Wednesday morning was extremely rainy. Younger son got up before 6 a.m. to try to take photos of the sunrise, but the sun was completely obscured by clouds. We didn't even try to go to the beach in the morning but instead drove to Roanoke Island, where we planned to go to the aquarium, but after spending twenty minutes standing in line in the pouring rain without getting close to the entrance, we decided to skip that and instead stopped in a couple of stores for salt water taffy and new flip flops. All the shopping strips and restaurants were crowded with tourists staying off the wet beaches, so we came back to the hotel and had deviled eggs for lunch.
After lunch the weather cleared up a bit. We took a walk on the beach to look for shells, and when the rain did not return, we went back to the hotel to put on bathing suits. The water was warmer and we saw dolphins jumping offshore. In the early evening we went to Jockey's Ridge State Park, the tallest sand dune in the Eastern U.S., reputed to be the best place in the Outer Banks to watch the sun set. Whereas last year the sand was scalding hot, this year there was a wetlands springing up in the middle, and after seeing the sun going down, older son and I went to rescue a tiny toad from the high dune to the frog-filled seasonal lake, sliding down the sand!