Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Outer Banks & Kitty Hawk

Well, my blog has been on a month hiatus.. Life just gets too busy sometimes and these posts are almost a month old, but better late than never! 

Connie, Linda & Sam presented us with this gorgeous nautical quilt as their hostess gift. I can't even imagine all of the thought and hours that went into it! Wow. Each stitch on it was made with oodles of love... And Connie and Linda made it all by hand! Sam of course supervised to make sure that the architectural ship renderings shown on various squares of the quilt were spot on. 
This beautiful quilt that we will forever treasure, even has a hand-stitched commemorative square. 
Special and thoughtful as can be! 
Meanwhile, back in NYC... The Met Gala raged on and I honestly could have cared less. However, as much mass hysteria as that event creates, it brings with it some good comic fodder! 

      Rhianna paid homage to Big Bird
           and shook up the red carpet
And SJP set the night on fire with her flaming chapeaux
 JLo may have forgotten her underwear...
 But we're not too excited about all that as there are WILD Spanish mustangs to be found!!
Wait. This is no mustang, but if I ride this little guy it would be a wild photo op when it breaks!
Here's our adventure hummer that we will cruise out on the OBX (that's Outer Banks for the newbies) dunes in the city of Corolla, NC.
Driving on the beach was really cool!
 And who knew there was two way traffic?
You never know what kind of vehicle you'll come across.
Even the fire department patrols the beach this way. There are no streets for some beach homes and this is the only way to access residential areas. We even saw the mailman driving down the beach. That was such a funny sight!
 We had a fabulous driver named Gary. 
Connie was his co-pilot and in charge of group applause. A crucial task. 
She did a fabulous job as I knew my sis-in-law would! Here's my spy shot I sneaked. 
We loved this sweet ride!
 These are typical homes in the OBX.
I was keeping an eagle eye out for the horses as they can often hide behind a sand dune.
 And then. Pow! Wild Spanish Mustangs.
I could have photographed them alllll day! 
Possibly the most celebrated among North Carolina's wild horses are the Spanish mustangs of Corolla, though they no longer actually roam the village of Corolla and surrounding areas as they did for hundreds of years. After highway NC12 was completed from Duck to Corolla in the mid '80's, it brought speeding cars, population growth and explosive development that proved too dangerous for the horses.

     Through the efforts of the non-profit Corolla Wild Horse Fund and other cooperating agencies, the wild Spanish mustangs were given protected status and were moved north of Corolla to the last remote and mostly undeveloped land on the northern-most reaches of Currituck Banks. 
Though the wild mustangs are mostly safe there for the time being, their future is still threatened by the pressures of incessant development.
  We then came upon a mom & dad who just had their new little foal the night before...right on someones back steps practically. 
 These rugged and hardy wild horses are proven to be descendants of the Spanish mustangs brought to the New World by explorers and colonists as long ago as the early 1500's. Expert examinations of their physical and physiological characteristics, as well as DNA testing confirm their lineage.
We had such a fun afternoon cruising the outer banks! But, it was then time for a change of scenery...
     So we ventured over to the Wright          Brothers museum in Kitty Hawk. 
Linda and Connie so enjoyed all the history of the infamous Wright Brothers. 
This is a replica of the Wright Brothers first plane. The original is housed at The Smithsonian of course. Hard to fathom all that these aviation pioneering brothers fashioned out of wood and muslin, with some expert engineering skills. 
They were definitely ahead of their time inventing and building the first heavier-than-air plane, powered by a human to fly! all happened here in Kitty Hawk. 
These are rebuilt barns where they housed and built their planes. Below you can see Sam and Brad walking to check out the sheds. 
     Linda joined them out there too. 
Below are three markers which represent the first three attempted flights that the Wright Brothers made. 
After checking out the museum and the Kitty Hawk environs, we headed back to the marina in Manteo. 
We had a relaxing night enjoying a fabulous dinner our captain Bish prepared for us. What a great day! 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Beaufort and Manteo, NC

We pulled into Beaufort, North Carolina (last week..As my blog updates are behind) and found ourselves amidst a quaint little seaside town. Tropical storm Ana didn't bear down while we were here thank goodness!

Connie, Linda & I departed the docks on foot to rustle up some treasures 
in the local shops. Everyone was sweet as southern sugar. 
The maritime flags were flying in the middle of the harbor which lent a festive vibe.
Can you believe this is the gas pump? 
It looks so archaic and ticks along verrrry slowly. 
A few hours and we'll have our tanks full. One drop at a time.

This is your typical old southern town filled with mom & pop stores which is nice to see. 
Nothing too commercial is the best part.
Our view from the boat. It's nice to walk off an be in the center of town.
Below, is a local boat builder honing his craft.
As luck would have it, we ran into our friend Phil from back home. We had a drink on his boat and enjoyed catching up. We got the grand tour of his 94' beautiful yacht. He was on his way to Norfolk, VA to drop his boat off there until he & his wife have their next adventure. Their boat is on the east coast permanently. 
A lot of friends we know like keeping their boats on the east coast 
as there's SO much to do & FUN to be had. We now know why!

Underway, en route to Manteo.
Hard to believe that this beach house is only used a few 
months of the year when the weather is good.
It's hard to tell in this photo, but we navigated many shallow areas of the ICW. Once in a while our depth meter would go to zero & we could feel the props being polished on the sandy bottom. Ruh ro!
An aerial view of the Roanoke Sound that I pulled off my GPS Map. 
Little islands abound & you can visually see the shallows.

Here we are heading into the narrow marina of Manteo, NC. 
Manteo is pronounced with the "t" being silent, so you'd pronounce it as "Man-ee-oh."
The have a "show pony" stage all ready for your epic catch!
And this was to be our slip. Boy, was it narrow!! Why is our slip full of pillars? That's due to the hurricane factor in these parts. Docks end up getting ripped up in hurricanes, so they use these pillars instead. Makes for a dubious docking experience.
However, Brad doesn't sweat these things and docks our vessel effortlessly 
via remote control as he backs into our slip.
The lighthouse in Manteo.
The boys enjoying an artisinal beer as Brad's sisters & I took a quick shopping break.
Downtown Manteo. A very cute (albeit small) seaside town.
The girls and I perused every shop in town, and I found this clever merchandising trick to be effective...Perfect for the south!
Then we found the markers for the early settlers of this city. 
And let's not forget dear Virgina Dare.
The town is named for an American Indian named Manteo, who was of the Croatans tribe of American Indians. Manteo had been "civilized" by the English during a trip to London in 1584 where he and another Indian, Wanchese, learned to become the liaisons between the Roanoke Colony settlers and the Indians, and had favorable interaction with British colonist John White. In fact, Manteo was christened and given the name Lord of Roanoke, making him the first American Indian to receive a title of nobility. Eventually, John White's daughter Eleanor married Ananias Dare, and they had the first American-born English child, Virginia Dare. In 1587, Manteo was friendly to White when he returned to find what the final stage of the Roanoke Colony became. When the colonists disappeared after supplies from England were delayed for three years, the ongoing mystery of "The Lost Colony" began.
The "Lost" colony was established by Richard Grenville, who brought back two Indians, one of them Manteo. Manteo was named the seat of government for Dare County in 1870, and was incorporated in 1899. Dare County is named for Virginia Dare
                         Andy Griffith was a long-time resident of Manteo prior to his death in 2012.
Back in the marina, I came upon one fisherman's haul...He did pretty well by the looks 
of this dock cart. Dock carts make it easy to haul fish to the cleaning station. 
At the cleaning hut, you can drop off your days' catch 
and have it gutted to your hearts content. 
Just don't forgot to tip your fish!
Here's a fish cleaner in action...
Can you spot the fish fillet's all lined up inside?

Fish killer boats are the choice for most locals.
This was a fun stop and we enjoyed it all.