2010 Vacation – Outer Banks, NC

Again this year we went to the Outer Banks for vacation.  We had a great time!  There were eight adults that went so we were able to split the cost and rent a really nice beach house!

Our Vacation Rental House At The Outer Banks

To get to the house you had to drive eight miles on the beach!  There were no roads to get to the house.  If you ever go to this part of the Outer Banks make sure you do your research and only attempt to drive on the beach at low tide.  😀  We got stuck twice on the way to the house and had to be pulled out both times.  😀

But, once we made it to the house we were able to relax in the pool and hot tub…

Ace In The Pool In North Carolina

Ace In The Pool In North Carolina

And our house was also in the Wild Horse Reserves, so there were wild horses everywhere!  They came right up to our house and even slept in our back yard…

Outer Banks Wild Horses

Outer Banks Wild Horses

Outer Banks Wild Horses Sleeping

Outer Banks Wild Horses Sleeping In The Back Yard

And when we were not playing on the beach…

Jared At The Beach

Jared At The Beach

Ace At The Beach

Ace At The Beach

Ace's Cousin Livi At The Beach

Ace's Cousin Livi At The Beach

Ace and Livi At The Beach

Ace and Livi At The Beach

…we went out to look at the famous light houses…

Currituck Light House

Currituck Light House

Cape Hatteras Light House

Cape Hatteras Light House

… saw the Inn at Roadanthe (From the movie Nights in Roadanthe)…

Inn At Roadanthe

Inn At Roadanthe

… saw all kinds of cool critters…

The Lizard

The Lizard

A Dragon Fly

A Dragon Fly

Pink and Yellow Moth

Pink and Yellow Moth

The Cool Bear

The Cool Bear

Whoever said vacation was relaxing?  😀  At the end of every day we were all pooped…

Ace Worn Out

Ace Worn Out

Ace, Calling It A Day

Ace, Calling It A Day

… and now we are back home…planning next year’s vacation.  😀

Freeing Up Some Space…

So many times I take pictures and forget I even took them.  I downloaded all of the pictures off of my digital camera and realized that I completely forgot to write about the awesome time we had on a mini vacation in September!

The whole goal of this mini vacation was to get out of Dodge for the weekend, and go down to see the leaves changing along the Ohio river.  There were a few other festivals that we were planing on attending as well.

So, we loaded up the truck, and we moved to Beverly….not really…but we did go to the hills.  Not the Hollywood Hills, but the hills of Kentucky!

We drove down on a Friday night after work and got into the hotel kinda late.  Ace was zonkerred out and Momma and I quickly followed his lead.

Saturday morning we got up early to go to a harvest festival/car show a few towns over.  We get to the little po-dunk town and there was nothing…not one car being showed.  We drove around the 5 whole blocks of this town to realize that their website was wrong.  We finally found a sign advertising the car show… THE NEXT WEEKEND.

So much for the car show.  We had all day and a full tank of gas.  We just started driving and saw a sign for a National Park.  We had not visited a National Park since we lived in Colorado.  Ohio just does not have many extreme wilderness areas…ya know?

We paid for our day pass and drove about 10 miles back into this forest until we found ourselves parked at the end of a hiking trail alongside the Ohio River.  Ace has never been hiking…let’s do it!

Off we go…hiking through the forest.  It was pretty muddy because it rained the night before, and Ace hit every mud puddle along the trail.  I rolled up the bottoms of Ace’s pants to keep them from getting too muddy…and I had to roll up mine as well.  😀  We were having fun!

The cliffs were amazingly high…and steep!

Tall Cliffs Near The Ohio River

Tall Cliffs Near The Ohio River

Ace got to see a lot of things he had never seen before…big cliffs, the Ohio River, people riding horses, and even a few barges hauling stuff down the river (one was hauling port-a-potties…a whole barge full of porta-potties!)  😀

We hiked and hiked…and hiked!  I’m surprised  that Ace’s little stubby legs still worked!  But he did stop a few times to take a rest…

Taking A Rest While Hiking

Taking A Rest While Hiking

We hiked all the way back to the truck where ace decided that there was something wrong with the front tire..

Dad, Here Is The Problem...

Dad, Here Is The Problem...

And after he fixed the problem…not real sure what he did…we headed back out on the road.

We came across a little park that marked a battle site from the Civil War…or something.  ( I never have been a history buff.)  There was a cannon that was used in the battle, and for some reason an old cabin.

Looking Down The Barrell Of A Cannon

Looking Down The Barrell Of A Cannon

Notice the jacket that Momma is wearing?  It’s the one I reviewed…  😀
Which by the way has been moved over to the new DadThing Reviews Blog!

Sitting On The Front Porch Of An 1800's Cabin

Sitting On The Front Porch Of An 1800's Cabin

We quickly bored ourselves with a history lesson and headed back out onto the road.  This time we ended up at the Louisville zoo!

Just so happens they were having a trick or treat night!!  So, we got Ace dressed up in his best Fire Fighter Uniform and went to keep all of the zoo animals safe from any blazing infernos.  😀

Firefighter Halloween Costume

Firefighter Halloween Costume

And wouldn’t you know it…Dorothy, The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow from Oz were there!

We just had to meet them…and get our pictures taken with them…

The Tin Man and Dorothy

The Tin Man and Dorothy

The Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion

The Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion

Dad and aat the Emerald Palace!

Dad and Ace at the Emerald Palace!

Notice the bottoms of my pants?

Yup, some ‘tard forgot to roll them back down after hiking… 😀

I guess Momma is right…I am special sometimes.  😀

OBX – The Outer Banks

We spent the last week of our vacation in Duck, NC.  We (PaPa, Grandma, Uncle Charlie, Uncle Mike, Livi Shea, Ace, Momma, and I) rented a beach house about 500 ft from the beach…our little home away from home…

Ace and Livi

We were greeted in NC by Hurricane Bill with large bone crushing waves and high winds, but everything calmed down by the third day.

We did not do a whole lot there (isn’t that the point of going to the beach?). 

Ace, A.K.A. FishBoy, and Olivia had never seen the ocean before so they were in complete amazement when the waves would crash down and roll over their feet…

Ace and Livy Playing In The Ocean

We went on a Dolphin Cruise where we took a relaxing boat ride out into the sound and saw live dolphins in the wild… Did you know that wild dolphins have pink bellies?  Me neither…

Dolphins In The Wild

The Dolphin Cruise was a sunset cruise, so we got to see the sunset…it was breath taking to see the sun set over the water…

The Sunset Over The Water

And the skies after the sun set were equally as eye cathcing…notice the moon peeking it’s head out into the daylight…

Beautiful Skies

As fun as the dolphin cruise was, nothing beats playing on the beach.  Of course someone has to be buried…

Buried Alive

…and sand castles have to be constructed with precsion…

Sand Castle

We even got to experience the beach at early morning and at night.  At night the crabs run wild.  We went down with our flashlights and chased the crabs across the sand back into the water.  Those little buggers can scoot!

We got up early one morning to watch the sunrise.  I have never in my life took time to sit down and watch the sunrise.  I mean, I’ve seen it rise while driving to work, and I’ve been outside when it has risen, but to sit and watch it’s every move is something that I will have to try and do more often.  The view was overwhelming…

Sunrise On The Beach

All in all we had a fantasic time!  It had to be one of the most fun two weeks that we have ever had.  Momma is already busy planning next years vacation…

Jared and Momma On The Dolphin Cruise

Two Year Old Wrestles Alligator!

On our last day in Orlando, we stopped in for an afternoon of Gatorland!

If your are weary of large bone crushing jaws equipped with flesh piercing teeth…you could not even get in the front door…

Gatorland Entrance

And once inside you better keep your fingers to yourself, or else you might go home looking like a veteran maintenance man. 😀

Gators Galore

They also had a bunch of colorful birds…  Apparently these little buggers will bite you pretty hard too.  I did not get close enough to find out… 😀

Tucan Sam

But the least colorful, yet most intriguing, were the white alligators!  Can you imagine seeing one of these bad boys running at you leading with their mouths wide open salivating as they imagine what you would taste like?

Leucistic Alligator

They are not albino, they are leucistic… They still have skin pigment around their mouths and their tails.  Albinos are known for their red eyes due to lack of pigmentation.  The leucistic alligators have bright blue eyes…

Leucistic Alligator With Blue Eyes

Don’t let them baby blues fool you…  😀  These guys are just as big and dangerous as the colored variety.  😀

We got to see some crazy dude wrestle an alligator too!

Gator Wrestling

After watching for a few minutes, Ace and I decided it would not be that hard to wrestle an alligator if we worked together.  😀

I distracted the gator by making hand bag jokes about his mother.  Ace ran up and jumped on the gator’s back, riding him like a rodeo cowboy.  After Ace had the reptile worn out, I jumped on the gator’s back too and subdued him by grabbing his jaws…nearly losing a finger…and pulling his head back till he tapped out in submission.

Then I yelled, “Ace, look over at Momma so she can take your picture!”

Ace Wrestling an Alligator

And there he is the 2 Year Old Gator Wrestler.   Sitting proud atop his defeated opponent!

What are you talking about?  Tape? Where? I don’t see any tape around that gator’s mouth? That must be a glitch in the photo…  😀

Why Leave The Hotel?

The second day of our vacation we decided to just hang out at the hotel.

The hotel was more than just a hotel…it was a resort.  There was over 100 acres with 30 buildings, a pool, a grocery store, a restaurant, a bar, multiple ponds, and three pools.

This main pool was the most amazing pool I have ever seen!   Orlando has been built around entertaining kids, and this pool sure followed that tradition.  There were fountains, waterfalls, and volleyball nets in the pool.  Here’s a quick pic I took…

The Big Pool

Pretty sure Ace is part fish…  Once the kid got wet…we only took breaks to eat and sleep.  😀

Ace Swimming

After swimming in the morning, Ace went to feed the ducks…which was one of the activities for the kids. (There was a new activity every half an hour.)

Feeding The Ducks

And as a bonus we got to feed a few turtles that decided to crash the party and steal some bread…

Feeding The Turtles

On our way back to the room I snapped a few pics of some of the hotel scenery…not that kind of scenery…get your minds out of the gutter.  😀

I was talking about some of the fountains…

Hotel Scenery

Hotel Scenery 2

And to end the day the hotel had “Movie Night at the Pool”.  They brought out a projector, lit a fire to cook some smores, and popped some popcorn.

We did some swimming, then chowed down on popcorn and smores.  And on the walk back to the room, Ace gave up….  If someone was carrying me…I would’ve gave up too.  😀

All Tuckered Out