Outer Banks Marathon Weekend

Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon

obx-marathon-november-outer-banksCalling all types of runners! Outer Banks Sporting Events has a race for every type of runner out there, all on the same weekend too. In November a diaper dash, Family Fun Run, 5k, Southern 6 miler, 10k, Southern Fried half marathon, and the big Outer Banks Marathon hit the roads and trails of our beautiful Dare county.  This big weekend all goes down November 7-9. Typically, weather this early in November is perfect for running. It may take you a couple miles to get warmed up. but the air is clean and crisp, very low humidity, and there is a nice breeze.  The weekend is packed with races and related events such as a pasta party and post race party.  The schedule below is from the Outer Banks Sporting Events website and most times are to be determined.

Race EXPO and Packet Pick-up

November 7 l 12-7pm l Dare County Youth Center

This is where runners can pick up their bibs, event t-shirt, some free running swag and grab any last minute gear they may need. Past vendors have included Sound Feet Shoes, TRI Sports, Roanoke Island Running Company and much more! There will also be a second day to the expo on Saturday November 8 from 9AM – 6PM. Parking is limited so I would advise riding together and possibly be prepared for walking.

Outer Banks 10k

November 8 l First Flight High School

New for 2014, they upped the ante from an 8k to now a 10k. This is an out-and-back course that all begins and ends on the First Flight High School track. From the track to a dirt road, to road, to trails in Nags Head Woods, this race will give you a run for your money. This race is also a part of “The Challenge”. Paired with the Marathon, if you run both this and the Marathon you walk away with 3 medals for the weekend. There is a time limit of 1:45 and is walker friendly. Due to the off-road part of the course this it’s not stroller or wheelchair friendly. I would also recommend for runners to arrive fairly early to FFHS. There are so many events and races going on that parking can fill up rather quickly. I would also recommend leaving any extra belongings in the car just to be on the safe side because there won’t be a bag check at these races.

Buccaneer 5k

November 8 l First Flight High School

The Kelly Hospitality Group presents the Buccaneer 5k. This is an out-and-back course that runs the first half of the 10k. Be prepared for track, dirt road, road, and trail running. This is a timed event and is part of “The Challenge” with the half marathon. This race you have to pre-register for on OBSE’s website. This course goes off road and is not stroller or wheelchair friendly. I would also recommend not bringing a back to the starting line with you because there won’t be a bag-check. Last year, we warmed up and then shedded our extra layers. We just left them in a pile and no one seemed to mess with them.

Family Fun Run

map-of-high-schoolNovember 8 l First Flight High School

This is a great race for the whole family! Run, jog, or walk 1.2 miles and claim your finisher medals and event shirts. There will be games and activities before and after the race.The best part, you can do it together as a family. Strollers are welcome on the Fun Run course.

Diaper Dash

November 8 l 11:45 AM l First Flight High School

For the littlest of littlest runners! This race is for all kids ages 1 -3 to have the opportunity to dash across the finish line under the arch. This race welcomes parents to accompany the kids and is free for all participants!

On top of these great races going on Saturday morning there are also the “Super Saturday Events” including pirates, walk the plank, pirate toss, face painting, Kitty Hawk Kites Rock climbing wall and much more!

What better way to end a day like that and also prep for Sunday’s races than by going to a pasta party? The Ramada Plaza Oceanfront of Nags Head is hosting a pasta dinner that includes two seatings with one from 5PM – 6PM and the second from 6PM – 7PM. Each dinner seating has a limit of 200 people at each.  Children 5 and under eat free, 5-11 are $5, adults 12 and up are $12. So stop by and load up on your carbs before another day of races begins.

Sunday… oh Sunday! The day I just started training for. (That’s 4 months of training by the way) I am getting nervous just writing about it. Sunday is where the events take a sharp turn from the “fun run” to 26.2 miles. You might wonder how a race that long can even fit on the Outer Banks when you’re only running from Kitty Hawk to Manteo, but trust me they find a way. Sunday is when the 6 miler, half marathon, and marathon all take place.

Southern Fried Half Marathon

November 9 l Nags Head, NC

This is the first race of the day starting at 7AM. This race begins near Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head and finishes with the full marathon at the waterfront in Manteo. This was my second half marathon I had ever ran. Last year, as I was standing at our sponsor booth for Southern Shores Realty at the expo, I began thinking I should run the half (not having ran or trained at all).  Then I started thinking a little crazier “forget that, I’ll run ‘The Challenge’ and take home 3 medals instead of just one”. I asked if it was okay for me walk around and take a look at all the booths. I came back with a runner packet and a full weekend of running ahead of me. I went home and convinced my boyfriend, who ran track in college, to run the races too.

medal5kThe 5k was great, my boyfriend and I both took home medals. I won in my age group and he won 2nd overall. (No wonder his family called him speedy as a kid) Next morning was the morning of the half marathon. It was chilly but warm enough to wear shorts and a t-shirt. I ran a slower pace than what’s normal for me now. On top of the lack of training and being out of shape it was more about running with my friend and his dad. The two of them have ran many races but wanted to make sure they got in a half marathon, together. The first 8 miles went great, and then we turned the bend to head towards the little bridge and the Washington Baum Bridge. We had a head wind of about 25 mph, uphill, with about 3 miles of the course in sight. For me, it always makes it harder when you can see a lot of the course ahead of you, it seems like your not gaining any ground. We made it up, and then back down the bridge and into Manteo we went.

The crowd along the course was getting thicker so I knew we had to be near the finish line. As I listen to these strangers cheering me on, my eyes filled up with tears. These people don’t know me, whether they are here to support another runner or not, they are still screaming for me to make it. That is the postive energy at races that I love being around. A little while longer and sure enough, there it was. FINALLY! We crossed the finish line. A lovely volunteer congratulated me and hung those well earned two medals around my neck. If you haven’t noticed by reading my running blogs, medals are what I look forward to. I picture the national anthem being played standing on my own personal podium as that medal is hung around my neck, very Olympic of me I know. I searched for my boyfriend to congratulate him and ask how his race went. (speedy of course) We wrapped up tight in our thermal space blankets to keep warm and enjoyed the post race party. Needless to say, the lack of training led to about a week of limping, hobbling, and wobbling around for both of us. Some of my recommendations for this race: scope out the starting point the day before, arrive early race morning in order to get parking, dont be afraid to take an easy warm up lap around the block, go to the bathroom as much as needed, check your bag, and lastly, take in every moment and view as you pass by.

The Outer Banks Marathon

November 9 l Kitty Hawk, NC

After the start of the half marathon, the full gets underway soon after at 7:20AM on Woods Road in Kitty Hawk. This is a North Carolina USA Track and Field State Championship race, a Boston Marathon qualifying race, and also my very first soon to be marathon. It’s required to maintain a 16 min mile pace, as NCDOT has to close the bridge to runners by 1:30. This course is beautiful and takes you through so many different parts of the Outer Banks. From Kitty Hawk, all the way to the Waterfront in Manteo, the course is laid out perfectly.

I got this great idea after having such an awesome half marathon this past May at the Flying Pirate; it’s time to run a marathon. I also love the Red Sox and have always wanted to go to Boston, so why not try and qualify for the Boston Marathon while I’m at it? Go big or go home I always say. It’s just a goal, a reachable goal with the training plan I have,  a healthy diet, rest, and water. I will most definitely be bummed if I don’t qualify, but hopefully the glory of finishing my first full marathon will overcome that. As long as I don’t miss my goal time of 3 hours and 35 minutes by something crazy like 10 seconds, all is good!  Wish me lots of luck and a pain-free 26.2 miles! Photo: OuterBanksReliefFoundation.com



Southern Fried 6

November 9 l Nags Head, NC

Shortly after the start of the full marathon on Sunday, the Southern 6 miler gets underway. This course also finishes with the marathoners and half marathoners at the waterfront in Manteo. Finisher medals await you and the rest of the runners at the finish line. This run is meant to be just for fun and will not be timed.

Don’t forget about the post race block party! This is the best part of the whole race weekennd. (besides the medal) You get to celebrate your achievement with free snacks, beverages, a beer garden, food, swag, and live music by Johnny Waters and Company until 2PM. The Half Marathon awards will be at 10AM with the full marathon awards beginning at noon. I remember walking away from this race last year thinking what a flawless execution by Outer Banks Sporting Events. Everything was so well organized, the food was excellent, the party was great, and the medals were beautiful, and the running times were correct. Whether you’re ready to run 1 mile, 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles, or all the way up to 26.2 miles, this weekend has everything you’re looking for. If you’re feeling up to it, head to the OBSE website to register!

marathon-gifgoodIf you are coming to the Outer Banks this weekend as support, the ice go-getter, the massager, the congratulator, the photographer, the living proof of accomplishment, and the cheerleader, don’t forget your Southern Shores Realty Cowbell. This will save your vocal chords and assure you that your cheering will be heard. The 2012 Blue edition set the standard, as the 2013 Silver edition topped it. Stop by our sponsor booth at the marathon expo to catch the reveal and claim your 2014 Southern Shores Realty Cowbell.

If you need accommodations for the weekend, we have what you need to ensure a great night sleep. Check out our Outer Banks Fall vacation rentals.

Outer Banks Events l November 2014

A vacation on the Outer Banks in November is where to go for a slow down from the fast pace of holiday shopping, traffic, and masses of people in the malls. Driving across that bridge, traffic free, will automatically bring you the sigh of “finally, I’m home again”. That is one of many qualities I appreciate most on the Outer Banks, the empty beaches filled with nothing but peace, quiet, sea glass, driftwood, and puppies running free.

graveyard-of-the-atlanticGraveyard of the Atlantic Museum Volunteer Day

When? November 7

Where? Hatteras, NC

From 10AM – 1PM you can have a meet and greet with active volunteers, enjoy some tasty lunch, explore open volunteer opportunities that may be of interest to you. There will also be a guest speaker who inspires the room. Free admission.


fall_restaurant_weekFall Restaurant Week

When? October 31 – November 8

Where? Kill Devil Hills, NC 

If you can’t make it for Taste of the Beach, this is a smaller version that goes on in the Fall. Restaurants from up and down the beach put together a special menu at a special price and really let their talent shine. New this year, a Fish Taco Taste-off!

capehatterasanglersclub_0Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Surf Fishing Invitational

When? November 5-8

Where? Cape Hatteras, NC

Founded in 1957, the Cape Hatteras Angler Club held it’s first surf fishing invitational. With intentions to bring visitors to the area, they wanted to show that surf fishing is best in the Fall. So keep an eye out for fishing lines when walking the beaches this weekend.

manns_harbor_holiday_craft_show6th Annual Manns Harbor Holiday Craft Show

When? November 7-8

Where? Manns Harbor, NC

The craft show is so big it’s indoors and outdoors. With well over 20 vendors selling holiday gifts, decor, jewelry, jams, jellies, and so much more, you could be here a while. Breakfast and lunch will be sold both days. Admission is free along with door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.

obx-marathon-november-outer-banksOuter Banks Marathon & Half Marathon

When? November 7-9

Where? Kitty Hawk to Manteo, NC

This is one of the biggest running weekends on the beach. From Kitty Hawk, through Nags Head Woods, and ending at the waterfront in Manteo, this race sees it all, and so do it’s victims. There is a race for every distance runner in the family including a marathon, half marathon, 6 miler, 10k, 5k, and a family fun run!

pbrclassicPBR Classic Red & Blue Fishing Tournament

When? November 7-9

Where? Avon Fishing Pier, NC

Avon Fishing Pier hosts this First Annual PBR Classic Red & Blue Fishing Tournament. The pier will keep its doors open around the clock for this event. The main focus of this tournament will be on Red Drum and Blue Fish and the best part… cash prizes! Welcome party Friday night and an awards lunch Sunday with a raffle.

wagsandwhiskersgalaWags and Whiskers Gala

When? November 21

Where? Pamlico Jack’s in Nags Head, NC

Why not come together and celebrate the unconditional love our animals give us? This is a great way to return what they do for us on a daily basis. Hosted by Pamlico Jack’s restaurant in Nags Head from 7PM – 11PM. Eat, drink, and dance as we all support the five awesome organizations that support our animals.

3rdannualsurfinturkeytrot_03rd Annual Surfin Turkey 5k

When? November 27

Where? Hatteras, NC

Hosted by Hatteras Village and presented by Hatteras Island Youth Education Fund. What better way to begin your day of giving thanks than by running with your family and supporting a local organization at the same time? Hot pancakes and micro-brews await you at the finish line.

advice5kturkeytrot19th Annual Advice 5k Turkey Trot

When? November 27

Where? Duck, NC

Sponsored by Advice 5¢ bed and breakfast, this is a great community tradition for the town of Duck. You can start your Thanksgiving Day off with a 5k run or walk with your closest friends and family. Registration opens up September 2nd at 6AM and with a 600-person capacity, it fills up quick!

chicamacomicosendofseasonfestivitiesChicamacomico’s End of Season Festivities

When? November 28

Where? Rodanthe, NC

End of season festivities!! It all begins the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 28. Santa (yes, SANTA!!) will be here from 1PM-3PM. The season long raffle will finally be drawn, a ton of goodies and photos too. Free admission with the donation of a nonperishable item per person, if not then $2 admission.

hangingwithsantaobxHanging with Santa

When? November 28-29

Where? Nags Head, NC

Spread the holiday cheer with Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head, NC across from Jockey’s Ridge. They will hold their annual “Hanging with Santa” event from November 28-29. Snag a picture with Santa and a demonstration hang glider. As all of their events, this is free and open to the public.

kits-with-lites_0Kites with Lights

When? November 29

Where? Nags Head, NC

Kitty Hawk Kites welcomes you to celebrate the end of another great year and to bring on the holiday season. This will be held on the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge, across the street from their store in Nags Head. This is one of the coolest way to see holiday lights, flying high in the sky. Photo: Kitty Hawk Kites.

island-farm-pumpkin-patchIsland Foodways

When? November 28-30

Where? Manteo, NC

Come to Island Farms the days following Thanksgiving for fall food traditions and share how Roanoke Island families prepared for winter during the 1850’s. Activities will include hearth cooking, food preservation, candle making, ox drawn wagon rides and more. Admission $6, $5 with a nonperishable food donation.

If you are thinking about spending Thanksgiving, or anytime in November for that matter, you won’t regret it. The holidays are meant to be time spent with family and relaxing. Why not relax with your family on the Outer Banks? Check out Why Fall Vacations Rock and browse our homes to find your perfect Outer Banks Fall Vacation Getaway! Don’t forget to look at any remaining 2014 Outer Banks Vacation specials.

My Outer Banks Wedding Story – The Big Day

Finally, after months of preparation, a move from NC from PA, and dozens of meetings with vendors, our big day was on the way!

Our Outer Banks wedding week arrived much faster than we knew it.  Family was pouring in from across the country to be nestled in with us on the beach for the week.  Almost 100 of our closest friends and family made the trip for our special day.  I was headquartered at “Groom Central”, and Nina tucked away in the “Bride-to-be Castle.”

The days leading up to the wedding were very hazy in my mind.  I was so busy with last minute preparations that it was hard to savor all the company around me and loved ones pouring into town.  My nerves were in such a tight bundle.  Nina and I waited until this wedding week to reflect on our love for each other, and write our vows and promises that we would each read aloud on our day.  We would be apart in two separate houses to clear our minds and allow us to think deeply.  The twist: we constructed them like letters to one another… sure to cause the world’s most intense outpouring of emotions!



Friday, September 13th, 2013 came faster than I ever could have imagined.  Forecasts were calling for a chance of rain, but I had no doubt the day would be perfect… no matter what.  I remember waking up, and feeling numb.  From the top of my head to the tips of my toes, everything felt empty of any kind of pain or negativity.  I got up from my bed and walked up to the top floor living area (one of the best memory making routines to perform in a beach house).  I remember seeing my mother, who was always up before me, and noticing the same calmed emotions, tied tightly within her as well.

thanks-for-breakfastI didn’t have much of an appetite that morning.  My sister was gracious enough to prepare me a nice bowl of fruit so that something could reside in my stomach and give me fuel for the “butterflies.”  My other relatives staying in the home slowly started to wake up and greet me out on the deck (with coffee of course).  I was still Bob that morning… but the aura that hung in the air in the hours leading up to the wedding was something I will never ever forget.  It was an equal blend of excitement, nervousness, awareness, and legacy.  It truly was the “first day” of the rest of my life.

“Getting ready” time came before I knew it as well (boy, I sound unprepared).  Suits and outfits had all been wrangled up from Norfolk the day before, and my groomsmen were on their way to our house.  Before the official strip down of our casual clothes, I gave all my “soldiers of the day” a heartfelt gift (consisting mostly of Kraken Rum themed paraphernalia).  We started getting ready.  Our photographer and videographer arrived during this time but I had almost no clue when.  I think a bus filled with nitroglycerin could have ran into a telephone pole outside and I wouldn’t have processed it.  After a last minute, touch-up, shave job and correcting some wardrobe malfunctions, it was time to go.  It was all happening so fast!



calming-my-nervesWe drove to Jennette’s Pier, all stuffed in my black turbo charged beauty.  We snagged a great parking spot, emptied out of the car, and performed one of the best “cool-guy” walks since the last Calvin Klein fashion show.  The girls were on the way, and I needed to be quarantined as to not spoil first sight of my bride.  The children’s classroom in the pier served well as my temporary chambers.  All the while my men were on standby;  guarding door windows and monitoring for Nina’s arrival.  Nina arrived, as planned, and the lockdown room emptied to all but me and my best man / best friend / brother Adam.  The other groomsmen were needed to perform welcoming and ushering.  There were some sentimental and emotional words exchanged, calming reassurances, and eventually a pirate fight with some toys in the room (that’s how we Kissells do).

I was called to action by our day-of coordinator, and placed into one last waiting area before lining up for our processional.  I was now on the top floor of the pier, and I found myself transfixed and gazing out through the windows at the beach outside.  It was so comforting.  I had been this nervous only one other time in my life, and I found solace viewing the sun, sand, and waves outside.  It was a beautiful day.  I knew this would be the case.  This day had been made for two special people, and I could see it looking out.  All those “flashbacks” people talk about having before a life changing event… I definitely had them, and recounted from first glance through my entire relationship with Nina in a matter of seconds while looking out that window.



Window gazing time was done.  I was now moving to get into line with our officiant, Jay.  This was my first small glance of all the people in attendance.  My first glance of all the decorations.  It was glorious.  My time to walk came, again, sooner than expected.  I saw the bridesmaids on one side and my groomsmen on the other.  They were there for me, for us, things were getting very, very real now!  Jay leaned over to me once I was fixed in my spot and whispered “This is it!”  A command order was issued from my brain to my spine: “Initiate tingle sequence.”  We then started walking.  I knew people were looking at me.  I knew I could take time to try to find their eyes and acknowledge them…. but, I could not.  I was like a deer caught in high-beaming headlights.  We reached our spot and everything paused.  My eyes were fixed at the doors I just walked out of, knowing full well that my everything was about to take her steps out.  This was it.  I’ve always dreamt of it.  It was happening… right now.

The music started.  My spine was already primed for the tingling to come.  Everyone stood.  I found my viewing lane… and there she was.



I looked at her, she looked at me.  We both knew the joyful gravity of the day.  Our eyes swelled with it.  I’d never seen such a beautiful being before.

Nina was handed off under blessing from both of her parents, I exchanged hugs and my promises to them, and then it was just the two of us together.  I didn’t manage to process some of Jay’s initial introductions… but I did catch “..enjoy this moment… get lost in it..”.  We really got lost in it…. and will never get out of it.

The ceremony proceeded with readings from Nina’s brother, Michael and my sister, Sara… both of who performed eloquently and created even more shivers and goose bumps.  Before I knew it, it was time for us to read our vows to each other.  I had volunteered to read Nina’s words for me first.  I’ve never babbled so much in my life.  Five years prior I had passed my semester’s public speaking course after only 2 weeks, yet now I had issue articulating even the smallest details.  My emotions were fully engaged.  I managed to finish, but required a tissue immediately after.

Nina took her turn right after.  She started off smooth initially, but the memories, feelings, and promises entwined and scribed onto that sheet of notepaper made things equally as aquatic on her end.

We had made our promises to each other, then performed traditional vows as well.  We placed our rings on each other, were pronounced “Husband and Wife”, and then savored the best kiss ever and the first of our new life together!

It was time to celebrate!

We carefully planned out a cocktail hour to entertain our guests while we took a majority of our photos with family and the bridal party on the beach.  Blackened scallops, crab dip, and traditional Italian bruschetta stood no chance against hungry, emotional wedding guests.

We returned in and lined up for our official introduction!  The crowd certainly wasn’t ready for our walk-out song, but it charged the two of us up just as we wanted.  We also broke out into a dubstep routine immediately after our first dance.

The next hour was spent attempting to eat some of our food that was brought to us.  Although the feast of medium rare steak loin, garlic mashed red skin potatoes, mahi-mahi fish tacos, and oyster stew were tempting… neither of us managed to have any time to eat!



I will never, ever forget the speeches given that day.  My brother’s and sister in-law’s were both so personal yet relatable, and it really kept the blubbering going.  A long-time family friend, Pastor Charlie Reber told everyone a story that truly gives me an emotional rollercoaster ride.  He said that when the old Jennette’s Pier was torn down after storm damage and the new one built, so many of the old-timers were asking dozens of questions and wondering why the Good Lord would make it so a grand establishment was built instead of a plain ol’ fishing pier.  He turned and looked directly at me and said “Well, now I know…. he built it for you Bobby.”



We danced, we played games; it seemed like everybody in attendance was really having a blast!  We also had a photobooth in the equation that made an awesome area for total embarrassment and entertainment when needed!  The photobooth pictures are absolutely hysterical… you have to get one of those for your wedding guests to make complete fools of themselves. (more of our photos here)

The day was fantastic.  When you hear people say that their wedding day was the best day of their life, they aren’t lying.  That day was the best day of my life.  The day was perfect from start to finish, and we were so incredibly blessed by the family and friends that traveled near and far to be with us that day.  Marrying the person I love most in this world was such a feeling.  It’s hard to explain.

The entire day I felt no negativity, no pain, no worries… all was going to be as it should, then and forever.

Wedding videography by Crystal Blue Productions
Wedding photography by Terry & Sarah Photography
Wedding officiating by Rev. Jay Bowman

Our favorite DIY Outer Banks Halloween costumes

pumpkin-patchHalloween officially kicks off the holiday season. Once Halloween arrives, you know Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are right around the corner.  Which means time off to spend with family and friends, homes warmed by fires, melt-in-your-mouth recipes, decorating, holiday lights, plugging in the holiday lights for the first time, candles, Holiday music, everything pumpkin and peppermint flavored, and.. and… can you tell my co-workers refer to me as the “holiday cheermeister”?

Now that Halloween is in the near future, the big question arises… What to wear? Halloween can be pretty expensive, especially if you have more than one child to dress. It can also be a game of coordination, which is always fun. Whether you are coordinating with your spouse, family, best friends, pet or maybe all of the above, there are always options. Keeping an eye on the weather may help you make your decision. Then again the weather, at least around here, is so unpredictable it could be anywhere from 60s – low 40s.

Designing and completing a costume with your kids can be such a great experience, turning into a tradition. Allowing kids to have to freedom to pick the colors, and put their own spin on a costume is way more fun than picking one off a shelf at the store. I think the best part about it is having the freedom to think outside the box. I have put together a list of some of my favorite, and totally do-able, DIY Halloween costumes. You don’t have to be a seamstress or an art professor to make these costumes, trust me!

1. Commercial fisherman

fisherman-costumeThis costume is easily doable right out of your kids closet. My favorite part about this Halloween costume is the fishing pole because this is something you and the kids can do together. There are a couple ways to create this costume. There is the “on the boat fisherman” and an “on the shore fisherman”. Really, the only difference is the yellow rain coat for the “on the boat” fisherman. For both costumes you will need:

  • Khaki pants or shorts
  • Tall rain boots/any type of dark boot.
  • Suspenders
  • Fishing pole. If you don’t have a fishing pole, no worries! You could make your entire pole out of cardboard, string, and paper for the fish. By cutting the cardboard to the shape of a rod and reel, you can punch a hole at the end to attach your string that will tie to your paper fish. Whether they want to catch Nemo, or a great white, this is completely up to them. In this picture this little guy used a stick, hemp, and felt to make his fishes!
  • Rain jacket (optional)

2. Surfer dude or Bethany Hamilton

Back view of father and son with surfboards at beach
Back view of father and son with surfboards at beach

This one is by far my favorite costume idea. Not only is it easy to make, but inexpensive and what kid doesn’t want to be a surfer? All you need is:

  • Zinc sunscreen on the nose and cheeks.  (substitute: white makeup/paint)
  • Rash guard  (substitute: White plain t-shirt with surf designs drawn on them.)
  • Board shorts  (substitute: pair of inexpensive shorts you don’t mind drawing on. All you need are fish, sharks, waves or just designs)
  • Flip Flops  (substitute: any shoes you know your kid won’t mind walking around in)
  • Surf board  (substitute: card board or poster board, cut and design your own surf board, shark bite optional.)

shaka-handIf you live in colder temperatures, switch to black pants, long sleeve black hooded shirt, black gloves and booties and it will look just like a wet suit.  If you want to be an Outer Banks Surfer, pull off the wet suit and add a beard full of icicles. I know, they’re crazy for surfing such cold waters. Now all you have to do is master the shaka when you say trick or treat. Surfs up!

3. Sebi, the Surfing Spoon

sebithesurfinspoon_0If you have eaten the best frozen yogurt on the beach, then you have been to Surfin Spoon in Nags Head. From the cutest front door, to the greeting you hear when entering, to all the money stuffed in the ceiling for Surfing for Autism, this is one heck of a place. What better role model than Sebi the Surfing Spoon for a Halloween costume idea? Here is what you need:

  • Coral long sleeve with a hood
  • Coral long pants (Possibly Hanes brand from Walmart)
  • Black felt for the eyebrows and eyes on the hood
  • Surfboard (substitute: cardboard painted and cut in the shape os a surfboard)
  • Black shoes

Sebi didn’t have the ocean first growing up, so he learned to shred his way around town on his skateboard. No worries though, this can be a shredtastical walk around the town without a board too! Photo: Surfinspoon.com

4. Sea Creatures of the Atlantic

We all love and look forward to swimming in the ocean once we arrive on the Outer Banks. Even though we all like to try to forget,  there is a lot going on under the surface of our waters. Our ocean is home to many animals. What better way to remember family vacation than by being a family of sea creatures? There are plenty of animals out there but some of my favorites are dolphin, sea turtle, shark, and octopus! Here are the materials you will need:

Sea Turtle

seaturtlecostumeI know when I was a kid I always dreamed of surfing the EAC and waxing my shell. With Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie just recently coming out, this might also be a hot topic this Halloween. All you need to add is a brown belt around the shell to hold the numb chucks and pick your ninja mask color, and you’ve got a Mutant Ninja Turtle!

  • Dark green long sleeve hooded shirt
  • Dark green long pants
  • Back pack – stuffed (solely using for the straps for the felt to wrap around)
  • Light brown, light green, and dark green felt (all to make the shell surrounding the back pack) Light brown for the underside of shell and the light green and dark green to make the top of the shell design
  • Brown or black shoes
  • Eyes for gluing onto the hood.

I know when I was a little girl, pink was my favorite color and I had always dreamed of being a sea turtle… So a pink sea turtle is what I had my vision set on. By golly, I thought I was the cutest pink sea turtle to hit the streets! Photo: holdtheoffice.com


dolphin-costumeEveryone loves being on the beaches of the Outer Banks and spotting a family of dolphins swimming through. That is one occurrence that can make everyone stop right in their tracks, stretch their arm out as far as they can, to point and take in the sights of these graceful creatures for a moment. Everything you need is right here:

  • Grey hoodie
  • Grey sweat pants
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Grey felt (or any other type of fabric) to make the fin and flippers
  • Stuffing for the fin and flippers (Can always take an old pillow apart that isn’t used anymore)
  • White fleece to sew the front of the hoodie to make the white stomach of the dolphin.
  • Eyes to glue onto the hood. Photo: Bennettgamel

sharkcostumeThis is just as easy as the dolphin besides adding one major distinction between sharks and dolphins. Sharks are known as the vicious and scary creatures of the sea, so we can’t forget the jaws and teeth that make them  appear that way. Now the fins will be different shapes but the same idea applies: cut it, stuff it, sew it, add it. All the extra you will need for the shark vs. dolphin is:

  • White and red felt to make the jaws of the shark. Gluing this on the hood, circling the face, it will show the neighbors exactly what kind of creature is ringing their doorbell. Photo: HGTV

octopushoodiecostumeI love this costume. Not to mention how easy it is to do, it’s equally as adorable. This costume is completely open to your kid’s imagination. Whether they want a blue, purple, red, or white body, it will be perfect!

  • Hooded sweatshirt any color they choose and a couple sizes bigger than normal.
  • Long pants/ shorts any color they choose
  • Any comfortable walking shoes preferably black, brown, or you can match the color of your kids octopus body.
  • Any additional makeup you would like to add for all your creative moms and dads out there.
  • Stuffing – whether from an old pillow, extra plastic grocery bags, all will do the trick.
  • Limited sewing capabilities to sew legs together and later attach them to the belt.
  • Fabric paint or felt for designs on the shirt, pants, and legs. (optional)

In order to make the legs, leave the sleeves the way they are, but cut upwards from the bottom of the sweatshirt all the way around. You will sew them together in groups of twos to make the legs, so be sure to cut the right amount. You can make the suction spots out of felt or fabric paint.

5. Pirates

piratediycostumeArrrgh, we all have heard the stories of how the pirates used to run these waters surrounding the Outer Banks. From Blackbeard to Jack Sparrow himself, pirates are one of the coolest costumes out there. These are always fun! Maybe you can practice your pirate voice while making it. Here are a couple items you will need:

  • Red/maroon pants. Cut the bottoms to make the costume as rugged as you choose.
  • Black knee high socks
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • At least 2 belts. One belt to hold each sword. Of course you need more than one sword, c’mon it’s Halloween!
  • Sash
  • Eye patch
  • Swords!! Grab some cardboard or poster board, markers, paint and carve the sword of all swords to guard all of your treasures!

These are just a handful of my favorite, optional do-it-yourself, costumes. I picked these because I know, if given the challenge, I could create them. I’m no seamstress that’s for sure, so if I can do them, you can too. Halloween begins the holiday season and usually the general consensus around the holidays is to take a step back and enjoy the loved ones around you. What better way to get that started than by making a costume together?

I couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to kick off the holidays than by spending it on the Outer Banks.  If you haven’t read Why Fall vacations rock on the Outer Banks, I highly suggest doing so. There are plenty of things to do October through New Years. Our list of October events is out, along with our Halloween events blog also! We hope to see you in town soon.

Movie in the Works about Outer Banks Wild Horses

Horse browsing on the pasture in front of the sea

Have you heard the word?  A new film, “Sea Horses” is currently in the works about the wild horses that roam the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

World renowned wildlife photographer Doug Gardner has teamed up with OBX local Jared Llyod to put together a documentary/”visual feast” all about the Spanish Mustangs on the OBX.

“Jared lives in the Outer Banks in North Carolina, where these wild horses live,” Gardner said. “He has become somewhat of the foremost authority on these horses.”

“Sea Horses,” Gardner said, will not just detail the daily routine of the wild horses of the Outer Banks, but will explore the myths behind their origins.

“The story behind the wild horses of the Outer Banks is one of epic proportions.  Sand and salt, winds and tides have come together here along these ribbons of sand that we call barrier islands to shape and mold one of the most unique horses on earth.”

A trailer has been released and it definitely gives me goose bumps… I’m sure any wild horse lover will absolutely enjoy this documentary

Here is a preview of the official “Sea Horses” trailer:

The film is going to be 100% publicly funded.  You can visit the Sea Horse movie official website for more information and to donate.

Gardner states that the audience is the BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic.  He also mentioned that they hope to release to movie theaters, DVD, Blu-Ray disc, and iTunes.

You can learn more about the wild horses of the Outer Banks and Corolla, NC.  It is a mystery on exactly how they arrived to the Outer Banks but their beauty and majesty is undeniable.

Per the official website: “Sea Horses, is an ambitious undertaking that weaves together the incredible story of the wild horses that live upon the barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. History, science, and the driving force that connects all life on Earth – the unwavering determination to survive –is set against a stunning visual feast of imagery in this film, that will not soon be forgotten.”

Jared Lloyd is the executive producer and cinematographer (jaredlloydphoto.com).  Doug Gardner is the field producer and cinematographer (www.totallyoutdoorsimaging.com)  You can also learn more about the organization who protects the heard and donate at The Corolla Wild Horse Fund.

Thanks for stopping by to read, we’re very excited to see this new movie about the Outer Banks wild horses!  Share with your friends!

Why not book an Outer Banks rental of your own?  We represent over 600 OBX vacation rentals from Corolla to Nags Head!



What happens when you take bags full of swag to the beach in the summer?  Frisbees and dubstep and swagattack and awesomeness!  At Southern Shores Realty, we like fun!

After enjoying the sights and sounds of the #SwagAttack, why not browse for your next Outer Banks rental home?  We represent over 600 Outer Banks rentals on swag-attacked beaches from Corolla to Nags Head.  Trust the experts at Southern Shores Realty to make your Outer Banks vacations the best ever!


Things to do on the Outer Banks for Labor Day Week

Labor Day Weekend has arrived on the Outer Banks and thousands of visitors are out and about looking for things to do; hopefully like you!  Here’s our top picks for events going on this week and holiday weekend for the OBX.  This will also be our last week of “our picks” as we wind down the calendar year.  Stay posted for our monthly events, holiday events, and tons of beach reports… those are here to stay!  We’ll bring back “our picks” next spring – see you all then.

obx-craft-festivalsOBX Arts & Craft Festival

This two day event is located at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk, NC. There will be 25 local Outer Banks artists displaying the best of their work. From specialties in painting, jewelry and photography to basketry, glasswork & more. Portion of the proceeds benefits 2 local charities.

faire-daysFaire Days Festival

Yay Faire Days!  Bring the whole family out to a Wednesday afternoon of fun.  There’s games, activities, shopping, and more!  Be entertained by performers and fun while perusing the quaint shoppes in Scarborough Faire in Duck, NC.

Photo taken by Terry Moore for Southern Shores Realty.Outer Banks Restaurant Tour

Spend your Labor Day (Monday) on an afternoon tour of some of the finest eateries on the Outer Banks!  Southern Shores Realty guests are eligible for a 10% discount on any of the Outer Banks Restaurant tours in Duck, Kitty Hawk, and Corolla, NC.  This is one of the coolest ways to get a great idea of the tasty places on the beach and then return to your favorites!

wine-and-swineWine & Swine Festival

Not your typical pairing, but who can argue about delicious wine and Carolina pork barbeque?  I didn’t think so!  Head on out to the Currituck Heritage Park in Corolla, NC this Thursday, September 7 at 7p.m. for the 2nd annual Wine & Swine OBX.  Admission is $15, kids 5 and under are free. More details here.

Surfing for Autism / OBX Pro Surfing video from Outer Banks, NC

surfing-for-autism-jennettes-pier-obxIn case you missed it, two exciting events have taken place over the past week on the Outer Banks at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, N.C.  The annual Surfing for Autism benefit took place last weekend, raising funds and awareness while allowing dozens of children from across the country to experience their dreams of surfing!

Also, just this past week, the WRV Outer Banks Pro took place at Jennette’s Pier.  This year’s event was a ASP sanctioned 2-star event.. meaning more of the top talent from around the world showed up as well as the points meant even more moving forward.

Enjoy the sights and sounds in the video below.  Please share with your friends so everyone can enjoy the OBX!

Southern Shores Realty Adds New Rental Manager

obx-rental-homes-new-managerSouthern Shores Realty is proud to announce Catherine Giles has joined the company to further develop their growing number of vacation rental homes on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

After graduating from Peace College in Raleigh, N.C., Catherine returned to her hometown of Lake Gaston, N.C., and in 2003 and became a licensed real estate broker actively selling property in her community. She relocated in 2006 to begin her career in Outer Banks property management.

Catherine joined Southern Shores Realty in the spring of 2014 as a Rental Manager assisting in the management of Southern Shores Realty’s extensive number of vacation rental properties from Nags Head to Corolla. “We are all very excited to have Catherine as part of our team,” says Beverly Cline, Senior Rental Manager for Southern Shores Realty. “She brings a wealth of Outer Banks property management experience with her and we’re happy to keep growing.”

Catherine plays an active role in working with prospects and new owners, as well as current homeowner communication and guest relations.

About Southern Shores Realty:

Southern Shores Realty is one of the largest vacation rental companies on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We are the longest operating, having been in business since 1947, and currently represent over 600 Outer Banks rentals. Browse our selection of OBX vacation rental homes today, or call 800.334.1000 to start making your own Outer Banks vacation memories!

Outer Banks Events l October 2014

Jack o lantern halloween pinapple with reflection

October is full of awesome events. We welcome Fall with open arms around here. The hustle and bustle of a busy season start to settle and now it’s family time. Time for pumpkin flavored… everything, waves, sweaters, candles and relaxing. It helps everyone appreciate the beauty of the Outer Banks all over again.

island-farm-pumpkin-patchIsland Farms Pumpkin Patch 

October 4 – 25 l Roanoke Island, NC
Every Saturday through the month of October, Island Farms opens up their pumpkin patch for you and your family. From 10AM to 4PM you can take an ox-drawn wagon ride to pick out the pumpkin of your dreams. There is an admission fee of $6, with children 5 and under being free. Other activities include candle making, stuff a scarecrow, photo booth and much more.

bodie-island-stairsMoon Climbs

October 8 l Bodie & Hatteras
Every full moon from May to October, Bodie Island lighthouse and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse open for night climbs. The Hatteras lighthouse is equivalent ot a 12 story building, as Bodie lighthouse is equivalent to a 10 story building. I couldn’t think of a better view of the full moon that on the balcony of our beautiful Outer Banks lighthouses. Tickets go on sale two days prior to the climb.

red-wolf-howlingsRed Wolf Howlings

October 11 l Roanoke Island, NC
Brought to you by Alligator National Wildlife Refuge and Red Wolf Recovery Program who both work hard to make this the only place in the world where they still exist in the wild. Meet several other curious folks at Creef Cut Wildlife Trail to hear the beautiful sounds of this endangered species. We recommend dressing for the weather and bringing insect repellent and a flashlight.

oink-n-oyster-2014Oink N’ Oyster Roast

October 11 l Kitty Hawk, NC
The annual Oink and Oyster Roast is put together by a local charity, First Flight Rotary Club. This event is held at Longboard’s Bar and Grill in Kitty Hawk, right next to the post office.  All you can eat oysters, BBQ, hush puppies, slaw, beans, potato salad and oh my lanta… two pints of keg beer! The food will be from noon to 4PM but feel free to stick around.

duck-jazz-festival-2014Duck Jazz Festival

October 12 l Duck, NC
The town of Duck will be soaring with local, regional, and national talent on the Town of Duck’s two stages. This is the 8th annual event and gates will open from 1-AM to dusk. This event is free and open to the public to encourage people to stay in the area and support our amazingly hard working local businesses. With a seven band line up, there will be music to make everyone in the family get up and dance.

seafood-festival-2014Outer Banks Seafood Festival

October 18 l Nags Head, NC
Where it’s all about local seafood. From 10:50AM to 6PM you and the family can taste the best of the best local seafood and recipes they are a part of. General admission tickets are available online for $3 a person. The official currency of the Sea Food Festival is “$1 Sea Bucks”. You need these to purchase food and drinks once inside the event. I recommended about $25 Sea Bucks a person.

Harvest Hayday HHD poster 2013Harvest Hayday

October 25 l Roanoke Island, NC
A lot of family traditions involve The Elizabethan Gardens and Harvest Hayday is one of them. This event is held during the day and full of the colors and flavors of Fall. There are hay rides and a hale bale maze to make your way through. Stuff a scarecrow, educational stations, face painting, crafts and much more. After all that, enjoy hot cider, pumpkin pie, and a warming bonfire.

wings-over-water-wildlife-festivalWings over Water Wildlife Festival

October 21- 26 l Outer Banks, NC
This week-long event is located all the way from Mackay Island Refuge, through Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Roanoke Island, all the way down to Ocracoke. This can be a self-guided week, or you can take advantage of their many classes and guided tours throughout the week. The Outer Banks is thriving with wildlife, and this is a great way to see it all.

Looking for all of the haunted Halloween events? Check out our spookiest blog of all, Outer Banks Halloween Events. There is plenty to do throughout the holiday season, be sure to check out the annual events to plan your Fall or Winter getaway!