We had a perfect September vacation after a rocky September beginning.
Donald started his September with a bad back, a kidney stone attack and a cracked tooth, a bad experience with our (former) dentist, an emergency root canal with a new-to-us endodontist and a better experience with our new-to-replace-our-former dentist.
It had to get better, right?!
But it got mega better.
We all love vacation, but probably nobody loves it as much as Harley.
We were all excited about our trip to the beach, but it couldn't have started any nicer than this.
A visit with two of our favorite people,
Margaret and Joe Maron
Usually, when we're together, it's a hit and miss hug and a quick chat during a mystery convention - Margaret and Joe are busy and Donald's not around.
So it was pretty special to be able to spend some time visiting with Joe and Margaret at their home and having time to catch up and talk about everything under the sun.
Anyone who knows this lovely couple knows how peaceful it is to walk around their place and to just relax in the gracious comfort of their home. Even Harley felt it when Joe commented on what a well behaved dog he is. (That was Joe being courtly and kind).
And - - -
We got to sample Granny Knott's Baked Toast for breakfast - yes, it's delicious!!!
And Donald got to thank Margaret personally for giving one of her characters in her newest novel, DESIGNATED DAUGHTERS, the name Donald Barley. Not *just* Donald Barley, but the handsome Donald Barley!
From Joe and Margaret's, it was a quick and easy two hour drive to Topsail Island, and The Hi-Sea, which was our home away from home for a week.
Where we had a nice deck to sit on
and a pretty decent view -
even from inside.
Why argue with things?
Sitting on the deck seemed what was called for.
So sitting on the deck was pretty much all we did.
And were thoroughly entertained
by birds -
some dolphins -
a couple little lizards,
and a couple of helicopters,
along with some pretty spectacular sunrises
But, you know - just having this to look at all day was nothing short of heavenly.
and if you have a cup of coffee while sitting on said deck, well, even better
Toss in a cute boy, and it gets even better!
Toss in cute boy with his dog, and well - you get the idea.
We did leave the deck long enough to walk the beach and play in the surf several times.
And, of course, that meant naps were needed.
Then came the day that I really needed to shop, so I took off on my own while Donald and Harley held down the deck without me.
There are cool and fun and funky shops, boutiques and galleries on Topsail Island
and I came home with a fun new bracelet and a much needed manicure
I had to have a manicure 'cause who wants to do a book signing with ugly nails!
Especially in a bookstore as perfect as Quarter Moon Books!
It was a wonderful event. I sold several copies of "Whimsey," and Harley was pleased as punch to sell a few copies of "My Name is Harley and This is My Story."
My thanks, as always, to Lori Fisher and Claire Braxton for having me. And to the delightful staff for making me feel so welcome (they serve the best coffee on the island - try the Hot Creme Brulee, YUM!), along with the folks who stopped by for a visit - especially those who bought books!
I love Topsail Island, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I love Quarter Moon Books.
I think Donald likes it too.
Meet Socks - the cat who owns Quarter Moon
and these two dolls who live there (sorry, but I cannot remember their names!)
We did actually do a little exploring around the island
Now, how ugly is this Toadfish?! Ugh! Poisonous too.
Topsail is very doggie friendly, and this was one of the dogs we met. Mable lives in one of the shops.
I can't pass up the chance to wander through the marsh while I'm here. Isn't it beautiful??
We ate some scrumptious meals - none better than this Shrimp & Crab Au Gratin
Although, I have to say, my breakfast strata turned out pretty darn good.
After all this excitement, it was back to the deck
and then, suddenly, it was time to head back home
Home's not a bad place to be.
We have some pretty awesome sunrises here in these mountains, I much say.
Life is good.