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Ocracoke: An Afternoon In a Sleepy Beach Town

I never intended to take so many days off from blogging…but that warm, salty air had its way with me, and here we are.

Most days at OBX, we either laid out at the pool at the house or walked over to the beach, but yesterday we took a serious adventure.

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[via VisitOB.com]

We started in Nags Head, where we were staying, and ventured to Ocracoke, at the bottom of the map.

It doesn’t look that far (it’s about 90 miles), but it was a serious trek.

We went through the candy cane forest and the swirly, whirly gumdrops to get there.

It’s a fishing village with miles and miles of undeveloped beach, and which used to be home to pirates in the 18th century. During the Civil War, there was briefly a Confederate fort.

The trip is a 60ish-mile drive from Nags Head to Hatteras, which includes crossing from the biggest OBX island to a smaller island called Pea Island, to get to Hatteras and board the ferry.

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A CAR FERRY. My mind is blown.

I knew they were a thing, but I’d never driven my car onto a boat, and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around how thousands of tons of metal wasn’t going to sink the boat.

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We arrived at the ferry around 12 – with everyone else on the OBX – so we had a long wait for a ferry. There were a few shops there, so I killed some time wandering and snapping a few pictures.

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And offering to take random people’s pictures so they’d take pictures of me and my friends.

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YOU GUYS. Cars on a boat. This is weird, right??

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This is honestly one of the most genuine photos of me you’ll ever see. On a boat? At the beach? There is nothing wrong with life.

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I mean, seriously.

We left Nags Head around 10:45, got to Hatteras around 12ish and got on the ferry around 1:30. It’s a 40-minute ferry, so it was after 2 when we got to Ocracoke, and nearly 3 by the time we got to somewhere where we could have lunch.

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So we HOUSED these 50-cent oysters at Topless Oyster.

Half of our group went off to explore the island, but we’d seen a decent amount driving around and looking for a place that was open for lunch. (That wasn’t easy. We’d heard Back Porch was great, but they weren’t open for lunch.

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After our long adventure, all I wanted was to lay on the beach and take a nap. (Beach naps are my favorite hobby.)

Goal, accomplished.

I also was able to get in the water because it was way warmer here than it was in Nags Head! I heard on the radio this morning on my way out that it was about 55 in Nags Head; 70 in Avon (which is north of Ocracoke, so it had to be at least that warm there.)

It was a long trek – and I hadn’t quite realized how long it was before we got in the car – but it was worth it for an incredibly relaxing afternoon on the sleepiest of sleepy islands.

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And then, it was back on the ferry. My car was about three feet from the end of the boat…which was weird.

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See? Terrifying. I yanked the crap out of the emergency brake. I didn’t trust that mesh fence for a second.

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Once I was satisfied the car wasn’t going anywhere, I enjoyed the relaxing ride.

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And amazing sunsets.

I’m glad I had no idea how long it was going to take, because I would have missed out on this fun adventure. It was the complete antithesis of everything New York. I’d go nuts there for more than a few days, but it was a wonderful afternoon.

Do you sightsee on beach trips or just sleep on the beach? For beach trips, I’d rather spend the majority of time relaxing on the beach, but I like a day or two of adventure like this…so long as it also includes beach time.

As for now…I’m back in D.C., chilling on Anne’s couch before we head up to Annapolis for the Zooma Half on Saturday! Any of you doing it?? It’s going to be a hot one.

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Happy Place

Greetings from my happy place!

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Thursday night, I went to N.J. to pick up a vehicle to drive down to OBX.

Friday, I drove from N.J. to D.C., stopping to see my little muffin first.

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I stayed with my friend Tina, and we went to Uncle Julio’s. I typically stay away from frozen margaritas because I can easily down a few of them and a gazillion calories in a very short time, but good lord do I make an exception for these.

Yesterday, I drove from D.C. to OBX. In total, the drive is about 550 miles and took more than 12 hours (YAY Memorial Day weekend traffic), but is totally worth it to come to my happy place.

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After basically two days in the car, I had tons of pent-up energy, and I went out for a run soon after we got in.

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Toto, I don’t think I’m in NYC any more.

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So far, it’s been too chilly to get in the ocean, so we’ve been hanging around the pool. It’s supposed to get warmer later in the week, which will make it even more difficult to leave.

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We have so many good cooks here, and today, someone made this “egg boat.” (It’s basically eggs, pancetta and a bunch of veggies baked into some bread, and it is a slice of heaven on a plate.)

Also making me smile:

Talking one of my friends here into her first half in Philly in September (and I’m going to do it, too!) and running with her this morning!

Watching on the twitters to see friends shattering PRs: Gia, Fiona, I’m looking at you.

And, most importantly, my college best friend/freshman year roomie gave birth to her first child yesterday. She was pretty early, but both mom and baby are healthy, and I CANNOT wait to go up to Maine next month and see them. <3

What’s your happy place?

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