Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Outer Banks

Most of this trip took place in May but it's going on June in the blog.

We spent a week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina the week of Memorial day.  It was a nice trip.  One Sunday one of my friends at church asked if we'd be interested in sharing a beach house in the Outer Banks the week of Memorial day.  Their family and another family were looking for one more family to go with.  Our schedule was free and things worked out for us to be able to go.  It was probably one of the shortest notice, least planned trips we've gone on.  We were very busy in the weeks leading up to it and so I didn't look into what was there and what to do too much.  Someone asked me after I told them we were going what we were going to do and I said I didn't know.  I pretty much was planning to hang out at the beach.  We did some of that and also did some other fun things as well.  We were lucky that the families we were with had stayed there before and had a good idea of what there was to do.
In this post I'll share our outings and activities and in the next post I'll share more about the house and the beach.

Kiree wanted to hold the money

We stayed in the town of Corolla which is not far from the Currituck Beach Lighthouse.  One day we drove to the lighthouse and paid the $7 per person older than Kiree to climb to the top.  Kiree was a bit scared to climb the stairs.  With Bob's encouragement she did it.  I had Luke in the pack.  Jaide did just fine.  There were landings every so often and a few of them had informational displays.  At the top, we took a few pictures.  Kiree was scared at the top.  I stayed close to the lighthouse wall and far from the railing (I did have Luke in the front pack).  
We got a few pictures and looked around.  It was far less scary to Kiree to take the stairs back down.  As we left the lighthouse, the girls both got stickers that read, "I climbed the Currituck Beach Lighthouse."  We wandered around a bit and went inside the gift shop that used to be a house.  We bought a small wooden replica of the lighthouse and one postcard for each of the girls.  Despite getting something from the gift shop, the girls were still unhappy as we left.  We cut that outing short and headed back to the house for lunch.  We never did get to see the old village, but we did come back another day and Luke and I got to see the nature center.  

picture by Jaide
replica of the plane where the talk was
Jaide liked this diorama
The next day we drove down to Kitty Hawk and visited the Wright National Memorial.  We got there just in time for a ranger talk.  It was interesting and informative.
it was a bit of a walk to the monument
Luke unfortunately was in need of a nap.  Eventually we got him to take a nap in the stroller.
Luke napping and view from monument

  The girls were very unhappy that we made them trek all the way from the little museum to the monument up on a hill.  There was much complaining.  We headed down the hill to where we saw some picnic benches.  Bob brought the van over to that area and we had lunch under some trees.
climbing trees!
the girls finally found something more fun to do than complaining

This looked like a playground from the monument, how cool would that have been?   Just a statue though.  We snapped a pic out the window of the van on the way out.

After lunch we headed further south to the Fort Raleigh National Historical Site.  That is the place where the lost colony was.  Apparently each summer they have a musical pageant about it.  We could hear them rehearsing but the signs said we couldn't go in and see them.  We looked around at the visitor's center.  There was a short movie about the lost colony that the girls seemed to like.  They also had some artifacts on display and some information about archaeology.  There was also some information about what happened there during the civil war.  Outside we saw the restored earth works (basically a circular wall of grass covered dirt).  The kids were a bit restless at this point and so we didn't stay long.  The most interesting thing about this place was the question that they can't answer- what happened to all those people?  Perhaps some day as more archaeological work is done they will uncover more answers but maybe not.
see, dynamite

The year before, the families we were with had gone to a mini golf place near Kitty Hawk.  We decided we would stop there on our way back as a way to encourage the kids to not complain so much about the things we grown ups wanted to see.  Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure mini golf was the place.  It's funny because the Hacker is a villain in Cyberchase, a PBS show the girls like to watch online.  Professor Hacker is an adventurer/professor whose adventures set up the loose theme of the mini golf course.  Apparently his adventures involve a lot of crates of dynamite.  The fun started with a ride in a little train from the entrance to the beginning of the course.  There are two courses and we did the "diamond" course.  We didn't get to pick, that's the one they told us to do.  I guess that helps keep the courses from getting backed up.  We didn't have to wait on anyone and I was only mildly concerned about not holding up people behind us.  Luke had fallen asleep in the car shortly before we got to the mini golf and of course he woke up cranky.  He did like grabbing at the golf balls and crawling around on the greens.
 We managed to finish our 18 holes without too much crying and whining.  We could have stayed and played another round for just $5 more but by then we were done!  It was very funny at the end of the day when Kiree was praying, after all of the complaining she had done she thanked Heavenly Father for having "so, so, so, so, so, so much fun today!"

The day after all of that we wanted to go kayaking.  We were going to rent a kayak, but we ended up not needing to.  One of the families had brought an inflatable kayak.
the girls with Frank and Frankie
We ended up taking turns with them and the other family kayaking in the sound near the Currituck Beach lighthouse.  The other family bought some string and chicken legs to try and catch crabs in the sound.  No crabs were caught, but the kids still had fun.  We ended up being the last ones out with the kayak.  Bob took the girls and went way, way, way, far out.  I figured they would be gone a long time so I took Luke to the nature center.
The nature center was interesting and a little different than any I had ever been to before.  It talked a lot about hunting and fishing.
the nature center- tower of motors, statue of duck hunter
There was a large collection of various duck decoys of various ages, some dating back to the 1920s or earlier.  There were also some geese and swans in decoy form.  I tried to nurse Luke in the theater, watching a movie about the history of duck hunting on the island and how they had to start limiting it.  Luke didn't go for that for long.  He was much happier walking around the exhibit space and pounding on a large aquarium containing a sampling of the fish that live in the sound.  It was during our trip to the Outer Banks that Luke started walking more.  I think he wanted so desperately to have fun with the other kids that it encouraged him to go for it.  We got out of the nature center just as Bob and the girls returned to the spot they had launched from.  They had reached a small island in the sound and brought me back some grass to prove it. 

Bob and the girls zoomed in

not zoomed in

he preferred to wear just one shoe for some reason

Bob and the girls (super zoomed in)

there's a snake in there, middle of the picture close to the edge

just hanging out


Cindy said...

Well, no family trip is complete without a healthy dose of complaining, so that sounds about right. Luke's looking pretty big walking around by himself.

h51773 said...

I went to the Outer Banks almost every summer as a kid with my family. We complained through every museum and monument as well.