Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I've been away to play

Chris and I, prior to our nice evening dinner

Alex buried me in the sand. It was itchy, but digging the hole was a good workout.

Alex and Chris in Virginia, just a few hours from the bridge. Notice the crown.

I returned to the Outer Banks of North Carolina last week for my annual summer vacation. For those unfamiliar with the region, the Outer Banks (or OBX, for short) is a series of islands off the coast of North Carolina. The famous Rodanthe island is one of them, as is Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright Brothers first took flight. We stayed in a town called Duck.

It was glorious. The first several days were hot, hot, hot. There were lots of people on the beach and lots of families renting houses in the various real estate communities.

There is also excellent shopping in the Outer Banks, with countless little boutiques and trinket shops along the island. Most of the shopping is in Corolla, but there were plenty of places to keep me completely occupied in Duck while I was there. One of my favorite things about island shopping is the jewelry, because you get pieces from local jewelry artists that use collected shells and fun jewels and great medal charms. I brought a few delicate necklaces, one of which was black pearl with an added charm.

I went on the trip with my boyfriend, Chris, and our close friend, Alex. We traveled with Chris's family, including his sister and her best friend. We drove, of course. Flying these days is just pure silliness. Along the way there were some giggles, and plenty of roadtrippin' tunes. At one point, I was made queen after acquiring a crown at a rest stop Burger King.
Over the years I've visited the Wright Brother Museum, Corolla, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk. There are tons of lighthouses to climb and visit, as well as an outdoor theatre presentation about the original Outer Banks colonies on Roanoke Island. You can, of course, rent gear such as Hobie cats, kayaks, sight-seeing flights over the island, jet skis, etc. I would definitely recommend traveling to this area. The houses have a lot of specials right now and usually house 10 people, so families can travel together and split the costs. Pets are welcome in almost all of the homes, and many of them also have pools and hot tubs.
If you're looking for nice restaurants while you're there, the best is Elizabeth's. It has been mentioned in every major food magazine in the country, including Food and Wine, and has been named the best restaurant in the United States. They are currently selling a Clark Claudon 10th anniversary Cabernet that is absolutely amazing. Also, they're running a special for couples on a six-course planned meal that includes wine pairings and coffee. That's what we did and it was definitely worth it. Other fun restaurants are Blue Pointe, Rundown Cafe for live music, Sunset Grille and Fishbones, and Dirty Dick's Crabs.
I'm making recommendations because they still have specials on weekends and weeks in August, and it isn't too late to rent a house for this coming week, or the last week in August. It takes two days to drive comfortably, or one if you do it all at once. We've been renting with Southern Shores Realty. Or you can always keep this in mind for next year, or even this fall. Washington, D.C. is along the way, as well, so that's a nice little rendez-vous on the way down or back.


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