Sunday, September 4, 2011

In My Mind I've Gone to Carolina

All summer long we look forward to the beach trip our family will take to Corolla the week before school starts. It's great to have one last thing to end our summer break and the rates go way down that week as well. The catch is that hurricane season is in full force at that time and you run the risk that one might affect your trip. That happened last year with Earl, we were evacuated a few days early, but we didn’t think it would happen two years in a row. We were wrong. When we first learned that Irene was on her way, we didn’t think much of it, after all, Earl totally missed the Outer Banks last year even though they thought it would make landfall. But as our week drew closer, we realized that this was going to be more serious, we were supposed to be making hurricane preparations all the way at our house to prepare for Irene. We buckled down and hoped for the best. Irene barely touched our county. A few tree limbs down, but everyone had power and it just felt like a windy night which is common around here in the spring. Unfortunately, the Outer Banks did not fare as well. We were told that our trip would be delayed, and I was fine with a day or two, but when people started talking about possibly having to cancel our whole trip, I freaked out. After researching several back up plans, we were told that we would most likely be able to get in by Tuesday. So Monday we headed down to Williamsburg to go to Busch Gardens and spent the night in a hotel there. One of the problems with getting to Corolla was that we had to drive through a town called Duck where the distance between the sound and the ocean is very narrow. There was a lot of damage there due to the wash over of the ocean and the flooding of the sound. Driving through was really heart breaking. All of the piers had been completely destroyed and the businesses right there on the sound were in ruins. There was debris everywhere and random kayaks just strewn about. Luckily, Corolla was fine. They had some flooding and the power went out, but by the time we got there it had been restored. Our vacation home was perfectly unscathed and we were able to start our relaxing.

We don’t really do much at the beach. Our family enjoys going down to the ocean every day and just playing in the sand and surf. The weather was gorgeous while we were there, mid-80’s and if anything, a bit chilly in the water. The beach was littered with branches and piles and piles of reeds from the hurricane, and we used that to build the kids a little play structure one day. Both Cameron and Gavin enjoyed boogie boarding this year, while Mason was content to just dig and play with his trucks in the sand. Another effect of the hurricane was that turtles had been displaced and there were baby terrapins (freshwater) turtles all over the beach where they didn’t belong. We had seen them at the wildlife center they have there and Cameron searched and searched at the beach but it seemed like everyone found one but us. Until the last night while walking on the beach we found one and took him to his natural habitat in the sound.

We enjoyed all of the classes we take every year at the wildlife center, fishing and crabbing and the kids love it every time. We caught 5 fish- a spot, a catfish, a perch and two carp, and in our crabbing class between all of the boys I think we caught seven.

This year we also brought our dog, Aspen. She came with us years and years ago, when Cameron was just an infant, and this year we thought we would bring her again since our house took pets. One of the best parts of Corolla is that you can bring your dog on the beach and lots of families do. Even though our girl is 11 years old now, we quickly found out that she still loves to play fetch in the ocean. Time after time we threw a stick for her to go and get and even though she really got pummeled by some waves she never tired of it. I’m glad that even she got to have a little get away.

Here’s our top 10 list of our Corolla 2011 vacation:

1. 4x4 driving on the beach

2. Watching the sunset on the sound

3. Jet skiing with Dad

4. Walking on the beach at dusk, looking fr shells

5. Watching Aspen play in the ocean

6. Fresh donuts for breakfast

7. Crabbing and fishing class

8. Swimming at the indoor pool

9. Boogie boarding

10. Puzzles and games at the house

So even though our trip was shorter than expected, we still managed to do all of the things we wanted to do and have a great time. We’re already looking forward to next year.


Lisa Allen said...

I love the pictures of Aspen in the water! So glad you were able to go. Sounds like it was a great time.

Love you! Lisa

Kristy said...

Fun vacation! I love the sunset pics of your adorable boys. And seeing Aspen made me so happy! Remember when she and Britain were cute little puppies?! Crazy that they're now "seniors" with gray faces, creaky joints (at least B does!) and are a little lumpy and bumpy (again, at least B is!). When did they get so old? :)

Corri said...

What amazing photographs! I am quite impressed that you managed to catch so many wonderful images.

I'm glad that everything worked out well for your trip!

Angie said...

Cool Tee-pee! Love the picture of your fan and the sunset. Ahhhh.