When Megan and Sarah, former colleagues from South Africa, contacted me on Wednesday to take a little vacation starting on Thursday, it all happened so fast. We wanted a fun place to meet between New York City and South Carolina and found ourselves meeting in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. They picked a house in Kill Devil Hills so that we could meet right in the middle of the Outer Banks (OBX). Even though they had a 9-hour drive from NYC and I had a 6-hour drive from SC, we managed to arrive just minutes apart! Our house was a block away from the rental office, so they grabbed our keys and we wasted no time. At the house, we checked out our rooftop deck, changed into our swimsuits, and headed straight to the beach. I couldn’t have fathomed swimming at the end of September as I was certain that it would be way too cold. And it was. But when Megan and Sarah strolled right into the water, I had to suck it up and gasp my way through easing into the water.
I had messaged Heather to get her expert advice on vacationing in the Outer Banks. We were excited to take her up on many of her suggestions, the first of which was to watch the sun set from Jockey’s Ridge, the tallest sand dune in the Eastern United States. We hurriedly left the beach, changed out of our wet swimming attire, and hopped in the car to make it in time for sunset. We commented on how we felt like we were back in Namibia on the world’s oldest sand dunes. After romping around the dunes and taking silly jumping photos, we sat still momentarily on a ridge to catch the last moments of the sun as it disappeared over the inlet. Behind us, the purple-blue sky over the ocean was lit up with a nearly full moon. It was a beautiful first evening in the Outer Banks, and my friends immediately wanted to do everything on Heather’s list of recommendations!
We decided to grab takeout and spend the evening in to catch up on each other’s lives. After a quick stop at the liquor store, we grabbed delicious pizza from Slice Pizzeria. Sarah found that it was highly recommended on Yelp. With a little pizza and Jim Beam, we polished off our first evening in Kill Devil Hills. The following morning, we went for breakfast at a coffee shop called Front Porch Cafe (another recommendation by Heather). Though my parents had also given us recommendations, like visiting Okracoke Island, our time together was so limited, that we went straight back to the beach house and spent the afternoon on the water. After another beautiful day with perfect weather, we headed back for showers and a shared bottle of wine up on our rooftop deck.
For dinner, we had two places in mind but ended up at Black Pelican. As our last night together, we thought it would be fun to go out. Unfortunately, when we asked locals on where we should go, you could hear crickets. Seeing as it was off-season in the Outer Banks, it wasn’t exactly a happening place to go out. We drove by several of the places we thought were possibilities- the first two were duds, and while the third, with karaoke, was a bit more ‘happening’, it was full of the 40ish biker crowd that had come to the island for Hog Rally Week. We got a good laugh out of it, but decided it wasn’t our scene, and headed back to enjoy one more night in the beach house.
The following morning we went for a last coffee (of course I had tea) at Morning View Coffee Shop. It was sad that our visit was so short, but I was so grateful for the time to catch up with cherished friends. And, as my first visit to the Outer Banks, I am now longing to go back!