TV Free

By Molly Harrison | Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Relaxing on Ocracoke Island

Will everybody hate me if I say that TV and WiFi should be banned from all vacations? I'm not necessarily a TV fan, but I can tolerate it in my normal life. I'm not sporting a "Kill Your Television" bumpersticker or anything. It's nice to have when I find time to sit down to watch it (or my kids need a little breather), but I feel like I could completely live without it - and I'm doing that this week. Quite blissfully.

I'm on vacation, just 70 miles from home down Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island, and I'm on a total media fast. We purposely rented a house with no TV and no Internet. I've turned off my phone and I'm not buying newspapers or flipping through magazines.

After the first day of quiet I was at a quiet place in my head that made the thought of checking Facebook seem like psychosis. I'd rather sit outside with my daughter and check the status of the 15 hermit crabs she has collected and is torturing in their new "habitat" - a roasting pan with a homemade beach.

Instead of the morning news in the background we're listening to WOVV, Ocracoke Island's totally rad independent radio station. Actually, we're listening to WOVV all day and all night long. I even listen to it on my iPod when I run. It's the best and most varied radio station I've ever heard, hands down. The morning starts off with well-selected classic jazz then all day long the tempo picks up and you get a mix of everything from bluegrass to reggae to 70s rock to 80s alternative to rockabilly to just about everything. And I love that they rarely say what they're playing. I have a problem when I'm listening to Sirius/XM or Internet radio in which I have to constantly check to see what song is playing if I don't know it. On WOVV I just have to listen and enjoy the song, not worry about who the artist is. That's old school and I like it.

Instead of asking for afternoon cartoons my kids are playing games, putting together a big puzzle, chasing crabs and looking at the moon. And at night, instead of flicking on the TV to relax, my husband and I are playing backgammon and cards and reading.

Otherwise on our week of being Outer Banks vacationers, we're doing just about everything outside: fishing, clamming, swimming, shelling, island hopping, bike riding. The weather is ideal this week, and it looks like it will be through the weekend. The days are warm, the ocean is warm, the fishing is good and the nights are perfectly cool for sleeping. Fall is really the best time to be on vacation on the Outer Banks. Ocracoke is wonderfully uncrowded this time of year. There are lots of people here, don't get me wrong, but it's nothing like summer. We can ride bikes safely on the village streets, and we can get into the restaurants without waiting. Except that the coffee shop, where I've had to come to post my blog, is a madhouse!

So maybe you're lucky to be on vacation on the Outer Banks this week too. Or maybe you're a local looking for something to do. Here's what's happening:

This is an announcement or a warning, depending on how you feel about motorcycles. It's bike week again on the Outer Banks. A HOG Rally is rolling into to town for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Besides just riding in the beach air, they've got lots of planned events. Check the link for all the events.

On Friday, the North Carolina Coastal Federation is having Peel, Eat and Meet - a Fish Fry and Shrimp Boil. They're celebrating 30 years of coastal conservation work and want the public to come out and learn about what they do. The Coastal Federation helps protect coastal water quality, and it's a great organization to get involved with. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children. It will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Coastal Federation office on Grenville Street in Manteo.

Do you play tennis? The 10th annual Charity Classic Tennis Tournament to support Dare Hospice will be held Friday through Sunday at Duck Woods Country Club and Westside Courts. The tournament is open to all, but you'd better call as soon as you read this if you haven't already registered to play. Call (252) 261-6438.

There's another surf contest this weekend at Jennette's Pier. All these surfing contests have been really fun to watch this summer and fall. The WRV OBX Pro is a $30,000 professional surfing event held on the Outer Banks every year. It'll be going on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday at Roanoke Island Festival Park, it's the Advance Auto OBX Saves the Day Car/Truck and Motorcycle Show. The show will feature more than 200 cars, trucks and bikes from around the country. Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. The event opens to the public at 11 a.m. There will also be a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, live music and more. Funds raised go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Shuttle service will be available from the College of the Albemarle Campus.

The OBX Walk Against Addiction will be held on Saturday at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills. Registration is at 9 a.m., and the 1-mile walk begins at 10 a.m. Registration is $10 or $25, depending on your swag bag. Before and after the walk there will be professionals in the field of addiction, recovery facilities and support groups. There will also be live music from 9 a.m. to noon plus grilled burgers and hot dogs and fun.

Don't forget that next weekend is the Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park. They're very close to selling out so get your tickets now! And the Duck Jazz Festival is next Sunday. That one is free and open to the public so just show up if you can -- but get there early if you want to get a good seat on the lawn.

That's certainly not all that's going on this week. Check our By Day and Nightlife sections for everything there is to do. Have a great week -- and try turning off the TV, Internet and phone, maybe for a day, maybe for a weekend. You'll feel like you're on vacation even if you're staying home.

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway

This week you have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Frisco Rod & Gun and $25 to Studio 12!

For more information about Frisco Rod & Gun, check out their website.

For more information about Studio 12, check out their website.

Last Week's Winner

Congratulations to Joelle Etler!!!

You won a $25 gift certificate to Mike Dianna's Grill Room and $30 to Island Revolution Surf Company!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner

For more information about Mike Dianna's Grill Room, check out their website.

For more information about Island Revolution, check out their website.

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.