This past weekend we took a break from hiking the mountains of Virginia and visited the beaches of North Carolina! We’re very fortunate that we live so close to so many water sources. Some of our favorite walking spots are along the York River and James River, but nothing beats the ocean. As a kid, we went to the beach for at least one week every summer. I remember how excited I always was the morning it was finally time to leave for our family vacation.
As an adult, I still love the beach. Luckily, Graham and Hermione do too. We live about 40 minutes away from Virginia Beach, and we live even closer to other beaches (on the bay & the river), but the Outer Banks are my favorite. And several of the Outer Banks beaches are dog friendly all summer, while Virginia Beach is not. It’s a slightly longer drive (it usually takes about two hours), but it’s worth it.
Saturday was an adventure. There was traffic pretty much the WHOLE drive, and the two hour drive took about 3.5 hours. I hate traffic, so I was getting pretty irritable. Once we were there, I was able to relax, and we had a wonderful day. We decided to take Hermione for a walk before we went to the beach, so we stopped at the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. They have about seven trails, but dogs are only allowed on three of them. We took two of the trails, which equaled about a mile and a half. It was absolutely beautiful, and so peaceful.
Of course our little fish was instantly in the water.
One of the more interesting things we say was this family grave site in the middle of the woods. Completely random, and a little sad. This family probably picked this spot because it was pretty, and now it’s enclosed by a chain link fence in a public area. At least it was preserved and not bulldozed…
After our walk, we drove a few more miles to the beach. We picked the most beautiful day to go imaginable. The temperature was mild, it wasn’t too crowded and I have never, ever seen the Atlantic Ocean that blue.
We brought tennis balls for Hermione, and her and Graham had a blast splashing around and playing in the water.
She is such a good swimmer. We’re both so glad she loves the water as much as she does.
She’s not the biggest fan of the waves though. So Graham would pick her up and help her with those. Seriously. my heart was melting.
Eventually, they got tired of the water and joined me in the sand.
This dog is adorable ALL the time. But when her face is covered in sand or snow? The cuteness just kills me! Crabs kept popping up, and she would chase after them. Completely adorable. We also had her tied to my chair with a 10 foot long piece of rope. She’s never been restricted like that, so when she would start walking and suddenly come to a stop, she would look back at us with total confusion all over her face. At one point she took off so fast after a bird, she broke the rope…
Thanks to the traffic, we didn’t make it into Nags Head until almost 2:30, but we made the most of our day and didn’t leave the beach till nearly 7:00. We were all tired and sandy, especially the dog, but it was totally worth it!