In May we drove to the Outer Banks in North Carolina for a long over due vacation. I was was excited and hesitant at the same time, because we were doing a 4×4 vacation. This meant we had to rent a 4 wheel drive jeep, and drive 3.5 miles down the beach, and over dunes to get to our final destination, our vacation home for the week.
Driving down the beach for the first time felt a bit unnerving to put it mildly. We got in later in the afternoon and high tide was trickling in. High tide when on a 4×4 vacation means you must drive in deep ruts and yes, over dunes. As the passenger it felt like we were going to tip over more times than one. I kept yelling at my husband to slow down, while I held on to the roof as if that would stop us from rolling! He finally told me to get out my camera and redirect my anxiety, so I did!
The dunes were beautiful. My mind was beginning to change gears. I kept wondering as we drove in how I was going to handle being sort of stuck off the main beat and path for 7 days, due to time constraints due to the tides and you sure don’t want to be driving 3.5 miles down the beach after dark- there are no lights. However, once we got settled in I realized that this was my paradise for the week. Every vacation I’ve been on demanded plans from morning until evening. Sometimes you really do need time just to chill. I never dreamed that it was possible to enjoy time by ‘enjoying time.’ I never realized that sometimes when you take a vacation where you cook in more than out, walk the beach each day, see wild horses in your yard and trotting on the beach, watch the sand pipers, pelicans and more can bring you the most peace. It’s pretty cool to be taking a hike along the beach and suddenly see the Wild Mustangs come trotting right by you. It’s even better when you have your camera!
This was the ‘road’ going up and down the dune to our vacation rental, and it was much steeper than it appears in this photo below.
This Wild Mustang was on the side of the dune as I was walking down for my daily hike along the beach.
I have a camera with 30x Optial zoom and I was able to capture this fishing boat from shore. My husband estimated the boat was out at least 3-4 miles.
My husband surf fishing. The guys surf fished every afternoon until dusk. The gals… well we sat on the beach with our drinks in hand, and jamming to tunes. We pretended to share in our husbands thrill of surf fishing. All kidding aside, it was surreal watching the tides and sunset each evening.
A view of the beach and a storm was just beginning to brew. Nothing like a thunderstorm rolling in over the ocean!
I have been fortunate to vacation in many States over the years, but this by far was not only a fun vacation, but the most relaxing. Most people say they need a vacation from their vacation once they get home. For the first time we were able to say, it’s nice to be home, but I feel so renewed!
We stayed on Swan Beach. You enter the ‘beach road’ from Corolla. Route 12 ends on a beach ramp, and the beach road then becomes Route 12. If you drive down the entire beach road approximately 7 miles or so you will hit the Va border.
I can’t wait to go back, because I finally realized a vacation is what you make of it, and honestly I felt like a young child again without any agenda!