In this first part, Zoë and her parents travel to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Matt and I celebrate TEN years of marital bliss. I admit that at some point, I felt that maybe we should have planned earlier and better and gone someplace really exotic and extravagant. After all, we deserved it. Ten years is no laughing matter. But... we were busy. 2010 has aged us, and taken us by surprise, and as a result, we have little vacation time, lots of premature (?) white hairs, and a real need for some downtime and relaxation. Jetting off to see Macchu Picchu or even lay on the sands of Hawaii, though eventual pies in the sky, just seemed overambitious and exhausting for now. So... we set off instead to the town of Manteo in OBX and ended up having a perfect time!
This was an interesting and fun trip for several reasons. We stayed in the town of the first settlement (where the first child, Virginia Dare, of British born parents was born in 1587) of the United States on the Fourth of July. As we watched the fireworks and sang patriotic songs with our fellow inn-mates (sorry, pun NOT intended!), it was amazing to envision those first pioneers building the very town where we were this day.
It was also fun to visit two of the lighthouses -- there are a chain of famous, haunting lighthouses in the area, including one on a remote island where horses roam free and wild! But those areas are not accessible by car, and would require more time and planning than for what we had the luxury. Someday later, perhaps...
Then there were the beaches on both bay and Atlantic Ocean. Imagine if we were a little more ambitious, we could watch the sun both rise and set over water in one day! We chose instead to sleep in. Zoe preferred waiting for "moon" anyway.
We also enjoyed the Elizabethan Gardens very much! Zoe befriended many a butterfly (new word for her-- dunno why, but she picks up those "b" words really well! Another recently learned phrase: "bug bite").
It was just so, so nice to sit in the rocking chairs at the lovely Inn where we stayed, and look out onto the piers and shimmery blue waters, watching the lighthouse grow warmer in the setting sun, and just ... re-ee-la-aaaaa-x-... every day we found new wonderful, independent, fun coffee stores with fresh, fragrant, coffee and treats. As expected, Zoe made friends everywhere we went. :)
That was pretty much it for the four day vacation. If you want to see more pictures from our trip, here's a full slideshow and a video of Zoe stretching her legs and walking with her recently growing sense of freedom.