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
Greetings from down south!
I know I’ve been a little remiss with updating my blog this past month, but I’ve embarked on a new adventure, and I’m ready to once again make your web browser slow with my picture-heavy entries.
At around 3am this morning Michal and I packed up the car and made the 12+ hour trek to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
I like how the above picture makes Michal and I look like the worst car packers ever, but I assure you there was some method to this madness (i.e. cooler full of food goes closest to me).
After some fun gridlock traffic in NYC, we moved on to the land of Snookie, and also the land of where rest stops have the most amazing international chain ever created….Cinnabon.
The above photo came out blurry, but the Cinnabon motto reads, “Life needs frosting.”
I don’t think life needs this much frosting though…
Michal polished off the whole row as I watched in horror, and he had a smile on his face the entire time.
My breakfast consisted of an overnight oats recipe I’ve been perfecting over the past few weeks…
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal (overnight oats style)
- 1/2 cup old fashion oats
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbs. peanut butter
- 1/2 tbs. raw chocolate powder (I use Navitas brand)
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- One handful of blueberries
- Sweetener to taste
The reason these are called overnight oats, is because there is no need to cook the oatmeal. You just combine all the ingredients in a glass or bowl the night before, mix them, and then let it sit overnight. In the morning you will have something that may not look so pretty, but it will taste like dessert.
After further stuffing ourselves with some Luna bars (which Michal just realized are made for woman), we crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The bridge was built over the ocean, and runs for over 4 miles, so it’s a bit eerie when you drive over it. There are also a few tunnels along the bridge which run underwater, so this furthers the creepy factor.
Once we reached dry land we saw a lot of this…..
and LOTS of this stuff…
If the car wasn’t moving so fast I could have captured all the billboards which make it seem as though all they sell down here are fireworks, cigarettes, and liquor.
One billboard promising the biggest selection of fresh grown fruit and vegetables spiked our curiosity, so we stopped, and they were NOT lying…
Holding my goods with pride even though I can barely carry it.
And as promised Powell’s had fireworks….
Who cares if the boxes of fireworks all read “Y2K Celebration,” I’m sure they work just fine…
After leaving Powell’s we did a straight shot to the Outer Banks, and another 2 hours later we arrived at home sweet home (or at least we get to pretend it’s our home for the next seven days). In total the trip took us about 12 hours, and we traveled over 550 miles!
If you ever want to go on a budget-friendly vacation, the Outer Banks is it! As long as you have a group of friends to go in on a house with, a dollar will take you very far down here. Nine of us went in on this house, and it’s awesome, especially since it’s close to the beach, and it still comes with it’s own pool.
The kitchen is really spacious, and our group of friends is going to be taking turns cooking dinner, so this will save everyone a lot of money throughout the week.
Is it weird that the room I was most excited about was the bathroom in our bedroom?
This bathroom was the size of my bedroom at home (picture does not do it justice).
In total we each paid $400 to have the house for the entire week (and we didn’t even fill up all the bedrooms, so you could reduce your costs by much more if you go in with more people). I’d say look for a smaller house, but if you’ve ever been to the Outer Banks, you know that houses with less than 6 bedrooms don’t exist here.
There is so much more I want to type, but I’m running on two hours of sleep, and we have a friends wedding tomorrow morning, so I’m off to bed.
I think with over 20 pictures in this entry, it’s safe to say the blog has officially been revived, so stay tuned.
August 22, 2010 No Comments
I took the day off from work yesterday, so I could drive up to Maine to visit this pretty lady….
Alyx was my best girlfriend from college, and although she now lives in California, her boyfriends sister just so happened to be getting married in the same town my parents have a cottage in (fate will always bring us together).
The ride up to Maine was the only painful part, because I get really bored on long drives by myself, and when you pair that with little to no sleep (was up the night before helping with Ninja Zombie stuff), I have no attention span.
After hearing Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” four times on the radio, I ended up behind a Maine lobster truck which I found to be really funny, so I decided to take a picture.
Immediately after snapping this photo, the highway split, and I veered off the wrong way, giving me the pleasure of listening to my GPS scream “RECALCULATING” at me for the next 5 minutes. I guess that’s my punishment for taking a photo while driving.
An hour later I was really bored again, so I pulled up behind this car which offered me free reading material for the next three exits…
Is it illegal to take pictures while driving? It should be, because I definitely wasn’t paying attention to the lines on the road.
Once I finally arrived in Maine, I picked up Alyx, and we hung out at my parent’s place for the day. We mostly laid by the pool, ate some amazing food courtesy of the Pine Tree, and then gossiped about vampires…and on occasion we mentioned real people we care about.
Sadly, she had to get to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding, so we couldn’t hang out the entire day, but Michal and I are going to plan a vacation out to California to visit her sometime soon, so we won’t be parted for long!
I’ll be in Maine for the rest of the weekend, so expect lots of exciting pictures of trees. Joking aside, I’m pretty obsessed with this state. My parents have been taking me here every year since I was a kid, and now this place is like a second home to me, so sometimes when I talk about how happy this place makes me I can get downright emotional. Maine is THAT beautiful! I’ll leave you with some pictures that I snapped last summer:
I can’t wait for this summer.
June 19, 2010 1 Comment