Snippet of conversation between me and a random woman after she took our picture in front of the Bodie Island Lighthouse on Sunday at 2:00:
Me: Thanks so much! Now we have a picture in front of all four of the Outer Banks lighthouses!
Random Philly Lady: Oh man! We didn’t have time to do all that! We were only here a week! How long have you guys been here?
Me: Since Friday.
That just about sums up our Outer Banks experience: we were busy! We left our quaint, oceanfront hotel in the morning and crawled into bed at night. Other than that, we didn’t see it. We also spent zero time on towels laying in the sand. There wasn’t even sitting in the sand! We did, however, do some standing in the sand. We’ve decided that the next time we go, we’ll definitely roll out our beach towels, slap on some sunscreen and do some relaxing. But this trip was all about seeing and doing, and we did a lot!
For those of you unfamiliar with the enchanting Outer Banks of North Carolina, I’ll attach some links…
On Friday we arrived around 1:00, went to the Wright Brothers Memorial, drove up to Corolla and went to the top of the Currituck Lighthouse, got some of the tastiest fudge I’ve ever had (my treat for overcoming my fears and climbing to the top of the lighthouse), ate dinner on the sound and watched the sunset, went to Jocky’s Ridge State Park, then went to the hotel, sat on the balcony and struggled to stay awake.
On Saturday I set the alarm to wake-up before sunset, hoping to see something gorgeous, and it was totally boring and uneventful. And we snapped a few photos and quickly went back to bed. Our trip for the day involved driving the length of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, hopping on a ferry to Ocracroke Island, renting bikes and peddling all around the village, hopping back on the ferry, stopping at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and park, driving back up the Seashore, peeking in fun little shops, then moseying on back to our room.
Sunday – the day of rest – was our most uneventful day of the trip. We shopped in the outlet malls – yay J. Crew at the beach! – drove down to the head of Pea Island to watch some massive waves, stopped at the under-renovation Bodie Island Light Station, and headed back to Raleigh.
See, jam-packed with goodness! Okay, so, I’ve decided I’ll never climb another lighthouse, and Allan’s hoping that by the time we get back to the Outer Banks, I’ll have forgotten how TERRIFIED I was at Currituck and want to climb Hatteras. Um, I don’t think so. The open stairs are too much for me to handle.
Riding bikes all over Ocracoke Village was such a treat! I haven’t ridden a bike since I was like 10 years old – it’s true, apparently you never forget! – and it was such a carefree experience. I think I had a silly smile plastered to my face the entire time. It was similar to being at Jockey’s Ridge – it was so much fun running up and down massive sand dunes. I felt like a kid again, which was a welcome feeling in my super-stressful life.
And no matter how many pictures I tried to take yesterday, I couldn’t capture the size, strength or amount of waves battering the islands. There are two hurricanes churning in the Atlantic, and although neither are anywhere near North Carolina (yet), they’re already affecting the waves. In Nags Head, where we stayed, there were bright red NO SWIMMING signs all over the beach. They were so big and relentless, multiple waves cresting and slamming into each other continuously. I’m used to seeing one, maybe two, at a time. But this was like 10 or 12 at once. Completely crazy and mesmerizing. We kept saying, ok, after this batch, we’ll leave. But we stood at the edge of Pea Island for probably 30 minutes watching the waves roll and crash.
As we were leaving, I had to fight back tears. I’m so stressed out, Internet, I can’t even put it into words. And being there, I had no stress. I had salty air, big, beautiful waves, sunshine and my best friend. It was really wonderful and peaceful and I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to come home to the sometimes sucky reality of my life.
But now it’s crunch time! So much still to do for the wedding – little things, but lots of ‘em! – so little time. Allan and I are both ready to get this whole she-bang done and over with. We’re ready to be married with our wedding a distant and happy memory.
Wedding Countdown: 19 days