Monday, December 28, 2009

OBX or Bust!

The day after Christmas we jumped in the car and headed off the the Outer Banks. The goal was to see as many light houses, and cross as many bridges as we could in 2 days! The air was chilly, but we had a wonderful time seeing the sites and walking along the beach.

The first stop was Roanoke Island and the site of the Lost Colony.
Apparently English businessmen didn't actually know how to live off the land.
The walk around Roanoke was beautiful, even in late December. We make have to go back to compare summer foliage and experience all these sites when they are actually open.

Roanoke also has a wonderful boardwalk with shops and restaurants.

Our next stop was Kill Devil Hills and the Wright Brothers Memorial. This is the spot where Orville and Wilber launched the first 4 powered flights on Dec. 17th 1903.

Here is the landing spot of the 4th flight attempt. 852 ft. from take off.

The brother's picked the spot because of the soft sand and because it had no trees.

Paul making his first flight atop the memorial. Several people stopped to photograph him flying his kite.

Our hotel was right on the beach, so we were able to take a morning stroll. Olive was in heaven!

Bodie Lighthouse. Pronounced "Body", and may have gotten its name from the many bodies that washed ashore from shipwrecks.

Pauls attempt at taking a photo of us together. There weren't too many people around to be our photographer.

Crossing one of the many bridges that connect the OBX islands.

Lighthouse #2, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. This is the tallest working lighthouse in America. It has been moved inland because the sandy island is slowly moving. The original foundation is now underwater.

We watched some dedicated surfers brave the winter sea. It gives me chills just thinking about it.

On the ferry ride to Okracoke Island. Blackbeard country. In fact, Paul is growing a black beard of his own in honor of the dreaded pirate!

Okracoke's lighthouse. Olive was being a very good dog.

A beautiful sunset ferry ride back to the mainland. A great conclusion to a great trip!!

Buon Natale!

It was an Italian Christmas at the Thayn house this year!

Steven and Marina Stanton, Paul and Bel Thayn, David holding Lily and Kara Thayn holding Jackson

The night started with an amazing Italian dinner, which included dishes such as bruschetta, caprese salad, and zucchini. To compliment our traditional dishes, Kara made a delicious turkey! Just as in Italy, at the end of dinner, each husband found a note of appreciation under his plate.

After dinner it was time for quilling! Quilling is the art of curling small strips of paper into different shapes and crafting them into beautiful works of art. We made ours into Christmas ornaments we could hang on our trees.

For dessert we enjoyed the traditional Italian dish of caramelized pears with a wedge of cheese. It was a simple dish, but turned out to be a hit!

As soon as we finished dessert, we all sat back and listened to the story of Old Befana, the Christmas witch. According to Italian legend, Befana was too busy sweeping to realize the Christ child had been born. When she finally decided to take him a gift, it was too late, and she continues to this day to fly on her broom searching for him. She leaves children gifts in hopes of finding the right one.

At the end of the story, our niece and nephew found a basket of goodies on the doorstep. Old Befana had flown over the house and left us gifts!

"More kok-O-late, Bel?"

After the story we tried an Italian hot cocoa which turned out so thick we couldn't drink it. However, the biscotti we dipped in it was heavenly! Thanks, Kara!

The night was coming to a close, and after we each opened one gift, it was time to say "buonanotte!" (good night) and wait for Santa to come.

Sugar plums would soon be dancing in this boy's head