Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Duck, North Carolina

When planning a family trip after Marty finished summer school at BYU Salt Lake Center and before he moved down to BYU Provo, Marty said he wanted to go on a beach vacation. Well... we were just going to be getting back from our beach vacation to Newport Beach! He had to miss most of it for school, and we never get tired of the beach. So we decided to go, but to try somewhere different.

That's how we came across Duck, North Carolina. We googled for "best boogy boarding" and got Outer Banks. And it all started there.

While looking for activities I came across hang gliding and sky diving. And learned that Outer Banks was where Kitty Hawk is. Where flying all began. Something new. Something the boys had previously mentioned that they wanted to try. And when I mentioned the possibility, they were so excited!

We had a long flight and then a long drive to get to North Carolina, but that late night had the excitement of sky diving and hang gliding the next day to look forward to.

Unfortunately for him, Chris wasn't old enough to sky dive. You have to be 18. But of course Marty was and he was so excited!
Marty before, during and after!

This just about says it all!
He said it was the best feeling ever. If he could go right back up, he would have. He's got plans to get licensed after his mission. He loved it!

After his jump, we drove directly to Kitty Hawk for our hang gliding lesson at the sand dunes. After an instruction class, we walked out to the dunes for the real thing. While it was soooo hot and humid outside, over at the dunes there was a breeze. The sand was so hot, we had to wear Keens or the brave took off our their shoes but kept their socks on to protect their feet from blistering.

We each got 3 or 4 turns with our instructor. It wasn't easy! If you got even 3 feet off the ground, it felt like a huge success! Nick was the smallest and got in the air the easiest. It's pretty technical with the smallest movements directing the kite.

 It was super challenging but a lot of fun!

After several hours, we were covered in sand, hot, sweaty, tired but exhilerated! 
It was a relief to get back to the hotel and shower and cool off. 
Crab for dinner and it was a perfect day.
(Side note: After taking my contacts out, I couldn't close one of my eyes. I thought I had scratched my cornea. It never got better so I slept in my contacts the whole time. Several days after we got home I finally got in to see the ophthalmologist. I had several pieces of sand embedded on the inside of my eyelid! What a relief to finally get them out!)

The next day we had arranged for Marty and Chris to have a real hang gliding experience -- tandem with an instructor. A glider-type plane (Dan would know what it's called) pulled them up and then cut the tow rope and they glided for about 15 minutes. They had no other people after us, so the family talked me into doing it too. (I've always wanted to hang glide!) Nick was on the fence. But after Chris went, Nick and Dan both decided they'd go too! It was a blast. I got a little air sick as we were taking some turns but not too bad. Everyone LOVED it!

The next few days we enjoyed not doing anything! Unfortunately, the beach by our hotel was FREEZING! Apparently there's a current running in that area and it just happened to be cold the week we were there. Ask anyone, they'll tell you Outer Banks is always warm. So we had some bad luck. But we played at the pool, watched some Olympics at the hotel, and ate good food.

The best thing we discovered was Duck Donuts. Seriously, you have never had a donut so delicious. We went every day and we each had at least two. And they were worth Every Bite. I'm not kidding. They were amazing.

Watching the donuts get made!

It's kind of weird taking trips without Courtney. But it was so nice to all be together -- just our little family (minus Courtney). Everyone had fun together and was patient with each other. I think we all were feeling like it was our last chance to all be together before Marty left for college and we wanted it to be perfect.

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