Outer Banks Vacation Rental

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Our OBX Drive On The Beach

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Our OBX Drive On The Beach

A couple of weeks ago we decided to have our very own OBX drive on the beach.  Back in December, we decided to sell our tried and true Ford F150 for an upgraded 4 door F150 with 4×4.  One of the thoughts being that we could now confidently drive on the beach.

Departing the Condo

We set out from the condo and headed North on the bypass (Hwy 158).  The ride up to the 4×4 beach access point is roughly 40-45 minutes.  It’s a leisurely drive though and we made a couple of stops for coffee, water and a final bathroom break before hitting the sand.  Rolling through Southern Shores, Duck and Corolla you get to see and appreciate how different the towns are.  It’s a very different feeling than Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills and Kitty Hawk.


Preparing the Truck

We stopped in a parking lot about a half mile before the beach access so that we can air our tires down to 15psi.  If you decide to drive on the beach, you should have a decent tire gauge so that you’re able to air down your tires and get to that 15psi level.  It will also allow you to check your air level again when it’s later time to air up your tires.

Hit the Beach

We rolled onto the beach and immediately switched to 4×4 mode.  The sand is very soft and deep at the entrance to the beach.  Welcoming you onto the beach is the A1 Towing Service parked and ready to act.  There are dozens of pictures on the internet of people who attempt entry onto the beach and then get stuck because they thought it a good idea to bring their all wheel drive Porsche or 2WD pickup truck/SUV onto the beach.

Driving on the Beach

It’s a pretty neat feeling rolling away on the beach.  It is good practice to head North closer to the water, but not too close.  You don’t want the saltwater or spray to get onto your vehicle.  You’ll see other vehicles heading South and because they don’t want to encounter deep sand, they’ll make their way closer to the water and almost be head to head with you at times.  Just hold your line and let them move up the beach.  We headed all the way up to the Virginia line in Carova and turned around on the beach and started back again.  No horses were seen on the ride up, like we hoped.  It was decided to go into the neighborhoods that are adjacent to this “beach road”.  I will say, GPS is your friend here because the roads are all sand and not labeled.  But you will see them labeled on your GPS. 

Encountering the Horses

While roaming around the neighborhood streets we came across a Wild Horse Tour vehicle that was stopped.  Why else would they be stopped with folks taking pictures?  We pulled up next to them to discover a group of Mustangs grazing and in the shade for a bit next and under this house.  Remember, by law you need to stay at least 50ft from these animals.  They are wild creatures and unpredictable in how they may act.  You don’t want to get bitten or harmed.

Off the Beach

After making our way back down the beach and off the sand, there are signs that point you to the Corolla Historic Village.  This is a park area that is about 1.5 miles from the beach entrance.  There are signs that point you here so that you can air up your tires again at this park’s air stations.  Remember, your vehicle doesn’t like to be on asphalt with 15psi of air.  So, ride cautiously, slowly and with no sudden movements.  Make your way to the air station and air those tires up.  The air pumps are surprisingly fast and you’ll be on your way in no time.  Be sure to air up your tires to what the manufacturer suggests.  The manufacturer suggestion is located on a sticker on your driver’s side door jamb.

We certainly enjoyed our jaunt on the beach and hope you will too.  Be sure to have a look at our other blog post regarding the OBX horses.

We look forward to having you as guests!
Aris

OBX Taste of The Beach Recap

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OBX Taste of the Beach Recap

The famous weekend known as the OBX Taste of the Beach has come and gone.  Crystal and I attended one of the weekend’s event a couple of years ago with another friend of ours.  We attended the cornerstone event named the Chef’s Grand Tasting and Bubbly Bash, where 15-20 restaurants and their chefs, showcase their skills.  All types of entree samplings and desserts.  Again, what was two years ago at the now defunct Port O Call restaurant.  The Bubbly Bash portion is due to an equal number of bartenders from various establishments showcasing their cocktails and drink specialties.

Taste of the Beach 2019

This year, two friends and myself attended two events.  We decided to attend the BBQ and Wings Showdown on Saturday afternoon and the Chef’s Grand Tasting event.  Both were at the Soundside Event Site venue in Nags Head.  

BBQ and Wings Showdown

Not really knowing what to expect, we bought our tickets for this event and figured we’d have a good time regardless.  How can you go wrong chowing down on BBQ, ribs and wings?  That’s exactly what this was.  We walked into the tent at the event site and were handed a docket of participating restaurants, which also became your scoring sheet to rate the food.  You are encouraged to vote for best ribs, best wings and best BBQ as well as best in show.  You are also handed a punch card which entitles you to three drinks.  More drink cards (3 drinks) are available for purchase for $10.  There were a handful of stations from local breweries and NC wineries there for you to sample their products.  So you make your way around the tent and grab as much or as little as you’d like to sample from each of the restaurants.  You get to speak to the chefs and find out what they’re thinking and how they come up with their selections.  So many wings, sauces, ribs, sauces and all sorts of pulled pork BBQ.  Some chefs decide to go a step further with their own interpretations, like chef Jeremy Worthy from the Sandtrap Tavern, who offered up his 4oz pork shanks in his own mustard sauce.  When it’s all said and done, they announce the winners for each category.  However, there are People’s Choice awards granted as well as Judge’s Choice awards.  My final comment on this event is that it is the most I have eaten in quite a long time.

Chef’s Grand Tasting

Having done this event a couple of years ago, I sort of knew what to expect when I walked into the tent for this one.  You are handed a docket/menu/voting card in one hand and a mini tray and champagne flute in the other.  You are then told to make your way from restaurant to restaurant to sample their entrees and confections.  This setup takes up about half of this huge tent.  On the other side of the tent, you’ll find local breweries, wineries and bartenders offering their products.  The kicker?  Free of charge for the drinks.  No punch card, no gimmicks.  You are encouraged to leave tips for the bartenders which also serves as the way to count votes for the best drinks!  The proceeds are counted up and serve as vote tallies.  The proceeds go to the Beach Food Pantry.  We walked around and sampled a ton.  Rare tuna on herb tabbouleh, seafood cocktail, smoked mac n cheese with bacon wrapped shrimp, a couple of different seafood and pork egg rolls.  It doesn’t end there.  Scallops over Gouda with a bacon chutney (our favorite) from the Chef at Striper’s.  The same chef offered up a sous vide prepared rockfish over sweet potato puree.  The offerings were tremendous.  Key Lime pies, little berry tarts, exotic bread pudding, and more.  Again, when it’s all said and done, the votes are tallied and a People’s and Judge’s Grand Champion is awarded.

Closing Thoughts

Both events were run tremendously well.  My one criticism?  In my opinion, both events seem to long time Outer Banks Restaurant Association members.  Restaurants and Chefs that have been on the beach for a long time.  There were many awards given that completely surprised me.  Surprise as in I…I would not have placed these folks in the top 5, but somehow they won the main awards.  How and why?  Not for me to determine. I will say that I tend to judge food more on the substance and not the sauces that they are covered in.  Regarding the wings and ribs, I believe many may have judged the sauces.  Would I do it again?  The Grand Tasting?  Absolutely!  It’s such a carefree and worthwhile event if you are a food person.  The BBQ and Wings showdown?  Not so much.  At the end of the day, there are only but so many wings and so many ribs that you can eat and have them taste different. My advice to you?  Plan on going next year and book your time early.  As I did this year, I will wait until about a week before the event before I buy tickets to any events and block off the condo for our use.  It’s fair game for someone else before then! 🙂

Visit our M Villa OBX Facebook page or Instagram page to see pictures from the event. While you are there, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram. Don’t forget to read about “our” Taste of the Beach.

We look forward to having you as guests!

Aris