On the second to last day of our vacation, a small group of us decided to venture out a bit, so we took a road trip to Cape Hatteras National Seashore,
As you’ll observe in the above map, the seashore is a narrow barrier of islands off the coast of NC–often referred to as a “ribbon of sand” (an apt title once you’ve driven down its roads).
The drive was an additional two hours south of where we were staying, but in my opinion, completely worth it if you ever find yourself in the Outer Banks. Just be warned, if you visit the park in the next 18 months you might experience one minor setback….
The parks famous lighthouse is currently under construction (which none of us were aware of) so we were all pretty bummed when we arrived at the above scene. My friend Kristin has a great photo of us all making sad faces in front of the lighthouse, so I’ll have to try and get it from her so I can post it here.
After the lighthouse debacle we decided it was time to ease our pain with the beach (and beer).
Like our Corona advertisement?
The water was extremely warm, so we spent most of the time swimming. It’s sort of hard to tell, but Meredith is actually holding her Corona up in the above photo (she’s the one in the middle about to be swallowed by the monstrous wave), and I’m stupidly drinking another Corona while walking into the water. I’m not trying to glamorous (or condone) drinking while swimming in any way, but I try to document whats fun, and this was definitely fun.
After a few hours we decided to venture further south to explore some of the more isolated areas of the seashore, and in the process we got to cross over a fun bridge which takes you to Pea Island…
Below is a view from the bridge once we were standing on the other side.
The minute you cross over the bridge it sort of feels like you’re in a completely different state. It’s hard to convey in words, and it’s probably harder for you to notice in the pictures, but the area was just…different…almost like a desert.
We were all in awe of the landscape, so we spent quite a while just exploring the area and taking pictures.
It’s pretty rare when you get to enjoy a coastal landscape without anyone else around, and for me, that’s what makes the National Seashore so special. Having been born and raised in the Northeast, beaches have always just meant no parking and screaming children, so although the next statement might seem dramatic…I definitely have a new found respect for America’s coastlines.
And as an extension to this new found respect, I’m going to be writing out a check to the National Seashore this week, along with Jockey’s Ridge State Park (you’ll read about this in my next blog entry). Both of these state parks are completely free to the public, so I want to thank them by way of a friendly donation. I also would encourage you all to do the same–not for these parks, but for a state or national park that you’ve appreciated in the past.
If you can spare 10 dollars, you’re helping to ensure that the parks remain free for those who can’t.
Ok ok, I stole the above photo off the Cape Hatteras website, but it’s my attempt to tug on your heart strings, and get you to be proactive about donating to your favorite public park. How can you deny the above cuteness?
August 31, 2010 1 Comment
The key to having fun at the beach is to make friends with the people who have cool beach toys…
Michal was extremely excited about getting to surf in North Carolina.
And as you’ll clearly observe in the below photo, he was VERY excited about getting to paddle board in the ocean.
Eli and I watched our boyfriends almost drown from a far, and bonded over being pale and having to wear a hat and sunglasses at the beach.
Below is our “pale is sexy” pose.
And who knew that the outer banks had an obscene amount of cacti everywhere.
After a long day in the sun we decided to do a potluck style dinner with our roommates.
We grilled all of the food.
Grilled lobster tails and scallops.
Grilled beef kabobs.
non-grilled Watermelon Feta Mint Salad (thank you Steph for introducing me to this incredible combo of ingredients)
Cucumber Dill Salad (thank you Karen–this was INCREDIBLE, and I need the recipe so I can post it up here)
You know you’re hungry right now.
August 24, 2010 No Comments
Today I’ll be in the woods of Old Lyme, CT helping out with Ninja Zombies, but before I go I wanted to recap a few more things from Maine, specifically my 4th of July, which of course started out with a patriotic bowl of oats…
Ingredients: locally grown strawberries and blueberries, peanut butter, greek yogurt, and oatmeal.
After I let this digest a bit, Michal and I decided to rent bikes for the remainder of our vacation so we could have the freedom to get around without having to deal with the 4th of July traffic.
First stop with our bikes was Footbridge Beach in Maine which is my favorite beach in the area.
Enjoying fresh cut watermelon on the beach is one of life’s cheap luxuries.
After a few hours of relaxing on the beach, we got back on our bikes and headed down to Perkin’s cove for lunch.
We also discovered a really amazing cafe I had never been to. They make homemade lemonade from scratch, and they have the most amazing back porch where you can sit.
Around this time we started to burn out, so we got back on our bikes and headed back, and after a nap and an epic outdoor dinner with the neighbors, we got back on our bikes to make one last trip…
It just wouldn’t be the 4th of July without fireworks.
July 11, 2010 No Comments
Today I woke up determined to conquer my final frontier of exercising–swimming!
….but that didn’t really happen, because I only made it 10 laps, and the last two laps didn’t really count, because my well formed breaststroke was more of an awkward doggy paddle.
I guess swimming will be a work in progress this summer, but until then it’s back to running….
This town was designed for runners, because the entire area is completely flat and there is always a cool breeze coming off the water. They also sell lobster rolls about every 100 feet, so whenever you decide to stop running, there is already amazing seafood waiting for you.
After my pathetic swim, I re-charged with a power nap, and then grabbed my camera and decided to go on a run along the beach.
I’ve done this route quite a few times over the years, but I’ve never taken pictures, so it was fun getting to document the scenic views.
You see, if I had stayed in the pool I would have missed out on all this.
June 19, 2010 No Comments
It wouldn’t be Memorial Day weekend without either a torrential downpour or sweltering 85 degree heat, and luckily this year we had the latter.
After displaying my patriotism by way of food, I slapped on some zinc oxide, and it was off to Rocky Neck beach.
I always get excited when visiting a new beach, because they all have their own unique characteristics and waterfront landscapes, and Rocky Neck did not disappoint.
The only real downside were the crowds. We waited in a line of cars for about 35 minutes to get into the park, so if you are visiting Rocky Neck on a sunny weekend, try to get there by 10:30 AM.
The frustration of traffic though was quickly forgotten once we made it to the beach.
How eerie is it to see such clear blue water in Long Island Sound?!
Growing up in Fairfield, I’m used to murky shorelines filled with questionable oceanic deposits, so it was an unexpected treat to find such clear water along the Southern coast of Connecticut.
There is also a really incredible boardwalk that stretches the entire length of the beach.
The nice thing about this boardwalk, is rather than being entirely in the sun, it takes you through wooded areas, which offer a nice shady escape not easily found on most beaches.
As you can tell by my skin tone, I don’t have much patience when it comes to lying in the sun, so I took quite a few boardwalk breaks throughout the day.
The boardwalk also takes you out along a charming little estuary.
Below Michal watches a family of crabs along the bottom of the river.
A few other pros and cons:
PRO – the sand is really soft (not rocky–despite the name).
PRO – there are ice cream trucks located at BOTH entrances to the beach
CON – with so many people, one of them is bound to piss you off (a guy threw his bottle of coke into the estuary right in front of me, and I snapped).
PRO – the bathroom and changing facilities are clean
CON – certain areas of the beach are extremely narrow, so on a crowded day expect to overhear lots of other peoples conversations, and vice versa.
PRO – besides the beach, Rocky Neck offers hiking, camping, picnicking, and bike trails!
Camping trip anyone?
May 31, 2010 2 Comments
That’s right, it’s time to get your smelliest cooler out of the basement, because beach season has officially begun!
On Saturday, Michal and I packed a cooler full of lunch items, and headed out to Hammonassett State Park to spend the day at the beach.
The entry fee into the park is $9, but if you’re like me, it will end up costing you more, because the minute you park you’ll realize you forgot to bring any sort of beach towels or blankets. Luckily your entry receipt is good for the rest of the day, so you can go buy towels at Job Lot leave for a bit and then re-enter the park without having to pay again.
I liked that there were a variety of different landscapes at the park.
Scenic fields, picnic areas, bike paths, boardwalks, and of course the beach….
We did a few epic walks to explore the coast line…
Other than the awful sunburn I now have on my right shoulder, the first beach day of the season was a success.
May 3, 2010 No Comments