(More) Jumping off things!

I’m going to basically let the videos do the talking about last weekend, but to sum it up, I went to Boone to visit Kristin, and it was awesome. Besides hanging out with Bear Grylls again (the kitten we found), meeting some cool college folk (I miss college folk), and seeing my girlfriend (felt like I needed a third parenthetical for balance, so here it is), I also got to do more jumping off of tall things into soft things! This time the soft thing was water! Van adventures for the win. Alright, here’s the footage. Skip to the second one for the fun part.

So that was the highlight of last weekend.

This weekend, Kristin came to visit in Wilmington, and we camped out on Carolina Beach. We set up the tent, built a small fire, and sat by it, sipping fruity drinks and gazing up at miles of stars, like a combination Coleman advertisement / Jack Johnson song. It had rained earlier, but was done for good by the time we got out there, and the only sign was a slight dampness to surface of the sand and epic flashes of distant lightning over the ocean, making the horizon look like it played host to a monstrous, slow-paced fireworks show. It made for a beautiful evening, right up until we tried to go to sleep.

We were well-aware there was a cold front on its way, but had no idea how cold it would prove to be. With nothing but a sheet and a tent below us and a comforter above us, it was chilly, and we couldn’t cuddle, because lieing on our sides on the hard-packed sand put our arms to sleep. She, in pajamas bottoms, a fleece jacket, and wool socks, slept a little better than I did in nothing but boxers.

The next morning quickly re-awesome’d the weekend. I got up at 7:30, cold, sore, and throat-ached from the harsh night, dressed in sandy garments, and grumbled my way back to the van to pay for parking (meters ticked in at 8). We had parked roughly a half mile away- the camping area of Carolina Beach is more meant for park-n-camp camping using 4-wheel-drive vehicles that can drive up onto the beach, and the van certainly could not.  At least a full day’s parking in the distant lot – $7 – was less than half the cost of a day-pass to drive out on the sand. I paid our parking and grabbed another armful of firewood (I’d collected it from a patch of woods before Kristin arrived Friday) and trekked back to the camp spot. My mom, who lives in Raleigh, had made us some chili, which Kristin had picked up on her way to Wilmington from Boone, and I set up about heating it up over the fire. Then I climbed into the tent and pounced on Kristin and jumped up and down on her until she agree’d to get up and join me outside.

It was awesome chili – thanks mom, you’re the best – and instantly made the day that much better. It also made the tent blowing halfway down the beach 20 minutes later much easier to deal with – having had a hearty breakfast and all. Note to potential campers on C. Beach: the wind there is ruthless. Don’t get tent stakes, get, like, 16-inch re-bar, or hunks of concrete. The wind was so strong, the tent at times looked almost concave from how much it bent to the pressure.

We got another pick-me-up when running into my buddy from work, who was generous enough to offer us a shower at his awesome Carolina Beach pad.

The camping experience, while well worth it, made living in the van seem like pure luxury. The next night, we went to take a nap at 6pm. We were so toasty, comfortable (memory-foam mattress, don’t forget) and exhausted from the night before, we actually slept until dawn the next morning. Then we drove to Wrightsville beach and watched the sun rise. Reasons Kristin is awesome #17: we both get geeked-out about stuff like that.

I’m still looking at places to live – possibly super-downtown – but I’m highly bi-polar about the idea. One minute, I’m touring an apartment and getting really worked up and excited about the idea that it could be my home, and the next, I’m staring lovingly into the highly-organized, highly-efficient little den that is the back of my van and wondering why I would ever pay hundreds of dollars a month to leave it. It gives me some consolation to know that if I do move into an apartment, I will still have the van, and can always switch back.

Guess for now, I’ll just keep myself on my toes. Thanks for reading. Love.

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