Monday, August 11, 2014

The Outer Banks, North Carolina



It is hard to believe that we are already well into the month of August! Children will be going back to school here in Colorado in the next week or so, and I have already felt a few cool breezes that remind me autumn will soon be here. We are having a very enjoyable second summer living in Colorado, and my husband and I have been doing quite a bit of things here that I will be showing soon, but first I will be taking you to the Outer Banks region of North Carolina, where we had a wonderful family vacation, and special occasion, in July.   I took many photos there, and to save space and your time I have placed many into photos collages for this post--please click on the collages to enlarge them for easier viewing.


The Outer Banks (also know as OBX) is a 200 mile (320 km) long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina and a small portion of Virginia, beginning in the southeastern corner of Virginia Beach on the east coast of the United States. They cover most of the North Carolina coastline, separating the Currituck Sound, Albemarie Sound, and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean. They are a major tourist destination and known for its temperate climate and wide, expanse of open beachfront.  We flew to the east coast and stayed a couple of days in our nation's capital,Washington,  DC--click here to see that post-- and then drove south through Virginia to North Carolina. After crossing the Wright Memorial Bridge, we head back north toward the town of Corolla located in the north portion of the Outer Banks.  At first glance we could see the charm of this area.


We could also see the large luxury vacation homes both on the Currituck Sound side .....


....and the Atlantic Ocean side.

These homes are usually rented in one week increments and can range from a three bedroom cottage to a house with 18 bedrooms!  A number of reputable vacation rental management companies service the area, so there is generally a wide selection of homes to choose from.


We were vacationing with my son and his family, his mother-in-law and father-in-law, and our daughter and her family. so we needed a larger house to accommodate us all. My daughter-n-law and her sister and parents often vacationed in the Outer Banks when they lived in Virginia, so we knew they would be able to find a rental that would be perfect for all of us, as it was!  Our house had wonderful wrap around decks, a large kitchen with a long dining table that could fit many, comfortable king and queen size bedrooms, bunk beds for the children, a large family room, game room, outside pool and hot tub and bar area.


We were a short boardwalk away from the beach, and we hit the beach running with excitement to see the ocean again!


We had all pre-rented chairs and umbrellas so we were all set for our days in the sun and surf.


It was fun to see our grandsons get re-acquainted with the ocean..


Pure joy!



Even our granddaughter's first look at the ocean was a success!



We enjoyed many happy beach days!


What a beautiful beach it was! Looking north....


...and looking south.


Hurricane Arthur had passed by the Outer Banks the week before we arrived, but we did not see any signs of damage in Corolla.  I was hoping that the storm would have stirred up the ocean bottom and bring many shells and sea glass to shore, but where I did see shells they were mostly broken pieces and not a piece of glass to be found.



I did enjoy seeing the shoreline crabs coming out of their holes to look for food from time to time.....


...and watching the graceful flights of many flocks of brown pelicans skim the shoreline in search for fish.


Speaking of fish, we enjoyed many wonderful seashore dinners in many of Corolla's and nearby Duck's restaurants.  One evening we prepared a clam bake at home.  My mouth is watering again as I look at all the delicious fresh shrimp, scallops, lobster, clams, crab, corn and potatoes we enjoyed that evening!


It was fun to share time together and relax. When not on the beach, we shopped at some of the pretty in town boutique stores, swam in our house's pool, sat in the hot tub, made smores and roasted marshmallows, sat by an outdoor fire, barbecued, watched DVD's inside, did arts and crafts with the children, and even saw a firework's show that was delayed a week by the hurricane.  All in all is was a wonderful extended family vacation!


I was also enthralled by all the magnificent sunsets we were fortunate to see over Currituck Sound, both from our deck and from a nearby nature preserve.

We also took many trips and outings to see lighthouses, wild horses, dolphins, the place the Wright brothers took first flight with an airplane and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. I will show highlights of all on my next blog post. But I'll end this post with the most special family occasion and reason we all vacationed in the Outer Banks as an extended family was to celebrate my son and daughter-in-law's 10th wedding anniversary and the renewal of their vows!



As luck would have it, it was the only day we had intermittent thunderstorms!


We weren't sure the beach side ceremony they planned, and hoped for, would be able to occur....


..... but we decided at the last minute to take a chance and headed for the beach


The minister kept looking up at the stormy sky, but performed a beautiful vow renewal ceremony, amid occasional thunder and lightning.  My son and daughter-in-law and grandsons were all in good humor and enjoying the moment!


My son and daughter-in-law wrote their vows again and recited them to each other, and my son placed a beautiful antique ring on my daughter-in-law's finger.


The children and parents then blended different colored sands together in a jar to show they will forever be joined as a family.......




It was such a special ceremony and it made us all so happy that we were able to share it together with them!



The skies opened up at this point and we rushed back to the shelter of our rental house.  We were all  full of laughter and joy! We had pizza and cake and enjoyed many reminiscences as we ended this most memorable day as a family on our Outer Banks vacation.

Please come back soon to see my  next post to see all the other sights we saw in the Outer Banks, both scenic and historic, and why this beautiful area attracts thousands of visitors every year!

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50 comments:

toby said...

Wow, what a beautiful post, with a sweet sweet ending! You actually made me saw aww out loud :)
Gorgeous all! I don't even know where to begin commenting, but I will say that I'm in love with those bird houses that you found in the very top collage. And how do you make such nice collages?
Have a wonderful week, thanks so much for sharing this with us!!

Lina Gustina said...

Came from BM.
Wonderful family times on the beach.
Enjoying your shots.
www.1sthappyfamily.com/2014/08/random-blues-during-last-holidays.html

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Hello Pat

You've captured your summer at the beach beautifully.
What fun to all be there together - seeing the grandies exploring the seaside - that's so special!

These photos hold such precious memories for you.

Shane

eileeninmd said...

Pat, what a wonderful post it is nice time for the family to spend together at the beach.. Beautiful photos of your family, the birds and the beach. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week!

Mersad said...

The wealth of wow factor in this post is immense. The sunsets behind the houses and overlooking the ocean are amazing. The clambake looks delicious. All in all a very enjoyable post and it looks like you had a great time there.

Mersad
Mersad Donko Photography

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a magnificent place to visit with your family and have a wedding on the beach. Your son and daughter-in-law and their two boys are adorable and how lovely to renew your vows with all of your loved ones present. You house looked amazing for a large group.

We love the Outer Banks and the coast. North Carolina is such a diverse state, with the Atlantic on one side and the mountains where we are on the other. I look forward to your future posts about the area.
Sam

SmilingSally said...

Oh Pat,

You are living the life! What a gorgeous vacation spot, and to witness your child's happiness makes this family time PERFECT! Thanks for playing today.

Happy Blue Monday,

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I was looking at those awesome homes wondering what they looked like inside and there you were staying in one. Such a nice holiday with family, and I'm impressed that pre-rented chairs and umbrellas were available - saves packing your own.
The ceremony of renewing their vows is sweet, especially now to include the children.
Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday Pat.

Jeanne said...

Hello Pat, My blog break has been well over 6 months and it is great to be posting again. It is even nicer to visit you again. Even though we use FB to keep up, I have missed your fabulous posts.

Your trip to the Outer Banks was wonderful and so are your photos. Congratulations to your son and DIL on 10 years of marriage. The ceremony was an awesome and special event. I especially loved your family photo of everyone together. You are so blessed with a loving and beautiful family.

Bill and I want to visit the Outer Banks and your description of that part of NC sure made me anxious to follow through and go asap.

Happy Blue Monday.
xo, Jeanne

Nellie said...

You must have been there about the same time one of our daughters was there with her family, plus her in-laws! I've never been, but always wanted to go. It looks like you made many memories there.

Grantham Lynn said...

Oh such a sweet post. And lots of blue. The beach is so pretty. I want to go there/live there! Such sweet wedding photos. Thanks for sharing.
I linked too!
Have a good week!

Lorrie said...

Family beach vacations are the BEST! I just love how engrossed little ones become in digging and playing with sand and water. Your son and DIL's renewal of vows is a special memory of this vacation.

Hannah said...

We had a family wedding and beach camping trip with the grandkids this summer too, such special times. Kids so love making sand castles and playing in surf. I love your sunset photos, my favorite time of the day. It's great you had a joyful ceremony as the center too.

Fun60 said...

I think I would like a vacation there. The sun, sand, scenery and food . Oh and I would like to stay in one of those big houses with a sea view!

My name is Riet said...

Whata wonderful trip annd acation you had. I love all your photo's especcialy the kids all look adorable. and how nice of the couple to renew their vows. Wonderful wonderful. Have a nice week Pat

Sue/the view from great island said...

Wow Pat, what a vacation, and I love the vow renewal idea, my husband and I would love to do that. My dad lives in NC, but up in the mountains...the shore looks like a wonderland!

carol l mckenna said...

Congrats to the Newly Weds and all and what a wonderful summer family vacation ~ and such beautiful photography to keep you warm in the winter for OWT ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great place for a family vacation, especially one with such a special event centering it.

We visited many of the same places in 2010 on our RV trip up the East Coast and we loved our time there. One of the areas we'd love to visit again . Sigh, so many places ..... Thanks for the memories!!

ellen b. said...

Wow Pat, that really is a wonderful way to vacation with family with so many good things happening while you were together. The photos are all so great!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Carol--it was a 10th wedding anniversary celebration--not a wedding --lol! Don't want any confusion about that. They are a very happy couple!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a beautiful ceremony and something they will always remember and cherish. And it looks like a perfect time for a vacation on the Outer Banks. We hope to get over there this Fall. Sweet hugs, Diane

chai-and-chardonnay.blogspot.com said...

A lovely warm post. So many happy moments you will be able to cherish forever. What a wonderful family you have!

backroadjournal said...

What a memorable family event to share together. From the photos, you can see everyone really enjoyed the time spent on the outer banks.

bettyl-NZ said...

Wow! I think you take as many photos as I do--and that's a lot! What a great time with so many smiling faces! I'm glad the weather held out.

Felicia said...

Gorgeous images. Looks like you all had a grand time. beautiful sunsets.

I would like to revisit the area too.

Happy@Home said...

What fun to have a family vacation at the beach and even nicer to be celebrating such a happy event. Congratulations to your son and daughter-in-law. I love the floating heart treatment you gave them :).
Although we live in NC, we have not been to the Outer Banks. It is, however, on our bucket list. Your post has made me even more anxious to get there. One of these days...

Betsy Adams said...

Oh how special... Loved this post and it looks as if all of you had a great time at the Outer Banks. Congrats to the happy couple ... Hope they can do it again in 10 more years!

I love going to the beach and we always go south of where you all were.... We hope to go back there in late Nov./early Dec.... Love the seafood there...

Hugs,
Betsy

Mary Lee said...

I enjoyed this very, very much.

What a lovely ceremony!

Come back to North Carolina again. You still haven't seen the mountains. . . !

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I really enjoyed your wonderful post and photos, Pat! You have a beautiful family and it is so nice that you had this special time with them celebrating an anniversary and making memories! The photos of the little ones are just precious. Congrats to your handsome son and his bride on their 10th year!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Oh Pat - This was such a beautiful post. Not just for the gorgeous photos of the Outer Banks, but for the happiness that comes through in your family. Capping it off with a vow renewal really makes this a most memorable trip.

Beverly said...

We love the OBX, too, Pat. I knew you would have a wonderful vacation there.

Your photos are amazing, and made me long to visit again.

Congratulations to the happy family.

podso said...

Pat it looks like a wonderful vacation all around, complete with the vow renewal, how very special for you all. Nice to see pics of the NC beach!

Denise said...

Hi Pat, You captured some magnificent shots of the Outer Banks, especially those technicolor sunsets. As North Carolina natives, my husband and I love our N.C. coast, and the mountains, as well. There is a lot of history at the Outer Banks; sometime perhaps you could see "The Lost Colony" performed there.

It looks like they whole trip was a festive and special time. Your mosaics are beautifully done. :) Thanks for your visit and kind comments -- hope you have a wonderful week!!

Hugs,

Denise at Forest Manor

La Petite Gallery said...

Pat, what a great photo of you. That is some happy Family time. I have been to some islands around Annapolis, we say the Navy's sail
boats. It was pretty. I was in NC for 8 years with the Inn. Never saw the Outer banks. You do such a beautiful post.
Thanks yvonne

diane b said...

Your post just oozes fun, excitement and family love. What a great house to stay in with that wonderful family of yours. Your photos are great too.

Tracy said...

Oh, how lovely... Nothing like a day at the beach in summer! So much enjoying these beach views, Pat! It's like a mini-vacation just looking at these! ;o) Sweet to your grands having such a good time. The boys are getting to big! Happy 10th to your Son and DIL--wishing them many happy more! How wonderful--a big family vacation to celebrate. :o) ((HUGS))

Gemma Wiseman said...

So love the idea of mingling coloured sands as part of a vow renewal ceremony. Wonderful views of this special time. And the sunset colours are stunning.

ladyfi said...

What magical shots of beach and sky!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Beautiful post! Never been to this area but it looks so scenic!

Pondside said...

That must have been a wonderful vacation, Pat. I've not been to that area, but I feel as though I know it from HGTV's show about vacation properties!
I just read your comment on Vee's blog, about the sewer line. We just had an inspection of the line in the house we're buying - such a change after living in the country. I hadn't known that it could cost a small fortune to repair such a line. Good luck!

Barb said...

Pat, Your beach vacation sounds glorious and the renewal of vows extra-special. Your photos made me feel the sand and salt air. Happy Anniversary and many more to your son & d-i-l.

bj said...

What an absolutely BEAUTIFUL post. Just wonderful.
We used to spend time in the summer at the beach when all the grands were little. Some of my favorite memories.

eileeninmd said...

Hi, Pat! Stopping back to thank you for linking up your post to my critter party..I love the ghost crab and pelicans. Have a happy weekend!

Ann said...

A little slice of heaven for sure. The rentals looks heavenly--Its so fun all together in one place. So glad you enjoyed such a wonderful trip.
Ann

janiceadcock said...

Such a splendid post. Joy in every photo.

Daniela said...

Wow, you've caught such amazing colours in these shots, they seem unbelivable, these photographs are really far too charming !
And this special occasion is certainly to remember, you've a wonderful family and you're lucky to have the chance to spend so much time with your beloved !!!
Thank you so much for what you always share, my dear friend X
Dany

Vee said...

Oh so glad I kept looking! What a beautiful place and your collages are marvelous! The colors and the scenes! Wonderful to see the children enjoying the beach...so cute!

Proud Italian Cook said...

You have a beautiful family Pat, how nice that you were all together for your son and DIL's vow renewal and you couldn't have pick a more beautiful setting. Those houses are amazing and I loved the clam bake!

Claudia said...

Perfect, Pat. Just the most wonderful vacation. While my mouth waters at the clambake, my heart soars with your joys in your family.,

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Awww...that is so special. Renewing of vows with the whole family there...and a house full of laughter and joy. Now that is how it should be! And what a beautiful location for a family vacation. Love this post!