I wish I could report to you that I took advantage of the homeowner's exercise room and kept up my routine of running, exercising and swimming.....NOT....here's what I did most of the time! :)
My friend and I roamed up and down the beach everyday at low tide searching for pretty shells......Us shell seeking ladies found lots of gorgeous black shells and purple shells. I sent the purple ones to Ms. Boo, 'cause purple is her favorite color. I think a purple mermaid with green hair left those shells for me to find, at least that is what I told my grand-daughter. :) CS is going to use hers in some stepping stones and wind chimes. (Hope she makes me one for Christmas...hint, hint.) A lonnnnnnnng time ago my Daddy taught me to surf cast. And I remember many wonderful times sitting in a low beach chair, surf side, with our poles stuck in a rod holder, as we chatted the night away. My casting skills were a little rusty but eventually I came around; unfortunately the fish weren't biting.
The new homes in the area we stayed in are required to have sand dunes between them and the ocean to try and prevent erosion because of the nature of the bad storms that frequent the Outer Banks. The photos below show the long wooden walkways leading to the beach. Our walkway led to nowhere. Because recent storms had shifted the sand and totally covered up the end of the walkway and the little sitting area.
As recently as the 1970’s, there were no paved roads leading into Corolla, also known as North Beach, and it was little more than an isolated natural haven. Our beach house was located at the very tip of the paved road. Just a block or so away, you headed off the road to travel on the beach. There are some houses on this stretch of beach and I was amazed to see them so close to the ocean. No way would I want to be there when a hurricane or even a bad storm blew in. But most of the beach houses were way behind the dune line. Even with a 4 wheel drive people get stuck in the sand and a tow truck always sits at the entrance to the beach drive to pull vehicles out (and to make lots of money). It looks so funny to see a caravan of cars driving down the beach. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon, which is house rental check-in time, that is exactly what you see. Driving on the beach is a unique experience and a ton of fun. In fact, that was the main reason we bought our first 4-wheel drive years ago, so we could drive on the beach and have cool rod holders on the front of the car. (grin)
Beyond the paved road and into the wilder realms, you'll likely encounter some of the free-roaming wild horses. There are about 90 horses freely roaming the 12,000 acres between the end of the paved road and the Virginia state line. Their roaming area used to be larger but because people tried to feed them, a few were mean to them or unfortunately, had accidents with careless drivers, sound to sea barriers have been put up (thank goodness). The horses are a beautiful sight to see as they travel down the beach and in the surf. They are quite healthy as they feed on saltmeadow hay, witch grasses, threesquare, needlerush and common reed grasses. They also have a naturally occurring water supply. They are descendants of Spanish mustangs brought to the North Carolina coastline in the 1600's. These gorgeous creatures are now protected by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. The wild horses of the Currituck Outer Banks have survived nearly 500 years of fierce Nor’easters and hurricanes. They are truly representative of the Outer Banks spirit – untamed and rugged – and are an integral part of what draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to the northern beaches every year. Nowhere else can you see wild Mustangs walking along the beach and grazing among beach homes. I hope, if you have time, you will look at this short compelling You-tube piece on these gorgeous animals called Voice of the Horses.
We visited the wild horse museum, which in itself is a very sweet historical building. It is the tiny old fishing village of Corolla, in the old one room school house. The visiting museum children have made all these sweet wooden horses and horse statues have been erected by various people in the shopping areas.
After visiting the mustang store and some shopping on the way home, you know I just had to do a little antique and vintage treasure hunting. How could I resist this charming vintage oil painting beach scene? If I had a beach house it would be painted in cool aquas, white, and blues and old paintings like this one would be hanging everywhere. But, since I don't (boohoo...maybe some day) the painting goes in The Vintage Nest. I will leave you now with my new hair style (beach hair....haha....ugh!) and dreams of returning soon to my fave place in the whole wide world.