Robin and I took Angela, Madison and Austin to the Outer Banks for the Valentine's Day weekend. First time the kids were able to appreciate seeing the ocean. We packed a mini-vacation into 4 days with lots of photos and memories. One highlight was being on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina when they experienced 6-9 inches of snow. It had been 10 years since they received that much snow. We enjoyed the sun, surf, sand and snow. We broke our trip up into the pieces below and hope you like our photos and slideshows. Robin and Angela helped me capture our vacation with some great photography.

(Click on any photo to start the slideshow)

FIRST STOP -- After a nine-hour drive our trip started with a visit to Mount Airy, NC ?Mayberry ?Home of Andy Griffith and inspiration for “The Andy Griffith Show.?We stepped back to a simpler time when we visited Mount Airy. Actor Andy Griffith grew up here, and it's no coincidence that our stroll down Main Street in the "Friendly City" reminds us of people of the town of Mayberry on the popular '60s hit TV series.

We saw Floyd's City Barber Shop, Opie's Candy Store, Wally's Service Station, Mayberry Soda Fountain, Mayberry Courthouse, the Old City Jail, Snappy Lunch, Andy's childhood home, the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Andy Griffith Collection and saw the Squad Car.

PEPPERTREE--We stayed at the Peppertree Resort at Atlantic Beach, which is the oldest of five resort towns along the Bogue Banks on North Carolina's coast. Known as the 'Crystal Coast.' We had a two bedroom resort.  Both bedrooms had their own balconies off from the room.  One bedroom had a large 2-man Jacuzzi and the other bedroom had a sauna. There were 3 tvs to please all likes and a full kitchen with all the essentials. Our front balcony overlooked the tennis courts, playground, Mickey Mouse pool and beach. There was also an indoor pool, game room, and a place to rent movies. It is a gated community with easy access to the main strip of restaurants and souvenir shops.

The condo was only a 10-minute drive from Fort Macon located at the eastern end of the Bogue Banks, one of the barrier islands along the North Carolina coast. Fort Macon park is surrounded on three sides by water--the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet, and Bogue Sound. We ended the day with a dip in the pool followed by a sauna.

CAPE LOOKOUT--We awoke to some beautiful snow. Our objective this day was visit Cape Lookout, the southernmost lighthouse of the Outer Banks and one we had never seen before. The lighthouse is 163-feet-high and flashes every 15 seconds and is visible at least 12 miles out to sea and up to 19 miles. The Cape Lookout lighthouse is the only such structure in the United States to bear a checkered day mark--intended not only for differentiation between similar lighthouses but also to show direction. The side points of the black diamonds point in a north south direction while the side points of the white diamonds point east-west.

We had a nice seafood dinner in Morehead City where we got a close-up view of some pelicans as we ate. We ended the day with a visit to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC--my first duty station. Its runway is so large that it serves as an alternate emergency landing site for the space shuttle launches out of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

SUNRISE--There are not too many things as beautiful as seeing the sun rise over the ocean. Lots of beauty to capture with the camera.

As we headed north we stopped in the town of Plymouth, NC. A cool little town with a Civil War era ironclad ram--CSS Albemarle. Commissioned in April 1864 under the command of Commander J.W. Cooke , CSN, she almost immediately went into action. On 19 April 1864, Albemarle attacked U.S. ships off Plymouth, N.C., sinking USS Southfield and driving away USS Miami and two other gunboats. With their waterborne communications severed, the Union forces were forced to surrender Plymouth to the Confederates. We had lunch in the Outer Banks.

WILD HORSES--Our last leg of the trip was to visit the Currituck Wild Horses. There are just under 200 beautiful wild horses, descendants of the Spanish Mustangs on the island. They are on the northern end of North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier islands. The ancestors of these wild mustangs came over with the earliest explorers in the 1500s.

The wild horses live in northernmost section of Currituck Banks which consists of twelve miles of remote beach, dunes, pine and yaupon forests and marshes bordered on the north and south by two fences stretching east-west between the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound. We recommend Wild Horse Adventure Tours (800-460-4136) .  “Joe?was our tour guide and was an excellent guide who seemed to know every inch of land.  They also rent Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs).  They are an electric two wheeler, similar to a bike. You can pedal or cruise under power.  







Hit Counter