A year in the making….

The family vacation.  One long year of planning.

I had never been to the East Coast.  West Coast….all the time growing up, but never the East.  And I kind of like road trips and new places.

It had been six years since we had done a family vacation.  I don’t mean just the husband, kids and I.  I mean the aunt, uncle, grandparents and cousins.  Yeah….a 13-people-in-one-house type vacation.  And it was great.

We started planning this in the summer of 2013.  Because $5000.00 is a lot easier to pay monthly than all at once.  We originally had nine people going, but what 20 and 14 year old wants to hang around with a bunch of old people?  So it grew to 11 so they could each bring a friend.  Then my brother passed away………and we realized life is just too short…..Mom and Dad needed to come also.  Thirteen people, in one house.  But it was the perfect size for all of us.  And the perfect distance to the beach.  As in, right on the beach.  It took about 14 hours to get there, but it was so worth it.

Destination:  Rodanthe.  Yes, this Rodanthe:

Yes, you can stay here.  No, it is not cheap.  No, Richard Gere is not here.  Did you watch the movie?  This house was almost demolished.  Fans of the movie bought it, re-decorated it so the rooms looked like the movie, and moved it….down the road.  You can rent it here


This was our piece of paradise for the week:

Tide Song, Rodanthe NC

And this was our view every morning:


We noticed a camera on the top deck….didn’t think too much about it except that maybe it was the owners just wanting to be able to enjoy the view also, maybe watch for storms coming in, etc.  First…….we are sooooo glad we didn’t know that it was this “Web Cam of Shame” .  Second, we are kind of sad we didn’t know what it was, because we would have had so much fun with it.  We do wonder, however, just how many people saw my son climbing up to the top deck….




…….or this lovely sight….yes, I’m putting it out there…yes, that is me, laying down, taking a break, looking for my glasses, feeling around for a sea shell.  What ever I am doing, I am NOT trying to get back up from being knocked down on my you-know-what-for-the-tenth-time.  And yes, the person responsible for taking this picture (and several others in this ‘series’) is still alive.  For now.



While I can talk about doing nothing but sitting on a beach all day, we all know I can’t do that for 6 days straight.  There is too much new stuff to see!



Lighthouses, piers, wild horses, dolphins, memorials….

You can climb all of these, but I did not.  These are beautiful, and tall……and I don’t like heights.

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Bodie island Lighthouse, pronounced like body…..and don’t you dare pronounce it any other way, the ladies will correct you….

 Bodie Island Lighthouse

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which got moved back about 2,900 feet because of beach erosion.

 Moving Cape Hatteras Lighthouse


Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla….these folks are particular about how things are pronounced, so it is Corolla like Cuh-rah-La….not like the car Toyota makes…Cor-roll-la…

 Currituck Beach Lighthouse


Rodanthe Fishing Pier…..which was damaged heavily this spring.

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Rodanthe Pier Web Cam


If you ever feel like giving up, read about the Wright Brothers…..and then get out there and Get. It. Done.  Seriously.  GET IT DONE.

Wright Brothers Flight Path




Wright Brothers Memorial


North of Rodanthe, there are several ‘touristy’ towns….Nag’s Head, Duck, Kill Devil Hills and Corolla.  Corolla is home of the wild horses, and this really is a must see.

There are about 80-100 horses in this area…and we were this close to them.  Not thisclose, because these horses are protected by law, and you cannot get closer than 50 feet to them.  Despite that, there were idiots that thought it was ok to get closer to them….with their small children.  It’s more about respect really….these are wild animals and you are in their home.





Our tour guide, Butch, was great!  Ask for him, tell him his long lost love sent you.  But don’t use my name…..stalker laws or what ever…..

Wild Horse Adventure Tours


Dolphins, dolphins, dolphins.  Who doesn’t like them?

Captain Johnny Dolphin Watch…you cannot smoke on the boat, or drink…or eat bananas.



 Captain johnny’s Dolphin Tour

If I can figure out how to get the video trimmed down a little, I’ll post it.  It’s a beautiful sight to see.


My Christmas present to myself, one day.

This is the most comfortable porch swing I have ever sat in.  I seriously need this in my day to day life.  I think I would be  a much more pleasant person.  No joke.


I have this crazy habit/curse that happens when I go on vacation .  Not EVERY time, but enough to be annoying.  I get sick, or my allergies that have been dormant for a few years, come flaring back.  A few years ago, nine of us went to Great Wolf Lodge…yep, got a cold that morning…..camping this year over the 4th, yep…allergies.  Such was the case during this trip.  By Tuesday, I could feel the scratchy throat starting, by Thursday morning, all sense of taste and smell were gone.  So, while the entire house was enjoying these:


They tasted like……..nothing.  I ate two bites and gave up.  I will say, I did have the pleasure of eating breakfast the next morning that tasted the same as dinner the night before.  Nothing.  It all tasted like nothing.  As did the Bojangles that everyone raved about.  Stopped there on the way home, still have no idea if it tastes ok or not.

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The road trip home was long.  Real long.  As in 19 hours long.  Never again.  We left at 6AM, and got home at 1AM.  There was one place in particular I had to see tho’.  I’ve read about it for years, and am quite aware of the urban legend surrounding it.  It was such a sight to see, and the pictures don’t do it justice.  And I just found out there are plans for it!!   Wilson whirligig park  Thank you, Mr. Simpson.

This is how I stumbled upon it, and the reason I had to go see it.

Acid Park


“No creation is greater than it’s creator. Now you have gone home to yours. Will miss you Mr. Vollis”





And how can you not take pictures of abandoned buildings?



Or Mayberry….


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…or if you need a little blessing….


While we can’t wait to get back to the beach, it won’t be Rodanthe for a few years….it will be here….

Picture Credit: A. van Zwienen


Key Largo




2 thoughts on “A year in the making….”

    I totally needed this on this week, you honestly don’t know.
    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes because I am so happy to read your words on a page.
    And I so want to go to Key Largo someday……
    Your pictures make me want to go to Rodanthe.

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