"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Thursday, August 18, 2011 - After having a great trip out to The Outer Banks of North Carolina back in late June, we took advantage of the same great airfare sale from Nashville to Norfolk, VA ($39 each way on Southwest) and drove south for another visit in hopes of grabbing more beach time than we actually did on our first trip.  We found a great little inexpensive but clean motel right on the beach near the tiny town of Buxton, just a mile or so from the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

The Outer Banks Motel sits right in the westwardly dog-leg turn of Highway 12 as you head south. 

The bungalow-style rooms of the motel were spacious and did not smell of mildew as some lower-priced beach-side places can.  They have a nice large swimming pole as well. The beach out front was clean and fairly uncrowded most of the time despite there being no vacancies for the weekend.

Friday, August 19, 2011 - It is just a 5-minute walk across Highway 12 to a finger of the Pamlico Sound where the motel had two rowboats tied up for their guests to use.  We took a beautiful sunset trip on our first full day there.

We took a stroll south on Hwy. 12 after our rowboat ride on the sound and found The Diamond Shoals Restaurant quite by accident.  We have been dieting as of late and keeping our caloric intake down, so we settled for a  couple small dinner options.  Fresh sushi rolls for Ashlee and fresh lightly-fried grouper fingers for me.  Both we excellent and despite a bit of slow service (they were slammed on a Friday night and only had one guy rolling sushi), we thoroughly enjoyed our food.

We loved our beach time as we had perfect weather the three days we were there with warm but not humid temperatures, mostly sunny skies, and cool, but not cold water.  The surf was tremendous with sometimes 6 and 7-foot waves breaking off from huge rolling swells.  You really had to pay attention while wading in the surf so as to not get knocked off your feet by a sneaky wave.  Swimming was a fun challenge as well with waves breaking over you and riptides pulling your slowly north.

Saturday, August 20 - We took a break from the beach this afternoon and drove a half hour south (plus a 30-minute ferry ride) to Ocracoke Island.  The tiny village there reminds us a lot of a smaller, quieter Key West.  We rented a couple of bikes and tooled around the quiet neighborhoods and pretty waterfront with very little motor traffic to have to contend with.  Editor's Note:  The island was evacuated the following week due to the approach of Hurricane Irene.

After a couple hours of bike riding, we rewarded ourselves with a visit to Howard's Pub.  Their burgers were awesome...it didn't hurt that we were starving either.  And their beer list is amazing.  How they get such a wide variety of beer way down here on the end of The Outer Banks and charge reasonable prices for them is beyond me.  After getting back to Buxton and enjoying some more beach time, we ambled our way back down to The Diamond Shoals Restaurant for another round of sushi and grouper fingers (a double order for me this time).

Sunday, August 21 - We reluctantly packed up our stuff this morning for our trip back north to catch our plane home early on Monday morning.  Before we left, we took a nice long walk south on the beach and soaked up as much of the vibe of the beautiful ocean as we could.

On our drive back north we stopped in Kill Devil Hills for a brief visit of The Wright Brothers National Monument.  We climbed the famous Kill Devil Hill where the Wrights tested their aircraft.  The views atop the hill are impressive in all directions.  The hill is  also adorned with a beautiful and gigantic monument honoring their achievement.  The life-size statues depicting the first flight help add to the sense realism for this historic place.

We flew back early Monday morning, August 22nd, without incident and were back at work by 10 A.M.  It was another great trip to The Outer Banks, and we are already planning a return visit hopefully next year with plans of visiting even farther south to the Cape Lookout area.

Editorial Note:  Just a week later the Outer Banks and much of the East Coast were battered by Hurricane Irene. 

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