Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Beach Report: Part Two

We did manage to have some fun adventures last week in between bad weather and fussy kids.  The grand children spent a day at our house before we all traveled to the beach and we had the chance to show them one of the many limestone caves in the area  I opted to show them Luray Caverns.  Luray is not my personal favorite of our many caverns in this part of Virginia, but it has the biggest "wow" factor.  Since I was concerned about entertaining children who are used to the immediate gratification of the electronic world, I went for "wow".  They seemed to like it.

Sunday and Monday at the beach were both good beach days with lots of sun and manageable surf.  We stay in a town called Duck because it is slightly away from the busy built up areas of the Outer Banks and mostly because the have the most dog friendly beach around.  Dogs are allowed on the beach at all times unleashed if you are able to control them with verbal commands.  Most dog owners are very good about maintaining control of their pets and about cleaning up afterwards.  Our beloved Golden loves the beach.  His favorite activity is fetching in the surf and rolling in the sand.
Seamus will be 11 next month and every time we leave to come home I can't help but wonder if he will be around to enjoy the beach next time.  But he is healthy and active and shows no signs of slowing down except for some occasional stiffness after an overly busy day.

On the sound side of our little town of Duck is a nice board walk that goes through a little park and along some nice shops.  I had the chance to walk the length of this with son #3, grandson #2 and Seamus.  That had been on my "hope to do" list for this beach visit.

Wednesday was a difficult day for son #3.  Stepson #2 rented a fishing charter as a Father's Day present for the husband.  So early Wednesday morning all the males (except the dog) headed to the marina for a 6am departure to fish inshore.  It was a mixed adventure for son #3.  He brought in the season record Spanish Mackerel at 3.5 pounds, but he paid the price in sea sickness - twice.  That afternoon he and I had made plans to go parasailing.  This also was something I had wanted to do for a long, long time.  By this time of day the waters were getting pretty choppy.  We were the last of three groups to go up and all the combined motion of the sea and the air was too much.  Son #3 lost his lunch 600 feet above the water.  Fortunately I was upwind.  It's been many years since I've been spit up on by an offspring!

The grandchildren headed home on Saturday morning since they had a 15 hour trip to get to their home.  That afternoon the husband and I headed north to the Currituck Lighthouse and I made the climb to the top.  The view was beautiful, but it was VERY (what else) windy up there!

I love the history of  lighthouses.  This one had some interesting facts.  It was left unpainted to distinguish it from other lighthouses on this coast which really gives it a distinctive look.  The house for the keepers was a duplex identical on both sides including separate walkways to the lighthouse.  This was in case the two families did not get along in this remote location.  They wouldn't have to share anything, not even the path to care for the light.  We actually traveled to the lighthouse twice.  The first time was on Friday, but when we got there the wait to get inside was over an hour one could go to the beach so they were all looking for alternate things to do.  We went back on Saturday morning since half of the beach houses turn over their occupants on Saturday, half on Sunday.  There was no line at all!

In the afternoon we decided to head south. Our original destination was a Dairy Queen where I had enjoyed skee ball in past visits.  We were disappointed to find that they had removed the skee ball games.  But on the way we stopped at Jockey Ridge State Park.  This is the largest sand dune on the east coast.  I had never been their in all of my trips to the beach.  It was a fun discovery.  They have a boardwalk that leads out into the center of the dunes.  Many people hike the dunes, but I knew that wasn't an activity we could do so we just decided to follow the walkway.  At the end of the path you could go down onto the sand and there a tidal pool (or a small lake?  I don't really know what it's called).  Seamus had fun walking through the water, fetching a stick and (of course) rolling in the sand.
The only downside to this adventure was that it brought us heading north back to our beach house amidst the many people arriving for their beach week.  So, we had a chance to add the experience of traffic to our vacation.

We've always enjoyed the location of the house we rent.  It's right on the oceanfront.  But weather like this almost makes that a disadvantage.  The high winds brought a LOT of sea spray our way.  Even our vehicle parked under the house was covered in salt by the time we headed home.  The ocean side of the house was wet with the spray for days.

That's not rain on those's salt water!

So, that wraps up our trip.  I'm already looking forward to September and hoping for a week of good beach weather to sit under the umbrella, read, fetch with my dog and join the husband in some relaxing surf fishing.  Keeping my fingers crossed for no rain, no wind, no hurricanes and lots of sun!


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