Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our 2014 Family Vacation

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again ... my favorite vacation spot on EARTH is the Outer Banks.  I've been going there since before I can really remember, so I have lots of fond memories there.  It's a fun, wholesome place for families to vacation, and so we continue to take our family there every year!

This past August was our trip for 2014.  Our rental this year was from Saturday to Saturday, so we didn't get to go to Williamsburg/Busch Gardens like normal, but instead we stopped there on our way home on Saturday.  John and I came home that night, but the kids stayed and came home with my parents the next day.

But, let me back up to the day we left.  We drove straight through on Saturday down to the Outer Banks and then checked in like normal.  Normally we'd go swimming and just get takeout for dinner, but we decided to just drive up to Corolla for the night and have dinner up there.  We went to this fun restaurant right on the water that we found a few years ago called First Light.  I love that place!

After dinner the boys wanted to do something fun, so just down the strip/parking lot from the restaurant is an area with paddle boats, a mini golf course and go carts.  I took Jacob in the go carts (my first time in my entire life, thankyouverymuch!) and John took Henry out on the paddle boats.  I think they both had fun that evening!

The next morning, our first full day, we got up and hit the beach and pool immediately.  This was probably our first year at the beach that Henry didn't freak out over the sand, BUT he still wouldn't go anywhere near the water. Lol  Progress, though ... we're still making progress.

John and Jacob went out boogy boarding for a bit, and then came in to rest.  While they were "resting", the little ones decided to bury each other in the sand.  Another first and super cute!

That night, after we had showered and changed, we decided to hit up one of our very favorite AYCE seafood buffets, Jimmy's!  LOVE that place!

The boys had to have their picture taken with this beat up old pirate they have, lol.

After dinner, we drove down the bypass to Jockey's Ridge where we climbed the dunes so the boys could fly their kites, and we got some really nice family pictures.

While they were flying their kites, I wandered down the dunes a ways to where the old mini golf course is buried.  I love coming back every year to see how much of the old castle you can see.  Depending on how the dunes have shifted, sometimes you can see more and sometimes you can't see anything!

And, then I snapped a few pictures of the view both facing the ocean and the sunset over the dunes ... it was SO PRETTY!

Once the sun had gone down we went across the street to Kitty Hawk Kites because Jacob was DYING to climb the rock wall. He's pretty good at it, too!

On Monday, day two, we got up, packed a cooler, some extra clothes and our beach stuff and headed South!  I haven't been to Hatteras since I was little, so I really wanted to go back.  And, I'm not sure I had ever been to Ocracoke, so we decided to hit both in the same day, but it really was a full day trip.  We left around 9 AM and didn't get back until around 9 PM.  Exhausted and cranky, lol.

Our first stop when we finally got down to Hatteras was the lighthouse .. of course.  If you know me at all, you know I love climbing all the lighthouses I can.  So far I've only done the Currituck one, the Bodie Island one and now Hatteras.  I don't think you can climb Ocracoke, and it was storming bad when we got there anyway, so we didn't hang out to find out.  I'd love to climb others on the East coast as well!

Jacob is my little climbing buddy :)

I saw an imprint of a little lizard in the concrete, so I had to snap a picture of it. Lol  And then the rest of these are the view from the top.

Henry got a picture taken with a much smaller lighthouse in the gift shop when we got back down. Lol

After the lighthouse, we went down the road a bit to a little strip mall on the water just next to the ferry where we had lunch at a little bar/restaurant.  We were able to eat outside and enjoy the view, though.  

Now here's what is crazy to me ... you've seen all these awesome pictures and how pretty it was outside that day, right?? Well, after we had lunch we went to the beach.  The water was perfect!  Great waves and sooo warm.  I played in the water with Jacob for a bit and then sat down to read.  I fell asleep and woke up about a half hour later to thunder!  We got off the beach and packed back up in the van in just the nick of time because it started storming and it didn't stop for the rest of the day and night!  We rode the ferry over the Ocracoke in this horrid storm!  I thought for sure we were going to die!  The ferry ride to and from took a couple of hours, but while we were there I did manage to get a picture of the Ocracoke lighthouse.  I'd love to get back down there to get a picture when it's not crappy weather out, but I won't be doing it again anytime soon. Lol

When we got back to Hatteras we started our trek North, and decided to just wait to eat when we got back to Nags Head.  We ate that night at Sonic.  haha  It was really good, though!

The next day we stayed at the resort and just played on the beach and at the pool for the rest of the day.

That night after dinner at Dirty Dick's Crabhouse we played a little putt-putt with the kids.  Or maybe just for me?  Lol  I love me some putt-putt!  Anyway, we went to Mutiny Bay.  It's our go-to mini golf at the beach even though there are a billion of them to choose from!  It started raining (again) about halfway through, but I made us stay and keep playing. Lol

I forget which day this was, but one of the days my mom bought a small package of perfect shells from one of the gift shops and hid them on the beach for Henry to find since that was all he really cared about anyway. Lol

Our last day there everyone was kinda sluggish, but Jacob and I wanted to go to the pool, so we went over by ourselves for a little while before everyone else came out.  I got some pretty cool pics of him!

That night we went up in to Corolla for the night to find a good location for our family photo and to check out the tiny little town that I never knew existed!  It's back a dirt road!!

These next two were taken at a cute little schoolhouse.  They had PUMPKINS out already ... it was AUGUST!

This next picture was taken just outside the cutest little bookstore.  Next year I'm going to have to go up there and do a little shopping .. I loved that place!

And then, check out this cute church!

And, to end our trip we went mini golfing again at a little place in Corolla.  You pay one price and then you can play on two of the three courses.  Had we had more time, we'd have probably paid more and done all three.  They were pretty neat!

And then like I said in the beginning of this post, when we left the Outer Banks we went to Busch Gardens for the day.  John and I left around dinner time to come home while the boys stayed and had an extra day of vacation with my parents.  

I think it's safe to say we all had a really good time!

No comments: