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..
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.
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
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.
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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