Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finally in the OBX

I've been trying to write a quick update for a couple days now, but every time I start, I get kicked offline. Not much of a signal here in the OBX.

The kids and I left at 9:00 on Friday, headed for North Carolina. We ran to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, then we ran back home because Jackson left his camera in the backyard, then we started for real at about 9:45. I had pulled up a Mapquest which had me going east and then curving through Pennsylvania and heading south to North Carolina. That was fine by me since I didn't really want to drive through the Smoky Mountains. So, on Friday, I drove through Chicago, across Indiana (yes, there is more than corn in Indiana; there are also soybeans), across Ohio (70 mph speed limit, nice roads, and great rest stops like every 50 yards). I drove through Pennsylvania. (Holy cow the hills! The winding hills! The kids kept complaining that their ears were popping and I was gripping the steering wheel like a crazy woman because of the winding hills and the rain and the rush hour traffic. Pennsylvania really slowed me down.) I also drove through Maryland, stopping in Clear Spring for the night at 10:00.

We got up, had breakfast, spilled maple syrup all over the place, locked ourselves out of our room, and got back on the road by 9:00 Eastern time (lost an hour there!) We drove through the entire state of Virginia at the whopping speed of 10 mph. There were two accidents that we ran into. We sat there in temps over 100 degrees while the car started to overheat necessitating the use of the heater. In 100 degree weather. Fun.

Then we inched along in traffic and rain the entire way to our rental house. Literally. We didn't get there until 9:00 at night. Twelve hours to drive through Virginia and into North Carolina. That sucked.

Yesterday, I followed some cars onto a beach because I'm stupid. I don't have four wheel drive. I don't have any business trying to drive a huge van in sand. Several yards down the beach, I realized my mistake and tried to turn around so I could go back. I got stuck. The nice beach sheriff helped us dig out and told me to let air out of my tires. He led me over the more packed areas of sand and we almost made it off the beach. Until I stuck again. This time, it was really bad. The sheriff suggested I call a tow truck. I bet he goes out with his buddies after his shift and tells tales of the stupid tourists who get stuck every day. Anyway, a nice guy from Virgina with a big ole truck and a tow rope took pity on me as I was lying in the sand, digging away like an armadillo, and he pulled us out.

Three of my kids have been stung by jellyfish. Yes, there was peeing going on.

I lost 200 pictures that I took when I tried to transfer them to my computer. I'm still really sad about that.

But, on the bright side, we've been having a really great time! We all love the ocean! The house we're renting is fabulous! I cooked a bunch of shrimp yesterday and we ate our weight in shellfish. I'll share a few of the pictures I didn't lose...










48 comments:

Lyttlethingsmttr said...

Can we see some pics of the Rental?

C Barnes said...

Looks amazing! So glad you're all having such a great time :) Be sure to take suggestions for a better route home. We used to live near Raleigh NC and that strip of the 95 from Raleigh to DC always clogs up with an accident or two....unless you're traveling during the week and early in the morning or late at night. Have fun during the rest of your vacation!

Kathy said...

Absolutely LOVE that last picture. So sweet!

Joy said...

I am so glad you are enjoying NC's beautiful Outer Banks. I am from Goldsboro NC (about 1.5 hours west of the coast) and go to the beach every chance I get. We honeymooned on Ocracoke Island and it was just gorgeous.

I don't know what part of the OBX you are on, but if you get a chance to visit Cape Lookout, take it. The ferry we took there drove us around to look at the porpoises and drove us to look at the wild horses before dropping us off at Cape Lookout.

Sharon said...

Kudos to you for doing that long ass drive yourself. The OBX rock, have fun the beach looks great there.

Lisa said...

Where at the Outer Banks are you?? Now that you've been, do you think you want to stay, I mean move there??

Have a great time! We lived in NC and really enjoyed the coast. The sun isn't as strong as FL and it doesn't seem as hot.

Cheryl@SomewhatCrunchy said...

Vinegar works for jellyfish stings too.

Anonymous said...

Which beach are you staying at? We've just spent the evening at Wrightsville, which is one of my favorite NC beaches.

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

I sense that you'll need a vacation from your vacation.....Love the last picture BTW. I hope you recover your other 200. That stinks!!

Jill said...

Looks like a great time, minus the little mishaps! LOL We lived in NC for awhile and my oldest daughter was born there. We loved it there and the people are so nice! Enjoy it.:-) Have a great week!
Blessings, Jill

Keren said...

Thank goodness you didn't lose that last picture of Austin and Brooklyn. That is some picture. It actually made me cry (but really, almost anything can make me cry - I'm just a sucker that way). Glad you're having fun, and just enough adventure to make a good blog post.

brent said...

obx is so great. I am glad you loved it, PA is great too on the way back to home stop in PA and have some WHOOPIE PIES AND MIDDLEWORTH CHIPS

Natalie Young said...

Cute pictures! I love the last one!

Natasha said...

...Any sign of... oil...?

BAHAHAHAHA xD. Sorry. Had'ta ask. ;).

Beth said...

I am so happy for you and your family. I would love to live in NC. I too, have been stuck in Illinois for WAY too long.

Shannon in Cali said...

so glad you finally got there safe. Sorry about losing all the pictures that sucks. Glad everyone is having a good time at the beach even tho a couple were stung by jelly fish. I love the pics of the kids thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

We just vacationed on the OBX in May. We were in Duck, and loved it! It was a LONG drive though. Have a great time!

Jill in Indiana

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

LOVE those pictures! And why aren't the papparazzi following you guys around like they did when Kate + all her kids were in OBX? you guys are waaaay more fun!

Kari said...

I am glad you finally made it. Sounds like you are having a great time, despite the jelly fish stings. I am glad you were able to save some of the pictures, they are great. I LOVE the picture of Austin and Brooklyn. I also really like the one of clay alone. I have to ask, did Jackson get a haircut? The 6th picture down doesn't really look like him, but it looks a bit young to be Austin. lol

Donna said...

It is great how you are keeping us all up to date as you know we worry about you :)
I am like you also, I panick on winding roads and moutains.
I think the drive home will be alittle better if you head west and then after TN you head north.
Still mountains tho.
Just think of all the fun memories you are making with the kids.

Stay safe and have fun !
Donna from NE Indiana

TwinsanityMom said...

So glad you are having fun! The OBX is awesome and just a really relaxing place to be. Yeah, traffic in VA, that is how we roll...or, er, don't roll! Pretty much DC to Fredericksburg, Richmond, and the Norfolk areas are pretty horrible. Hopefully it won't take as long when you are going back. If you get stuck in or around Richmond let me know. :)

Anna said...

Were you stuck on the Corolla beach? We got our Odyssey stuck out there and ruined the transmission with all the sand after being towed from 3/4 of our tires buried!

Haha, at least people were nice to you guys! Someone threw plastic shovels at us!

mommeeof9 said...

I would cut accross wherever you can west to I81, then head north/west back home.You could not pay me enough to drive on I95, unless there were no other routes within a 50 mile detour. On the rare occassions I visit my cousin with the kids, she lives North of Fredericksburg, VA, I take US 17 to Frdereick then head north to her house. It takes forever to go that last 10miles noth to her exit. Without the kids, who get carsick, I usually cut across from US 17 on the 2 lane state roads from Warrenton. Even with the lower posted speed, I can still get to her house 1 hour earlier than taking the highway. It is 20 miles shorter to go the 2 lane roads...

Suzanna said...

Man, that happened to me too; losing a zillion photos when the memory card just suddenly died. The first 6 months of my baby girl... our entire Disney vacation... All. Just. Gone.
:-(

That was 5 years ago and I am STILL mourning those photos!

Have a great time anyway, you guys totally deserve it.

Hope you are keeping in touch with Dad-o-6... we are all watching and enjoying the romance develop vicariously. Such fun imagining you two (well, you fourteen) getting together! LOL
:-)

WeaselMomma said...

You make the great American family roadtrip sound exactly like I always dreamed it would be.
Have fun now that you are there and don't forget to stop at Wally World.

Lesley said...

Now for someone who lives in the UK and failed miserably at geography - how about a map of your travels and how many miles did you drive? It sounds like loads!

Anonymous said...

Funny that Brent mentioned Middleswarth chips. We're headed to NC (Emerald Isle) for a wedding next week and we can NOT enter the state without bags of M-warth chips AND Tastycakes. I swear my NC family waits for us to come just for the snacks. And yes, the beach is AWESOME. Love NC beaches!! Chris in PA (wanna stop by on your way home??)

parentingBYdummies said...

We are heading to myrtle beach, sc next month. Happy to know that my drive will be shorter than yours. Can't even fathom being in the car with The Dudes that long. Sad to know that there will probably be jellyfish where we go and that they may sting my children. They have ridiculously low tolerance for pain as they are classic men-in-training. Good luck on your drive home!

Missi said...

The Outer Banks was the very first ocean (Nags Head) I saw. BEAUTIFUL! Just to far of a drive from AR so we've been going to AL (Gulf Shores) ever since. I love all the lighthouses along OBX. Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is my favorite. It'd just been moved inland when we were there & didn't get to go inside though.

Lesley said...

I am glad you all made it there safe and sound! I find it totally amazing, daring, and brave, that you packed up all your kids and took such a long trip by yourselves! WTG - you are a much braver person than I am! Enjoy your time in NC!

Sarah said...

LOVE that last pic of Austin & Brooklyn--sooooo cute! :)

Glad you got there (finally!) and are having a good time. Hope the trip back home is much less eventful! :)

Anonymous said...

Have you always lived in the midwest? I grew up in the Rocky Mountains, which make the Pennsylvania hills look like, well, hills. just sayin.

Years ago my family went to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The road to get there twists and turns enough to slow down the drivers who aren't accustomed to canyons. When a car was going particularly slow we looked at the license plate. Yep. Flatlander. Not to be confused with a flatliner. The beach looks so fun, but when you're ready for something totally different, you need to experience the mountains too.

Pam L. in Maryland said...

Looks like you're all having a wonderful time! If you get a moment, you might want to stop at a camera (or computer store) somewhere near you. Sometimes those photos ARE recoverable, even when they seem to be fully lost -- but you need to be way more tech-savvy than I am to recover them!!

Also, just a word for the wise -- I live in MD and travel through northern Virginia all the time -- and the traffic is ALWAYS, ALWAYS bad. If you have any other options to get home, take them. It might be longer mileage-wise, but it will almost always be faster time-wise. You might want to consider hopping over to I-81 (goes up the west side of Virginia). It's usually a faster drive, and you could follow it up to northern MD, then head west at Frederick, MD on 70/68, then take 522 up to the PA Turnpike.

Hope you can get it all figured out to make the drive home smoother! Have a great time!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that you pictures were lost, but they might still be recoverable, depending on how much you've used the camera since then!

There's this program called Recuva, found at http://www.piriform.com/recuva, which allows you to recover files that seem to be deleted - I won't go into the details of how it works, but as long as you haven't filled up your camera's memory card completely since transferring the pictures, you might still recover some pictures.

All you need to do is download the program, plug your camera in, run the program, and choose the camera memory card to search for deleted files.

Good luck!

- Anonymous(ish)

dark_chocolate said...

Jellyfish..Ouch! Love the pics..sounds like you will have an unforgettable vacation either way! ;)

Nathalie said...

You should be able to recover your lost pictures from the memorycard. (As long as you haven't taken any new pictures anyway).

Here's a link that might help: http://www.cardrecovery.com/how_to_recover_deleted_digital_pictures.asp

Good luck!

Vicki said...

I LOVE the beach! Sure wish I was with ya!

SSO ? Did you get a new van? I thought you had a bit smaller one that was white or maybe green? This one looks like you have tons of room for everyone!

Lisa said...

You take great pictures! Can I ask what camera you have? My fave pic is of Clay, the photo is so clear it looks like I could reach out and poke him on the back!

Thanks for sharing Dawn.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

I am so jealous! My family vacationed in Nags Head (WAY before it became cool to refer to the area as OBX and a bit before there was a real grocery store in the area) from when I was 12 until I went on my honeymoon and they had to be evacuated because of a hurricane. We do Cape Cod now, which is a much better drive from CT and now that NC is as commercialized as OBX, it makes much more sense not to drive that far. But I DO miss that NC beach!!! Ride some waves for me and let me know if Ben Franklin (the store, not the man) is still there! I used to love shopping for souveniers there!

~Laura

Anonymous said...

Which lighthouse did you see? When we were there in May, we drove 45 minutes to see a lighthouse, only to discover that it was closed for renovations. When we drove up and saw all the tarps, etc, my 5 year old said "we drove all that way for THIS?!?!"

Jill in Indiana

MommySusan1 said...

I am so glad that you are on the OBX. I live here!! I was at Walmart & Harris Teeter this morning. I kept my eyes peeled, hoping I would run into you & the gang.
Traffic can be killer out here, which is why we time our trips to avoid the crowds.
Hope everyone is having fun, using lots of sunscreen and staying cool in the 100 degree weather.

iffer@AOL.com said...

OK I gotta know, how do you handle car trips with all your children without having a nervous breakdown? I only have 3 kids and we just took a trip 3.5 hours away and I about lost it. And that's with DVD and snacks and at least 2 stops on the way for potty breaks. Any tips for the next time I have amnesia and think trips with the family are fun?

cndymkr / jean said...

We just got back from a 2 week vacation in the OBX. We stayed in Duck/Southern Shores. My son also got the dreaded jellyfish sting but there was no peeing involved.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the poster who suggested taking 17 through VA. It is the way we've always taken to visit my outlaws. If you take 17 through VA to 29N (near Warrenton) to 15N (near Gainesville) it will take you up into MD to I-70. We in the VA subusrbs of DC do our best to avoid I-95.

Vincent Navarino said...

Hey Dawn, sent you an email via your contact form about recovering those pics for you if you want. I've done this sort of thing plenty of times.

Anonymous said...

The last one I think is the most priceless.... while they are all wonderful the last one made me misty eyed.

disney2max said...

Love the pics!! Your kids are growing up so fast! HAHA, I live around Richmond, VA and the heat totally sucks!!! 105 yesterday and 104 today! UGH!!!! And yes traffic on 64 going to and coming from the beach area is horrible!

Sunny Day said...

You deserve a medal for traveling by yourself that distance with any number of children. I only had two, and never, ever traveled by myself with them.

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