Last week, the Beloved and I journeyed back to the Piedmont to head to a family beach vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with her mom (MOMPAT) and my immediate family.
We actually started at MOMPAT’s house in Richmond, Virginia and the three of us drove down to OBX. It was a pretty fun drive, especially when we stopped in the Peanut Capital of the Universe that is Wakefield, Virginia for lunch (including peanut pie) and stocked up on peanuts for the week at the very awesome Adam’s Peanuts. I wanted to get a country ham, perhaps ignoring the fact that we already had one in the car. I mean, you can’t have too much country ham can you?
I mean, it was a fun drive until we hit the TWENTY MILE BACK-UP getting onto the Banks. Oof. That only took about two extra hours to get through. Did I mention the A/C gave out on MOMPAT’s car and that it was 95 degrees? Let’s not dwell.
We got to the house that we’d rented and it was very nice. Right on the newly reclaimed beach of South Nag’s Head. Great view from the back deck.
It was a pretty good week – hot and humid, most days were in the low 90s, but had a good breeze coming (mostly) off the ocean, so it usually wasn’t so bad. We had one good thunderstorm, which was sort of fun for the Beloved and I as that doesn’t really happen here in San Diego.
There were pretty standard beach week activities – reading, sleeping, eating, — and of course a nightly happy hour. We didn’t fish, but we did check out the new 1000 foot Jannette’s Pier, which was sort of a curious cross of fishing pier-information center and gift shop. I don’t know if this young redhead was catching anything, but if not, it wasn’t for a lack of effort.
One day, my brother, the Beloved and I took a trip down along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to see the lighthouses along the coast at Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras. They’re pretty awesome. We had hoped to climb Hatteras, but the good people at the National Park Service had closed down the stairs because it was >105 degrees inside the 200+ ft stairwell. Wusses.
Another event was one of my favorites a trip to play miniature golf at the very awesomely named “Jurassic Putt”. I mean seriously, “Jurassic Putt”? That’s genius.
All in all, it was a really good week, naturally seeming to go much more quickly than you’d think.
Though I will have to admit that after 10 days in the 90/90 heat and humidity of the East Coast, the 60-degree San Diego night that greeted us upon our arrival was pretty welcome.
30 thoughts on “Life’s A Beach”
You’ll have to tell me what a peanut pie tastes like. Is it similar to a pecan pie? Or is it like a Reese’s peanut butter crunch? But back when I used to eat meat, I thought there was nothing better than a Virginia smoked ham (which used to be considered non-USDA-approved, like prosciutto). I hope you enjoyed it.
And you look so happy, even though a Tyrannosaurus Rex is about to devour your head. It must have been fun!
HG — the peanut pie was like a pecan pie, though it was not as sickly sweet as many pecan pies (we thought less corn syrup in the binding) — it was pretty good. The three of us split one piece and that was plenty!
It’s funny, there was an article in the VA papers a while back about how the country ham people have figured out that if they dry age their country hams that they can be thinly sliced as a sort of American prosciutto — something I’m all for! :)
Looks and sounds like a great time! Jurassic Putt! LOL!
Lauri — it was really good. There were more elaborate looking mini-golf places, but how could you NOT go to Jurassic Putt?
I knew I was right to be jealous! Never been to that part of the coast…it’s now on my travel list. Love mini golf…how’d you do? Get a hole in one…or did a velociraptor eat your ball? :-)
Bd — well worth the visit for sure — I sort of wish I’d have gotten up earlier so that I might have been able to take the ferry to Ocracoke that one day. That’s really out there. As for the golf, I came in second (out of six) — choking away a chance to win on the last couple of holes. :-/
I know somebody who either has a family home there (you know, like uncle so and so, therefore EVERYBODY goes there?) or maybe it’s a time-share, can’t recall but they go there ALL the time, year round and she says it’s her favorite place on earth (and she has done a moderate amount of travel)…it must be fabulous!
MT — it’s pretty sweet — though more built up than I remember from my grad school days (though admittedly that was a long time ago). If I were to look for a place there, I would go further down the Banks to Rodanthe or Avon or maybe even past Hatteras.
no, you can never have too much country ham. glad you had a good time and missed those tropical storms. They didn’t happen to have boiled peanuts at Adam’s did they.
Budd — absolutely they had boiled peanuts! In fact, I’m pretty much that’s all they sold. We’ll never go back to roasted again. We did a taste-test with a few different peanuts and Adam’s won.
I love boiled, but can’t get them anywhere up here.
North Carolina is one of my dream-house spots. Thanks for the lovely post and glad you made it alive with that awful traffic situation. I especially liked the beach shot and the lighthouse, but really – you and the T-Rex? Best photo of you ever.
Thanks Emmy — I liked the way that pic turned out too! :) It was fun, but a lot more built up than I remembered. I think you have to go further down the Banks to have a better chance of getting away from people sadly.
There is no such thing as “too much ham.” Looks like you guys had a nice time, despite the heat. Oh, to be able to walk out a door and onto the beach — that’s heaven!
It was pretty sweet. Apparently, before last winter’s beach reclamation we would have walked out a door and into the water… :-/
I like the family photo, even if you guys are not all wearing the same tee-shirt.
Watch out! That dino is about to bite your head!
Nice pix. We’re hoping to head back down to North Topsail in the next week or so and stay til Halloween. #retirement
Nice! We would have preferred to go in the fall, but my sis-in-law works for the local school system so that was no dice.
Wow — what a gorgeous place to vacation .. thank you for sharing your pictures, looks like it was glorious! MJ
Thanks emjay — it was a great time! :)
I’m glad you had a good time! That traffic over the Wright Memorial Bridge can be brutal. My parents’ place is right before the bridge so sometimes I can avoid it (and the built-up part of OBX). I agree that there is never too much ham. Or boiled peanuts for that matter.
The Jurassic Putt picture is awesome!
I am envious of your lovely weather in CA. Fall can’t come soon enough for me this year.
It was a pretty brutal way to start the week — all the rentals must become available at exactly the same time. I saw on the drive down that there were some billboards pro and con for another bridge that seemed like it was being proposed for being built near Corolla.
My parents love the Outer Banks, and now I can see why. (Must be Jurassic Putt)
Thanks for the most excellent travelogue.
I would like to lobby that anyone I know that goes to OBX get their picture taken at Jurassic Putt.
OH!! Ditto on the “never too much ham” opinion.
Also: jellyfish, despite their name, are NOT good on toasted English muffins. They taste bad, and they will sting your mouth. Better to pick up some peach preserves at the ham & peanut store for toast use.
I really wanted to touch the jellyfish, but too many childhood memories of “IT STINGS!!” kept me from doing the experiment.
You weren’t too far from where we live! And we spent our vacation back in June in Kill Devil Hills :). Great photos – glad you had a lovely time.
I know! We’d wanted to tack on an extra week to our vacation to meander around NC-VA and visit folks, but that wasn’t in the cards.
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