Friday, August 25, 2006


Tomorrow morning, we leave for the beach.

I've been going to the Outer Banks for as long as I've lived in DC. My first job (after an internship with my hometown Congressman - for which I was not paid - and the concurrent job as a bartender - for which I did not need a college diploma) was as a program instructor for the Close Up Foundation. If you're not familiar with the group, they bring high school kids to DC for a week to teach civics on-site. For example, students are brought to the Lincoln Memorial and spend a half an hour learning about the Civil War or the Civil Rights Movement and then get some free time to explore the monument.

I met some of my best friends at that job. While the working conditions were abysmal (and probably illegal), neither Peter, Jerry, nor Christian would be part of my life if not for Close Up. At the end of the program year in the spring (as Close Up turned all the instructors out onto the street for five months without pay or health insurance), the instructors used their new-found free time to go to the Outer Banks for a week.

We saved all year for the trip. We received part of our pay in cash each week (ahem), and would dedicate five or ten dollars of it to the beach fund. By spring, we would have enough money to get a house. The places were six or eight lots back from the water, and we used every bed and all available couch space.

When I returned to the Hill as a paid (perhaps that word should be in airquotes) employee, our office featured the same youthful, impoverished vibe that Close Up had. I assembled a group of colleagues and fellow softballers, and we headed to the beach at the end of August Recess.

The first houses were similar to the Close Up ones, a hefty walk from the ocean and cheap. As the group aged and got promoted or became lobbyists, the houses improved. Oceanfront only. Must have a private pool. One bathroom per bedroom, please.

The beach house mood has shifted again, as my friends and I have taken our places as part of the breeder class. We stayed at this house back in 2002, and here are some photos from that trip. We're playing Flip Cup.
Yeah, he's pretending to pee on her. It was required.

That's underwear on their heads. I'm not sure what else to say about this.

This year the house will contain four children under 4. I'm guessing there will be less Flip Cup, but I make no guarantees. Either I'll post a lot or absolutely never while we're down there. If it turns out to be never, have a good week.


Pagan Marbury said...

What's a week at the beach without Flip Cup? I'll certainly be kicking some ass this weekend.

Have a great trip!

The Zero Boss said...

The funny thing is, that looks exactly like our old kitchen in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Enjoy the weekend!

Mom at Work said...

There will be flip cup. Losers get up with the kids.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

You really should have showed me these pictures a couple of weeks ago. Maybe we would have found a way to get down there.

I mean - people pretending to pee on people. That is my kind of fun. (That wasn't even sarcastic)

Mom101 said...

Those pictures are priceless. I don't even know what Flip Cup is and I want to play. Have a great trip!

laurie said...

i bet you can teach lumpyhead how to play flip cup, no? regardless, have a great time.

nonlineargirl said...

That sounds great. Chris and I have had thanksgiving with my college friends every year since I graduated. Our standards for rentals have gone up too. Now that more people have partners it is harder to get people to sleep in a big room with bunkbeds or couches.