A Jockey’s Ridge Adventure

Robb and I have been trying to make sure that we get out of the house on some of these January weekend days (of course, the ones that are warm and sunny, not cold, yucky and rainy like yesterday). Our first adventure was to the Great Dismal Swamp, followed by Merchant Millpond, and last weekend – Jockey’s Ridge.

We have a conservation farm that we plan to take the dogs to soon, hopefully. None of these locations are really out of the way for us and it’s nice to explore places that I haven’t been to in 10+ years!

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We started our day with Duck Donuts – one of my must-dos every time I head down to the beach. I normally go with the same doughnut: chocolate glazed with peanuts, but the cinnamon sugar is also delicious. Robb went with maple glazed.

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I came across this and love how the picture came out. Funny story: we are walking the dogs through a wooded area with lots of cacti scattered around. About the time I noticed it and moved to comment, Belle jumped about 5 feet straight in the air. Apparently she had noticed a cactus as well for she kept her nose to the ground the rest of the time.

 

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We followed our day up with lunch at Mama Kwan’s for their delicious fish tacos (Mama’s World Famous Fish Taco) and plain Pad Thai. After that, we went and saw ‘The Revenant’ – a movie that Robb really wanted to see but that I enjoyed as well.

Duck Donuts
(numerous locations, but I prefer the Kitty Hawk one best)
710 S Croatan Hwy,
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Jockey’s Ridge State Park
Carolista Drive,
Nags Head at milepost 12 on the Hwy 158 Bypass

Mama Kwan’s Tiki Bar and Grill
1701 S Croatan Highway
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

Day Trip to Manteo

I had a friend come up this weekend so we decided to head over to Manteo for the day. It had been years since I’ve been to Manteo, which is a shame since it’s maybe an hour and a half away. Our first stop was historic downtown Manteo, where we browsed the farmer’s market and walked the boardwalk.

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Blueberry Lime popsicle from Zen Pops at the Manteo Farmer's Market - such a fabulous, fresh taste.
Blueberry Lime popsicle from Zen Pops at the Manteo Farmer’s Market – such a fabulous, fresh taste.
Manteo Farmer's Market - I purchased a small jar of 'Summer Crush'- a orange, carrot, and ginger marmalade.
Manteo Farmer’s Market – I purchased a small jar of ‘Summer Crush’- a orange, carrot, and ginger marmalade.
Though there was a chill in the air when the breeze blew, the water felt nice, we saw quite a few swimmers.
Though there was a chill in the air when the breeze blew, the water felt nice, we saw quite a few swimmers.

After a quick lunch at Ortega’z (delicious, I had the fish tacos with mahi mahi and my friend had the buffalo shrimp po’boy) and some ice cream, we headed over to the aquarium. We walked around for a bit, oohing and aahing at the different sea life that the aquarium had (and also trying to avoid getting eaten by a T-Rex).

Happy turtle at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island; the otters are always my favorite part.
Happy turtle at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island; the otters are always my favorite part.
T-Rex at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island; he moved and roared at us!
T-Rex at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island; he moved and roared at us!

We headed to the Elizabethan Gardens and I looked forward to just meandering through the grounds. There were so many paths that we could wonder down, it was fabulous. I really enjoyed looking at the herb garden near the front – I was thrilled to see a lot of the same herbs as I have in my own collection. I purchased a bottle of Mothervine Scuppernong Grape Juice, a Foxglove plant, and a St. John’s Wort plant for my collection.

Elizabethan Gardens
Elizabethan Gardens
Me posing at the Elizabethan Gardens; I could have spent hours here, especially if I had brought a picnic lunch.
Me posing at the Elizabethan Gardens; I could have spent hours here, especially if I had brought a picnic lunch.

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Our last stop, which was what I most looked forward to, was the Alligator River Refuge. We were there to take part in one of the Spring Red Wolf Howlings (you can read more about it in the June issue of ‘Our State’ magazine). Our guide was so informative and after an introduction to the red wolves, we all piled back into our vehicles and made our way down to the refuge. I was third in line and could see piles of dust being kicked up behind me. My car is still covered in dust!

Fortunately, I was at the front because the wolves had already started howling when we arrived at our destination. Those at the end of the caravan missed the howls, which is a shame but I hope that doesn’t deter them from trying again. However, I highly recommend adding this as a stop on your trip.

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