Every year we spend a week on Hatteras Island, NC, where I grew up. For one week every year I get to pretend that there are no street kids, no poverty and no orphans. For one week the world is all salt water and steamed shrimp and sun kissed cheeks. The week is never long enough and I’m always sad to leave. It never fails; when we get back on 285 in Atlanta and traffic is backed up and I’m surrounded by concrete, I wonder why I ever left the beach. Seeing where I grew up is a huge part of understanding this blog and why I’m so dedicated to getting my kids outside and into nature. I had a beach and a salt marsh. They have a lake and a forest. Growing up outside grounded me and gave me a sense of transcendence that you won’t find in a sitcom or a video game. I want my kids to have that same connection to nature, that same need to get outside. So I’ll quit with the yapping and show you some pictures of my favorite place in the whole wide world, Hatteras Island.
This is the sun rising over Hatteras Village. I was headed out to go deep sea fishing with my little brother who works on a charter boat out of Hatteras. It doesn’t get any better than this. It just doesn’t.
Sunset at the southern end of Hatteras Island
This is my little brother holding my son and a wahoo he caught.
This pretty girl is Maisy. She goes out to sea every day with her dad on the Hatteras Fever.
We always stay at a house on the soundside and I like to have my morning coffee on the dock. The water is so still in the early morning sometimes.
The Orange Blossom Bakery is legendary. They make a thing called an Apple Ugly that is fried dough and soft apples. It is enormous and delicious and well worth the calories and the 13 hour drive to get one.
Every day we go down to the dock to see my brother and his catch for the day. These are mahi mahi and they are deeeeeeeelicious!
This is my dad. He’s been fishing the waters off Hatteras, both charter and commercial, since he was 15. He knows every fish, bird, crab, rip current, tide pool, oyster bed and inlet in these waters. This year my kids met him at the dock and climbed aboard his boat. He showed them how to feed small fish called fatback to the pelicans.
My mom’s friend has chickens and she let the kids come over to gather the eggs and feed the chickens. It was actually one of the highlights of their beach vacation.
This is the beach where I spent many an afternoon as a child. I learned to swim here and later how to surf. On nice days, the water is a clear green. I know there are turquoise waters in the tropics, but nothing is more majestic to me than the green of the mid Atlantic.
And finally, what was almost a family portrait. But Hunter fell asleep inside and missed it!