Wednesday, October 1, 2008


For the cognescenti, that stands for Outer Banks, and it will often be seen in stickers and magnets on including mine, since the DH and I got back late yesterday from our first vacation in seven years.

It was wonderful. Other than basic outlines, we made no plans. Considering how structured most of our life has to be, that was wonderful. We left after our last appointment on Thursday, and headed south, thinking we'd spend that night at about the halfway mark. We stopped for dinner, then found a hotel. A Holiday Inn; nothing fancy, but we were just going to sleep, get up, eat and go.

Well, it wasn't too fancy, for sure. When I awoke, my back was covered with some kind of bites. I can only assume from bed bugs, since they most certainly weren't there when I went to sleep. When the DH informed the front desk at checkout, their response was a cavalier, "Sorry about that!" Yes indeedy, a letter to corporate will be sent.

Before leaving the Richmond area, we went to one of the two yarn shops I had found on the 'Net. In fact, I ended up visiting FOUR yarn shops before I ever saw the ocean...I intend to blog on all that a bit later. Then we thought we'd head over to Williamsburg and have some lunch, maybe a bit of a walk around, before finishing our journey, since check-in was after four. I thought it would be nice to eat at the Kings Arms Tavern, because we'd eaten there on our first anniversary trip, thirteen years ago.

Yeah, well, it was a good plan. If we'd had a map so we knew how to park near there. We didn't, so we parked at the visitor's center, planning to walk over. It was hugely muggy out, and after picking up a map, we realized it was WAY more of a hike than we wanted to take, so the darling DH went back for the car, arranging to pick me up at an underpass just ahead. While I waited, I got this lovely shot with my tiny digital.

Don't you just love the play of light? And if we hadn't goofed, I never would have seen it. That became a recurring theme...we'd go off in a wrong direction, and end up with some beauty we never expected.
As we headed on down the road, it was raining on and off. We weren't worried; we knew it was due to clear, and basically, we weren't going to melt. But then we got quite a sign. If you were going on vacation and saw this over the direction you were heading, wouldn't you feel pretty confident?

It was a full rainbow, both left and right, and including the slight ghosting of a second one. Just lovely!

Unfortunately, our gaffe at Williamsburg meant we were caught in rush hour heading around Norfolk and into the Chesapeake tunnel. We got into the Outer Banks after dark, and checked in, having dinner in the Ramada restaurant. Next morning, we got up and headed out for decent coffee (the room provided Maxwell House. We shuddered.) Did a little shopping, including two more yarn shops! - and then drove around a wildlife refuge. It was too late in the day to see much activity, but we did see some snowy egrets. My little camera couldn't get them, but the DH did get a few. I contented myself with a bit of scenery.
If you look beyond the reeds and to the left, you can see some white birdy blobs. :-)
We also went to Kitty Hawk and the Wright Memorial. I liked this view of the Memorial in the distance from the Visitor's Center.

We had a great meal at the Outer Banks Brewery that night. Scallops that were the tenderest I'd ever tasted, and a very good Porter for me. The DH, being a home-brewer, did a sampler of four of the other brews. Another notable meal was at Penguin Isle, a restaurant my cousin had recommended. We got up early enough to capture the sunrise over the ocean, and this place let us watch the sunset over Albemarle Sound. Utterly glorious, and the DH was in charge of capturing them.

One place we found with excellent, fresh roasted coffee was called The Front Porch. They had Kill Devil Hills roasted coffees, and this hysterical sticker on the toilet. Yes, I did go back out to grab my camera just to capture this.

We visited one of the Outer Banks lighthouses on Bodie Island. It's imaginatively called Bodie (pronounced body) Lighthouse. Did we climb it, you ask? Surely you jest.

We had a lot of fun, some romance, found some nice shells, even had a great round of miniature golf, at which, dear readers, I'm distressed to tell you, the love of my life cheated like mad. I still beat him. Life is good. It was even good when, sitting at the edge of the surf, I got a suit full of tiny pebbles. Some in places that I would have thought nothing could reach. :-X We watched plovers, and ghost crabs, and waves, and barely touched the books we'd taken.
Yesterday we had intended to spend a night on the road, but realized we'd rather be in our own bed. However, we had unfinished business. This time, address in hand, we found where we could park to eat at the King's Arms, and we did. Nice lunch, and a bit of a stroll around before a thunderstorm threatened. The DH was suitably punished for his cheating. His face is obscured to save my shame if he were identified in public. LOL
Coming up through VA yesterday evening we kept skirting what looked to be a nasty storm. I caught this shot through the windshield. But we got home safe and sound, much to the delight of the dogs.
The best thing is that we have very little post-vacation letdown. The DH's sweetie of a brother vacations at OBX and has invited us to join him for a few days next July. So we have THAT going for us!

No comments: