A Vacation, Tropical Storm & a Cat

It has been nearly 3 and a half years since our last vacation.  No vacation is truly perfect especially when traveling long distances by car with a toddler and additional family, but it’s definitely memorable.

The last time Chris and I were in Kill Devil Hills, NC (or the Outer Banks in general) was over a decade ago.  We were both surprised, but not surprised by how much it’s been built up since then.  It’s crowded now, like really crowded.  We’ve already decided that when we go back again we’ll be staying much further south to avoid the crowds.

It was still beautiful though.  Fiona saw the ocean for the first time and it was pretty magical.

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Kids being kids she was soaked within 2 minutes of taking this picture, but that was okay.  She was beyond excited and proceeded to prance and scream with excitement for the next few hours we were on the beach.

Unfortunately, this was the calmest day we had as Tropical Storm Bonnie swept in for the next few days turning our vacation into a soggy, humid adventure. We still made the most of it where and when we could.

Pigman’s BBQ
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Bodie Island Lighthouse.  Did you know it’s the U.S. National Parks Centennial?! It’s officially been 100 years since our country started to designate land for preservation and stewardship.  Go visit one this summer and show some support.  It’s not easy to keep these areas pure, commercial and industrial developments out and it’s run by thousands of volunteers.  It’s one of the things we should all be most proud of especially in an age of climate change and the longevity of human life.
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Adventures on Pea Island Nature Preserve
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Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, NC
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OBX 2016

OBX 2016

OBX 2016

The resulting sunburn of being out an entire day from Pea Island, Bodie Lighthouse and the Gardens. To say nothing of my lily white skin *silent weeping*
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Currituck Lighthouse (TS Bonnie resurrected after it had gone out to sea. Apparently it wasn’t done being a killjoy) Fiona climbed all the way to the top of this one and we were sodden by the time we reached it. Worth noting that this is the only lighthouse that is not federally owned on the OBX so kids of all ages can make the trek after signing the waiver. She couldn’t climb Bodie Island’s Lighthouse because of Federal Park guidelines that she had to be taller than 42″.
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Roanoke Island, Manteo, NC. Chris inspecting the sails on the Elizabeth II (yes, she sails on occasion!)I love Manteo. It’s got a small town vibe without feeling overly touristy.  I also came to realize how much I miss having a small local bookstore.  Not a used bookstore, mind you, but a well curated shop that has a cat, knowledgeable staff and a love for cozy nooks.  We found 2 such store while we were there and they were both a breath of fresh air over all the chain stores up here.  So here’s a plug for your independent book store, keep them awesome and show them love.
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And lastly, the Wright Brother’s Memorial. I like to joke that Ohio and North Carolina must constantly argue with each other over who gets what Wright Brother’s artifact. Dayton, the general area where I live, was where they were born, but Kill Devil Hills is where they took their first flight. Oh historical technicalities.
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The nice thing about looking back on vacation photos, however, is you forget all the in between antics that went on that may not have been so pleasant and see all the good and wonderful things your heart and mind were wanting to see instead.

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