Trip to the Ocean - Nags Head, North Carolina

When I moved to Virginia the end of 2010, one of the very first things I wanted to do was to get to the ocean.  I hadn't seen the ocean in 20 years ... since I left Texas.  But, due to all the construction and projects here, and all the unexpected problems, and lack of someone reliable to care for my dogs, it never happened.  My well went dry, then the earthquake hit.  My new swimming pool wouldn't hold water due to poor construction methods, so had to take the contractor to court and find someone else to repair the pool.  Two lightning strikes, and subsequent damages, topped off the list!  And, you have to realize that I haven't had even one night away from home, from responsibilities, in over 5 years, maybe 7 years!

But then a wonderful friend offered to come and care for my dogs so I could get away for a few days.  On July 16, 2013, Elmer and I headed to the ocean!  Even though we had to come home the following day, even two half-days on the beach, staying in a motel and having a wonderful seafood dinner (overlooking the ocean) was more exiting than I can even explain!   Having Elmer with me really made the trip ... he made so many friends on the beach, and had SO much fun retrieving in the ocean!  Everyone wanted to meet him, kids begged to throw my rubber sandal for him to retrieve, and I got lots of great pictures.  (BTW, most of these pictures were taken with my cell phone, not daring to take my good Nikon near the water.)

Of course, Elmer got to have some of my dinner, got to sleep on the bed with me ... my special, loving companion.  Someone said "it takes a real dog person to take a dog along on a trip to get away from the dogs!"  The trip wouldn't have been the same without Elmer.  I think he thought he was headed for a big dog show ... but this ended up being way more fun!  Thanks so much, Sybille, for making this trip possible!

When we first hit the beach, Elmer plastered himself to the wet sand, started digging in it.


Eventually, laying in it, wallowing like a seal!  Was so funny!


Then Elmer headed out ...

"Oh, NO!!!  What's that coming behind me??!!"
The first big wave that crashed over and rolled him was a bit of a shock!
Quite different from the water in my pond and swimming pool ... this water CHASES you!





This was the first afternoon, with the Nags Head fishing pier in the background.


A beautiful shot!



I absolutely LOVE this photo!!!





This is a view of the Nags Head fishing pier from my motel room


View to the north from my motel.  The steps on the left led from the motel porch to the beach.



The motel was nothing fancy, built in the 1940's, but was clean and my room (blue door on the left)

opened up to the covered porch right in the dunes ... with an ocean view.  Very casual & comfy!

The steps at the end of the porch went over the dunes, down to the beach. 


Here's the motel porch at dusk, from the beach steps ... I made friends there too.


View to the north at dusk.


View straight out from my porch at dusk, with the fishing pier lit up.




The fishing pier as it gets darker.




The Nags Head fishing pier and restaurant, taken from just below my motel.


A close up of the restaurant.  I walked there to have dinner on the open porch ...

listening to the waves, smelling the sea air, view of the fishing pier.  Heaven!



Taken from the restaurant deck where I ate in peace and quiet ... it was late, so only one couple out there.

Not "gourmet", but the shrimp and scallops were particularly fresh and wonderful!


After dinner, I walked out to the end of the fishing pier, chatted with some people fishing,

and got this wonderful photo!  Had to convert it to B&W, and did a watercolor effect.


A self-portrait, on the fishing pier.  (Artsy, yes???)


The next morning, we drove down to Jeanette's pier, on the National Seashore Park & Preserve. 



Then the REAL fun began!  I had forgotten to bring a retrieving toy for Elmer but, when

a big wave hit me and I lost both my rubber sandals, one floated out.

Duh, I have a retriever here ... with an arm signal and "Elmer, find it",

my sandal was back and I had a retrieving toy to use!

(See the sandal in the air in front of Elmer.)




This little boy in the orange shirt fell in love with Elmer, so his dad offered to take some of these pictures.

















Just before heading home, we went to the lighthouse ... not enough time to go up, but maybe next time.


There are some fabulous beach-front homes on the south end of Nags Head


These were taken going through Norfolk, on the bridge and through the underwater tunnel

(actually taken on the trip down to Nags Head).