If a picture is worth a thousand words, this entry will be nearly a novel, because I had a hard time narrowing down the photos to my very favorites.
This past week we headed out to the North Carolina Outer Banks to enjoy a few days with our friends the Prouses. They had rented a beach house at Kill Devil Hills for the week, and Aline's Brazilian family came in last minute from Pennsylvania and Florida to join the party.
We stayed at a beach house called the "Relax Inn", which was supposed to sleep 9 warm bodies, but we pulled a record with 22! With a few air mattresses and lots of love, we were able to manage quite nicely. There was a foosball table in the garage area, and what true Brazilians wouldn't get feisty over a round of soccer, even if the game was played with a bunch of plastic figurines?
Growing up in Hawaii, it's difficult not to be a beach snob, but I've learned that there's all kinds of "beautiful". The beach that runs along Kill Devil Hills is more of the rough sand, colder water, pounding waves type, but being at the oceanside was idyllic regardless of the set up. Our beach day was a little overcast, but for me it just meant more time exposed before I was burned.
Photos, photos, photos... The photo above is of our friends Dwight and Aline, who moved to Chapel Hill last year from Pennsylvania. Our "Brazil radar" picked them out fairly quickly, and we discovered that not only did we have Brazil in common (Aline is from Rio de Janeiro and Dwight served a mission in Rio), but we really enjoyed each other's company too! Bonus!
Aline's dad Alvenir with all of the grandkiddos. We took a lot of family photos because it was their first complete family reunion in a number of years. We were sort of borrowed family members, but it was so much fun to see the kids all getting to know each other again, the adults staying up late on the patio laughing and catching up, and the Brazilian feast being made the first night we were there.
One of the interesting things about Kill Devil Hills is that the Wright Brother's visitors center and Monument are directly off of the main drag. Above is a model of the glider the brothers first made (with the monument in the background), and below is the rock that marks the place from where the Wright Brothers took off on their trial flights. There was a lot to learn from the Wright Brothers; tanacity, creativity, resourcefulness... They took painstaking notes and detailed calculations, and only after a lot of trial and error did they build a useable flying machine.
Hattaras Lighthouse! We had a chance to climb up to the top and look out over the Outer Banks. Aline and Dwight's little girl Bella wasn't quite tall enough to make the cut for going up, but the keeper let her up anyway.
On the way back to the beach house from Hattaras, we pulled over and two vans full of us spilled out onto the dunes. It was a spontaneous break from the drive, and it was one of the highlights of the trip, with all of the peacefullness and the dunes and the ocean.
Dwight, Bella, Aline and Joshua.