Chasing Vacation


The Outer Banks and Cape Hatteras, especially, are very meaningful to Taylor. It's his 'happy place', if you will. Since we met I have heard him talk about the famous lighthouse Cape Hatteras.

The image of a lighthouse alone holds a lot of symbolism. Taylor took a surf trip to the Outer Banks in his teen years, and it had a profound effect on him. It may not have been the place, but the time in his life that he was open to such an experience. Although, he would argue it was the place. Whichever the case may be, Hatteras and the Outer Banks is truly a special place.

Climbing the epic tower to the top, you cannot help but feel the significance of the historical mariner's navigator.

The importance of such an edifice is undeniably crucial. The beacon of light offers a reference point for ships sailing in darkness, whether it be dusk, night, or fog.

In our first apartment we had a miniature replica of Cape Hatteras on a ledge between our kitchen and living room, on it Taylor put a sticker along the curving white stripe, which read, 'Brother's Keeper'. This mini lighthouse I looked at many times a day and thought of often. It became a beacon for me.

I thought of all the ships this lighthouse guided and saved from crashing into shallow ground.

In the 1700s, Ocracoke Inlet was one of the busiest inlets in the East. It was one of the few navigable waterways for ships accessing inland ports such as Elizabeth City, Edenton or New Bern. It was here that Blackbeard the pirate found the inlet's heavy shipping traffic ripe for easy pickings.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse protects one of the most hazardous sections of the Atlantic Coast. Offshore of Cape Hatteras, the Gulf Stream collides with the Virginia Drift, a branch of the Labrador Current from Canada. This current forces southbound ships into a dangerous twelve-mile long sandbar called Diamond Shoals. Hundreds and possibly thousands of shipwrecks in this area have given it the reputation as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”.

View from the top.


The beaches along Cape Hatteras National Seashore sparkle at night. When you kick the sand, you disturb tiny dinoflagellates like seasparkle. A chemical reaction causes them to glow with a blue-green light.

Baby Lexi

Hunter helped the boys dig to Japan to see Uncle Noah. It was going fine until a huge wave crashed filling the hole with seawater. Joyfully, they made do and splashed in their 'beach pool'.

Our neighborhood (view from the third story).

Cute Mia girl

Ariel and Marilyn brilliantly put together a surprise baby shower for Maleah, luau style.


Chasing Hurricanes

We arrived in Norfolk, VA (pronounced No-fuk) on Sunday August 16Th to beautiful sunny, humid weather. We drove two hours to the strip of sand known as the Outer Banks (OBX).

(This is the front of the house we occupied)

During the drive I soaked in images of the picturesque towns, equipped with fruit stands, old white churches, and North Carolinian BBQ joints every mile (with crude names like Dirty Dick's--heehee). The houses were just like I imagined, clapboard shingled exteriors painted in bright whites, blues, and natural wood browns, the kind that make you feel splinters just by looking at it. The kind that would surely go up in flames during Arizona's dry extreme-heat summers.
We stayed in the town of DUCK. The name Duck was taken simply for the vast quantity of water birds that used to thrive in the area during the migratory periods. The town is quaint and beautiful. It has a boardwalk scattered with restaurants and boutiques. The town park has free yoga and pilates classes held in the summer mornings; my kind of town!
We spent every day in the fine grain white sand and in the cool water waves. Having only been to West coast and Mexico beaches I had never seen the East coast version. It is quite different. The beach grass and sand dunes were so beautiful, I felt like I was in Nancy Meyers' "Some thing's Gotta Give".
At night we ventured to the beach again with flashlights in hand, searching for crabs. They were everywhere! We would make a circle around the largest one we could find and play 'chicken', trying not to be the first one to move when these suckers came pinching your feet. There was a lot of screaming.....and laughing.
We played many games of Outburst, Scrabble, and cards at night.
Each night every family had a turn to make dinner for everyone. It was really neat to eat a variety of food each night. Everyone made really delicious meals.

Then Taylor's favorite part of the trip came upon us...unexpectedly. Hurricane Bill sent ground swells our way. Taylor was in heaven.
It was amazing how the weather changed --well-- overnight.
The dark clouds moved in and the ocean water got colder and colder. Over the sea hung an eerie, foggy mist; seemingly in war with the warm, sunny skies.
The waves got bigger and crashed harder.
The riptide could carry you 3 miles in 8 minutes.
Mother Nature is truly an awesome force.

We left with bumps, bruises, sunburns, swimmers ear, cut up toes, overpriced souvenirs, sandy scalps and ear canals, and smiles on our faces! We couldn't be happier to go home with our new experiences from the Outer Banks.
Thank you Grandpa Slim and Jima!!