Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve 2009

We made the trip down to Hatteras yesterday and plan to be here through New Year's Day.  It rained hard this morning leaving us with a flooded street.  It cleared out this afternoon and warmed up to the high 50's.

The storm that hit in November has reshaped the beach, making it much wider.  It will be interesting to see if the wider beach lasts until next summer.  The house at the end of the street still has its carports full of sand and it appears as though no one is living there.  Enjoy the pictures (double click in the picture box for larger pictures).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coastal Storm

A coastal storm hit the Outer Banks last week, wrecking havoc on Buxton, Mirlo Beach and Nags Head.  Dare County is estimating that the storm caused $5.2 million in damage.  The dune at the end of our street, Cottage Avenue, was breached and water ran all the way out to Old Lighthouse Road and beyond.  We were fortunate that our house did not sustain any damages due to the elevation of our lot.  Bobcats are in the process of rebuilding the dune, but the more significant issue continues to be the damage to Highway 12 in Mirlo Beach that is restricting traffic to the south end of Hatteras Island.

Check out slides 3, 4, 6 and 42 from the attached link.  The Porsche belongs to a woman who lives at the end of the street (closest to the ocean/dune)!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

OBX Half Marathon Finishers!

Carolee, Melissa and Kristyne ran the OBX Half Marathon this morning.  After an early wake up call (before 5 a.m), we drove up the beach to mile marker 11 in Nags Head and dropped the girls off at the race start.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day, with temps in the high 50's at race start (7 a.m.) and in the upper 60's when they crossed the finish line.  There wasn't a cloud in the sky!  The race course ran south through a couple of Nags Head neighborhoods and crossed over the Manteo bridge for a downtown Manteo finish.  Melissa had been sick all week and got off her death bed to finish in 2:07+.  Kristyne finished in 2:09+ and Carolee finished in 2:25+...a great showing by all three ladies!  Congratulations and wear the bling with pride!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Birthday Girl!

With school starting again we have been very busy, making it difficult to get down to the beach. This was our first visit since Labor Day and the entire family spent a long weekend celebrating Carolee's birthday (the actual day was Saturday). Melissa did the cooking for the birthday meal...stuffed shells and Emril's chocolate cream pie...topping off a day of running (12 miles for Carolee & Melissa), walking the beach, bike riding, watching football and fishing (3 speckled trout for Eric). The weather was nice on Friday (mid 60's) and has gotten progressively cooler each day. It has been very windy, but it is really hard to complain...its the beach! Anyway, Carolee is going home with books, CD's, clothes, kitchen knives and other booty from her birthday bash. P.S. I know this is somewhat topical, but exactly what did Obama do to deserve a Nobel peace prize?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The Berry side of the family spent the last week vacationing in Cape Hatteras and stayed at the house. Carolee and I joined them for the Labor Day weekend. The visit was short, but nice. We got to meet my niece Kate's son Preston for the first time. What a great little guy! He was so glad we brought our dog Casey along...oof, oof! If you want to learn more about this little guy, check out the following blog:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Eric and I woke up early on Sunday and decided to get an hour of surf fishing in before we left to come home. The flounder were biting and we caught three within 30 minutes. This 19 incher was our Sunday night dinner!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


We had a storm system move through on Thursday...a 35-mile wide band of rain that was centered over Buxton. It looked like nighttime at 3:30 p.m. and the rain came down in buckets.

Monday, August 10, 2009

They're Back!

Not the poltergeists...just the Berry's. After a busy summer at the beach, we spent the last couple of weeks back home in Roanoke. We are down for another 10 day visit and when we return home Carolee will finally have to return to the classroom. I'm not sure of the history behind this UFO, but it's located about 6 miles south of the house in Frisco.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Eric fished the sound during our beach week. The slideshow includes a sampling of his catch!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This isn't a plug for Keifer Sutherland and his hit TV show, although I hear it is pretty good. Instead, it is the size of the group that we have staying in Buxton for our annual beach week. We have Don and Carolee to thank for this brood, since they begat Jeff, Linda, Carolee and Kristyne, and they all got married, and begat Renee, Andrea, Melissa, Matthew, Stephen, Greg, Kortnie, Eric, Erika, Chance, Dakota and Santana, who have yet to begat a whole lot of kids to date (just a few), which is fine with their parents because most of them are not married and are still way too young!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ice Cream Man

I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
Oh my my, I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
See now all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy!

A little jog down memory lane for those of you who are Van Halen fans! The ice cream man drove down our street on July 4th and our kids (in their early 20's) bolted out the door. Ahhhh....memories of a forgotten youth!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Heifer and the Blowfish

Carolee and I made a trip up the beach to Manteo on Tuesday to do a little accessory shopping for the house (for those of you who have stayed in MBR2 you will be glad to know that we finally have lamps!). The trip was a success with a rug, lamps and pictures purchased from Manteo Furniture and The Cottage Shop.

While strolling the shops at the Manteo Waterfront, we ran into this little jewel in a local art gallery. This whimsical blowfish has a dual purpose...a nice decorative item for the house, but more importantly it will serve as our piggy bank for Heifer International ( We have a long standing family tradition of saving our spare change and donating it to Heifer. Check out their website when you get a chance...a donation can buy a buffalo, bees, chicks, etc. and help sustain a needy family and village.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Myers Family

The Myers family has been enjoying the house and some terrific weather this past week!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Eric caught this 22" bluefish today. Not quite as exciting as a shark, but a fun catch none the less.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nurse Shark

Carolee's parents and their friends, the Zeiger's, are here for the next 10 days. Our crew of six crashed their party for the long weekend and have been enjoying perfect weather. Eric caught a 3 foot nurse shark this afternoon! Anyone want to go for a swim?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Boyz to Men!

The men (boys four years ago!) from Hampden-Sydney College arrive at the beach house today, the vast majority of them with their newly minted college degrees! Congratulations to all of you for a job well done!

Relax, enjoy the beach and have some fun this week (no car bombs please) deserve it. Besides, most of you will be working your tails off in graduate school at Wake Forest, Penn State, Alabama and other illustrious institutions of higher learning for the next several years, so enjoy your down time while you can.

Friday, April 17, 2009


The wind has been a blowin' this week! Yesterday we were getting gusts up to 35-40 mph! Doesn't make for very good fishing, surfing or anything to do with going outside. But we have survived by reading books and playing dominoes!

Overall we have had a nice, relaxing week. All of the kids were down for Easter weekend and we actually made it to church on Sunday morning. Stephen left on Sunday and Melissa was out of here yesterday evening. The weekend looks very nice and we plan to pull out on Sunday for the trip back to the Noke!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Run, Relax or Both?

Carolee and Melissa ran a 10k in Richmond a few weeks ago, and Melissa completed a 10 mile race in Charlottesville this weekend. Will the runners slack off this coming week or will they bring their "A" game to the beach? Time will tell.

The clan (9 of us) will start to arrive this Thursday for our 10-day maiden voyage at the house. My plan is to bike, read, relax and watch the Masters this coming weekend (if Larry the cable guy shows up on Friday)! Happy Easter to all!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sugar Ray's Girlfriend

We snagged this bed from Sugar Ray's girlfriend for master bedroom number two (halo not included!). If you sleep in this room you will wake up "Every Morning" wondering if you are at the beach or in Colonial Williamsburg!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why You Need a Transmission!

It took us 22 hours to get to the beach house this weekend. What is normally a 6 ½ to 7 hour trip was thrown a big, nasty curveball when the transmission went out on the Suburban Friday night. We were in Waverly, Virginia when she blew, the heart of peanut country! We walked a ¼ mile to a BP station and hit the jackpot. There were two guys in a flat bed tow truck sitting in the parking lot waiting for their next call. They had no idea what they were getting into!

After haggling with AAA for 30 minutes, they finally decided to dispatch the tow truck drivers that were standing directly in front of us. They drove us to the Suburban and loaded it onto the flatbed in a matter of minutes. The U-Haul trailer was another issue. In order to hitch the trailer to the tow truck, the driver needed the ball from my hitch. The ball must have been super glued to the hitch. It took two trips to garages for tools and about an hour to get the ball off so we could attach the trailer to the tow truck.

Off we go to Suffolk, Virginia with the Suburban and U-Haul trailer in tow. Carolee, Casey (our Aussie) and I are jammed in the cabin with the driver (a super nice guy, but he has a thick, southern drawl and a few missing teeth, which makes conversation a little tough) and are thinking the worst is behind us. He takes us to Jay’s Transmission shop, unloads the trailer and then the Suburban. He blocks the trailer with the Suburban so no one will steal it, gives us a padlock for the U-Haul and takes us to a brand new Hilton Garden Inn hotel (he really was a nice guy!).

Casey jumps out of the tow truck in front of the hotel and catches her toenail on one of the steps and rips it in half. She is bleeding profusely all over the sidewalk while Carolee goes inside to get a room for the night. The bleeding stops, but we have to sneak Casey in the side door because we are not sure dogs are allowed at this hotel. Of course they give us a room on the top floor, so after climbing five flights of steps with a gimpy dog we finally arrive on our floor. We open the door and a hotel employee is standing in the hallway, so we quickly find our room and close the door. At 11:30 p.m. I open the door to take Casey outside to “do her business” and two hotel employees are standing outside my door with a crib for the room across the hall. They didn’t bust me, so it must have been a dog friendly hotel or they had employees who really didn’t care.

Saturday morning I called a car dealership that had a truck I could rent (the rental lady said she would rent me a truck with a tow package but I couldn't use it to haul a trailer...she also told me we didn’t have this conversation...wink, wink). I took a 5 minute, $7 taxi ride to the dealership in a 1979 Ford Fairlane station wagon that was still being used as a “taxi”. The door didn’t close all the way and I didn’t fall out, but there was another interesting personality piloting the vehicle (gotta love peanut country!). After renting the truck, we checked out of the hotel and headed back to Jay’s. We unloaded the back of the Suburban and placed everything in the back of the truck (luckily it was a sunny day). In the meantime, Jay showed up, looked at the Suburban and told me it needed to be rebuilt (no kidding!). We hitched up the trailer and left for the beach.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We unloaded the furniture at the house Saturday afternoon and dumped the U-Haul trailer in Kitty Hawk on Sunday morning. Stephen drove to Suffolk from Hampden-Sydney and met us at the car dealership. We dropped off the truck, drove him back to Hampden-Sydney and returned to Roanoke with his car. Next Saturday I’ll pick him up and drive back to Suffolk to get the Suburban from my good buddy Jay (another super nice guy, but after several conversations with him I know way more about transmissions than I care to know!).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Move In Day!

Saturday was the official move in day. We brought down the dining room table, coffee table, end tables, chair & ottoman, bedroom dresser, TV and a car full of other items. Carolee and I spent the weekend moving (we had the help of a couple of men who worked on the framing crew!) these items into the house and getting everything arranged. Sleeping in a bed was a nice improvement over the air mattress from last visit. Overall we are extremely pleased with the way everything is coming together. There is still a lot to do, but the house can now be lived in comfortably. We have another visit scheduled for next weekend to bring down the final load of big items.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fill' er Up!

This should be one of the last pictures posted of an empty room. Manteo Furniture will deliver on Thursday and we will be heading down Friday with a U-Haul trailer loaded with items we have been collecting during the past several months. It's time to fill the place up with furniture!

Saturday, February 28, 2009


All of the furniture we ordered has arrived and will be delivered next week. Mattresses were delivered on Friday and will make the sleeping arrangements much better than the air mattress Carolee and I used on our last trip. One of the bedroom suite's we ordered was on back order and we were eventually told that it was coming on a boat from China, but it could be up to eight weeks before it arrived. We were able to snag a used set from my boss who has retired and is moving to Florida...we saved a few dollars and landed some nice furniture.

The Suburban is going to get a workout on the next 2-3 visits. We have several loads of furniture, our TV and numerous other items that need to be carted to the beach. Our goal is to get the house fairly inhabitable for first extended stay the week after Easter.

Friday, February 20, 2009


"Wild Mushroom" carpet was installed over the last two days. This was the last big item to be installed, and the banker did his final inspection late this afternoon. Over the next couple of weeks the house will be cleaned and the final touches will be worked on.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Visit

We spent Valentine's Day weekend in Buxton, the first time we stayed in our new home. The certificate of occupancy was issued on Friday and we slept in sleeping bags on an air mattress on the floor! The house looked great...the kitchen is done (it is pretty awesome), bamboo flooring installed and the bath fixtures should be wrapped up next week. The carpet will be installed next Friday, the last "major" item that needs to be taken care of. Melissa...enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

First Stay

Carolee and I are heading down Friday night with our first load of stuff for the new house. Sometime during the day on Friday we will get a certificate of occupancy, so we have decided to spend our first two nights at the house sleeping on an air mattress since we don't have furniture. There have been many changes during the last week or so, but we have asked Dennis not to send us pictures. I'll have a fresh batch of pictures posted early next week!

Monday, February 2, 2009


The kitchen cabinets have been installed and the counter tops will be worked on this week. Cabinets have also been installed in the bathrooms. By the time we make it back to Buxton in mid-February, the house will be pretty close to completion.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bamboo Flooring

The bamboo flooring is being installed and should be finished within the next day or two. Appliances and furniture have been ordered, interior lights and fans have been installed, and a host of other final touches continue to be worked on.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


We have a working elevator! This will be a tremendous help for hauling materials to the third floor to complete the kitchen and flooring, and will come in handy on move-in and move-out days.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lighting Fixtures

What an ordeal! Trying to decide on lighting fixtures has been much tougher than either one of us anticipated. Have you ever looked at a lighting catalog? The lighting manufacturers are cutting down forests to create these 800 page beasts. They make the phone book look like a Dick & Jane book. We still have the hallway sconces to decide on, but the rest of the selections are attached. I'm actually looking forward to painting this weekend so I don't have to think about lighting!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bathroom Tile

The tile contractors have finished the bathrooms and work continues on painting, electrical, HVAC, flooring and many other items. Carolee and I are heading back down on MLK weekend for another round of painting!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

During our painting trip this week we enjoyed warm weather (upper 60's) and clear, starry nights! This is the latest picture of the exterior. Carolee and I will head down in a couple of weeks to potentially do some more painting. We are really looking forward to finishing the house in the next couple of months.