Since we started dating, Hubby and I have been fans of taking small extended weekend trips, but had never gotten to take a big vacation. Partly, this was due to the fact that Hubby was never able to get a week's vacation in the summer time. Last yer, however, Hubby changed positions at work, which meant he was only competing with a few other people for vacation availability. He was able to get a vacation time in June, so off to the beach we went!
I volunteered to do all the driving on the way down. I was so excited to go, we actually left an hour early. We loaded the bags, put the dogs in the car, and off we went. Our destination was Ocracoke Island, which meant 14 hours of driving, a 40 minute ferry ride, then a short drive down the island to our beach house. We actually arrived several hours early, but I called the reality office and told them we were going to be early. They let us check into our house 5 hours early, so that really gave us half a day extra, which was so awesome. We spent that first day unpacking, exploring the island, grabbing some dinner, and then, we went to the beach. I had not set foot on these shores in 12 years, so it was good to be back!
The next day, we got up, ate breakfast (we ate most of our meals in), and headed out for a busy day. We went to Teach's Hole (the Blackbeard museum), the Preservation Society Museum, the Visitor Center, and the British Cemetery as well as some family cemeteries, explored the streets and shops, and ended the day with an amazingly romantic sunset cruise. The island is so quaint, and full of history. It is necessary to take a ferry to access it, and most people either walk, bike, or ride golf carts to get around the island. I just love it there!
On Tuesday, we ventured north into other areas of the Outer Banks. We took the ferry to Hattaras, to visit the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum, the Hattaras Lighthouse, the Bodie Lighthouse, and the Pea Island Nature Preserve. Back on Ocracoke, we also visited the wild pony pens, and of course the beach. We actually took the dogs to the beach that day, and they were unimpressed.
Wednesday morning was a pretty exciting start to the day. I had decided to go para sailing. Hubby opted to stay shore and watch. The rest of the day was really low key. In late afternoon, we went to the beach, just to walk and take some amazing pictures. Like the big kids we are, we spend some time writing in the sand, and admiring some sand sculptures. We stayed on the beach and watched the sunset.
So that is a brief summary of the first half of our vacation. I cannot even put into words how wonderful and relaxing it was. I loved the fact that we stayed in a beach house, which felt so homey. We were able to cook healthy foods, snuggle up with our dogs, and just relax. Out internet was not working at the house, which was a blessing in disguise, because we really just got to unplug. Stay tuned to hear about the rest of the trip, and feel free to check out my photos from the whole trip here. There are many really great pics, but a word of warning, there are over 1000 pictures total!