Travel Diary | Corolla, North Carolina

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

I'm playing blog post catch-up today with some photos from the beach trip that almost didn't happen. Last month, my family and I spent some time at the beach in Corolla, North Carolina (pronounced Ca-rah-la by the locals). In true just-before-vacation fashion, everything seemed to go wrong the week before this trip including an enormous tree that fell across our driveway and blocked my car in. It was so ridiculous it was almost funny, except for the fact that 100-foot trees are no joke to clean up and this was the second one to fall and take out our power line this summer. In the end, I was able to make it out of the driveway and to the beach. Mark had just started back to work after his back surgery recovery, so I went solo and enjoyed lots of sister/family time!

I had been to the Outer Banks when I was a little kid, but this was my first time travelling the length of this string of barrier islands. They stretch for 200-miles up the coast of North Carolina with a sound on one side and the ocean on another. A small two-lane road carries you up and down the island. Because of its immense coastline and number of quaint beach towns, it's an enormously popular destination for vacationers during the summer months. As you can imagine, a two lane road with that many visitors can get pretty crazy. We managed to time it just right arriving in Corolla (the locals told us to avoid being on the roads between 10am-2pm) and missed the gridlock, but some other family members ended up sitting for hours, which isn't uncommon in the summer months!

The great thing about Corolla is once you get to your beach house, there's really no reason to leave. We stocked the fridge with groceries when we got there and spent the rest of the trip avoiding the roads. Instead, we took my brother's Jeep up and down the 4WD beach just north of Corolla (no traffic jams there!). There is a herd of wild Spanish mustangs that lives in this part of the island and we got to see them several times when we were riding up and down the beach. They are one of the oldest and rarest type of  Colonial Spanish mustangs and considered a nearly extinct breed.

The beach was obviously my favorite part of the whole trip, but that porch hammock was a close second. I spent almost every morning swinging in the hammock with my book and it was the most relaxing way to start the day. Another favorite thing was having our own pool with the house. Definitely not a must-have when you've got the whole ocean to enjoy, but it was nice sitting around the pool at dusk every evening. The only thing I didn't get to do this trip was climb the Currituck Lighthouse. It's definitely on my list for a return visit!

I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

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