Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Visiting the Outer Banks Part 2

After we visited the Wright Brothers Memorial, we stopped for some lunch, then made a stop for some salt water taffy for my mom and sister and coffee for my dad and I before driving out to the Bodie Island lighthouse. 

My mom has always liked lighthouses, so we made sure to stop by three of them on this trip! 

We didn't go inside the visitor center, we just took a few pictures and then continued on our way.
We drove along highway 12 for a while before we made it to the town of Rodanthe where we found a public beach access.

There was no one else at the beach, so it was nice to have it to ourselves while we were there! This beach though, had pretty treacherous water. The tide was going out, which made it even more dangerous. You could see quite a few rip currents and the waves really crashed on the beach.

We only stayed at the beach for maybe an hour, maybe two. We didn't really keep track of time! But regardless, we didn't stay too long.
We got back in the car and started heading back towards Nag's Head. It was too early to go back to the hotel, but we weren't really sure what else to do. When we saw the turnoff for Manteo on Roanoke Island, we decided to head over there. 

We drove through Manteo and out toward Fort Raleigh/Lost Colony of Roanoke. It was close to closing time at the visitor center, I think there was maybe 20 minutes until closing, but when we got inside a volunteer came over and started talking to us. She told us all about the history of the area and different theories about what happened to the settlers. It was all very interesting and had we had more time we would have explored more. (If you aren't familiar with the Lost Colony of Roanoke, you can read more about it here.) The grounds stayed open though, so once the visitor center closed we walked around the grounds for a bit before getting in the car and heading back to the hotel.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Visiting the Outer Banks Part 1

We knew we were only going to have a couple of days in the Outer Banks, so we drove down on Tuesday afternoon. That gave us two full days there with us coming back on Friday. The drive took about three hours but seemed to take much longer considering the directions on my mom's phone took us on all these weird two lane highways. 

One thing I hadn't mentioned on here was starting back in November, my dad had three major surgeries in three months. Two of the surgeries were related to his aneurysm (which we found out about back in 2015.) and we had to travel down to North Carolina and stay for about a week each time. The whole thing was scary and stressful and I'm glad that is all behind us now.

And then about a month after the aneurysm surgery my dad started having increasing pain in his side which resulted in rushing him to the emergency room early one morning only to find out he needed emergency surgery because his gall bladder had just up and died. Apparently there was an infection around it and it was totally dead. The scary part is, had the infection spread it could have spread to the stent around the aneurysm and infected that. 

After all of that we decided a couple of days away would be nice! We chose the Outer Banks just because it was fairly close and we had heard a lot about how nice it is there. Fortunately we were able to find a great price on a hotel that was right on the beach (one of the perks of traveling outside of tourist season!).

Wednesday morning we headed down to the beach. The hotel we stayed at had beach access, so it was nice to just get up and walk right to the beach! 

We spent a couple of hours walking around the beach. There were tons of little rocks and shells, so my mom and sister spent quite a bit of time collecting shells while I took a bunch of pictures.
When we were done walking around the beach, we got in the car and drove up to Kitty Hawk to check out the Wright Brothers memorial. We had a National Park Pass so it was free for us to visit.

There isn't really a ton to see, but it's all spread out so you can either walk or drive around to the different things. We opted to walk so we were there for probably a couple of hours.
I split up our trip into three posts, so be sure to check back on Wednesday for part 2!