July 16, 2013

On The Atlantic

SAND AND SURF. Being that we were on vacation on the coast, beach days were a must.
I think we were on the beach or in the water pretty much every day we were there. In my "1000 Places" book, Ocracoke's beaches are mentioned specifically as being oh so beautiful, and I've got to say that they definitely were. They are so untouched by people, which makes for a natural beauty that is becoming increasingly more difficult to find nowadays.

The sand was so white and fluffy - so different from what I have back home. And even though 4-wheel drive vehicles are allowed on the beach, the tracks they leave don't take away from that "softness" of the sand. Now the water... Well, I'm always amazed by the water. I may have said this before, but my hometown beach has brown water. No kidding. It is so cloudy and muddy. And I'm not trying to knock my own beach by any means; I'm well aware how blessed I am to be able to go to the beach so easily. But, I mean, it's not as "picture perfect" as people think. But on Ocracoke, the water is so clear. I don't want to say it was "so blue" the way so many of us describe ocean water because it really wasn't as "blue" as I was expecting. But the clarity was incredible. I'm not used to being able to see through the water, but I was able to, and I loved it. The water matched with the sand was straight out of a postcard.

I loved being able to spend time on such a natural part of the world. No buildings or hotels behind the dunes. No trash littering the sand. And there was so much room that I felt anything but crowded. It was perfect in all the right ways. I can't even think of anything negative about it - except for mine and Bryan's first beach day, but I'll save that for another post.

And some extra things to know for a good beach day on Ocracoke:
- It does cost money to drive on the beach. It's $50 for a week's permit I believe. But if you don't feel like paying that or if you don't have a 4-wheel drive vehicle, there are ramps farther down the highway towards the Hatteras Island ferry that are accessible by foot.
I highly recommend bringing tents and/or umbrellas with you to the beach. There is absolutely no shade whatsoever, and getting out there can be a bit of a chore. You won't want to leave once you get yourself parked, but the heat is exhausting, so you'll want a way to escape from it.
Don't forget water. I can't describe enough how hot and burning the sun is there. It's very different from what I'm used to with my beach, which I didn't think was possible when it came to beaches. Without water, I think I would have been a not-so-happy camper. 
- And don't forget sunscreen either. I firmly believe sunburns are a work of the devil, and I think almost everybody can agree with me on that. You don't want your vacation ruined because of a burn, so make sure to apply and reapply throughout the day.


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