Our week vacation was incredible. We spent the week at the very end of the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Hatteras Island. Believe me, it was not an easy trip to make (it took 12 hours when it should have only been 7), but well worth it.
We have vacationed on the outer banks once before, and loved it then. But, to be honest, living only 2 hours away from the Delaware beaches, it's very hard to find the rational for driving such a long distance.
Well, last week totally reminded me why it's worth it. The beach house was amazing. 6 bedrooms and plenty of living space. Unless it's meal time, you didn't even realize that there were 23 people living in the house. We had a large bedroom and our own bathroom. Emma slept with us, but the big girls slept dorm style with the other kids on bunks down stairs. There were plenty of TVs and a pool table on the bottom floor. I was able to get some reading done on the decks and the loft area. A bonus was that the house (as many here have) had a pool. It was not large, but it worked for us and the kids. Megan, who has never been a beach bum, enjoyed hanging out at the pool (especially since we got her a life vest to wear..she can now swim all over the place). Emma enjoyed both the beach and the pool. She showed no fear of the water and actually enjoyed digging in the sand as much as she liked jumping into the pool. I swear, she thinks she can swim and tried to squirm out of my arms all the time. She wanted no parts of her "baby float" but wants to swim like the big kids.
The beach was awesome. It is actually part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. There are not a gazillion people around and you don't have to worry about someone stealing your prime spot on the beach. One drawback is that there is also no lifeguard (something I do wish we had, especially with the rip current that seemed to hang around for a few days mid-week). On Wednesday, the water was so clear, it was amazing. You would have though we were in Florida or the Bahamas. I tried to capture it with a few pictures, but I am not sure that it really translates the way it should. The kids all had such a ball trying to catch the fish that you could see swimming in the tide. Amazing!
The company was wonderful. We managed to get invited to join a group of Pat's family that goes on vacation every year. The group includes Pat's Uncle Ralph and Aunt Ann, their two kids, Dee and Dennis along with their families, us and my in laws. The boyfriend of Dennis' oldest daughter and the girlfriend and Dee's oldest son were there as well. It made for 23 people total. I know that sounds like a daunting group, but it really wasn't bad at all. We already knew that we got along well with everyone, we had just never been together for longer than a day with any of them. What helped is that all the kids seem to get along as well. There were a few squabbles, but they were usually between siblings.
All in all, it was a great vacation and we would absolutely do it again, if we are invited back. Pat and I have spent the last week trying to figure out if we can afford to do both a Delaware trip (and include my mom) as well as an Outer Banks one. If we start saving now, we just might be able to do it.