Spring Break 2013: Piedmont to the Coast

We got up Friday morning and headed to the Outer Banks of North Carolina – these barrier islands are a unique area to visit and have captured our hearts over the past eight years.  We did the math and I have been to the Outer Banks 8 times and Eric 7 times.  Not bad – we did well on being tourists in our own state.

Friday was a beautiful sunny day and driving conditions were perfect.  We did encounter the smoke from a large forest fire on the way to the coast.  For a while we were worried it would impact travel.

The trip takes a while but Greta was a sport – she did manage to figure out how to get her socks on her hands as means to entertain herself.

 I love this – a perfect lesson in 1-point perspective.

We were the last ones on the ferry at Cedar Island, we thought for sure we were going to miss our reservation.  Once on board, we had three hours to roam about.

Greta enjoyed running around the ferry, watching seagulls, and watching other people and their dogs.  One particular year, my father in law had a cookie stolen out of his hands by a thieving seagull.  I guarded my child on the ferry this year and made her eat in the car.

 While Greta snacked, I made time to make some art.

The rear view of a ferry is just so mesmerizing.  One year, we were followed by porpoises on our ferry ride.

Ocracoke Island at last!  Ocracoke is one of my favorite places on this planet.  It is like funky Key West meets quaint Southern charm.  The island is not as crowded as the northern parts of the Outer Banks – say Nags Head or Kitty Hawk, but clears out every evening as tourists leave on ferries.  The entire island is easily biked, the entire town is easily walked, and only accessed by ferry.  

We biked around the island a bit before dinner, trying to find my favorite restaurant the Flying Melon Cafe.  We soon discovered it was no longer my favorite restaurant and now a Mexican restaurant.  So we settled on Howard’s Pub.  The decor is like a college town pub meets fisherman vibe.  The kids menu comes served on a Frisbee.  It was ok.  No Flying Melon Cafe though.

We stayed at the Anchorage Inn & Marina which overlooks Silver Lake and Irvin Garrish Highway, or Highway 12. After Greta was in bed we watched a fantastic sunset over Silver Lake and the ferry.

The next morning, we explored the island’s neighborhoods and Ocracoke lighthouse by bicycle. 

We headed out to the beach next.  Greta was so eager to get down to the wa-wa that she was wriggling out of my arms in this photo.

After beach exploring, we headed to see the Ocracoke ponies.   Then it was on to the Hatteras ferry, and a nice scenic drive North on Highway 12 to Corolla – a brand new place for us to explore.

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