Two weeks ago I spent a week in the Outer Banks, North Carolina for the first time with family and friends. After living in Hawaii for three years, I am usually skeptical of visiting beaches on the mainland’s coast. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was no Sunset Beach on the North Shore, but the coast was fairly clear of debris and the sand was decent. It turned out to be a great place to pick shells and rocks that the waves have shaped to smooth perfection. As I spent time walking along the shore I was reminded of how I prefer the ocean to the mountains. My wife’s the opposite. But I would go for a beach house before I would go for a mountain lodge any day. Not that I’m a big ocean sports guy – I’m not. But I enjoy the sound of the waves as they crash along the shore, beating as the pulse of Mother Earth. I enjoy the sunsets, the smell, the sand beneath my feet and the idea that the vast openness appearing before me as I look out from the shore leads to new lands across the world. Given a choice, I prefer the ocean.

While on the Outer Banks we visited Roanoke Island, a National Park commemorating the first English colony in the New World. Who knew that more than 20 years prior to Jamestown there was a protected island off of North Carolina that the English used to try to establish a presence in America. When you visit the Park you quickly learn that it didn’t go so well for these colonists and the . But I’ll let you read about it here.

Another first for me – a speeding ticket. Yup, the first one I’ve ever received. Apparently New York driving doesn’t go down so well on the state highways of North Carolina. I learned the hard way.

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