Three days into my summer vacation I found myself pedaling in the North Carolina town of Corolla with my wife, Robin.  This week long trip to the Outer Banks was my wife's idea.  She rented an amazing beach house on the ocean side of Corolla...big enough for everyone in the family.   I've always been more of a mountain than a beach kind of guy...but a week of beach, ocean, and good food with the family was a really nice change of pace.

Yes...this is a serious change of pace for me. -- June 13, 2019

There really was no agenda for the week except that we would all have dinner together each night.  To make things fair, each couple was responsible for dinner each night we were in North Carolina.  We had some amazing pulled pork...we had a taco night...a spaghetti night...and beef brisket.  Robin and I decided...since we were on vacation...that we would host a steamed crab and pizza feast.

Robin and I went out looking for fresh crabs for dinner.  Looks like we found what we needed at the Blue Water Seafood Market- June 11, 2019

My step-daughters, Mia and Blythe, enjoying the crab feast! -- June 12, 2019

My son's girlfriend, Emma, was completely stoked for the crab feast...Alex, however,  was glad that the crabs came with a side of pizza! -- June 12, 2019

Most afternoons, I found myself hanging out with whoever was at the house. Activities ranged from  soaking in the hot tub to shooting pool to spending time at the beach.  Robin and I took a few evening walks along the beach and we were able to experience a couple amazing sunsets.  A group of us visited the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and climbed the 220 steps to the top.  First put into operation in 1875, the lighthouse fell into disrepair by the 1970s.  It opened to the public in 1990.  The view from the top was absolutely spectacular in all directions!

Hanging out (and showing off our hats) with Mia's boyfriend, Kevin. We both agree...sides up on the hats!  -- June 11, 2019

Some fun in the sun (and Spike Ball) with Donovan, Alex, Kevin, and Julien. -- June 13, 2019

Watching the sun set over the Currituck Sound. -- June 15, 2019

Enjoying a moment with my wife, Robin as the sun is about to set. -- June 14, 2019

The Currituck Beach Lighthouse -- June 14, 2019

David and Robin Raymond on top of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. -- June 14, 2019

The view of the Outer Banks (looking South) from the top  of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse. -- June 14, 2019

And yes...I brought my bike.  Actually, I brought my bike and Robin's bike.  I always find it to be such a novelty to be able to ride somewhere that is completely different from what I am use to at home.  Gone,  for the week, were the hills and valleys of York County, Pennsylvania...replaced by elongated stretches of flat land and wind that came from every direction all at once!  I managed to ride every single day (183 miles total) while I was in Corolla...enjoying the flat and battling the wind.

Corolla, North Carolina -- June 9, 2019

Two rides, in particular, really stood out to me during my week in Corolla.  The first...a ride I did with my step-daughter's boyfriend, Julien (he rode my wife's bike!)...was a 56 mile round trip ride to Kitty Hawk and back.  The history nerd (and bike mechanic) in me really wanted to see the spot where the Wright Brothers flew for the first time.  Julien and I pedaled the 28 miles, through a rainstorm, there not knowing that we would need to get into the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The Ranger took a little pity on us and allowed us to continue our bike ride through the park!  Personally, the ride was a little bit of a victory for me...56 miles made this the longest ride since my back surgeries in 2016.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial -- June 10, 2019

The Wright Brothers National Memorial -- June 10, 2019

The Wright Brothers National Memorial.  Julien Linne and Dave Raymond -- June 10, 2019

The Wright Brothers National Memorial -- June 10, 2019

See...GENIUS! -- June 10, 2019

The second ride that was memorable was a late evening ride with my wife, Robin.  We found some back streets (away from Route 12) and just pedaled for miles.  We were able to talk, laugh, and get some exercise. Towards the end of our ride we made it down to the beach just in time to catch the sun setting.  The whole experience of the ride, the beach, the sunset, and the time with my wife was totally fun and felt really special. 

Evening bike ride in Corolla, NC with my wife, Robin. -- June 13, 2019

Robin and David Raymond -- June 13, 2019

Sunset that Robin and I saw during our evening ride at the Outer Banks. -- June 13, 2019

Like I said at the start...I'm more of a mountain guy than a beach guy...but this week long excursion to the Outer Banks with the family proved to be a great change of pace.  After a more-trying-than-usual school year, it felt good to relax, spend time with my wife and family, and ride my bike.  I headed home with the realization (and excitement) that I would only be spending one night in my own bed...Alex and I were going to be heading off for our annual camping trip.  Yep...the "mountain guy" in me was about to come out.  Time to shift gears and change the pace again. small glitch (about the size of a roofing nail) while riding at the Outer Banks.  All was good with a new tube.  -- June 9, 2019

Life is a journey...not a destination.

David A. Raymond -- June 25, 2019

Seven days in the Outer Banks and seven trips over to Wezzy's Ice Cream.  Each night this gentleman meticulously made me the best root beer float that I've had in a long time! 

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Here are the GARMIN maps and data from my rides in Corolla, North Carolina.  #OptOutside

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