OBX June 8-15 2013

On the morning of June 8th we loaded up our car and headed out to pick up our three granddaughters. We loaded more stuff into our car and into Brittany’s and headed out … Brittany with Hailey and we had Samantha. It’s a long drive to the ocean from Charlotte and we were headed for the town of Duck on the Outer Banks … We arrived about supper time, got into our cottage and managed to get grocery shopping done for a week at the beach.

Sunday morning first thing we headed for the beach … only 300 yards down the road on a dead end street. This would pretty much be our routine for the week. Sammy and Hailey had a fantastic time playing in the water (carefully – rip currents from Andrea) and Grampa made a sand turtle that the girls helped with .. a little.. We also spotted pods of dolphins during our mornings and evenings at the beach. They weren’t very far out either. After lunch we headed to Paradise Fun Park for Electric-fast go-karts, the Spin Zone bumper cars, a Pirate-themed putt-putt course with waterfalls, pirate ship, caves. Samantha and Grampa road the electric karts and the bumper cards. Hailey, Brittany and I played a round of miniature golf and and Samantha joined us for a few more rounds. Suddenly two exhausted girls were ready for another round so off they went. Boy were the girls beat at the end of that day.

Most days were mornings at the beach and later in the day exploring the Outer Banks. One of our adventures took us out to Currituck Lighthouse where we flew kites for the afternoon. One evening we took a 6pm tour of the herd of wild Colonial Spanish
Mustangs who roam freely on the northernmost Currituck Outer Banks. The wild horses of Corolla are registered Colonial Spanish Mustangs. There are 24 to 25 harems in the Corolla herd. A harem is the family of a stallion generally consisting of one to four mares and possibly a yearling colt or filly. Each harem has a home territory that they inhabit most of their lives. The Corolla wild horses usually live into their late teens.

Another adventure was down to the famous Hattaras Lighthouse and then a drive to the Ocracoke Ferry Landing. Unfortunately we had to wait an hour and twenty minutes to get on the ferry and the short trip we remembered took over an hour. The girls were thrilled with their first boating experience and loved being on the open water. At the end of the ferry trip we found a place for lunch and then headed back to the Hattaras Landing. Fortunately the wait for the ferry back wasn’t nearly as long.

The hottest day (95) we went over to a small shopping area called Scarborough Faire and wandered around. Turned out they had one of the young colts there who had been taken for some reason from the herds and the girls were able to pat him and get their pictures taken. They also had their faces painted and collected a small plant along with balloon animals (Hailey a horse and Sammy a cat).

Our last full day at the beach was a complete turn-around. The temperature dropped to 70 with Northeast winds and it got down right chilly. The girls lasted about 45 minutes so we decided to have lunch and ended up roaming over to Roanoke Island and visiting a replica of the lost colony.  We watched the blacksmith forge a musket ball (which Hailey got) and then they tested out the weapons, the stocks with Sammy and her head in the hole and both girls learned how to carve a piece of wood along with some bowling (or whatever it was called way back then)..  .

On May 8, 1587, a group of 117 men, women and children left England to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Excited by stories from other travelers to the New World, the colonists under the command of John White headed for a destination on the Chesapeake Bay.  Due to concerns for the upcoming summer hurricane season, the colonists were forced to stop their journey earlier than planned, and they settled on an island off the northeast coast of what is now North Carolina, at the southern edge of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  Roanoke Island is situated off the coast of North Carolina. Jamestown, Va., is located at the James River, a Chesapeake Bay tributary. This colony on Roanoke Island was the first English settlement in the New World. In 1587, shortly after the arrival of the colonists, John White’s daughter gave birth to the first child of European parents to be born on American soil. Her name was Virginia Dare.  However, life wasn’t easy for the early colonists, and on August 27, 1587, John White–now the new governor of the colony–left the settlement and returned to England to get more supplies.

Because of England’s war with Spain, there were no ships to spare. Three years passed before John White could return to Roanoke Island with the supplies. When he finally returned to the colony in 1590, he found the island deserted. The only trace left by the colonists was a mysterious ‘cro’ carved in a tree, and ‘croatan’ carved in a fence post.

Where did the colony go, and why did they leave the island? Where they went or what happened to them is still a mystery. What exactly happened to the colonists at Roanoke Island is still a mystery, but the research indicates that the colonists at both Roanoke and Jamestown established a settlement during the worst possible times.

Saturday morning we cleaned up the cottage, packed the cars and headed back to Charlotte.  After dropping the girls off at home we headed home and collapsed.  What a wonderful week at the beach though much hotter than I associate with the beach.  The girls had a raft of new adventures as well as old ones.

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