegant.
And you can still see the salt marsh.
But I have gotten ahead of myself.  Rewind to the trip down.  It is a family tradition, no matter what time of day, to stop at Smithfield's Chicken and Barbecue for lunch (or breakfast, as the case may be).
And I always have the same thing, no matter what time it is-- barbecue sandwich with slaw, french fries and sweet iced tea.
Really, really good.  Very tender pork, not too spicy, slaw not too vinegar-y.  Tea not too sweet.  And the nicest people work there.  Very Southern.
We have a great house.  Little screened-in porch to keep the bugs out.  Deck off the kitchen for grilling.  Upstairs crow's nest for watching sunsets at Sunset.
I am already sunburned.  Even though I slathered on 50 SPF stuff.  I like to call myself Blanche Neige and Snow White is now pink around the edges.  But I refuse to come off the beach before about 5:00 pm.  And I like to have my chair all set up by 10:30 am.  Book in hand, cooler packed, ready to feel the hot sun on my skin and the breeze blowing in my hair.  I have already finished one book, The Sunday Wife, by Cassandra King.  I cannot believe that I have just now discovered her.  I learned, just as I finished this book, that she is married to Pat Conroy.  I have read all of his books (he is the only non-fiction writer the Ex-Ex will read), but I had no idea that his wife is equally as talented.  I hung on every word of that novel and was worn out emotionally by the time I finished it.  (The main character, Dean, has a few things in common with moi...)
I am now engrossed in Italian food and wine, thanks to Sergio Esposito and Passion on the Vine.  It is his memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy.  It makes me really want to learn Italian, if only to be able to eat well.  It makes me hungry for pasta and basil and olive oil and good red Italian wine and... you get the gist, n'est-ce pas?
A few photos...
Food?  A lot of grilling going on.  Burgers.  Sausage à la Jake.  Steaks.   At least a pound of brie cheese consumed so far.
With a Texier Côtes du Rhône.  Yum.
The drink photo at the top of the post?  A Wine Authorities cocktail. 
Bonnes vacances!

Wine Authorities Porto Cocktail

one serving

1/3 glass Porto dry white port
2/3 glass tonic water
1/8 (or more, according to taste and glass size) lime, juice squeezed into glass, then lime dropped in

Bon appétit, Sunset Beach!


Chappell said...

Looks like you all are having a grand time!!! Great snaps!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that porto apero sounds very interesting. I will have to give it a try!