Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Travel blog continues: Outer Banks, NC

Once again, we find ourselves not quite where we were "supposed" to be.

We originally planned Outer Banks as our first "real stop" on our 5-week, semi-spontaneous RV road trip. We had 10 days scheduled there and then we were moving on to Charlottesville, Va., Myrtle Beach, SC, Tybee Island, NC, and finally, Cocoa Beach, Fl. Well, after three and a half days of driving, 2 ferries, and 1000 miles overall, we arrived in our blessed OBX campground only to have four consecutive days of rain and record low temperatures. In spite of (once again) making the best of our situation, this was definitely not the OBX blissful experience we remembered from past years. We decided to extend our stay by a couple of days, but once the sun (and all the other campground kids) came out and the waves kicked up, the boys asked to stay even longer. In total, we spent the last 17 days at the Cape Hatteras KOA in Outer Banks, where there was an excessive amount of daily surfing, sunning, Dairy Queen-ing, and boozing (the boys did the DQ part and Hubby and I drank our calories). We decided to cut out the middle portions of the trip, head back home to South Florida for a few days, and then go back out as scheduled to Cocoa Beach, Fl. We were "supposed" to be in South Carolina right now, but instead, we are only a couple of hours away from home for our unexpected (and actually, very welcomed) mid-trip break at home.

This trip, admittedly, was very different from our other RV trips. The boys, now nearly 15 and 12 years old, are changing: they bicker more over stupid things, crave more time with other campground kids, and are not quite as eager to sit around playing Jenga and eating s'mores with Mommy. Because of COVID, some of the places and activities were closed or limited. After having quarantined at home together for so long prior to the trip, the four of us were not quite as good at being in a tiny space together for so long. And those first few days of crazy rain and cold definitely put a damper on things. But there's still a magic, for us, to this place. Even with an experience that was short of perfection, Hubby and I noticed it...it's the vibe, the energy, the feeling there, in that space. The first time we visited Hatteras, I said that if Hawaii and Key West had a baby, this would be it. That feeling is still there, and if this is our "consolation prize" for losing our pre-Covid planned Hawaii trip, then I am certainly not complaining. 

At Cedar Island, the campground where we catch the ferry early in the morning for OBX...
burning off some energy after sitting in the RV for a couple of days on the drive north.

No matter how many times we've done it, I'm still always amazed when we load up the RV and truck onto the ferry for the two water crossings over to the cape

Making the best of the rainy days with sightseeing

They surfed pretty much every day while I drank and read...
probably why I'm the only one who gained weight on this trip!

One of our traditions: nighttime crab hunting. They graduated from catching tiny ones with nets while squealing to catching huge ones with their bare hands.
Part of the magic of this place: the sunsets on the sound side of the campground

One of my favorite moments of the trip...
 the boys and I watching Daddy finally kicking ass on a kite board

Homebase for 17 days

Campfire plus the traditional OBX stilt houses lit up in the background equals magic

On the last night, right before bed, the boys thanked us for "an amazing family trip," so I guess in spite of the spontaneity, bumps, weather, and bickering, we did all right...

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