Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ocracoke & Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Ocracoke. Say it with me: ocra (like the slimy vegetable that people here (like DH) like to batter, deep fry and actually EAT)...coke (like the deliciously fizzy drink). Ocracoke! Fabulous...now, Ocracoke is the little island down near the very end of the Outer Banks. It had a lighthouse and some wild ponies that we wanted to see. So, all the non-sick people loaded into two cars to drive down there. Did I mention that 7 or 8 of the people were sick for one or more days of the vacation? Yeah, that was not so fun. Sorry to all the sickies!

Our first stop was in Hatteras so the kids could climb a rock wall. Good thing my uncle wasn't there to see this sorry excuse for a rock wall. He really wanted to do that with the kids, but he was sick. Let's just say it was not child friendly, and we moved on. We picked up gifts and stuff in the local shops, let the kids play at the playground, and had lunch at this crazy good little place that I can't remember the name of. Fries to die for, though! Then we took the ferry over to Ocracoke island. It looks like a short little ride on the map, but was more like 45 minutes. The kids loved it though. Although, it would have been even better for them if that weird guy wasn't standing in front of them with his shirt flapping in their faces, and then took it off. As though that made it better. (You can see him in some of the photos, unfortunately). At one point, Lil' C came over and said, "Mommy, I can see his belly. Why doesn't he have his shirt on??" Good question, baby, good question.

When you finally reach Ocracoke, it's just a long strip of road with sand dunes on either side for about 15 miles. You can catch glimpses of the ocean here and there. Not very impressive, in my opinion. Our first stop was the wild ponies. Um, yeah....there were 2 horses in a pen waaaayyyy back from the viewing area....and that was it. Very underwhelming and disappointing. Especially to all our little girls. Then we drove into the little town of Ocracoke. Quaint, charming, adorable...just a few words to describe it. I loved it, even though I got lost looking for the lighthouse. The lighthouse (when we finally found it) was cute too. It's the shortest of the 5 lighthouses on the Outer Banks.

Do you see the little ducklings? Oh, so cute! When we came back to our car, they were walking in a line across the street with mama duck behind them. They went right underneath our cars, so we had to wait until they came out to leave. It gave us plenty of time to take about a hundred pictures of them. Then back to the very long ferry ride. The whole day just took much longer than it should have. Those maps are so misleading!!!

We finally made it to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, which I have officially named "The Stripedy Lighthouse", for obvious reasons. This is the only lighthouse that was open for you to actually walk up, but was about to close when we got there. So, no walking up, which is probably just as well, because I'm not sure any of us would have made it up the 500+ steps! We got lots of pictures though. One thing that I found quite puzzling about all the lighthouses we visited, is that they aren't right on the ocean. I always thought that's where lighthouses were positioned, but all 3 of these were somewhat inland. And, although we didn't stop to look at its original location, the Stripedy Lighthouse used to be near the ocean, but was moved further inland due to erosion.

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