Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cape Hatteras

After packing up after camping, we headed down Highway 12 to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Our family loves lighthouses and Chuck had never been to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, which is the tallest in the United States and tallest brick lighthouse in the world!

Since we were only one hour away, we thought it was the perfect opportunity. As we pulled into the parking lot of the old site of the lighthouse on the beach, it was pouring down rain. So we headed to the current site and thought we would at least walk through visitor's center. Luckily, the rain had completely stopped by the time we got out of our car to walk in to the visitor's center.
We were also excited that our tall 3 year old barely made the height requirement to walk to the top of the lighthouse. Chuck took Leland and Lucy to the top, while I waited with Charly. (You can not carry children while climbing to the top and there is a height requirement for climbers, so Charly could not go.)
Chuck said he was so nervous climbing to the top and on the balcony with the girls, but they did great. They enjoyed talking with some of the rangers and learned lots of info about the lighthouse. They loved being able to take pictures of me waiting at the bottom. I'm in both pictures on the left on the walkway by the house. It was really windy at the top too, but a gorgeous view.
We love lighthouses!
Then, I got my turn to climb to the top while they waited at the the bottom. I climbed those stairs so fast, I was sore for the next 2 days. It made me realize how I really should exercise more.
Ashley at the top of the lighthouse (girls waving to mom)
Since we were married in 2004, we have climbed the following lighthouses:
We have also visited, but not been able to climb:

Whenever we go to a National Park, we always love doing the Junior Ranger programs (thanks to the Dittbrenners who got us hooked). Leland and Lucy were so proud of their Junior Ranger badges that they both pinned them to their school bags when we got home.
After spending a long time at the lighthouse, we headed even farther south to Hatteras Village. We drove through flooded streets and saw how much damage water really can do. Since the ferry was not running to Ocracoke Island because of water levels in the sound, we could not go any farther south and had no choice but to finally head home. We made one last stop for dinner at a yummy restaurant, Sandbar & Grille, with a gorgeous view of the Pamlico sound. (An amazing comeback after their old location was destroyed by hurricane Isabel)
We could not have gone to the Outer Banks with out driving through a Brew Thru a few times. For those of you non-Southerners, a Brew Thru is like a 7 Eleven you drive into like a car wash. You do not even have to get out of the car and you can get your drinks and snacks for the road. There are only a handful of them on the Outer Banks and are well known for their t-shirts.
The Outer Banks is Chuck's happy place. He loves it there and I do too. It's where I fell in love with him over 7 years ago. We can't wait to go back.

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