T R A V E L

Where The Wild Things Are

The wild horses of Corolla

After our visit at Currituck we drove just a little further to the northern shores of Corolla, where it is said that Colonial Spanish Mustangs roam free. The horses are lost colony descendants which arrived in the early 16th century along with the Spanish explorers/colonizers. In previous centuries there were thousands of these wild mustangs roaming the full length of the outer banks. Since then the Outer Banks has transformed from a remote place where few ever visited to a popular & developed vacation destination & their population has dwindled. The remaining herd can mainly be found on the stretch of narrow land & northern shores of Corolla up to the Virginia border. So we set out on a little family safari in search of the legendary mystical creatures. Just as the sun was setting we walked the shore & searched the dunes high & low. We were truly in awe of what we found. This was a magical evening that I will never forget.

Our search was a success !! After about an hour of walking the beach & searching the dunes, just as we were about to call it a night & a little bummed we hadn’t yet crossed paths with the wild horses this guy blessed us with his presence just over one of the dunes. It was truly magical ! He wandered about so peacefully & with such grace. The horses in my opinion are an integral part of what makes the Outer Banks so Special. Though they are wild, they are protected by North Carolina laws & The Corolla Wild Horse Fund. If you think they are as magnificent as I do, you can help protect them HERE. I hope these horses stay protected for years to come.

Currituck Lighthouse OBX part 4

In Corolla, also known as Currituck, tucked away in the trees you’ll find the Historic Currituck Light House. This Natural brick, Never painted, Lighthouse is in such a gorgeous setting on the Outer Banks. It is impeccably well kept & open for climbing to the top reaching 162 feet tall. Like the other lighthouses on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Currituck Beach Lighthouse still serves as aid in navigation. The beacon comes on automatically every evening at dusk & ceases at dawn. With a 20-second flash cycle the light can be seen for 18 nautical miles (about 21 land miles). Currituck Beach lighthouse was the last major brick lighthouse built on the Outer Banks.  We were up for the challenge  of climbing to the top. 220 stairs later the sprawling views did NOT disappoint here are some photos from our adventure at Currituck.

 

Make A WishAll the way Up We Go

Looking down . . . .

We made it !! 

I just loved the Keepers House Victorian Style Dwelling it was ever so charming.

And that’s a wrap on our Currituck Lighthouse adventures.

Stay tuned for OBX part 5 “Where The Wild Things Are” Featuring the Wild Spanish Mustangs of Corolla.

Outer Banks Adventures Part 2

An afternoon at Bodie Light House

The historic bodie light house is one of the many Icoinic lighthouses of the Cape Hatteras National Sea Shore, Built in 1872 standing at 165 feet tall this guy is a real beauty. After a fun day at the beach we took a drive down to Nags Head to check it out.

Behind the Scenes of a Sister Selfie

Afterward we went over to Millers Waterfront Restaurant for dinner.

 

Dinner here was very nice. We had a great view of the sound from our table & got to witness the most beautiful sunset while we waited for our food to arrive. I ordered the waterfront style scallops & they were so delicious. We were also served hushpuppies while we waited & you guys I’m not lying when I say they were some of the BEST hushpuppies I’ve ever had ! Im typically not a fan of those things but millers knows how to do a hushpuppy right.

 

Outer Banks Adventures Part 1

Family Vacation Summer 2016 

This Summer my Family & I took a Vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks islands are made up of quaint towns & charming communities, its unlike any beach on the east coast. I couldn’t be more grateful for this trip & the memories we made during that week in June. Spending time with family always fills my soul with so much love & gratitude. I am so happy I get to call them mine. From our lazy beach days, and all of our adventures to gathering around the table for dinner, sharing stories & many many laughs. This is a trip that I will cherish & hold dear to my heart for all of time. It was by far the highlight of my Summer. I live for moments like these . . . .

1st Stop Jockeys Ridge

 Kitty Hawk Kite Festival at Jockey’s Ridge

Before our trip my sister & I had done enough research to know that Jockey’s Ridge was a must see. This place is truly remarkable. If you are ever in the Nags Head area do yourself a favor & go check out Jockey’s Ridge. You will not be disappointed. Just make sure to take water with you if you are visiting in the warmer months. The desert-like temperatures are no joke.

Scientists believe that the barrier islands of the Outer Banks were remains of the last Ice Age, which ended about 12,000 years ago. Thats pretty cool if you ask me. They have also concluded that Jockey’s Ridge itself came into being about 7,000 years ago. The process of how this came about is unclear; however, scientists believe that minerals such as quartz were washed from the mountains of the state to the ocean, creating sand. This sand was pushed onto the beaches of the area by storms & hurricanes & was eventually blown onto the area that is now known as Jockey’s Ridge.

Jockey’s ridge is a 426 -acre state park in Nags Head that includes the tallest active sand dune system in the eastern United States & contains three unique ecosystems, the roanoke sound, the dune system, & the maritime forest. Jockey’s Ridge is nothing short of AMAZING. I was in awe of all the Natural Beauty it possessed.

On the 1st day we arrived in the outer banks Kitty Hawk Kites was setting up shop on top of the dunes in Jockey’s Ridge to display 30-100 ft kites & offering up free stunt kite lessons for the Annual Rogallo Kite Festival to celebrate Francis Rogallo a NASA scientist & the inventor of the flexible wing. His inventions started the sport of hang gliding & his designs have carried over into stunt kites, power kites, and hang gliders that are flown today. The kites were a spectacular site to see flying high above the dunes. Here are some photos I was able to snap of the very impressive & biggest kites I’ve ever seen.img_5388

 

Farm Fresh

T.S Smith & Sons is an 800 acre family-owned farm located in Bridgeville, Delaware. On a recent road trip of mine I was more than pleased to stumble upon this farm. The packing house in bridgeville is the oldest in the state dating back to 1928 with vintage equipment that is still in use today! The packing house is also the main location for their farm market where you will find fresh fruits & veggies in a small room filled with jams, jellies, local honey & their famous apple butter, apple sauce & apple cinnamon donuts !!

I am a huge supporter of local farms in fact if I had it my way I would NEVER shop at a super market. Being raised in North Carolina community-supported agriculture was a way of life. Agriculture is the backbone to our economic system & the reasons to support your local farms are endless. Family farmers need our support. Buying directly gives them a better return for their produce not to mention most of the food found in grocery stores these days is highly processed & grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, & genetic modification. Do your body a favor & nourish it with freshness many of our farmers go through great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible. The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal always fresh & delicious & reflects the truest flavors.

Here are a few photos from my pit-stop at T.S Smith & SONS

Asparagus my personal favorite.

Quaint & Country

The Greenhouse

My Selection Road Trip Snacking at its best !!!! I don’t know what it was about those green bean chips but I am surprised they lasted longer than a day so so good.

Honestly these were Freshest & Juiciest Strawberries I’ve had in a long time. They were a real treat.

T.S Smith & Sons is home to many crops from their Apple Orchards to Peaches, Sweet Corn, Cantaloupe, Nectarines, Pumpkins, Watermelons, Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Turnips, Asparagus, Sweet Cherries, & Collards. This is a real farm that produces real fresh top quality fruits & vegetables. I was more than impressed & grateful to have had the chance to visit this lovely establishment.

Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center is one of the worlds leading sculpture parks. It offers more than 100 sculptures and installations created by some of the most acclaimed artist of our time. Each sculpture is carefully sited across 500 acres of fields, hills, and woodlands. The center is located in the lower hudson valley situated between Storm King Mountain and Schunnemunk Mountain naturally creating the most beautiful picturesque backdrop for the sculptures. Located only 50 miles north of the George Washington Bridge it could make for a great day trip from NYC. Visitors are encouraged to discover sculptures on foot along the various walking paths. Accessible trams run regularly stopping at designated stops and they also offer bicycles for rent on a first come first served basis. This was the last stop of my Hudson Valley Trip. The weather was perfect that day. If your looking for a serene day drip to escape NYC I highly recommend you pay storm king a visit. A few photos from my visit below.

An Afternoon in Cold Spring

Brunch at Hudson Hil’s Cafe & Market did not disappoint. Their full breakfast & lunch menu features fresh, local ingredients from Hudson Valley Farms. The restaurant itself is quaint & charming with an extensive front porch for outdoor seating.  The reconizable sound of the screen door entrance brought back a sense of nostalgia from my southern roots. I love when restaurants have a farm to table concept. Hudson Hil’s is just that. If you are ever in the Cold Spring area & looking for a good meal they are definitely worth checking out.

 “Eleanor’s Best” Blueberry Jam really lived up to its name. It truly was the best blueberry jam I’ve ever tasted !

And check out the peppers they had growing in the flower boxes !

Cold  Spring  General  Store

I picked up some lavender essential oil & a few other things

from cold spring apothecary. I love everything about this place.

To my fellow Yogi’s

∇ Beacon ∇

Fall In Hudson Valley Part 2

As we enter autumn we also approach harvest season for apples. Apples & peanut butter is one of my  favorite snacks of all time so naturally while in hudson valley I ranked spending a morning at a nearby orchard high on my to-do list. Not only is picking your own fruit a fun recreational fall activity but also very beneficial in a lot of ways. Once a fruit is harvested, its water content slowly absorbs its store of water – soluble vitamins. In the time it would normally take farmers to harvest & ship their product to a supermarket you end up with a piece of fruit that is not as nutrient dense as it was the moment it was picked. You receive the maximum amount of nutrients when you pick yourself from an orchard. You also contribute to the economy & environment when you buy directly by cutting out the middlemen & reducing the cost it takes to obtain the fruit. In other words Fresh Is Best ! I did some research to find an orchard in the area and came across Fishkill Farms. They are a family owned farm who practices ecological farming which is all about sustainability – food production that gives back to the land so it remains healthy. Their commitment to environmentally responsible farming sets them apart from most local farms in the area. They grow low spray fruit and recently became one of the only orchards in the region to offer pick-your-own apples according to organic standards !! Chemical free fruit ! Yes Please !! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute on the farm & couldn’t have picked a better day to go (my birthday) the weather was beautiful that day.

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My Favorite

M U M S : D

Searching for the Perfect Pumpkin

These Donuts were melt in your mouth best I’ve ever had !!

The Apple Cider was pretty good too.

Those donuts though so fresh so warm & oh so good !!

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Fall In Hudson Valley

October approached as did my birthday ! I just love this time of year & not for the obvious reason of it being my birthday ! More so because the seasons are changing & everything that comes along with that is just spectacular in my opinion. It is an oppurtunity for me to not only celebrate my life but to reflect on life itself, to take the time to admire all the beauty around me. Fall is so Fun & one can’t help but to “Fall” in love with all the festivities that acompany the season. I love seeing the leaves turn their vibrant colors just before falling off the trees to cover the ground beneath us with hues of yellow, orange & red. From Fall Festivals, Apple picking, Apple Cider, All things Pumpkin & Mulling Spices simmering on the stove whats not to love?  I love how the air turns cool & brisk after a long hot summer it’s so refreshing. Sweater weather, cozy blankets & a cup of hot tea all really help set the mood. This Fall season I wanted to escape the hectic pace of the city in effort to unwind, recharge & take it all in from a more remote location. I love exploring & embarking on new adventures + anything that involves nature & outdoor time you can count me in. Hudson Valley seemed to fit the mold perfectly. Below are some photos from My Hudson Valley Adventures. 

1’st Stop NORTHGATE aka Cornish Estate  Tucked away in the woods of Cold Spring New York. What used to be a fabulous estate & dairy farm built in the 1920’s spanning several hundred acres now stands a collection of ruins called Northgate Cornish Estate. The ruins are now part of the Hudson Highlands State Park on Breakneck Ridge & can be found right off the Cornish Estate Trail. The Trail is about a 5-6 mile strenuous hike. I sugguest a good pair of hiking boots,  lots of water & allowing yourself plenty of day light for this adventure. 

I thought These Berries Resembled Acai Berries although I’m pretty sure they are mostly native to Brazil & Northern South America.