Outer Banks Anniversary Trip

White sand beaches, the ocean breeze blowing against my face while I lay in a hammock overlooking the turquoise waters. It was going to be a relaxing week in Tulum, Mexico in celebration of our anniversary.

Ahh… newly wedded bliss

Instead… I bitched out. Cheapness got a hold of me and I realized that I didn’t really want to spend the money on airfare. What we needed was a different solution.

A little background… Mike and I married in June of 2013. I’m actually a terrible wife because I never remember the exact date. I know without a doubt that it is somewhere between the 25th and 28th of June. I feel like it’s the 26th, but then I also feel like every time I think that date, I get it wrong. Let’s blame it on my Lyme’s disease.

Anywho, back to the background.

As you have probably figured out from looking elsewhere on this blog, we have 3 children. Each year my two oldest leave for the summer to visit the grandparent’s but my youngest was well… too young. My mom prefers to watch children that can tell her what they want and “wipe their own ass”. The joke was on her this year… Kennedy hasn’t mastered the second prerequisite 😀 😀 😀

However, she is old enough to talk, and the allure of a 2 yr old hilarious sour patch kid was too much to pass up. So she agreed I could throw her in with the others.

They were supposed to stay for 2 weeks, but we lost a day due to car troubles (or at least that’s what I was told… maybe the allure started to wear off after reality set in).

So here we are with 1 week, 6 days of proposed freedom. The crumb snatchers  little angels all set for their stay in my hometown of Chicago, and we needed something to do— On a budget mind you 🙂

Enter the Outer Banks

I’ve called North Carolina my home since 2008.  Since then, I have created long ass yearly local bucket lists of experiences I’d like to have in the area (hence them being LOCAL lists).

Amongst the top have been: Whitewater rafting in Charlotte–until the damn amoeba struck and killed again (more on that in a later post)– Driving a race car on the speedway; Heading to the indoor skydiving facility; and checking out the wild horses, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and the Lost colony play in the Outer Banks aka OBX

Now I’m woman enough to admit that each year I’ve written these items down and shamefully, each year I did not take the time to make them happen.

Well not this time! After meeting my mom halfway to drop off my precious (in Golem’s voice). I took a moment to let the tears well up to the brim, then blinked them away, did a happy dance and headed towards the coast.

 

If you are unfamiliar with the OBX allow me to be of service. The OBX are barrier islands located in North Carolina. On one side you have the Pamlico Sound and on the other you have the Atlantic Ocean. For the uninformed, OBX is the site of England’s first attempt to colonize America. It is also home to the tallest light house in America, and an island full of wild horses.

If you look at the map above, you will see Kitty Hawk listed. We stayed maybe 5 minutes from Kitty Hawk in the town of Nag’s Head.

Because we had already driven 8 hours to meet my mom, we didn’t really feel like driving the other 8 to get to the Outer Banks in the same day. To break up the trip we drove 5 hours from Ohio, to get to Richmond, VA. I won’t waste much time describing our stay. I can sum it up with two words.

Absolute Shit.

Yup, that pretty much describes it to the best of my abilities. I thought I’d be ok going with a Hilton… boy was I wrong. I shudder to think of what a black light would have shown on this sticky disgusting carpeted floors. It almost makes me want to shower thinking about it. Good thing I’m not still in the hotel… otherwise it would’ve been a cold shower, since there was ZERO hot water >(

To be fair, I was only there for the night, and I did not have a chance to properly check out the city. My only exposure was getting lost in the hood somewhere downtown, and the craptastic hotel. I would like to go back one day for a history tour.

After an unsatisfactory stay in Richmond, VA my mood coming into OBX was less than stellar.

Thankfully OBX was ready for me. I fell head over heels IN LOVE with this place.

Maybe it was because the bar was set so low that anything would have impressed me, but that would only be able to account for the first day. Each day was picture-perfect… both literally and figuratively.

Upon arrival both Mike and I were hungry hippo’s. Thanks to our AirBnB host we moseyed on down to the local crab shack. Aptly titled “I Got Your Crabs” 

It was here that I tried frog legs for the first (and last) time. They weren’t NASTY per se… but I definitely don’t want to eat them again.

 

I just couldn’t get past the fact that I was consuming parts of a frog. Plus they were kind of stringy and had this odd taste of both fish and chicken. I took a bite to say I tried it, and handed my  portion to my husband.  Being the fantastic garbage disposal that he is, he ate both our portions and would’ve wanted more, but he needed to make room in his belly for the crab (both snow and blue) that was about to come our way.

In the end, I enjoyed the restaurant, but I don’t think it was worth the prices. The meal ended up being around $50-$60 for the two of us. The crab while extremely fresh, was not the most flavorful. Call me crazy but I prefer when the crab is thrown in a bag seasonings. Give me cajun, give me OldBay, hell even give me garlic and herb! Just give me something other than plain butter.

Once we finished up at the restaurant, we made our way to our AirBnB rental.

This was our first time using AirBnb, and thanks to an amazing host, it will not be my last. As a matter of fact, I already have 2 additional homes booked in December for our month long trip to Mexico.

We made a vow to explore as much of the Outer Banks as we could squeeze in during a 3 day stay, and I’m pleased to share it was a tremendous success. { Insert a Borat “Greeaaattt Success” gif lol}

 

Our first adventure of the day… heading on a 6 mile round-trip bike ride from our studio to the Wright’s Brother’s Memorial. The owner of the home had bikes available, so I figured why not put them to good use!

Ignoring the fact that it was a 101 heat index for the day, I packed up our book bag with water bottles and random necessities (sun cream, bug spray, granola bars in case hungry striked, etc)

I loved every moment of cruising on that Schwinn Beach Cruiser. I honestly don’t know if it was a Schwinn or not, but that’s the first bike brand to pop in my head, so that’s what I’ll pretend it was.

A few benefits of riding a bike vs driving a car… FREE ENTRANCE into the park; heart healthy; avoided traffic; and it was just FUN!

At one point we had to stick our bikes on the rack so that we could climb the massive hill. The pictures don’t do it justice. Big ups to the Wright Brother’s. They had to make the arduous climb each day while working on their aircraft. After one trek up I didn’t want to walk back to my bike, let alone do this every day! 🙂

Out of a combination of exhaustion and stupidity, I decided that I should attempt to roll back down the hill. This plan was not thought through properly. I didn’t think much about how dizzy I would become. After calling me a dumbass, my husband decided to record me. The video doesn’t do a good job of showing the incline, or how fast I started to roll. But rest assured, I rolled fast enough to feel the world spin for about 7 minutes after I stood up.

Later in the night we attending The Lost Colony outdoor play. According to their website, they are the highest rated and longest running outdoor play. I don’t know what the competition looks like for  professional outdoor plays, but both I and Mr.Mike enjoyed it. Although, I wish they would spray for mosquitoes. I’m allergic to mosquito bites and had to spray myself down from head to toe with OFF. I was definitely bringing sexy back with my smell.

The next two days found us sleeping in and me having to get some real estate work done before heading out to enjoy the day. We headed back to Manteo (where the Lost Colony play is held) and toured the grounds. I learned that not only was this the site of the Lost Colony, it also made history again when it became a refuge for runaway slaves during the civil way.

At some point we made the hour long drive to visit Cape Hatteras in order to visit the tallest light house in America.

I wanted to die on the walk up there. Clearly my diet of ice cream bars and hot chips is not working in my favor. They have 8 landings to allow you to catch your breath. By the time I reached the 4th landing I was praying for Scotty to beam me up the rest of the way.

On a side note, Mike told me that I had a great sweat-stache going on. I think he was jealous.

After walking for 10 days straight  15 more minutes, we made it to the top. The view was beautiful. Arguably, even better than the view was the fact that the wind made my curly pony tail blow to the top of my head. Resulting in a pineapple-esque design with my hair. I was hear for it, as the ugly picture provided me with many laughs.

Sponge Bob inspired hair do

I’m happy that we made the walk to the top, though I can’t say I feel the urge to do it again anytime soon.

Since this post is beginning to get extremely long I’ll wrap it up

Aside from eating the best Booty Freeze no, not the groceries… it’s at an ice cream shop (keep your mind out the gutter!) Walking around the sand dunes is one of my favorite memories. Even though we had a mini argument while there. It went something like this…

Mike: Why are you walking so damn fast! Slow your stubby legs down…

Me: No! I don’t like being trapped behind slow moving people. Either speed up or walk alone. I’ll wait for you at the top

Mike:  {Mike starts jogging up the sand dune to keep up with me} … Seriously Kalyn! slow. the. f*&k. down…

Me: Hahahahaha

Once we were at the top, the bickering stopped. We simply appreciated the views and tried to avoid getting sand blown into our eyes.

All in all it was a fantastic trip. I can’t wait to go back. OBX moved it’s way up to my list of favorite places… right next to Asheville, NC and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I’m sure as we continue on our adventures this list may change overtime, and I look forward to seeing what other destinations have to offer.

 

And that was the trip!

Oh, well I lie. I forgot to mention that we took a ride on some jet-ski’s and while cruising around the waters, got a chance to see wild horses and a couple of ship wrecks.

See the wild horses in the background?

Cities visited: Duck, Manteo, Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Buxton

Cost of Accommodations: $493/3 night stay

Cost of food (including any groceries and restaurants) – $200

Amount spent on attractions: $151

Total Cost of trip: $844 (not including gas)

We originally planned to spend 2k on our trip to Mexico. By staying local we saved $1156. Which will go towards making our BIG move out of the USA

 

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