In any case the vacation itself was magnificent! I think we knew it was going to be good the minute we laid eyes on our rental. Looking at this photo, there was nothing but trees to the left. The people in the house on the right didn't show up until Thursday so we had quite a bit of privacy. We really enjoyed both decks - I watched the sun rise nearly every morning from that upper deck. We also had a couple of happy hours up there too.
All along Route 12 aka S. Virginia Dare Trail are beach access points. This is the one we went to most often - a wreck of the USS Huron lies off the coast here. This was only 2 blocks from our rental but because there was no beach cart as they promised, we had to ride over with our chairs, cooler, etc. every day.
As I mentioned last week, I walked or ran nearly every single day we were there. On the day that it was overcast and supposed to rain, I walked the beach for four miles. So peaceful and beautiful and all sorts of things were washed up because of the impending storm, including these jellyfish. I have no idea if they sting or hurt because once I saw them I tried hard not to step on any!
While we grocery shopped and prepped quite a bit of food at the rental, we did go out to eat three times: once for breakfast because one of Mr. Helen's students raved about a pancake place called Stack 'Em High, once for eastern Carolina style BBQ, and once for a fancier meal.
Mr. Helen ordered pancakes and I chose the giant Biscuit Egg Sandwich, both delicious. We would go back, for sure!
We chose Sooey's BBQ and Rib Shack for our BBQ meal and we were not disappointed. We both chose eastern Carolina style pulled pork and smoked brisket as our meats. I got collard greens and mac and cheese, and Mr. Helen got potato salad and coleslaw. The food was so good and my only regret was that we didn't go one more time for that delicious pulled pork. No photos because we had chosen to sit on their upper deck and while waiting we got to see a beautiful sunset over Jockey's Ridge State Park, which was right across the street. I think I got so distracted I forgot to take photos of the food. Either that, or I was so hungrily anticipating that eastern Carolina pulled pork I couldn't wait to dig in.
For our "fancy" meal we chose Tale of the Whale, based on reviews we read and also based on a Wine Spectator article I read where they were named as a top restaurant in NC for inexpensive but delicious wines. No reservations are taken here so we left our place and arrived around 6:15. We expected to wait, and wait we did - we weren't seated until 7:30, fine since that's when we normally eat. They have a great setup for waiting though - they give you a buzzer and send you to their outside deck and pavilion. Out there is seating, a bar, and entertainment. Plus you end up talking with other vacationers and the time goes by quickly! This was a fantastic meal and really for as nice as it was, not all that expensive. We had a bottle of wine, two appetizer, two entrees, and shared a dessert and it was $108. The food and the ambiance were excellent. Here's the meal I have some photos of.
I somehow managed to miss taking a photo of dessert but it was a layered chocolate ice box cake that we, again, ate the rest of the next evening. We will definitely make this a must go to restaurant when we go back.
You'll notice I said, "when" we go back - because we will. This is the first place we've vacationed where we liked it just as much as our Caribbean vacation home, St. Martin. So now we have a US vacation home in the Outer Banks. Even with the terrible drives what happened in between was worth it. I'm hoping that, like the pain of childbirth, we will forget the agony and keep the great memories. Until we meet again Nags Head!
Next post: The things we did besides the beach.