Our First True Family Vacation

We’re now in Wilmington, NC, spending a couple of days with Clay’s parents before heading back home. Last month, we decided to take our first official family vacation to the Outer Banks during R&R. It looks like we will be leaving NC soon after the end of the deployment so we declared it to be a travesty if we left the state without ever visiting the famed coastline.

Having settled on Ocracoke Island as our final destination, we found it to be a marvelously magical place where life is slow, our cell phones don’t work, and the beer is flowing. After seeing off the last of our party guests on Sunday morning, we made our way to Nags Head, NC, where we spent the night.

We set off for Ocracoke the next morning. It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. To give Weston the opportunity to run around and burn some energy, we stopped at the Cape Hatteras lighthouse before catching the ferry to Ocracoke Island.

The Cape Hatteras lighthouse is the 23rd tallest traditional lighthouse in the world. Because we had the little guy, we chose not to make the 12 story climb to the top. I love the stripe!

After driving off the ferry, we continued on Route 12 along the thin island until we reached the village, located on the southern tip. Our hotel was located on Silver Lake Harbor, the heart of the village.

Often referred as the “Pearl of the Outer Banks”, Ocracoke Island came to be in the 1700s due to it’s location on a busy trade route. Not only was Blackbeard, the infamous pirate, killed there in 1718, but Ocracoke Island served as a strategic point of entry during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Below is the view from our hotel balcony, isn’t it divine?

The Ocracoke Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in North Carolina. The light shines 14 miles out to sea and the tower stands 75 feet tall. Gorgeous.

The little guy enjoyed spending the mornings outside with us as we sipped coffee and watched boats we will never be able to afford.

The beaches of Ocracoke are continuously voted among the best in America. Weston certainly enjoyed the sand and we soaked up the last bit of sun before cooler weather sets in.

And then it was time to leave. We took a two-hour ferry ride from Ocracoke Island to Cedar Island. We couldn’t have asked for better weather and we thoroughly enjoyed our first true family vacation.

Words can’t begin to describe how wonderful a feeling it is to watch my husband interact with our son. It will be tough to say goodbye again but I wouldn’t trade these two weeks for anything in the world.

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