Rise and Shine! The sun is out and the weather couldn’t be more beautiful. Today we continue our exploration of the Outer Banks. The lighthouse wasn’t open just yet so we checked out of the motel and headed south to the town of Hatteras. It’s the furthest point you can drive, from here you take a ferry over to Ocracoke. There is a lighthouse here and I was sad that we were going to miss it. The boys and I stopped at a café, grabbed a few lattes, a smoothie, a few breakfast pastries and headed back to visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Here’s a little more history about the lighthouses from the OBX. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada. This current forces southbound ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals. Hundreds and possibly thousands of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”. The lighthouse is 210 foot height makes it the tallest brick lighthouse structure in the United States and 29th in the world. The National Park Service acquired ownership of the lighthouse when it was abandoned in 1935. In 1950, when the structure was again found safe for use, new lighting equipment was installed. Now the Coast Guard owns and operates the navigational equipment, while the National Park Service maintains the tower as a historic structure. 1,250,000 bricks were used in construction of the lighthouse and it is 248 steps to the top.
In 1999, the Cape Hatteras lighthouse had to be moved from its original location at the edge of the ocean to safer ground 2,870 feet (870 m) inland. Due to erosion of the shore, the lighthouse was just 120 feet from the ocean’s edge and was in imminent danger. The Cape Hatteras Light House Station Relocation Project became known as “The Move of the Millennium.” It is the tallest masonry structure ever moved (200 feet tall and weighing 5,000 tons). The boys and I walked out to the original location, it was very close to the water and the Park Ranger told us that the lighthouse would not have survived Hurricane Sandy.
After we left South Carolina, the boys and I headed eight hours north and east over to the Outer Banks. This is one place that I always wanted to go see and since the boys and I are on a lighthouse mission, this just seemed like the best next stop. By the time we arrived it was later in the afternoon and the sky was overcast and windy. This first lighthouse that we came to was the Bodie Lighthouse. This current lighthouse is the third that has stood in this vicinity of Bodie Island on the Outer Banks in North Carolina and was built in 1872. It stands 156 feet (48 m) tall and is located on the Roanoke Sound side of the first island that is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. While some people (including North Carolinians not from the Outer Banks) pronounce the name with a long “o” sound, it is traditionally pronounced as body. This is derived from the original name of the area, which was “Bodies Island”, after the Body family from whom the land was purchased. Folklore would have you believe it is due to the number of dead sailors washed ashore from this portion of the Atlantic Ocean, which is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic. An impressive array of ships have been sunk due to storms, shoals, and German U-boats in World War II.
Our next stop was the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This lighthouse is right next to our motel, so we thought we would swing by and check it out. Due to lightening in the area we were not allowed up into the lighthouse, so we wandered down to the beach and the boys ran off some of their energy from the long car ride.
We checked into the motel, the boys went for a swim, we grabbed a pizza for dinner at a local arcade, and called it a day.
The day has finally arrived!!! The car is packed, the kids and Molly are in, and at 8:45 we pulled out of the driveway. Today is the first day of our 2013 summer vacation and I can’t wait for all of our fun adventures over the next 7 weeks!
Originally, we had planned on starting this trip in North Carolina visiting with Aunt Barbara, but after her plans changed I gave Davy the option of still going to the mountains or heading somewhere new, and he chose somewhere new. So, to break up the long distance of this trip I decided that our first stop would be to take the boys to Charleston, SC.
I found a little Inn on a creek 5 miles outside of Charleston, the price was cheap and the dog was welcome, so that’s where we are staying.
For dinner I thought that it would be fun to eat on the water. There are so many great places to eat here, but this one was close and right off of Folly Rd, so we stopped at The Crab House….Yum! Davy is now officially a fan of crab legs, although he says that I have to crack the legs for him… Crazy kid! 🙂
Next stop, Folly beach. Davy and I decided earlier in the week that since we were going to be driving up and down the East Coast, that we would be on the look out for lighthouses. Folly has one on the northeast end of the beach called Morris Island Lighthouse. This lighthouse is registered as one of the Nation’s most historic sites. The first ray of light was cast on October 1, 1876 and it is the third lighthouse to occupy this site. This lighthouse was South Carolina’s only first order lighthouse and is now their most beloved symbol of their maritime past. After 7.5 hours in the car, a trip to the beach to see the lighthouse was the perfect ending to our first day.
Filed under Beach, Vacations
Filed under Beach, Friends
It’s a lazy Saturday…one of my favorite kinds. We slept in, ate a little lunch, and then headed out to St. Pete beach to spend the day Brandie, Laurence, Ryla, and Layne. We stopped off at the beach and hunted down a cache. It was hidden right off of the board walk in a tree, it really was a great spot. After that we headed over to the condo. The boys swam in the pool for a couple of hours while we lounged, ate guacamole, and drank cocktails. We walked down to the little beach, the kids played in the sand and climbed on the rocks, and then we headed back to the condo for dinner. They had previously stopped off at Mazzaro’s for dinner items, so we ate and drank like Italian kings. We loved getting to spend the day with them…. Wish we could do it more often! Thanks for dinner B – we love you!
The Weather Channel predicted that the percentage of rain today was going to be 70%, so when we woke up and saw the sun shining in through the bedroom windows we took advantage of the good weather and headed for the beach. Forget the breakfast and forget the coffee…throw on those bathing suits and let’s go!!! They would need to get their wiggles out at some point, so we figured now was as good as time as any to start. We parked at the Rod n Reel pier and took the walkway over to Bean Point.
Yesterday, this couple went walking by us with their hands loaded down with big shells, so we asked them where they found them and they said further down the beach where the currents hit the shore. We were certain that we were going to find the most beautiful shells, and of course we didn’t find one. We walked from one side of the island to the other…and nothing.
We had a wonderful morning and left the beach thoroughly exhausted… By the time we got back to the house the kids were ready for breakfast, and we were ready for coffee!