By 8:20 on Saturday morning, we had filled Beatitude’s water tanks, finished packing, and loaded our rental car for our week away. It seems a little funny to be taking a vacation from what feels like a permanent vacation already. We are truly blessed! We decided to take the shorter, non-interstate highway route (which actually took longer) rather than drive the interstate system today. We essentially followed the contours of the coastline while following Route 17 up to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We crossed over the ICW on at least three occasions, meaning we’ll follow a similar path northward later this month. The roughly four hundred mile trip took us about eight hours of driving time, plus a couple of stops for food and gas. When we make the trip aboard Beatitude, it will take us roughly 9-10 days of travel. This assumes fifty miles of progress a day, which is a pretty ambitious goal. If we make six knots up the ICW, those are nine-hour days. I’m not sure we’ll want to do that without spending a day here and there along the way. So, we’ll see how long it takes. Ultimately, I’d like to be up in the Chesapeake by mid-July.
By 5:45 p.m., family members had converged on Corolla, NC from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and, of course, South Carolina. We were the last to arrive. Some were already enjoying the pool at the rental house when we finally showed up. We ordered pizza for dinner, played a game of Apples for Apples, and enjoyed each other’s company for the evening.
On Sunday morning, we all headed over to the beach for an hour or so of fun. By all, I mean Cindy and me; our daughter, Julie and Tracy; our nephew, Jon and his wife, Rachelle; their children, Landon and Layna; and Rachelle’s mother, Debbie. It was Landon and Layna’s first trip to the ocean. It was enjoyable experiencing it all for the first time through the eyes of small children. Upon returning from the ocean beaches, we spent a little time in the pool to add relaxation to relaxation.
Once thoroughly waterlogged, several of us took the kids to climb the Currituck Beach Lighthouse, completed in 1875. The northernmost lighthouse of several along the Outer Banks, it is the only one which was left as unpainted brick. This provided a unique, yet beautiful, appearance, unlike any other lighthouse we’ve seen. We all climbed the 214 original steps to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy a magnificent view of the Outer Banks, the Atlantic, and the Currituck Sound.
After dropping off the small children, we drove with Julie and Tracy southward through the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills, stopping to shop as we went. We finally had dinner at Awful Arthur’s Oyster House in Kill Devil Hills before returning to our rental house for the night. It was a great day all around, with one exception. My allergies decided to kick into overdrive. My nose ran like a faucet and I sneezed over and over again. This continued until I finally surrendered and went to bed. It appears that tree pollen is the primary culprit. One flaw in our plan to continue northward during the spring is that the maximum tree pollen counts are following me. Oh well, hopefully tomorrow will be better.