Monday, July 7, 2014

family: vacation 2014

Wow! What a vacation we had! It was full of new adventures and so many fun memories. We left Tuesday and our drive was going great until we hit something in the road it popped one of our tires. We were thankfully safe and able to get to the side of the road. Two awesome strangers stopped to help Josh change the tire to the spare and even offered to lead us to a repair shop to get a new tire. The repair shop was in the middle of nowhere but they were so kind and friendly. I got a new tire and we were on our way within 25 minutes. We were amazed at the kindness shown to us. We arrived in Buxton, North Carolina only an hour later than planned and a sweet lady offered to take our picture. 

As soon as we arrived, the hurricane talk was all around us. We tried to do as much as possible in Buxton on Wednesday because of the Hurricane Arthur. I took a beautiful beach walk, we spent a couple of hours enjoyed the beach, and we visited Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. That evening we were informed that Hatteras Island was being evacuated and we would have to leave Thursday morning. Such sad news because we were so looking forward to staying in Buxton. After the girls went to sleep, we called tons of places to find a room on the Outer Banks for the rest of our trip. After an hour, we were finally successful. 

We spent the rest of our vacation in the Nags Head/Kill Devil Hills area. Hurricane Arthur was also supposed to make an impact here but not as bad as Hatteras. When we arrived, we visited the beach before the storm was supposed to roll in. It was quite foggy over the water and the waves were strong. We were standing on the beach and I saw a stingray wash up right beside Josh's feet. With a crowd around him, he successfully helped the stingray return to the water. It was pretty amazing.

The hurricane came through Thursday night while we were sleeping. I actually didn't hear anything from our room. The next morning was incredibly windy and many of the local attractions were closed down. But we enjoyed some relaxation in our room and got bacon donuts. After nap time, the storm had passed and the sun was shining. The storm wasn't as bad as predicted in our area and we were so thankful. We were even able to squeeze in some beach time on the 4th! For dinner, we went to the most kid friendly restaurant in the area. They had a backyard area with a playground and the girls absolutely loved it. When we got back to our hotel, we went out to the beach to see some fireworks that were being set off since the ones the city were doing were postponed. The staff at the hotel were actually setting them off right on the beach where we were. We laid on the beach and the fireworks were right above our heads. Such a cool experience!

Friday was Josh's 30th birthday! To celebrate he bought this crazy hat and silly sunglasses. The morning of his birthday, one of the hotel staff members put a candle in a danish and sang happy birthday to him. We spent some time on the beach during the morning and then headed out for fun in the afternoon. We visited Jockey's Ridge. I have been to the OBX many times but I have never actually went out on the dunes. It is an amazing experience and so breathtaking. We booked Josh's 30th birthday gift: a ride in a stunt plane over Roanoke Island.

We ended our last day with fun and adventure. Josh got to the ride in this stunt plane. They did all sorts of tricks and he was even able to drive the plane for a little bit. He loved the experience. Afterwards we visited the aquarium and the girls enjoyed it so much. The sea turtles were my favorite thing there. So beautiful. We also stopped at the Elizabethan Gardens before we hit the road. It was gorgeous and it was a relaxing experience to wander through the gardens- it even put Olivia to sleep.

We had a wonderful drive by home and we are happy to be home. I love vacationing but there's nothing like your own bed. We are so blessed to have been able to take such an amazing vacation! 

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