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Posts tagged ‘outer-banks-2013-vacation’

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 6

On our last full day at the Outer Banks (Friday, September 20th), Bob and I drove to Buxton to see the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Counting the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, we saw a 5 lighthouses during our week at the Outer Banks.

Have you read the book or seen the movie “Nights in Rodanthe“?   If so, you will recognize this inn as the one that had a starring role in the movie.

“Nights in Rodanthe” house

“Nights in Rodanthe” house

After the movie was filmed, coastal storms, erosion and repetitive ocean over wash caused the inn to become precariously close to falling into the ocean.  New owners bought the house and moved it to higher ground in Rodanthe.  The new owners restored the inn to appear as it did in the movie.  Tourists to the area can rent portions of the Inn at Rodanthe and stay in the specific rooms that were used in the filming.

Throughout our stay at the Outer Banks, I enjoyed watching surfers at South Nags Head beach.  I took pictures from the comfort of our ocean-front deck; however, I was too far away to get good pictures.  On our last day at the Outer Banks, though, I walked out to the beach and took pictures from there.  Finally, I captured some photographs worth sharing.

Surfer at South Nags Head Beach

Surfer at South Nags Head Beach

Surfer at South Nags Head Beach

Surfer at South Nags Head Beach

Surfer at South Nags Head Beach

 

We drove home from the Outer Banks on Saturday, September 21.   We made the trip all in one day.  Thus concludes our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation.  I hope that you have enjoyed reading about our vacation and seeing all the pictures.

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 5

Bob and I visited two lighthouses on Thursday, September 19th.  Before sharing photographs from our visit to the lighthouses, though, I have to share these two sunrise pictures.

Sunrise South Nags Head Beach

Sunrise South Nags Head Beach

What a gorgeous sunrise we had that morning.  I had never personally witnessed such a beautiful sunrise!

The first lighthouse we visited was Bodie Island Lighthouse.  This lighthouse was located only 2 miles from the beach house at which we were staying.  In fact we could see the lighthouse from the south side of our ocean-front deck.

We hadn’t seen Bodie Island Lighthouse since 2007.  Scaffolding covered the lighthouse during our Outer Banks vacation last year.  The lighthouse looks brand new.

Bodie Island Lighthouse

A new-to-us boardwalk (the boardwalk was laid in 2009) provides great views of the lighthouse.

Bob and I at overlook at end of boardwalk

Bodie Island Lighthouse and Boardwalk

The second lighthouse that we visited was Currituck Lighthouse.  This lighthouse is located north of Nags Head, about an hour’s drive from where we were staying.

Currituck Beach Lighthouse

After “lunch”, which was a peanut buster parfait at Dairy Queen, we stopped at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.  The park contains the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States.

A boardwalk is located near the parking lot.   Interpretive displays along the boardwalk offer information about the plants and animals in the area.

 

We walked to the end of the boardwalk, where we found a deck with a bench with a great view of the dunes.  From the deck there were steps that led to the sand.  Bob climbed the sand dune to Jockey’s Ridge, where he enjoyed a wonderful view of the surrounding area.

Bob walking to Jockey’s Ridge

jockey'sBob took this picture of the view from atop Jockey’s Ridge.

WP_20130919_011
Bob took this picture on his way back to the boardwalk.
See the deck in the distance?

I opened this blog post with two gorgeous sunrise pictures.  Not to be outdone, the moon put on a spectacular show in the evening!

Full Moon Shining on Ocean Waters

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 4

We did not wander far from our Outer Banks vacation home on Wednesday, September 18th.

That morning Bob and I went to Roanoke Island.  We stopped along the waterfront in Manteo.  I walked along the waterfront, taking photographs of the lighthouse and other points of interest, while Bob waited at the gazebo.

Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse
and the gazebo where Bob relaxed while I was taking pictures

Spirit of Roanoke Island

Elizabeth II 16th Century Representative Ship

This ship is anchored at Roanoke Island Festival Park,  located across from the Manteo waterfront.  We have not visited this park during our three Outer Bank vacations.  It doesn’t appear that an opportunity to visit the park will come anytime soon, as we are not planning another vacation at the Outer Banks in the near future.

The Sea Gypsy IV provides a pirate adventure for children.

From the Manteo waterfront we continued along Route 64 to The Elizabethan Gardens.  The Elizabethan Gardens was created to honor the first English colonists who lived on these shores.  We spent a couple hours there exploring the gardens, statuary and fountains.

The Gatehouse was designed to resemble a 16th-century orangery.  It was built with handmade bricks from the Silas Lucas kiln in Wilson, NC.

Pineapple Fountain

Queen Elizabeth I Statue

American sculptor Maria Louisa Lander carved this statue in Rome, depicting how Virginia Dare may have looked as a grown woman.

The Colony Walk honors the famed lost colonists who trod these same sandy shores.  The walk ends at a Water Gate.

This 16th-century Gazebo replica was constructed with period tools and techniques.  The reeds for the thatched roof came from Norfolk, England.

the Sunken Garden

Jupiter, ruler of all gods

This is one of four statues in the Sunken Gardens.  The other three statues represent Apollo, Diana and Venus.  All four statues are from the Whitney collection.  I didn’t take pictures of the other statues, as their faces have fallen off.

The central focal point of the Sunken Garden is the ancient Italian fountain and pool with carved balustrade from the Whitney collection.

 

A closer look at the ancient Italian fountain

These four statues were in Woodland Garden.

WoodlandGarden-ElizabethanGardens

In the center of Woodland Garden was this fountain.

 

We sat and listened to the falling water for several minutes.  It was very relaxing and peaceful in Woodland Garden.

The Lion Couchant Birdbath sits atop a column with a reclining lion at its base.  Cherubs and other decorative elements adorn the bowl.

 

In the afternoon, back at our vacation home in Nags Head, I went for a walk on the beach.  I met a nice young man by the name of James.  He is a lifeguard who rides a 4 wheeler up and down the beach.  I took a picture of him a ways down the beach.  He saw me taking his picture.  He turned around and asked if I had taken his picture.  I said yes and showed the picture to him.  He asked if I would take a picture of him by the no swimming sign and email it to him.

This is the picture that I took of James, which I did email to him.  The “no swimming” sign was up for several days during our Outer Banks vacation.   No swimming was permitted as the sea was rough.  You will see in a later post, though, that the sign did not deter surfers.

 

 

Full Moon shining on ocean waters

The moon was so lovely this evening.  Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see the moon light shining on the ocean waters.

Ocean waters lit up by full moon

Stay tuned; more posts about our vacation in the Outer Banks will be forthcoming.

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 3

Bob and I spent Tuesday, September 17, in Nags Head, at the beach house.  It was a very windy day.

I enjoyed watching the waves crashing on the beach.

The pirate flag at the beach house next to ours was fully extended in the gusty winds.

The strong winds blew the sand onto our beach access.

I took a chance with my camera, taking photographs outside with the wind and blowing sand.  I got lucky, though.  The sand wasn’t blowing at me in the morning hours, and I was able to capture some photographs and video from the beach access.   Later in the day, the sand was blowing so badly that I didn’t go anywhere near the beach with my camera.

The wind knocked down the beach chairs.

The wind knocked down Ed’s fishing poles too.

Ed  and Scott, who was visiting for the day, braved the blowing sand to secure the fishing poles.

As the sun began to set, it cast a golden glow on the ocean waves and dune grass.

The almost full moon

Sunset over the Sound

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 2

On Monday, September 16, Bob and I went on a day trip to Ocracoke Island.

We departed Nags Head at 7:00 AM and caught the 9:00 AM ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke Island.

 

We boarded the Ocracoke Island Ferry.

We waited in line to board the Ocracoke Island Ferry.

Our first stop on Ocracoke Island was the pony corral.

Wild Horses on Ocracoke Island

Wild Horses on Ocracoke Island

Wild Horses on Ocracoke Island

Wild Horses on Ocracoke Island

The ponies are descendants of Spanish horses that arrived on North Carolina’s barrier islands as far back as the 16th century.  There are several theories about how the ponies arrived on the Outer Banks.  One theory is that the ponies arrived on Spanish ships that wrecked on the shoals, allowing the ponies to escape to the islands.  Another theory is that Sir Richard Grenville, leading an expedition from England in 1585, stopped in Haiti to pick up supplies and livestock (including some of the Spanish ponies) on his way to Roanoke Island in North Carolina. His ship ran aground, and some of the ponies were released to lighten the load so the ship could break free.  The ponies roamed freely until the late 1950s, when Highway 12 was finished.  It was deemed unsafe at that time for the Ocracoke ponies to continue to roam free.  The ponies were confined to an area of approximately 180 acres.

After viewing the ponies we walked across Route 12 to one of Ocracoke’s beautiful beaches.

Ocracoke Island Beach

We continued our drive on Route 12 to the village of Ocracoke, where we visited the British cemetery and the Ocracoke Island Light Station.

British Cemetery

On May 11, 1942 the HMS Bedfordshire was sunk by a U-boat off the NC coast. All hands were lost.  The bodies of four British sailors washed ashore and were buried on Ocracoke.  Two of the grave sites are marked unknown, and the other two bear the remains of Thomas Cunningham and Stanley R. Craig.

Ocracoke Island Light Station

Ocracoke Light is the oldest operating light station in North Carolina.  The lighthouse was built in 1823 and stands 75 feet.  Its diameter narrows from 25 feet at the base to 12 feet at its peak.  (Source:  Wikipedia article)

Supposedly the pirate Blackbeard’s last battle was fought near Ocracoke Village.  Located in Ocracoke is Teach’s Hole, which houses a Blackbeard exhibit as well as Pirate Specialty Shop.

Treach’s Hole

We stopped at Teach’s Hole in hopes of finding pirate tee shirts for our twin granddaughters.  We struck out with the pirate clothing.  Teach’s Hole, however, did provide for a photo opportunity.

Pirate Bob

We left Nags Head early in the morning and were ready for lunch by 11:30 AM.  We chose to eat lunch on Ocracoke Island at Jason’s Restaurant.  Our waiter recommended the traditional Ocracoke Drum Fishcake.  Excellent choice!

We caught the 1:00 PM ferry back to Hatteras Island and made it back to Nags Head by 3:30 PM.

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Day 1

Our first full day at the Outer Banks was on Sunday, September 15.  It was a lazy Sunday spent reading, eating and relaxing with our friends.  We did get a little exercise, though.  In the afternoon Bob and I went for a walk on South Nags Head beach.

We enjoyed walking close to the water’s edge, allowing the waves to cover our feet.  The water felt very refreshing.

 

There are always fishermen on the beach.

One fisherman proudly held up a puppy drum fish that he had caught.

We saw a young father building a sand tractor.

We walked on the beach as far as the houses nearest to the ocean waters in the second photograph displayed above.

P9152377 4x6The houses located nearest the ocean waters are condemned.  We walked out to these houses last year, during our vacation in the Outer Banks.

Falling Down Beach House

It surprised me that the houses still stand.  Compare the picture of this house with the picture of the same house taken last year.

Outer Bank Vacation 2012

Do you see how the house has leaned back so much that it has lost its stilts in the back of the house?

Our Outer Banks 2013 Vacation: Getting There

Our Outer Banks vacation got started at 12:15 pm on Friday, September 13.  Bob came home from work at noon.  Fifteen minutes later we were on our way to pick up Pam, who accompanied us to the Outer Banks this year.  Our friend, Denise, who coordinated the plans for our week stay in the Outer Banks, graduated high school with Pam.  Pam and Denise were best friends in high school.  They lost touch after high school and found each other recently on Facebook.  Bob and I had not met Pam until we picked her up for our drive to the Outer Banks.  I had been corresponding with Pam, though, on Facebook.

It was a good travel day.  Traffic wasn’t bad.  What traffic there was kept moving.   The steady conversation among Pam, Bob and I made the 6+-hour drive go by more quickly than otherwise.

We spent the night at the Best Western Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  We arrived at the hotel around 7:15 PM.  Bob and I stayed at this hotel last year, on our way to the Outer Banks.  It is a very nice hotel, and we had no qualms about staying there again.  This year, however, we requested two rooms that were not in “pet alley”.  The Best Western Fredericksburg allows pets.  Last year we were accommodated in a room in “pet alley”.  Although we enjoyed a quiet night’s rest last year, we were awakened the next morning around 5:30 AM  by barking dog(s).

We checked into our rooms and ate dinner at Shoney’s Restaurant, which was located on the hotel grounds.  We returned to the hotel at 8:30 PM and spent the rest of the evening in our respective rooms.

Neither Bob nor I got much sleep from 2:15 AM and on.  Both of us experienced irritable bowels.  We thought perhaps it was something that we ate at Shoney’s that didn’t agree with us, although everything tasted good.  When we met Pam for breakfast, we learned that she experienced an irritable bowel during the night as well.  The common food all three of us ate was Tilapia, so we blame the fish for our distress.

We ate breakfast at the hotel.  As always, Best Western’s complimentary breakfasts are good and filling.  We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and were on the road en route Nags Head, NC by 8:30 AM.   We made one photo stop along the way, in Tappahannock, VA.

Tappahannock, VA
Essex County Courthouse and Civil War Monument

Motorcyclists were gathering for a poker run, when we arrived in Tappahannock.

All proceeds from the poker run would be donated to Special Olympics, according to one motorcyclist to whom I inquired what was going on.

We arrived at A Whale’s Head Inn around 3:30 PM.  Denise arrived about an hour after we did.  Accompanying Denise were the other five people who would be vacationing with us for the week.  Denise’s two adult children and a friend arrived a little later.  The three young people spent one night with us.

Bob and I went for a walk on the beach that evening, as the sun was setting.

I loved seeing the moon shining high above South Nags Head Beach!

The sun had almost slipped below the horizon when we returned from our walk on the beach.  This photograph of the setting sun was taken through the stilts of our beach house.

 

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