After a brief hiatus, we are back on the move! Fort Pierce held on to us for over three weeks and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Harbortown Marina is a great place. We have met many nice people, enjoyed the on-sight restaurant and the marina folks were all great. We intended to spend two days there. But, the weather didn't want us to leave so we stayed a week. The weather still didn't cooperate so we signed up for the monthly rate, rented a car and drove north to our house in NC.
It was a funny trip. Since we were covering the same east coast that we have traveled in SeaClearly, we see all of the same place names as we go north - Daytona, St Augustine, Fernandina Beach, Charleston - except they go by at light speed! The trip from Fort Pierce to Kill Devil Hills only takes us about 14 hours.
Now, we built this house originally (over 15 years ago) to be a second home so shutting it down and leaving it was fairly normal. Shutting it down and leaving it for 7 months is a long time. Fortunately, we had some great neighbors to keep an eye on things while we were gone. We walked back into a relatively clean, slightly stale house that was every bit as comfortable as we left it. No leaks, no damage, no bird nests in the chimney. We hung up the porch swing and poured ourselves a glass of wine. Good to be home if only for a while.
Leaving 3 automobiles sitting under the house for 7 months worried us but 2 of them started right up. The F250 needed a battery charge to turn over. Then, over the next several days, we got all three of them inspected and the license plates renewed (since they all expired in March).
We caught up with the neighbors and got the house functioning again. We used the microwave oven with reckless abandon (we don't have one on SeaClearly). We took long, hot showers. We marveled at the concept of doing laundry just a few steps away instead of lugging it across the marina. Comforts of home.
Emily drove down to visit on Mother's Day and made Junie a happy mom. And, of course, we ate too much - Mama Kwan's fish tacos, Colington Cafe, John's for malts. Yes, in just two days.
We couldn't just hang around forever though. SeaClearly was waiting for us in Fort Pierce. We shut the house back down and took off again. We wanted to go see Dusty, Holly and Reagan up in Virginia before we turned south again. We also took the opportunity to drop off the F250 at our new marina home up in Gloucester so we would have transportation when we arrived.
We had a wonderful time playing with Reagan and visiting with Dusty and Holly. Even though we had just been with them at Atlantis last month, Reagan had changed and grown. But, SeaClearly was starting to tug on our minds pretty hard so, after a couple of days, we hit the road again. The trip back seemed longer but went smoothly. Anytime you spend that long on I95 without a problem, you need to be grateful.
As soon as we got back, we started plotting our departure. The weather was still not being very helpful. We wanted to make the trip directly from Fort Pierce to Southport, NC. That requires a 4 day window which, as far as we can tell, may be a myth. We finally thought we saw a slight chance for a Monday, May 18th exit. Not perfect conditions exactly - a little wind on day one, practically no wind for two days, strong thunderstorms (despite there being no wind) and then a front moving through as we would be reaching Southport. Perfect! So we left. I'll recap the trip later.