Posted by: hdavis29ecu | December 10, 2014

Outer Banks 1st Annual Beach Food Pantry Holiday Chefs Challenge

When I think of the holiday season, 3 F’s come to mind..Family, Friends & Food. The holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in your favorite dishes without an ounce of guilt before the start of a new year. This Thursday, December 4th, I was lucky enough to attend the 1st Annual Holiday Chef’s Challenge that not only filled those holiday cravings but also allowed the community to come together for a great cause!

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With the purchase of a $50 ticket, all guests were given a packaged deal including; live music from local artists, 2 drink tickets, 1 culinary coin for voting and of course incredible food. At the event, 10 talented Outer Banks Chefs competed with one another for Outer Banks Chef of the Year. The chefs were each required to create a dish using non-perishable food items that are distributed by the Beach Food Pantry to families in need. The chefs were given 60 minutes to present the attendees with their delicacies. After all 10 chef signature dishes were sampled; attendees used their purchased culinary coins to place their vote on whomever they felt was the top Chef of the Outer Banks.

 

Never would I have imagined that I would enjoy ANY dish that included spam as the staple “meat”; however the chefs from Coastal Provisions managed to prove me wrong by creating a Taco Seasoned Spam & Hominy Corn Posole with the items they were given. These items included; bacon spam, dried cilantro, Old El Paso taco seasoning mix, canned refried beans and corn. The dish was served in a tortilla chip & topped with a dab of sour cream, earning my first place vote!

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Other featured dishes included; Tuna Meatballs, Southern Black Peppercorn Bread, Seared French Toast Bread Pudding, Shepherd’s Pie, Applewood Smoked Stuffed Shrimp, Parmesan Risotto & a Tomato Tuna Bisque with Feta Basil.

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After seeing what these chefs were capable of with the non-perishable items thrown their way; I highly recommend seeing what they are all about at their local establishments here on the Outer Banks. Local restaurants included; BK Shuckers, Coastal Provisions, The Garden Grille at Hilton Garden Inn, Metropolis, Mulligans Raw Bar and Grille, Pigman’s BBQ, RedSky Café, Jolly Rogers, Kelly’s, Blue Moon & Ocean Boulevard! Also be sure to donate any non-perishable items to a Food Bank near you to help make someone’s holiday a little brighter!

 

 

Happy Holidays!

Posted by: Nate | December 4, 2014

Announcing Our 2014 Facebook Photo Contest Winners

Thank you all for participating in our annual Facebook contest!  We truly enjoyed seeing all of your submissions this year.  We love the amazing amount of talent and ridiculous sense humor that you folks share with us.  Your photos help paint a vivid picture of what a true OBX family vacation is like.  We’re proud to have the opportunity to help make that happen and extremely grateful that you’ve shared your experiences with us.

Here are the results based on your feedback:

Scenic Category

Winner:

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“Horse & Friend”

First Runner-Up:

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“Milky Way over Corolla, NC, July 28, 2014″

Second Runner-Up:

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“Carova 4×4 Beach” by the Douglass Family


Kids Category

Winner:

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“Carova 4×4 Beach” by The Douglass Family

First Runner-Up:

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“Brady and Bryce, age 3, enjoying Wine Wednesday at the Whalehead Club”

Second Runner-Up:

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“Pool Time”


Lifestyle Category

Winner:

"Life is better at the Beach! Taken on 4x4 beach during our week late may early June. My daughter and her friend having a zen peace moment"

“Life is better at the Beach! Taken on 4×4 beach during our week late May/early June. My daughter and her friend having a zen peace moment”

First Runner-Up:

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“Friends and Family Beach Olympics 2014 at The Dream Beach House”

Second Runner-Up:

"Our 5th year together! 38 people in one house making memories that will last generations!"

“Our 5th year together! 38 people in one house making memories that will last generations!”


Pets Category

Winner:

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“Ryan and Cortney announce their engagement on the 4×4 beach, with Gunner”

First Runner-Up:

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“Family dog Gunner, searching/watching the Wild Horses on the 4×4 beach house”

Second Runner-Up:

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“A boy and his dog enjoying an OBX evening on the beach”


Thank you again! Please don’t forget to snag some new pictures next time you’re down and share them with us for the next brochure and contest!

Our Picks For OBX Christmas Activities in 2014

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Last Years’ Duck Yuletide Celebration

Looking for a good place to spend Christmas this year? Already booked and wondering what’s going on around town? Here’s our personal recommendations for what’s going on in the area over the holidays:


Visit the Poulous House

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When and Where: Open now until December 31st at 622 Ocean Acres Drive, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Cost: Free. Donations Accepted!

What’s going on: Featured on The Today Show and HGTV, this OBX tradition is a must-see. This Christmas light spectacular takes over 12 weeks to set up and costs the family over $3,500 in energy bills every month.


Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens

When and Where: December 2 – January 3 from 6PM to 9PM (Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & New Years Eve and Day) at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo

Cost: Adults $10, Youth (ages 6-17) $8, Youth (5 and under) $5. Extended passes available.

What’s going on: Take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the Lights, floral delights, holiday sights and other events as part of a month-long spectacle called Winter lights. Here’s a list of all of the events going on at Winter Lights! Looks like Santa will be stopping here on Dec 20th in the midst of all of his Christmas deliveries!


1st Annual Beach Food Pantry Holiday Chefs Challenge

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When and Where: December 4 from 6:00pm- 9:00pm at the Hilton Garden Inn

Cost: Tickets for the event are $50 per person and will include event entrance, heavy hors d’oeuvres, the Chefs’ creations,entertainment, one Culinary Coin to vote for your favorite chef’s creation, and two beverages (select beer, wine, and soft drinks). A cash bar will also be available.

What’s going on: Outer Banks Chefs will compete in this exciting and fun-filled event for the title of Outer Banks Chef of the Year! Each chef will have 60 minutes to create a delicious appetizer, dessert, or entree’ based upon a list of everyday food items that are distributed by the Beach Food Pantry. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite chefs by using and purchasing Culinary Coins, and the chef receiving the most votes will take home the title! So come prepared to have fun and participate in the competition by voting for your favorite chef or chefs! Event goers will also be able to sample 10 signature dishes provided by the chefs and their restaurants, bid on great prize baskets, and enjoy festive holiday music from a host of Outer Banks musicians.


Christmas in Corolla

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When and Where:  Holiday tours run now until December 31st. Located in Whalehead In Corolla

Cost: Holiday Legacy Tours are $12 and run Monday- Saturday 11am-4pm. Holiday Candlelight Tours, which include a wine sampling, are $15 per person and run each Friday & Saturday from 5pm-8pm.

What’s going on:  Last year, 28,000 lights sparkled to celebrate the 1.2 million pages read by more than 2,700 students, and 38 classroom trees lit up the mansion’s basement! This year we’re certain to have even more. Come gather as we kick on the lights and start the season. Santa will be here from 7PM-9PM!


Roanoke Island Christmas Weekend

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When and Where: December 5-6, Event runs from 10AM-9PM on Roanoke Island

Cost: Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of the event. Groups of ten or more $27 per ticket. For info or details, call 252-473-3234.

What’s Going On: The Holiday Tour is an annual fundraising event. This tour showcases some of the delightful homes and sites that exemplify historic history and the creative and original style. The 2014 tour will feature charming historic homes and sites on Roanoke Island:

  • 10:00pm -4:00 pm Roanoke Island Farm Open
  • 2:00 -7:00 pm Roanoke Island Holiday Tour of Homes Open
  • 2:00-9:00 pm The Elizabethan Gardens Open

You can also add-on a special “Holiday Feast” at the Elizabethan Gardens on Dec 6th!


Holly Jolly Christmas Show

When and Where: December 5 -7, Shows at 2PM and 7PM on Roanoke Island

Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for kids

What’s Going On: The Holly Jolly Christmas Show is a brand new show that takes you on a magical Christmas adventure with Westifer the Elf, with some help from Nu-Blu, the fastest rising band in Americana music! Join them as they weave a new Christmas story, filled with all your favorite Christmas carols, special effects, props and new songs that are sure to become family favorites!


Duck Yuletide Celebration

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When and where: Saturday, December 6 Event Starts at 3PM at the Duck Town Park

Cost: Free

What’s Going On: Join us for live holiday music by Emme St. James & Her Jazz Gentlemen, carolers from the First Flight High School Chorus, hot cocoa, and wait for a very Jolly special guest to arrive.


Light Up the Night – Christmas Glow Run!

When and Where: December 12 at 6PM on Roanoke Island

Cost: Free

What’s Going On: Come run a fun route, approx. 1 Mile, through downtown Manteo’s beautiful Christmas lights!  Fun begins at 6PM at the Roanoke Island Running Company located at 107 F Budleigh Street – The Phoenix Shops, Manteo, NC 27954 .Strollers and bicycles welcome (light them up!!) to join in on the fun! Hot Cocoa, Christmas Cookies & Holiday Music to follow in the Pavilion. Free Glow items (Sticks & Necklaces) will be provided to participants while supplies last! Bring your own additional glow products, safety gear and flash lights as needed or desired!


Cape Hatteras Light Winter Climb and Village Parade

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When and Where: December 13 9AM-5PM at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Cost: Free

What’s Going On: The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse opens for climbing this December for one day only. Don’t miss your chance to climb it in 2014! Also take part in other Hatteras Island Holiday activities, like the Hatteras Village Parade and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.


111th Annual Celebration of the Wright Brothers First Flight

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When and Where: December 17 at 9:00 AM at the Wright Brothers Memorial

Cost: Free

What’s Going On: Gather at the exact site at the exact time as the historic flight to remember, reflect and celebrate this day long anniversary tribute of the Wright Brother’s first flight. There will be a flyover and a few activities as well. If you’d like to stick around for the banquet at 6PM, details are here.


Regardless of what you do here, surely you’ll have fun wherever you go.  From our team to yours, we’d like to wish you a very special Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

Posted by: Nate | November 19, 2014

The 2014 Facebook Photo Contest Is Now LIVE!!

Facebook Photo Contest

We’re pleased to announce this years’ annual Facebook Photo Contest!  You’ve submitted your favorite pictures, now we want to find out which photos you folks like the best.

Please like and/or share your favorite pictures from each category and we’ll choose a winner two weeks from today on December 3rd.  Winners will receive an exclusive Twiddy Gift Bag with Twiddy goodies that are unavailable for sale anywhere!

Kids Category Lifestyle Category  Pets Category Scenic Category

Great Timing, Y'all!

How do I win?  Each share will count as a point and each like also counts as a point. The photo in each category with the most points at the end of the two weeks will be our winner! If a guest happens to win more than one category, the prize will defer to the next highest score.

Not sure if they were ready for this one!

Please note the time frame to submit new photos for the contest has now passed. Don’t worry! We’ll be doing another photo contest in 2015 if you missed out. If you’d still like to share any photos with us, definitely shoot us a message, they may end up on a future Twiddy post! Good Luck!!!!!

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Posted by: Twiddy Shelley | September 12, 2014

It was all a dream, I used to read Google Analytics Magazine

Birthdays were the worst days, now thanks to GA we sip champagne when we’re thirs’tay!

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Over the years, we have been very fortunate to work with an amazing and dynamic Google Analytics team. To Kelley and Nikhil, we wanted beef and you brought the ruckus.

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To Die-lahn, thanks to your hard work and perseverance, the hot fire you spit ended up on the Analytics blog.  At the beginning of the summer we had one question. Can you kick it, yes you can. Can you kick it, yes you can.

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Thank you Google Analytics. We remain your loyal fans and big believers in your product.

Now in a tiny town of North Eastern North Carolina, we are going to POP some bottles and act like we have some sense.

http://analytics.blogspot.com/2014/09/new-benchmarking-reports-help-twiddy.html

–Twiddy Marketing

Posted by: jackiepolis | August 11, 2014

A Day in the Life of an Intern on the Deep Blue Sea

Posted by: jackiepolis | August 8, 2014

25 Years of Tradition

Posted by: jackiepolis | July 28, 2014

Just Keep Swimming!

Are you having a rainy day at the beach? Will your kids drive you crazy if you don’t go out and do something fun? There’s no better solution for this than the Outer Banks Aquarium on Roanoke Island! Rain or shine this is one of the top attractions the Outer Banks has to offer. There are so many different types of fascinating fish along with other animals such as otters, sharks and sting rays! Every tank or exhibit has a panel giving fun facts on each habitat.

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As much as I love history and learning new things, I’m a very hands on person, I like to always be doing things. This aquarium has many opportunities aside from just walking around and reading. There are many shows about dinosaurs, shark tank adventures and the BRAND NEW Sea Turtle exhibit! We didn’t have time to see these but had a blast doing other activities. Jackie isn’t the biggest petting zoo fan, but I really enjoyed petting the sting rays! At first I was a little nervous, but the associate assured me that these rays were harmless because their stingers were removed. We moved onto a massive tank that not only had fish but dun dun dun…SHARKS! Unlike fearless Jackie, as you can see in the picture below I am terrified of sharks.

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Even though our day was ending the adventure wasn’t. The gift shop had a wide selection of souvenirs for us to bring back for our families and to also serve as a memento for our wonderful day. On top of shopping, the aquarium provides a miniature, reasonably priced restaurant for lunch or just snacks. It is located right on the beautiful sound with picnic benches to kick back and relax. Outside there are also more activities for kids such as the tyrannosaurus trek and “walking on the sands of time.” The sands of time is a large sand box with hidden fossils(replicas) inside for the kids to go exploring. National Park Service quoted,

“Based on information obtained at sites from New Jersey to Florida, the NC Outer Banks appear to offer the greatest concentration of these Pleistocene fossils”

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There is so much more that the Outer Banks Aquarium has to offer, but I don’t want to completely ruin the surprise for you so go check it out and have a fun filled day with your family! And now Jackie and I must go watch Finding Nemo.

 

Posted by: jackiepolis | July 25, 2014

Pack Up and Fly Away

I am sure many of you are out there wondering how in the world are you going to get to the Outer Banks to see your family while they are enjoying a lovely family vacation while you are stuck a plane ride away. Like you may know from some of my other posts part of my summer internship down here is to Live like a Local but to Travel like a Tourist. I did exactly that this past weekend.

 

I would like to let you know joining your family while they are down here is easy as pie! On Friday afternoon I made a journey to the Norfolk airport in Virginia to fly for the weekend to see my family in New York City. Not only was it effortless for me to get to the airport but my flight cost a mere $161.00! It is almost unheard of to take a flight anywhere now a days so inexpensively (trust me I know, I spend hours on websites researching for my major).

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It takes around an hour and a half to make the journey from Duck to the Airport. It is an easy straight shot however you will need to cross through the Chesapeake Expressway, a toll road that costs $3.00 on weekdays and $6.00 on weekends. There are also many taxi shuttle services in the Outer Banks that can take you to the airport if your family cannot pick you up on their way down to the area.

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Experiencing it first hand and not being a newby to flying this airport is extremely easy to navigate. There are two terminals, A and B, and 30 gates in total (unsurprisingly I was at gate 30, a total of a three minute walk through the terminal). The long term parking lot has no shuttle to get to the building considering it is an eight minute leisurely stroll to get there. Another great thing about the Norfolk Airport was that I only had to stand behind two others to get through TSA. It was a breeze!

 

There is no reason for you to miss a family get together due to distance. Flying in and out of Norfolk is hassle free and often times inexpensive!

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Posted by: jackiepolis | July 14, 2014

Exploring the Sound

Relaxing all day on the beach may not be everyone’s cup of tea while on vacation. Sure, the sun, salt, and sand are great but there reaches a time in the vacation when the kids have had enough. Lucky for you the Outer Banks has so much more to offer. If you have read Kristin or my own posts in the past you are familiar with our adventures. Last week we strayed away from the beach and went to the other side of the peninsula, the sound.

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Coastal Explorations is a locally owned company in the historic Corolla Village that specializes in kayak and stand-up paddle boarding rentals as well as kayaking tours on the sound. We were lucky enough to get to go on one!

Bright and early Monday morning Kristin and I made the trip along Route 12 from Duck to Corolla to start our weekly assignment. Singing the latest Miranda Lambert song, the twenty five minute drive flew by. Smelling fresh of sunscreen we met our guide Claire and a nice couple from Tennessee who would be joining us on our tour.

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Coastal Explorations has a killer mile long dock that we wandered down until we got to the kayak launching site. Claire gave us a brief lesson on how to kayak (how to get in the boat, hold the paddles, and turn) and with that we were off. We kayaked the sound listening to birds chirping and watching fish swim around our boats. We also learned a little about the history of the area. If my arms hadn’t been so sore I would have had no idea we kayaked for nearly two hours.
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I would highly recommend taking your family on a kayak tour of the sound. Coastal Explorations offers many different types of tours including sunrise, kid friendly, and of course the general tour Kristin and I took. Even if kayaking is not an interest of your family take them out on Coastal Exploration’s dock to watch a beautiful sunset. Exploring the sound is a great way to connect with nature and experience a different wonder that the Outer Banks has to offer!

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