Sunday, September 2, 2012

HR Bucket List #1 - Check!

Jockey's Ridge, Nags Head, North Carolina

John, Connor, and Kate on an adventure hike in Jockey's Ridge

Yesterday we took a day trip to Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head, North Carolina.  One of the cool things about Norfolk is the ease of travel to the Outer Banks.  For those not familiar with the east coast shoreline, the Outer Banks (OBX) is a strand of barrier islands off the coast of Southeastern Virginia and North Carolina. 

OBX tends to be a low key, scenic, and family friendly vacation destination for people who aren't dying for the "spoon fed fun" boardwalk feel and who don't mind the threat of hurricane evacuations.   John and I have vacationed in OBX a few times with family, once when Kate was less than two months old. 
Kate at 6 weeks old chillin' on an OBX beach
(aka *sniff sniff* when did she become a little girl?!)
Sadly, we haven't explored it very much since we moved back to Hampton Roads in February of 2011.  I wanted to make sure we got down there one more time as a family before we move inland.

Jockey's Ridge is a constantly shifting landmark and is the tallest natural sand dune area on the east coast.  It is also a huge hang gliding location and has it's own school for people who want to learn the sport.  Admission is free and hang gliding permits are also free. 

We spent the afternoon wading in the warm pools of water

Connor and Kate who were like,
"I know mom didn't pack a change of clothes so let's get as wet as humanly possible." 
They both earned themselves touristy OBX t-shirts for the drive home.
and exploring the (hot hot hot!) sand dunes

The tallest dunes are 100 feet tall and the sand can be up to 30 degrees warmer than the outside temperature. On a 95 degree day, it is enough to burn your feet.  I personally wasn't prepared for that so I highly recommend the right footwear if you visit the dunes in the summer time. 
After a few hours we were all wet, tired, hot, and ready to go home.  Within minutes of getting in the car Connor was asleep and stayed that way for the entire ride home.
Connor snoozing in his aforementioned OBX t-shirt
I highly recommend Jockey's Ridge for a day trip from Hampton Roads.  The car ride is 90 minutes to 2 hours from most points in the area.  We didn't hit any traffic even though it is Labor Day Weekend so I think it is safe to say you will be fine in that regard.  Just pack a change of clothes, sturdy shoes, and sun protection. 
Happy Labor Day!  Welcome fall!


Jen said...

I have always wanted to visit. I am such a northerner - I have never been to the Carolinas at all. Hopefully we end up in DC/VA next and can check it out.

Yay for day trips that equal sleeping children, too!

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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