For The Birds

Around this time three years ago, my wife and I got the opportunity to take our kids on a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. At the time, we were working for Patrick Henry Family Services as house parents at one of the residential cottages. Each year, they would send all of their residents and staff on a trip to the beach, somewhere along the east coast.

The following year, we would get the opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach. But, this year we would travel to Kill Devil Hills (still my favorite weird town name) for four days of ocean and relaxation. At the time, we only had two boys in our care so the six of us were all able to it into one mini-van.

Good times.

Over the four days that we were there, a number of varying experiences were had. We stayed in a beach house that was only a block from the ocean so we went swimming multiple times a day. We played mini-golf at a local tourist trap. We did some souvenir shopping at an overpriced t-shirt store. We visited one of the lighthouses found in the OBX and climbed clear to the top. We also visited the lost colony of Roanoke. They are still missing.

However, my favorite stop was on Ocracoke Island. It took a ferry boat ride of nearly 40 minutes to reach the island but it was well worth it. I’ve written about our trip to the island before so I won’t go into the details but we spend a few hours on the island digging for buried pirate treasure among other things.

As we were leaving the island, my favorite moment of the entire trip took place. We pulled up to a staging point for the ferry boat where everyone pulled their cars around into a loop and waited to board. There was an entire army of seagulls hanging around this area as I suppose it was an excellent spot to pick up tourists extra food scraps.

We had some extra sandwiches left over and I decided that I would spend my time feeding these creatures while we waited. I started out just tossing bread crumbs onto the ground but quickly realized that these birds were perfectly capable of catching the crumbs in the air if I would just toss them up to them.

I began walking around the loop, tossing broken up pieces of the sandwiches into the air as a swarm of seagulls converged on me. I suppose this probably wasn’t the best idea but I was able to manage to get through it without being hit by a flying bird and it was so much fun. I would throw a chunk of bread about 5 to 6 feet in the air and watch the birds pick it apart before it hit the ground.


After the sandwiches were gone, I returned to the car and started getting out the rest of our food. Goldfish crackers…. leftover bread…. anything that they could eat that would not choke them to death. I was addicted.

Eventually, the food ran out and the ferry boat arrived.

The birds quickly lost interest in me since I no longer had anything they wanted. They moved on to another tourist who had been watching me and decided to join in. I loaded back up into the van and got onto the ferry boat. I guess I’m pretty easily amused.

Do you have any odd vacation stories that you can share? Put them in the comments below.

Life is Strange. Live it Well.



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