When my boss offered up a press trip to the Crystal Coast in North Carolina, I hesitated to say yes because it was the weekend before the Chicago Marathon. But the promise of sun, stand-up paddleboarding and fresh seafood was too good to resist. Then Hurricane Joaquin started brewing, and I questioned the trip again. I knew there would be no stand-up paddleboarding (and likely no sun), but all I could think was SEAFOOD. So I went.
And let me tell you, my weekend was stuffed with all the goods: baked oysters, seared scallops, shrimp tacos, monster-sized snow crab legs, you name it.
The trip ended last night with the most spectacular and gluttonous meal of all at Pescara in Atlantic City. The six-course tasting menu included wine pairings with each dish, including this thyme & brown butter seared scallop with truffle mascarpone polenta and a soft-boiled egg. Seriously, look at this…
Because this was a packed press trip itinerary (oh, and you know, there was all that hurricane rain), I was worried about fitting in my last weekend of training runs to prepare my legs for the next weekend’s feat. Luckily, the sun did come out! All Saturday, in fact. That morning I jogged on the beach. I headed into gusting winds, not caring one bit because I was near the ocean and admiring the gutsy sandpipers as they scurried away from the rushing tide.
Sunday’s 7-miler was even better because I ran with another journalist on the trip—but more on that next post!
Despite all my worrying, the trip ended up being just the break I needed, and I met some really inspiring people who taught me something: Follow your passion. Don’t think twice.
So many of the locals I met moved to the southern Outer Banks to do what they love. A middle-aged couple took over a culinary bike tour company in the tiny coastal town of Beaufort because they fell for the place on first visit and just had to live there. A Michigan-born kiteboarder broke his leg during a trip to the Crystal Coast, stayed there while mending enough to drive home, then moved there as soon as his leg healed to start his own kiteboarding business. And then there was an amazing mom of two who has finished 15 marathons (in mighty fast time). She runs every day for pure peace of mind.
All of these coastal dwellers are doing what they love day in and day out, and it reminded me to do the same. Hey! You should, too.