The ingredients for a successful vacation for me are simple.
Good company, good weather, comfortable accommodations and an opportunity to steal off on my own to do some local shopping. However, mass manufactured souvenir shot glasses are not what I have in mind. I'm on the lookout for something to bring home that will bring a smile to my face when I pick it up and recollect its discovery.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina in April reminds me of the New Hampshire beaches that I grew up on; only without all the traffic, people and noise.
I found the landscape beautiful, the architecture bright and interesting, the beaches remote and the opportunity to pick up some local finds pretty slim.
So I busied myself taking photos of the OBX architecture...
For a practical New Englander, it might seem a little nuts that someone would consider building a house that in all likelihood may be swept into the ocean.
But practical or not, who can't appreciate the greatness of someone being so passionate about living by the sea that they are willing to take that chance?
This old meeting house and its silo next door to our rental were just too beautiful not to bring home.
Here's our neighbor down the beach, the famous "Nights in Rodanthe" house.
These blue storm shutters would have put this house on the map with or without Richard Gere!
Sampson even got into the mix with me to search for some more driftwood to bring home.
Vintage home goods shopping in OBX, in the off season, is definitely lean.
But lean is not impossible.
Between the "Putt Putt" in Nags Head and the sixth or seventh shiny, neon, souvenir shop on the main road, I still managed to sniff out a local thrift store, and just a few miles after that, a hidden little cluster of antique shops.
Not only did I pick up a vintage juice carafe with a couple of great glasses for just four bucks, but my purchase went to support the local domestic abuse shelter.
How's that for a Win-Win?
I've been collecting antique glass water pitchers and this pressed blue glass was calling my name.
As was the vintage pickle jar. (I think the South should have a little place in every home)
I may actually start drinking Bloody Marys just to have something to garnish with a spicy pickle!
And lastly, my favorite find of all.
The full length driftwood mirror that, since this photo was taken, has made it's way up onto the wall in my front entrance.
As a practical New Englander, I was content to look around my home tonight and see that just a little bit of the South, despite the odds, managed to make its way home with me.