Vacation Recap: The Outer Banks
As I’ve mentioned, I spent last week in the Outer Banks in North Carolina (specifically, Nag’s Head), where we rented a beach house with some friends who came from all over. It was a great time, and so nice to get away from the city for a few days. I thought I would share some photos and highlights from the trip, just for fun.
I’d never been to the Outer Banks before, or North Carolina at all. The Outer Banks is well known for its beauty, its sand dunes, and its beaches. It’s definitely a summer beach community, full of huge shops that sell flip flops and beach chairs, seafood shacks, and ice cream stands. Beach houses line the main drags, most of them large enough to house big groups like ours (we had 13 people total). As you get further into the wilds of the Outer Banks, there are even horses that run free. I really wanted to see those horses, but I didn’t travel far enough from the beaten path. Oh well.
The above photo shows the view of the beach from our deck–not too shabby. We had access to the beach, as well as the advantage of being just two doors down from Fishheads, a bar on the fishing pier that served 10 cent shrimp during happy hour as well as strawberitas (gross) and live music (sometimes good, sometimes not so good).
On the 4th, Joe and I took Chief for a drive to check out the Bodie Island Lighthouse. We couldn’t go inside of it because they don’t allow pets, but we did walk around the grounds and checked out the wetlands. It was very pretty and sunny–a nice break from the beach.
One of the best things about renting a house was that we cooked every night, trading responsibilities for the cooking and shopping. Joe and I made a swiss chard lasagna with garlic bread. We grilled burgers on the 4th, with corn on the cob and grilled veggies. We definitely ate well. But one morning, Joe and I decided to break out and venture into town for some donuts. We waited in a very long line to get a dozen donuts for the group at Duck Donuts, where they come hot and hand-dipped. Seriously some of the best donuts I’ve ever eaten, and I don’t take that statement lightly.
One afternoon while everyone else was at the beach, I decided to stay at the house with Chief and do some writing. It was pretty ideal sitting out on the deck with the ocean in front of me, the sun shining, a cold beer, and a new story. We don’t get too much time like that in the city, so I definitely appreciated those few hours.
We went to happy hours at Fishheads, spent afternoons on the beach, and I even squeezed in a quick trip to the J. Crew Factory store just five minutes from our house (again, ideal location), where I took advantage of the 50% off sale and bought a new chambray shirt and black ballet flats.
I lived in shorts, tank tops, flip flops, and sundresses. I left all my makeup at home. I didn’t turn on my hair dryer once. It was blissful.
One of my favorite things about this trip was having Chief with us. He was a little nervous at first, being surrounded by people he didn’t know, but once he got used to everyone, he was a happy guy. I think he could get quite used to life as a beach hound.
On our last night in town, we drove to the dunes and watched the sunset. We ran barefoot through the sand with Chief and it was my favorite part of the trip. We also had a bonfire on the beach that night, after we scrambled to secure firewood and the correct permit from the fire department.
All in all, it was a great trip, and a nice reminder that there’s a whole world outside of this crazy city–one that doesn’t revolve around how you look or how fast you can get from one place to the other or how many trendy restaurants you’ve eaten at. I was a little hesitant to take this trip at first, for several reasons–I was worried I couldn’t spare the time off, I was worried the drive was too long, I was worried that I didn’t really know the friends we were renting the house with all that well. But guess what? Everything worked out just fine (minus that whole flat tire on the side of the highway in Delaware thing, but we won’t dwell on that). I guess what I’m saying is–take a break. Even if it’s not traveling to a new place or getting away with friends, give yourself some time to relax, wear no makeup, and just enjoy the world around you.