Writing can be a funny thing sometimes. You may have one idea in your head, but you sit down to type and something else altogether comes out on the screen. I had planned on one of my notorious “you know what really grinds my gears” sessions because I figured it had been long enough since I ruffled any feathers; plus it helps to vent sometimes. I had just gotten back from a quick trip to Nags Head for Memorial Day with the family and all of a sudden I forgot what I had intended to write about. Go figure. Although it was only for a couple of nights, it was still great to get the hell out of Dodge (i.e. Raleigh) and smell the fresh salt air of the Outer Banks. Being out there evokes recollections of spending my summers there as a kid, practically living in the water. Now, I spend an hour on the beach and end up looking like a lobster. Damn ginger skin. They need to make an SPF for our kind. I think they actually do, it’s called a t-shirt. Just sitting on the cabana, overlooking the sand and the waves, feeling the breeze in your face, it is utterly soothing. For a few moments you can forget about work and bills. There is also something to be said about the flavors and smells of certain foods that your family makes that can create memories, as well as transport you to different times and places of your life. Every time we have a cookout it reminds me of 4th of July in Nags Head, churning homemade ice cream, watching the fireworks explode off the fishing pier, and trips to Sam and Omie’s for greasy eggs and hash browns. I can still picture myself there as a kid, a pocketful of quarters, playing Galaga and Pac-Man, while everyone else was huddled around the bar having screwdrivers and baby beers, waiting for a table. I miss those days. It’s also all about that sense of comfort of having your mom’s deviled eggs or your dad’s potato salad. When I try to recreate them at home they still taste good, but it’s not the same unless they make it. The food just tastes better. Maybe it’s all in my head, but it truly does. It’s my happy place being able to relax at the cottage with a beverage in hand, beach music playing, and everyone under one roof. My family may be crazy sometimes, but I love them for it. Thankfully it’s only one more month until I get back there for the 4th. Cheers foodies!