Guest Post: Outer Banks – What a week!

This is a guest post from Kristie at Family, Scrapbooks and Coffee. Be sure to stop by her blog 🙂

Outer Banks – What a Week!

Every year, we do an annual trek from New Jersey (where the beaches are beautiful but crowded beyond belief) to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Hatteras Island in particular. This has been our summer vacation for the past 8 years. Generally, we have gone with other families, sharing a large, beautiful beach house (they’re called “cottages” but I don’t know how – most are beautiful, three or four stories {some with elevators!} and certainly not what I would consider a cottage.) This year, however, we were on our own … but we made the best of it!

A week before our scheduled departure of 7/9/11, we finally booked our cottage. Not for lack of trying, though. We had been giving offers of $1,500 for the week for homes that were priced way above that. Once you add the hotel tax, the NC tax and whatever extras the realtors were throwing on, you were at 15%+ above your weekly rental anyhow. I wanted to stay on a “budget” if you can call it that at all. Most realtors didn’t even bother calling the owners with our offers. Outer Beaches Realty, however, was different. Not only did they call the owner directly with our offer, they called me back immediately and accepted our credit card over the phone as payment before the owner could “change their mind.” We scored beautiful Pamlico Peace as our home for the week.

Our 8 hour drive down was uneventful after a horrendous storm in NJ the previous evening. We did hit residual rain while entering Hatteras Island but score again for Outer Beaches Realty ~ our home was ready when we presented ourselves at their offices at 1:30 p.m., far in advance of the 6:00 p.m. check in time. When we got to the home, we couldn’t believe our eyes. We were right on the sand! We knew we would be but had no idea how spectacular it really was. The home was 3 stories: a locked first story with storage only; the second floor had 3 bedrooms, a den, a laundry room, 2 full bathrooms and a hot tub on the deck; the third floor had a living area, dining room, powder room, kitchen and master bedroom with full bath – and a beautiful deck for viewing the sunsets each evening. Wowza!

We enjoy going to Hatteras Island rather than other parts of the Outer Banks because it isn’t yet too commercialized. There are 7 villages on the entire island: Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco and, of course, Hatteras. We stayed in Frisco where we enjoyed beach access by the Billy Mitchell airport (yes, if you fly propeller airplanes!), driving our 4×4 right onto the beach and setting up camp each day. (Each day but Saturday and Thursday but who’s counting?) Hatteras Island is home to one major supermarket chain, located in Avon but has a few other family owned supermarkets throughout the island. There are two mini golf courses (on opposite ends of the island), the one in Frisco also has GoKarts. We treated the family to golf but saved the GoKarts til next year when everyone will be tall enough to drive their own. We found many ice cream shoppes! Surf shops, trinket shops, bait shops ~ you name it, they’re up and down the island. Fast food? Nope! Locally owned restaurants (ok, one chain that I saw) are the norm, rather than the exception. Barbeque but mostly seafood are the specialties that are most often boasted on the road front signs.

The days we didn’t head to the beach for the day? Saturday was our arrival day. The kids played in the sand while we visited with Tim’s brother and sister in law who were leaving for NJ the next day. Thursday? We had a late start after a storm blew through while we were sleeping. It was a little to windy for the beach so we visited the Graveyard of the Atlantic museum which is so cool and we highly recommend it! We also took the time to explore the drive on beach in Hatteras, just at the tip of the island. Way cool. Made us realize that we can stay in Hatteras and be able to drive on beaches in either Hatteras or Frisco, where ever we feel like being that day with no problems.

During our Thursday drive on the Hatteras beach, our son asked if we could take the ferry over to Ocracoke Island. Much to our surprise, my husband said yes! The kids were so excited. The wait wasn’t long (as long as it could have been – my brother in law waited hours the week before) and we were able to be quickly seated at the infamous Howard’s Seafood Restaurant (the kids’ favorite because their meals are served on frisbees.) After lunch, a quick stop to Teach’s Hole (a souvenir store focusing on mainly pirate type stuff) a drive by the lighthouse, we waited in line to get the ferry back to Hatteras Island. In years past, we’ve gone to the 4×4 beach on Ocracoke for an afternoon, after lunch at Howard’s. This year, it was windy and we weren’t prepared for it at all. Ocracoke is an artsy type island with many marinas, restaurants and crafty stores.

We even had professional photographs taken, right at our house by Daniel Pullen. We have used his services for the past few years and love his style and creativity with our family. He even came out knowing that Tim and I had pink eye and looked terrible. Said that he could “photoshop” that. NICE!

On Saturday, we woke up bright and early to begin our long drive home. It was sad to leave such a fun vacation but nice knowing that we’ll be back next year! If you haven’t been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I highly recommend it!

Thanks to Jenn at Coolest Family on the Block for having me guest post today! If you would like to hear more about the antics in our everyday lives or check out a book or two that I’m reviewing this summer, please stop by Family, Scrapbooks and Coffee to say hello!

About Jenn Rian

Jenn Rian is a mom, blogger, actress, yoga instructor, and cosplayer. She blogs about as often as she showers, which isn't very often. Author of and (

Posted on July 26, 2011, in Guest Posts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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