Tag Archives: Outer Banks

Alligator River Adventures!

22 Jun

I feel as though I am neglecting the blog a bit, but I have a good reason.  I am on vacation…with my family…which is pretty important.

There’s been one line that has been repeated over and over again on vacation, “Well, I’m just trying to be on vacation!”  This can be used at any time when you are feeling particularly overwhelmed by the calmness of vacation or anyone is giving you a hard time about something.

We are off on an expedition down the Alligator River this morning.  We kayaked this last year and it was super cool.  I’m excited to go again.

Because I’ve been a bad blogger, I’ll leave you with a picture of the solstice as seen from Jockey’s Ridge on the 20th.

Enjoy the rest of your Friday, I know I will!

Happy Solstice!

20 Jun

Welcome to June 20th!  Did you know that today is the summer solstice?  Well…it is.  That means it’s the longest day of the year.  We are planning on going up to Jockey’s Ridge to watch the sunset.  Should be pretty spectacular.

To keep you occupied while we are traversing up the dune, how bout some pictures?

 

You are welcome! It’s been a great week so far.  I’m so glad that my aunt and cousin came down for the week!  I can’t wait until tomorrow when the bestie shoes up and then on Friday when the brother and Sara get here!  Exciting times!

Have a great solstice y’all!

Outer Banks 8K

16 Nov P1000735

Hola!  I told you I’d be back on Wednesday and here I am.

Over Veteran’s Day weekend, Leanne and I did the Outer Banks 8K.

We got to stay in a fabulous 80′s inspired timeshare:

Serioulsy, we got to stay in the timeshare for free since Phil’s mom was doing the 8K also and Phil was running the half marathon.

Thanks Cindy!

Last year Leanne and I did the half, but this year we were just not prepared enough to do so.  However, the 8K was great!  Leanne and I said that we were going to stretch our legs for about a mile and then run as much as we could of the 8K.  Well, it turns out “as much as we can” was 4 miles!  That is awesome for us.  We are indeed rock stars!

One thing that I did like about the 8K was that it was pretty much a trail run. 

The sights were pretty good.

Right at the end of the race we passed a fellow runner, she sped up and passed us.  Ok, whatevs, pass us.  We got some water continued to run, came upon the same fellow runner, passed her again.  This time she cursed at us under her breath and whisper shouted, “REALLY!?”  Ok so maybe it wasn’t much of a whisper.  Come on lady, so we passed you get over yourself!

We kept an “easy” pace throughout our run.  The roughest part of the 8K was really heading back into the field for the finish line, it was running head on into the wind.  No bueno.

But who cares…cuz we finished in 1hr and 6mins!  WOOT!  That is freaking awesome for us! 

So what to do after running an 8K?  Eat of course!  We headed to Stack ‘Em High to have breakfast.

Stack ‘Em High is awesome and if you ever find your way to the Outer Banks you should most definitely eat there!

Plus any breakfast establishment that tells me it’s okay to swear, is my type of eatery.

Afterward we had a day to chill and wander around…

Jockey’s Ridge

View of the ocean from atop Jockey’s Ridge

There were hangliders on the top of Jockey’s Ridge, gliding down the other side, plus tons of kite flyers.  The story behind Jockey’s Ridge is that people would take horses up to the Ridge and have races.  People would sit on the dunes and watch the jockey’s race the wild horses.  A history lesson I’m sure you wanted didn’t need. 

We had a pretty low-key Saturday since Phil was running the half the next day and we had to wake up bright and early!

Pretty Outer Banks sunrise

Phil and Leanne and the start

After seeing Phil start we head to Manteo for the finish of the half marathon.  Since we were continuing the trend of being awesome we got great seats right by the finish line.

We also got there right in time to see the first place male and female half marathon finishers

I unfortunately did not get a picture of Phil finishing.  He was just too fast! ;)  He finished in 1hr40mins….and 12 seconds.  I think that’s pretty damn awesome!

After the half we pretty much headed back to Virginia Beach, but not without another stop to Stack ‘Em High.  Love that place!

It was a great weekend.  I always wish I could stay longer in the Outer Banks.  Leanne and I are still super pumped about our 8K time.  Maybe we’ll continue that trend in the upcoming Virginia Beach Turkey Trot….

We’re over the hump people, the weekend is in sight!  Are you excited?

39.3 – the finish line

19 Nov

Are you at the starting block?  I guess we really aren’t either.  There isn’t a starting block in half marathoning…

Ok, so we start the race!  And then wait until it’s our turn… We were pretty excited to start the race.  It was a “smaller” race, but there were still a lot of people.

Hello corrals 1-5!

We were at the back of the pack, just where we like to be!  I immediately saw someone with a shirt from a shoe store in Cincy.  I wanted to beat those people!  Crazy, right?  Mile 1 came pretty quickly.  Miles 1-2.5 are on Croatan Highway and very flat.  At this early time in the morning no one was out on the road, this was pretty cool.  This was not the case later in the race.  Around mile 2.5 we turned into a neighborhood and the sound.  Well, we didn’t walk into the sound but were right by it.  There were a lot of cool houses in this neighborhood and neighbors out saying, “Hey!” to all the runners and walkers. I found that all the locals and people visiting for this race were very friendly and motivating.  Thanks guys!

We came upon mile 3 in the neighborhood and then we got dumped back out on Croatan Highway on mile 4.  By this time more cars had made their way onto the highway and I gotta say, not a huge fan…

Jockey's Ridge!

As we were walking past Jockey’s Ridge I noticed that someone had made a huge sandcastle on the dune facing us, it was pretty cool.  I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to take a picture so just use your imagination!

Mile 5, still alive, and turning into another neighborhood.  It is also at this point that Leanne tells me that she can feel blisters start to form on her feet!

Picture of the sound from inside the neighborhood. Wouldn't that be an awesome backyard to have?

Also around mile five or so (at a porto potty) we finally pass the aforementioned couple for Cincy!  Sorry Cincy, but you were our people to beat!  Miles 5 through 6.5 wind through this private neighborhood.  It looked very well manicured and islandy.  One thing I’m sure the people in the neighborhood appreciated were all the lovely porto potty’s.  Some people didn’t want to wait in line and instead watered the ornamental grasses in the median, classy.  We slow down our pace, to try to lessen the pain of the blisters while in the neighborhood.

Miles 7 – 8 are back on the highway.  Leanne is really hurting now!  There are a lot of aid stations along the route, but did we stop?  Hells no!  Are we that stubborn?  Hells yes!  The highway is really busy now.  It kind of stunk (literally) because of all the cars.  The exhaust was really distracting.  So was how slow the traffic was going.  We were basically pacing cars instead of people.  Leanne starts to kind of hum/sing during this part of the race.  We also start to quote our favorite snippets of TV shows.  On constant replay during this race were, “I don’t like ghosts.  They scare me.  They’re spooky.”  From SNL when Christopher Walken had his “kids” on the show.

Another gem is also SNL when they are spoofing Dateline NBC.  I couldn’t get the video to post, but it’s “horrifying!”

People ask what we talk about on these half marathon’s and the answer is, nothing that is really all that awe-inspiring or groundbreaking.  We usually quote moves, TV shows and other things that we’ve heard in day-to-day life.  So, nothing all that exciting, but whatever can keep us motivated to keep going!

Mile 8 we saw this sign.

Not funny... It says, "Marathoners only 27,456 ft to go. Wow.

I think it was supposed to be motivating, but by this point everything seems like a cruel joke.  Pain and soreness start to set in and you aren’t feeling so chipper and fresh anymore.  We can pretty much see the island of Manteo, which is also like a cruel joke.  You can see it, but you aren’t there, yet.

Mile 9 greets you with this lovely image…

Oh yeah, we’re going up that.  The only hill and they put it at mile 9.5.  Thanks!  While walking along the highway a biker (bicyclist not Harley) rides by and announces that the 1st place marathoner is on his way and to get off to the right!

Super/extremely fast runner!

Yeah, no one was going to catch him.

That hill kept getting closer and closer and my dread kept getting deeper and deeper.  It’s not like we were going to turn around and not do; because how silly would that be?  Up the bridge we go.  Big long strides, keep your head up!  And so we do.  At the very top of the bridge is mile 10 and a camera man.  What the what?!  Who puts a camera man at the top of the bridge?  Everyone, I’m sure, looked awesome.  Hair pulled back just so, look of determination in their eyes…  Oh, no wait, that’s at mile 1.

Mile 11 was kind of quiet.  By this time there was a big gap between us and the people behind us, with only some people in front of us.  Now don’t read this thinking we were really ahead in the race.  That’s not it.  It was just that there was another big gap in front of us with stragglers in between.  This was kind of a dead zone.  Not a whole lot of “fans”, not a whole lot of runners, just kind of quiet, not unless you count the never ending line of cars off to your left.

Mile 11 and some yards you turn into Manteo.  Welcome back to civilization, not that you left, but more people are here.  Mile 12 is in Manteo and it’s around this point while Leanne is hum/singing that out of nowhere she says, “Boom! Cymbal crash!”  This may not sound uber hilarious to you, but at that point in the race, I died.  Really, I did.  If people were really paying attention to us at that point they would have thought I’d (we’d) lost our minds and maybe we had.

In Manteo there were more people walking on the sidewalks and keeping people going.  Including some half marathoners who had already finished.  One cool thing about our number bibs is that they had our names on them.  With your name being on your bib people are more apt to say things to you instead of, “Hey, you can do it!”  it’s, “Hey Emily, you can do it!”  Believe it or not the name helps.

Mile 13!  HALLELUJAH!   By this point I don’t really know how Leanne is doing as great as she is.  I would have thrown in the towel long ago.  Mad, mad props to my BFF (;)) for finishing 13.1 miles with blisters on her feet almost the entire time.

View the sound from the Manteo side

At mile 13, even more people were gathered.  Even more people were screaming our names telling us we could make it.  If I could give an award for most supportive and engaged crowd, it would be the crowd in Manteo village.  Seriously, they were awesome.  Seriously.

We can see the finish line, we speed up, more yells of encouragement, and finally and with great exuberance we cross mile 13.1!

Right after you cross the finish there are volunteers handing out water, blankets, and medals.  There were also some banana’s but I don’t know what happened to them because they were pretty nasty.

One of the highlights was that you could take your picture with a pirate.  So take a picture with a pirate we did.  Aarghsome!

We gimped along the village to see what else there was to offer and decided to make our way back to the car.  We just didn’t feel like waiting in any of the long lines for beer and other freebies.

Another shuttle took us back to our car and we got all situated to drive back to “The Beach.”

Overall, I liked this half marathon.  We finished in 3:20, which is pretty awesome considering 1/2 of us were walking with blisters on both feet.  And speaking of those blisters…

 

Ouch! That’s all I gotta say!

 

That, my friends, is why Leanne is awesome and you are not.  I don’t know I’m sure you’re pretty awesome too, but come on!  13.1 with blisters on both feet…

Outer Banks, we may back.  Hopefully for vacation, maybe for another half marathon.

Three down, only forty-seven to go.  Where should we venture to next?

39.3 Part 1

16 Nov

What does that number mean?  That number means that we’ve finished our third marathon!  Woohoo!  Three down, only forty-seven more to go…

So what did we do last weekend?  Well, I’ll tell you!

Friday

Friday we left after I got off of work, which was pretty early since it was Veteran’s Day weekend.  Driving to the Outer Banks only takes about an hour and half, which is, let’s face it, pretty dang awesome!  We got into OBX around 6 or so.  It was kind of different because by the time we got there it was already dark.  Another anomaly was that OBX had been experiencing flooding and super high tides.  As I was driving down the road I had to dodge huge puddles that covered both lanes of the highway and sand drifts.    We got a little worried that this would affect the marathon on Sunday, but we were assured (by the local weatherman) that all would be well by 7 AM on Sunday.  But I digress…  We checked in and I instantly went to the balcony to look outside at the beach.  Surprise!  The ocean was right under our window.

 

Hello angry ocean!

It was kind of creepy to see the ocean that close.  Usually it’s waaaay back there, but not this weekend.

After standing in awe of the ocean it was grubbin’ time.  We decided on The Black Pelican and were not disappointed.  Leanne will write more about our restaurants, hotel and the like in her later post, but I just want to state that I really liked The Black Pelican.  One of the highlights were the oysters!  The were amazingly delicious.  I am not a big oyster person, at all, but they are in season and when at the beach…

How's that for deliciousness?! Pretty darn tasty!

Friday night ended with a grocery shopping trip to get the necessities for Sunday; bagels, peanut butter, and banana’s.  Also, some unecessities were consumed; mainly in the form of red wine.

On to …Saturday!

Up bright and early, no really!  Our clock had was not in “falling back” mode, so we were up an hour earlier than we really intended.  No mater, we got to the best places on the Banks to get donuts.  Where you ask? DUCK DONUTS!!  Oh sweet, hot, buttery goodness!  The lady there was a little overwhelmed with the onslaught of people that were there before 8.  See the thing is that they make the donuts fresh to order, really they do, which when only one person is working can lead to backups.  However, we got our donuts and were soon back at the hotel, sitting on our balcony drinking very hot coffee and eating delectable donuts.

Yes Homer, exactly

The rest of the day Saturday was filled with picking up packet information and trying to figure out where to watch football games.  We tried to go to a Christmas holiday craft show, but it didn’t quite work out.  First, I got us lost.  Then, I found the place and it was in a very tiny Community Center at the back of the Fire Station.  I pulled into the parking lot thinking maybe it’d get more exciting once I got all the way to the back…mmmm, not so much.  If we would have went in, there would have been a grand total of 10 people at the craft show.  No thanks, I really don’t like to be the only one looking at what people are selling.  Inevitably, I’ll feel guilty and buy something that I don’t really want or need just so that the little old lady will stop boring holes into my forehead.

This is part of my synopsis of our weekend.  I going to stop and break the weekend in half.  After the craft show the evening got…interesting, you’ll see.

Thank y’all for reading, really.  It makes me happy to check the stats and see that people are reading.  Keep reading and leave a comment or two.  I promise I’ll reply!

andrew + sarah

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