Thank you for coming to our site, Outer Banks Revealed. I'd like to tell you about us, why we think so highly of the Outer Banks, and how this site came to be. My name is Dan Spaventa. I am the owner and webmaster for Outer Banks Revealed. My wife, Janet, and I decided to join my brother and his family on a joint vacation back in 1991 to a place called Duck.
We had never heard of it, and being life time Jersey shore (That's a Philly thing. Oh yeah, we live outside Philadelphia, Pa) go-ers we didn't know what to expect.At the time, we only had two children, our oldest daughter Laura, and son Dan. A youngest child, Kimmy, would not join us until 1994, as she was born in December 1993. Anyway, we packed up the mini-van, the X-cargo roof rack, and off we went for our seven hour trip. I was skeptical, to say the least. How could anything be any better or any different than the Jersey shore?
The difference hit us immediately. We were overcome by the sheer beauty of the place. It was unlike any beach we had experienced; and besides, because of the hot sun and rough water, the kids were asleep for the night by eight o'clock. As a parent of young children, that was a gift. We had found our vacation home.
The Outer Banks, however, is much more than just a beach vacation place. It is a place that infiltrates your very soul. The beautiful location, the amazing historical sights, with views from the tops of lighthouses that are simply breathtaking, or the amazing animals, whether it be the porpoises gliding through the ocean, or the pelicans patrolling over head, or the never-tired red knots endlessly dodging the waves in search of their next meal, the Outer Banks makes you realized that you are part of something much bigger. And I should not forget the people.
The southern hospitality and easy going attitudes complete this place. No matter what may be weighing you down from your daily life, this one week (or two, which is infinitely better than just one) instantly allows your mind to relax and body to feel refreshed. The reason you see so many of those silly little plain white ovals with the letters "OBX" is because they have experienced this catharsis. Check out these videos to get a few perspectives from others who have been to the Outer Banks.
So that explains our love for the Outer Banks, and the first ten years we were the annual weekly vacationers. Our love for the Outer Banks made us realize we wanted to own a piece of it. In 2002, we purchased our first Outer Banks rental property, followed by building a second in 2006. So I am sure that anyone who has skimmed some of the pages of Outer Banks Revealed has concluded that the main purpose for building the site was to promote our rental houses.
Quite frankly, it played only a small part in my decision to launch the site. I’ve already had several home rental sites advertising my Outer Banks house rentals and I have rental companies also facilitating the rental process in the Outer Banks. The real reason for building Outer Banks Revealed was two-fold. First, we have met many wonderful people who live in the Outer Banks since we started owning the two properties. They have shared with us, besides personal friendships, things not readily known by the average vacationer. We wanted to share these things, whether it be restaurants, or places to see, or things to do, with you so that you could enhance your vacation time in the Outer Banks. In addition, every time I've asked them to help me with the site in writing a page, they've almost been giddy with the "honor". It has enabled me to provide you a perspective not available in your typical "Chamber of Commerce" site, a more personal feel.
The number one reason was for a far more selfish reason, I must confess, and it is actually spelled out in the name of our Duck house, "MemorSeas of a Lifetime", or, in plain English, "Memories of a Lifetime". Perhaps my thoughts are best captured by this poem by Henry Van Dyke:
Favorite people, favorite places, favorite memories of the past.
These are the joys of a lifetime, these are the things that last.
It is the little things such as family vacations and the time spent together that best sums up a happy and successful life. My three children, one who graduated college in May of 2009, another in college and the third, a sophomore in high school, grew up on the Outer Banks. Our time in the Outer Banks provides me with some of the best memories of my life, whether it be the first year Kimmy, at six months, decided to cry for the first six hours of the trip, only to have finally fallen asleep, when my wife Janet noticed that her head was crooked and that she would suffer a stiff neck and decided to straighten, only to wake her up again, where she proceeded to cry the balance of the trip. I was not sure who I was throwing in the Intercoastal Waterway first, Janet or Kimmy. Or the time the night before the trip I fell off a step stool while packing the roof rack and ended up breaking my arm. It was amazing how many people wanted to hear my story that year. Or the year my daughter was about to head off to Virginia Tech that Fall as a freshman and decided to meet anyone and everyone who had a "VT" sticker, flag, shirt or some other insignia somehow attached to them and how much she wanted to let them know that she was about to become a "Hokie" as well. Or the time we were driving down Route 158 and we had a blow-out. We pulled into the driveway of a house along the side of the road; where the owner met us with lemonade, and she had her son, an auto mechanic, help us change the tire. Talk about an act of God! Or the year the newest member of the family, our dog Biscuit, a cockapoo, joined the family trip to the Outer Banks. Family Vacations are about the little traditions, like having mom’s meatballs and spaghetti the first night we are down or at least one night out to the restaurant (usually the Colington Café), that everyone expects and greatly anticipates.
In short, this site has afforded me the opportunity to blow some dust off of the old picture albums or reach deep inside some of the pictures stored on our old computer, and re-live those memories while telling you about a place we love and hope you will come to love as much as we do. I hope you enjoy Outer Banks Revealed. If you see things are missing, please use our contact page and tell us about it, or tell us your favorite story and you just might find it on the pages of Outer Banks Revealed.
P.S. It is now February 2010, and I have had Outer Banks Revealed up and running for about a year. The company that provides the hosting and all of the tools (process for naming the website, process for what and how to build pages, submission to the search engines, the blog, the newsletter, and so forth) I use is called SiteSell. They encourage people who use their services to tell others about it. Before I did that, however, I wanted to prove to myself that I could actually make money at this thing. Being an accountant by training, it was important to me that I prove to myself that I could actually at minimum break even the first year if not be on the net positive side before I would recommend this program to other people.
Well, lo and behold, I cleared that hurdle in November, only eleven months in. And here is the thing, I did it using the tools they supplied. I won't lie, it was a LOT of work, but it was worth it. You would be amazed at all of the people I've met in this past year who have further enhanced our stays when we visit the Outer Banks. It was so worth it, in fact, that I just started a second site on another passion I have, fastpitch softball. It gives me yet another chance to re-live happy memories of my family.
The key is having the passion about something, anything really, and you too can make a small business (yes, I said business) from something you enjoy doing. Check out this link to SiteSell.com to find out more information. Could be the best $299 you ever spent and next year this time you may be writing something similar on your About Us page.
The Outer Banks is a special place. You read some of my favorite memories. Now here is your chance to share what makes the Outer Banks special to you. Share it here!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
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