Boy + Girl + Army + e-Harmony = Captain and Mrs. Butters! This is what we're up to. Observations, opinions, events, images, and more.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Yes, Beaches! Not the Better Midler movie, though--the real thing. The beach is where I was last week, and it was glorious. The week after I returned from Oklahoma, I joined my parents and brother on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, a destination that pretty much epitomizes "non-commercial, family-friendly fun." No tourist-trap attractions, neon signs, or loud parties there! It's truly an escape from the fast-paced, hectic, constantly bombarding series of events called "life," and I look forward to visiting every year.

Told you I liked dramatic clouds! This is Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island.
In a nutshell, I could really get used to a life of devouring 1,000-page novels poolside and going on long walks by the ocean. And hitting up outlet stores for some (controlled!) spending on the side. And eating fresh shrimp, swordfish, crab, and tilapia. Alas, I have yet to find a job posting with duties even remotely approaching this, so now I'm back in the real world.

Unlike most of my young compatriots, when I'm at the beach I normally establish myself on a lounge chair underneath an umbrella or shade tree to avoid the sun. While some might accuse me of vampiric tendencies, that's just a myth--mine are simply not a tanning people. Several years ago I finally accepted this fact and quit subjecting myself to hours of laying in the sun. After all, they only led to painful skin burned to the color of a lobster's back--skin that faded not to tan, but back to white. 50 spf sunscreen is now my good beach buddy.

My miniature pinscher Jasper (on paper, anyway--in reality he "belongs" to the whole family) came on vacation, too--though I doubt he'd consider staying in a kennel to be a vacation. We took him on walks in the morning, which he greatly enjoyed. He just doesn't enjoy the ocean itself. To experiment, my brother Jordan carried him out into the surf and put him down. Poor little guy swam all right--but he swam for the shore like his little life depended on it, and emerged wild-eyed and frantic to be picked up. Sorry, Jasper!

Jasper and Jordan on the beach. Jasper doesn't normally look that goofy. Conversely, Jordan normally looks more goofy.
I found this bathroom stall art in a public restroom at the beach. It was too odd NOT to share. I think I will mentally catalogue the last bit for personal use: "Inconsiderate little weasel!"

Contrived-yet-charming buildings at South Beach.

For the weekend of July 4th, I drove four and a half hours up the South Carolina coast to Myrtle Beach, where I joined Spike and his family on their vacation/family reunion. It was my first time meeting Spike's sister, brother-in-law, and niece, as well as his extended family on his mom's side. I'm happy to report that the whole crew was, in a word, delightful. I think it's more or less universal to worry, "Oh my stars! What if I don't like his (or her) family? What if they think I'm a mutant freak who just crawled out of a swamp filled with radioactive toxic waste? What if we have nothing to talk about? What if they disapprove of the match and I find myself in the middle of a modern-day Jane Austen-esque social quagmire?" Yup...worried for nothing. I am told that I'm now "family," a designation I wear with pride.

I snapped this iconic (I think) shot of the Captain while he and the men were cooking a low country boil. I think it's an accurate visual representation of his sense of humor.
And here the boys are, boiling away. There were somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 people to feed, hence the gigantic stock pot. And yes, Spike is using a mop to lift the lid. Resourceful, that one.

The Captain being studly.

Here's the obligatory shot of the two of us on the beach.
And to conclude, Spike and his dad smoking some cee-gars at sunset.

Yay family! Yay America! Yay vacation!

Until next summer, beach, I'm out.

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