‘The Journey to Ukazoo’ book project:
A preview of the second of 37 stories included in the soon to be published Book. Kickstarter Launch in March!
Slide Two – ‘At the Beach’ – June 10, 2013
As I drove, I now had to develop a mindset that this was the first of many daylong drives encompassing 9 months on my way to Ukazoo. At the end of the day I had been on the road almost 9 hours, seven and a half hours of drive time plus stops. I made it to the Swan Quarter Ferry within 45 minutes of the last Ferry to Ocracoke Island, which departed at 4:30 pm. The Ferry ride took a little over three hours and even with not having to do any driving with the boat ride, I was still very worn out by days end.
With this first leg of the journey, I had mapped out the first three stops and called ahead for reservations based on my intended day of arrival and on my length of stays. After that I would need to pour over maps and brochures I had collected for this trip and rely on tapping into ‘Google’ on my phone for any assistance in finding additional places to stay in future planned and unplanned stops.
I also wanted to, at the very least, have my first stay-overs be at a Bed & Breakfast if possible. I make no secret, I love the experience of a Bed & Breakfast. Awakening to the smells of fresh juices, fruits, and cooked foods bathed with the personalities of the hosts, coupled with the menagerie of guests from different parts of the country and around the globe, meeting, exchanging stories of places of origin, their current trip experiences, and anecdotes from life’s memories is one of my highlights of these, sometimes sparse, opportunities to travel.
This first inn in my Journey to Ukazoo, fulfilled those expectations.
Given the forecast of several days of warm sunny weather and besides the usual around the town sightseeing, relaxing for a while on the beach and maybe going for a swim seemed a wonderful option. Not forgetting to pack the bathing suit, compact beach chair, sunscreen, and bath towel, I made my way to water’s edge. I choose to visit a beach to the ocean side of the island rather than the bay side, with calm to no winds, the ocean waters proved tranquil to bathe and relax by after the long drive.
Over the course of the next few days I had made daily visits to the beach, some days more crowded with bathers than others. Today was a day of light populace. Camped not far and within earshot was a sizable gathering of family members, some I had met earlier in the week, spread out on a connected grouping of four large blankets. There were the usual suspects, beach chairs occupied with readers of books, ear buds for those lost-in-music aficionados, bodies stretched out to welcome the sun’s rays and of course the water devotees.
Given the interesting makeup of this extended family and proximity, I became the casual observer.
Of all the observations, the more interesting story-line developed at water’s edge.
This shot was taken of a little fellow named Sherman, getting ready to test the slowly churning break of waves ending just short of his toe. Even though his older brothers and sisters as well as several other nearby kids, who were already in the water, were urging Sherman to join them, he was reluctant to go in. Being more content with playing in the sand, an occasional sand castle here and there, Sherman appeared to be not overly fond of cold water and sporting an over active imagination, even more afraid of any alligators that might be lurking in the shallow depths of the ocean.
His parents, on several occasions, at other beaches as well as today, pointed out, with words and books, that alligators do not live in the ocean and besides, they assured him, they haven’t seen any since they arrived.
The fact that his family had only been there for only 3 days now and recalling a story they told about finding him in a Cabbage patch as a baby, and Easter bunnies made and delivered candy, didn’t offer Sherman any great reassurance on the absence of alligators. So, after testing the water, he turned and slowly went back to building his sandcastle. Too cold seemed to be a good enough reason and repeatedly denied to his brothers and sisters spiteful accusations, that alligators had anything to do with his reluctance to join them.
Yes, there was a silent chuckle on my part, but to this day, as I packed up to head back to the Inn, I swear I thought I heard a few long-tailed swishes in the water behind me.