We're back from a week in (mostly) sunny North Carolina. We had a great time– lots of quality together-time, much of it spent driving. Lots of seafood, including fried oysters, crabcakes, Spanish Mackerel, and Flounder. We'll probably be limiting seafood quite a bit from here on out because I (Mel) will be doing my best to keep my methylmercury exposure down. Also because, according to Marion Nestle's book What to Eat, there really does not seem to be a lot of safe seafood available– if any.
What I'd do differently next time:
#1) No more Dramamine. We're going to have to look into other ways to control motion sickness.
#2) Perhaps less island time. Ocracoke is beautiful but very secluded. We took a day trip to Roanoke Island one day and really enjoyed ourselves there, but it was at least a 2 hour trip one-way because first there was the ferry, then a 50 min drive across Hatteras Island. Next time we will probably at least stay on Hatteras because it's more central to the rest of the O.B.
#3) At least a night or two of camping. There are several gorgeous campgrounds right on the beach along protected national seashore. They have electric and primitive sites and hot showers. Plus, only $20/night. You really can't beat it.
#4) We will NOT pick up sperm in person again– at least not from the cryobank we're currently using. I will probably post on that experience separately. I still feel good about our donor choice, but there's no denying that this is a big business. Ness and I got up-close and personal with it last Friday, and I think from now on I prefer to just place the phone call and pay the shipping. It's really no cheaper to pick up, and it was a HUGE hassle. Plus, sperm banks? Not as awe or confidence-inspiring as you might expect– particularly considering what you pay!
What I'd definitely do again:
1.) Colonial Williamsburg– by foot in the evening after the crowds have dispersed.
2.) The Lost Colony of Roanoke on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. My not-so-distinguished ancestor was the first governor of the lost colony, and this is the second time I've seen it. Next time I want to read up on him before I go. He's no one to be proud of, but it's cool to feel somehow connected to the mystery of the colony. Next time we'd see the play that's produced on the grounds. It seemed kind of cheesy until we saw the performance space– overlooking the Sound. Wow!
3.) Lunch or dinner in adorable downtown Manteo on Roanoke Island.
4.) Swim in the ocean with my girl. Next time maybe we'll add surfboards.
5.) Drive across the unspoiled Virginia countryside leaving D.C. on U.S. 50. One of the most gorgeous drives I've ever taken.