Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hatteras Island & Ocracoke Island, NC

Located on Hatteras Island, one of the thin barrier islands that form North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge is a vital rest stop for more than 250 species of migratory birds flying to and from the Arctic. Thirteen miles of ocean beach provide nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles and shorebirds, and also attract about 2.5 million human visitors each year.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is made up of over 70 miles of barrier islands stretching from Nags Head, NC to Ocracoke Island, NC. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has many historical sites to visit and many, many things to do. Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, surfing, fishing, walking or just plain relaxing on some of the best beaches in the world.

And then after driving, and driving, and driving, seeing nothing but sand, sand, and more sand, with the occasional little "village" get to the ferry that takes you over to Ocracoke Island. You wait in line until the next ones runs, usually about once an hour, 6am - midnight.

So of course, I have to tell you about Jeff and how he decided to be "funny". Did you know national security has no sense of humor? Well, I would have guessed that, but oh no, not Jeff. He had to find out.

So...we're waiting in line for the next ferry. And it's HOT. Sweltering heat and know the kind where no one is happy, even if you live there and work in it everyday. And along comes Security to ask us the nature of our "business" for visiting Ocracoke Island. As if my sun visor, shorts, and "big-owl" sunglasses, & camera in my hand doesn't give him a clue. ;) I expect Jeff to say "we're visiting"..."we're tourists"...something along that line. And the man contines with "what do you have in the back of your trailer?" But what does Jeff answer? OH NOOOOOOO.....he says "Osama bin Laden". I almost dropped my camera AND water bottle! The guy had NO sense of humor and of course, FINALLY, Jeff says, "Oh, I'm just kidding...we have our power chairs/mobility scooters". The guy takes down his license plate number and heads back into the building. Oh great. So much for vacation, I guess I'd better start thinking about who can come bail us out of jail. Finally the man reappears and asks for Jeff's name (I'm assuming to check with the records he just run) and Jeff tells him and adds, "The trailer is open, you're welcome to look if you like". Well, the man made the mistake of saying, "No, I think you have an honest face". . I told Jeff to shut up and drive.

Yes! They let us on the ferry!

One of the many "McMansions" on the various Outer Banks Islands...huge, beach-colored (sand, pink, blues) and EXPENSIVE.

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Ocracoke Island is one of many narrow, sandy islands marking the outer edge of North Carolina’s continental shelf. These barrier islands form at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and they shift with the changes bought by the wind and water moving around them.

We get to the village of Ocracoke and there are suddenly bikes and golf carts everywhere!! People pedal or scoot everywhere in the village and I even saw a golf cart with a TAXI sign on top. How cute. We knew this would be the perfect place to scooter awhile.

Oh yes, the only bead shop on the island, but you know SHERI would find it!! ;) LOL

Beep-beep! Move it!

Restaurants everywhere!

We ate at Pony Island Restaurant and of course, Sheri had their crab cakes.

So as if Jeff didn't cause enough excitement at the ferry, he notices as we're coming out of Pony Island Restaurant, that the local law enforcement was coming in for dinner break. We had to park our scooters on their deck, and Jeff grins at the guy and says, "Sorry, guess we had too much to drink and thought we parked in the parking lot, not on the deck." Well! At least HE had a sense of humor and said, "well that's all right" and slaps him on the back, then adds, "But I might have to write you guys a ticket for speeding". HA!! :)

They have slips where you can dock your boat for the night at the village.

The sun was going down as we headed back to our parking lot to load up our scooters.

Found a boat WE might even be able to afford...can't see it in the dark?? Let me add some flash for you....

ha, what a hoot!

Ferry heading back to Hatteras.

So as we're sitting there in the dark, waiting in line for the ferry to take us back to Hatteras, I kept hearing this tap-tap and seeing little white spots on the road outside the truck. At first, I thought I was seeing things...then after awhile I opened the truck door & looked down...Agh!! Little white "ghost crabs" coming up from the beach.

Of course, I had to buy this cookbook while on vacation. I grew up in the Va Beach area, but forgot how much I loved all the fresh seafood and dishes from the area. Imagine my surprise I was when I found the crabcake recipe from Pony Island Restaurant in here! :)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wright Brothers National Memorial

Wright Brothers National Memorial, located in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, commemorates the first successful, sustained, powered flights in a heavier-than-air machine. From 1900 to 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright came here from Dayton, Ohio, based on information from the U.S. Weather Bureau about the area's steady winds. They also valued the privacy provided by this location, which in the early twentieth century was remote from major population centers.
It was soooo hot the day we were hot was it, you ask??

That's a WATER bottle!! Yep, that's how hot it was! ;)

Lot's of scooter-friendly paths here as you can see.