Category Archives: Travel

Wash Woods

wash woodsUp in 4-wheel drive territory, just off the oceanfront near North Swan Beach, sits Wash Woods. Wash Woods Station was built in 1917 by the U.S. Coast Guard to replace an older lifesaving station a few miles to the north.


During its years of active duty, Wash Woods Station housed many guardsmen who performed countless brave rescues. With German U-boats thick off the coast during World War II, Coast Guard stations along the Virginia and North Carolina shores prepared for conflict. At this time, Wash Woods was home to about 30 guardsmen. The lookout tower was constantly utilized and armed patrolmen strode the beach searching for signs of the enemy.*

Doug and Sharon Twiddy purchased the property in 1988 and carefully restored it. For a while it was used as a real estate office, then offered as a vacation rental to more adventuresome guests looking for something a little different.

Today, our family business, Whitley Painting, is in the process of preserving and freshening up the exterior. Wayne recently captured the beauty of this special place.




Thinking about Outer Banks Style

I’ve been thinking about Outer Banks Style: it’s much more than fashion and the beach. To me, Outer Banks Style embodies the spirit of these barrier islands and our adaptability to the elements with grace and good humor.

It’s about finding a gull on a pizza delivery truck in Duck.

seagull on truck







It’s about a beautiful day on the sound, readying the blind for duck season.









It’s definitely about the surf.








It’s about the food!
scalloptaste of the beach









And it’s about the friends you meet along the way.










We Clean Up Good

We’re a loud, boisterous group of new-found and old friends brought together by Outer Banks Bootcamps. We delight in our successes and pick each other up when we fall. We roll in the sand, jump in the ocean, carry each other on our backs and run our butts off. We’ve seen each other cry and full of laughter. But mostly we see each other covered in sand, sweat and determination.

It’s a rare treat to see us all dressed up, jewels on, and makeup carefully applied. But when we do, we do it with lots of Outer Banks Style. A recent soiree in Southern Shores was the perfect opportunity to wear a new dress and share some libations with some stylin, fabulous friends.

Outer Banks Weekly Round-Up

Finished this book.

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011










Participated in the Wine Down 5K in pretty good time (for me).

Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg, NC










Finished 6 week training with the Steel Magnolia’s at Outer Banks Bootcamps.

At the Wright Brothers Monument








Blooming flowers in the backyard:

Purpole Coneflower "echinacea purpurea"








Hubs fixed the outside shower, It’s the best shower in the house. I asked him if he could make it a wee bit bigger; first he said no. But after his shower this morning, he agreed. I’m hoping he’ll make it big enough for a small bench, and then maybe we could get satellite tv and a microwave oven and I’ll never come indoors again #justkidding.

See this and  more cool showers at Content in a

Sustainability & Style: Outer Banks Active Wear

A few hours ago, it started. Gray skies and spitting rain. When the lightning arc’d  over the Sound in a threatening manner, I decided to pack it up for the day.  Hitting the Beach Road, I made my way north in a leisurely manner.

I decided to stop along the way at Buccaneer’s Walk, a little shopping village on the ByPass in Kitty Hawk (next to Capt’n Franks). My friend Kendra has just opened a shop devoted to women’s active wear – Kena Activewear (see it here online).

“Our Eco Products are fun, functional, and fashionable.” 


Kendra’s motto is summed up by her Simply Satisfied Guarantee: We are delighted and inspired by the products we sell and the companies that make them. We want you to love them too. So, if for any reason you are not satisfied with what you get from us. Simply send it back within 6 months for a full refund or exchange. That Simple!
great selection
Marsha the Mannequin with her Sherpani Baja tote in Dazzling Blue, Gym Girl Ultra Skirt and TASC Scoop neck long-sleeved top.









Bathing Suits

Who else out there dreads bathing suit shopping as much as I do? Not many of us are a perfect size, finding that our bottom half is larger than the top half, or vice versa.  It sucks having  to sacrifice one part for the other with a one piece suit or with the traditional two piece suits that are sold together.

Living on the Outer Banks, a well fitting bathing suit is as necessary to me as a good pair of running shoes. My favorite two piece is faded and stretched out and sadly it’s time to retire it. According to the smart women at Birds of a Pleather:

Throw it away once it starts to: sag, lose elasticity, become sheer in spots, decompose or remind you of Saved by the Bell. This seems self-evident, but I can tell you from avid beach people watching that it is not.

Thank goodness swim suit designers have gotten savvy and are now offering the two-piece suits separately, tops sized to bra and cup sizes, with your choice of bottoms with full coverage to itty-bitty thongs.

Let’s be realistic, you can’t buy a swim suit online  (unless you’re a super thin super model). Fortunately, the Outer Banks has a great selection of shops devoted to all things BEACH.

I visited  Cathy Wood’s store, Shore-fit Sunwear, at Milepost 4 on the Bypass in Kitty Hawk recently for her annual Customer Appreciation Day sale. She also has an excellent website, click here.

She has a great selection of suits for all types of shapes and sizes, including maternity suits, and pretty sundresses and cover-ups.

Shore-Fit Sunwear, Kitty Hawk










I purchased these separates and am happy that I’ll be able to mix and match them with solid black top and bottoms I already own.




Inspired Style

An outfit my niece Whitley wore recently inspired me. She writes a popular blog, The Queen City Style, and wrote a piece in which she was photographed in a lovely peach maxi-dress that she paired with a cool jean jacket and some awesome jewelry. You can see her outfit here.  I’ve been searching online for a look that works for me (since I’m old enough to be Whitley’s mother, I need a look that is cool but also appropriate for my age).

I found this pretty dress at Anthropologie.  I love the color and batik/tribal print.
























I’m not crazy about the necklace, I think I would add this cuff, my vintage Polo jean jacket and a neutral sandal. Thanks for the inspiration Whitley!

Leather & brass cuff from

Nicaragua on my mind

I spent a week on the southwest coast of Nicaragua with Hubs recently. He surfed, I read and ran and enjoyed the beautiful beach. It was very relaxing. We had fun recreating some local dishes using fresh local veggies and fish and lobster.

We were up everyday at about 5 a.m and went to bed shortly after the monkeys calmed down at dusk. There are howler monkeys that hang out in the trees around the complex.  They have a scary sounding bark, straight out of Jurassic Park.

When we left and got back to the airport in Managua, I was on the lookout for some shoes that I discovered on another favorite fashion blog at

Found them at one of the vendors at the entrance and only 15 U.S. dollars! I should have bought several pair!

woven leather & fabric




Flashback Friday


The year: 1980

This was taken by a photographer with Orlando Sentinel

Location: Key West

Traveling down the Oversees Highway to visit a friend for a long weekend, I was totally oblivious to current events. Visions of sunshine and margaritas danced in my head.

Traffic was snarled and there were lots of uniforms and bewildered people milling about,  boats of all sizes were everywhere; and later in Key West, journalists and camera crews from every major and minor newspaper and television station in full attendance. This was  the beginning of the  Cuban Boat Lift – those brave souls who departed from Cuba’s Mariel Harbor for the U.S. in the Spring of 1980.

image from