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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Days at the "beach."

Given the difficulty of all that stair climbing and the trucking of crates up and down, we didn't go out every day. In fact, we probably only went every third day or so, to eat out or shop or sightsee. So those days we spent at the Sandpiper,  (which we started calling the Sandpooper in honor of the dogs) I examined our bizarre surroundings, and concluded the reason the Outer Banks are so popular is that so few people have discovered the Florida Panhandle.

First, it's a ghetto. You don't jam houses in on top of each other if it can be avoided, but in order for every property to have a sliver of beach view, they have to be shoe-horned in at impossible angles. This is a view from the top of of the house looking west.

It's easy to count seven or eight houses on every side of the house except the east front, which points at the dunes. Where we usually vacation, if you look in any direction, you see one other house and they are on substantial lots, and they certainly don't look into your bathroom windows from their various porch levels, or vice versa. And the further back from the beach, the higher they are built in order to give the occupants some sort of a view.

When we first arrived, there was only one other occupied house in our immediate vicinity, by which I mean houses whose property bordered ours. Unfortunately, this didn't mean it was quiet. A couple of houses away was a dog who barked constantly. And we were the proud overseers of a beach walkover, which is what everyone uses to get over the dunes to the beach if they don't happen to be in a "beachfront" house.

This is the front end of our walkover.

As you can see, it's about as safe as a minefield. People carrying and dragging various equipment accompanied by dogs and screaming childrfen traipsed back and forth all day every day, and they absolutely had every right to do so. But none of us liked it. It was insanely intrusive in my opinion, and compared to other beachfront locations.

And here's the view from our screened porch. It was a nice place to sit and read but you couldn't see much, just the dunes and other houses.

So if you wanted to see the ocean, you had to climb all the way up to the top, where there was no shade.  You also had to drag chairs up there because if you wanted more seating than a narrow bench. And if you wanted to eat or drink up there, you had to carry all of it up all those flights. And there was no taking dogs outside the screened porch because they either had to be leashed or they would escape. So a couple of times we carried up four beers in a small cooler, when it was overcast enough not to fry. Two beers is my bladder's limit anyway, so half an hour and we had to climb back down again. Not worth it.

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