A couple of weeks ago we went on our family's annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. But this year, we had an awesome added BONUS!! I'll get to that, but first... here is the lay of the land and some of our favorite OBX traditions.
This is the view from the front porches of our house, The Woodshed. In case you aren't familiar, that stone structure you are seeing there is the Wright Brothers Memorial. It is a beautiful monument to the Wright Brothers who took the first plane flight right there! If you are a history buff, click HERE to learn more.
Sorry it's a little grainy and dark. But here she is!
Here is the view from the back porch. We have a walkway directly down to the beach! My family has owned this house for nearly 30 years. I grew up coming to this house. We rent it out (click HERE for more info) but reserve a week for ourselves every summer and visit quite a bit in the off season, as we are only about 2 hours away from it.
Ok, now that you have been properly introduced to where we stay, let's get on with our traditions. This is a delicious 12(!!!) layer cake that my mom picks up on the way. Believe it or not, this lady sells these from her husband's gas station. I think the story is she used to have a restaurant or bakery and now just sells them there. It is so so good.
This is our mandatory trip to Capt'n Franks! We stop there on the way to the house almost every year. (Other years we go a different day.) The secret must have leaked out because this year, the line was the longest I have EVER seen! Here are some pics of us waiting in line.
And at the table inside. Let's be real, it is only a hot dog place, so if you ever make the trip, it's good, but you know...hot dogs. For me, it's about continuing the tradition with my family. I have been going there since I was a little girl, so I have lots of happy memories there. The kids do love that the kids' meals come served on a frisbee. So, there's that.
Next, we go to the house and unload, and the next stop is a family trip to the local grocery store for the week's supplies.
Here is my mom's happy place. I would show you a picture of her, but she would be less than thrilled with me. So, here are Elliot and I enjoying a swing on the porch facing the monument before bed.
Another mandatory stop every summer...Brew Thru to get T-Shirts for the kids. We have been doing this tradition for years. My brother was the king of the tie dye t-shirt and we carry on in his memory. If you are thinking that's sweet, but what the heck is Brew Thru (click HERE for more)? It is a drive through convenience store. Ok, ok...alcohol pit stop. They have a refrigerator wall full of beverages of all types. And merchandise. No one ever believes that we only go for the shirts. But we honestly do. This picture is this year's design.
Now onto the BONUS part. This year, my sister, Heather, and her family (her husband, Chase and my adorable nephews, Colby and Dawson) came all the way from Wisconsin to join us!! They planned the trip in February and we had been counting down for months. We only get to see each other maybe once a year, so this was a very highly anticipated visit!
Reunited and it feels so good!
Here we are grilling out the first night, since they had been traveling all day.
Here are Chase and Dawson, too!
And a pic of the 4 of us! (Thanks, selfie stick!)
**Note, by the end of the trip, everyone was rolling their eyes every time I pulled out the selfie stick, but we got group pictures we would have otherwise never gotten! And since we see each other so infrequently, we cherish every picture together!
After dinner, we all went down to the beach. Colby and Dawson had never seen the ocean before! I think you can tell they loved it and had a blast! And we had fun watching them and sneaking in some pictures together!
|Will and Gavin|
|Chase and Heather|
|Elliot loving the beach!|
|Sisters!! Love her so much!!|
|Colby in the surf|
|Colby and Dawson taking in the ocean|
Ok, I asked Will what the heck he was doing. He said he liked laying in the sand and waiting for the waves to wash over him. Boys!
|Chase and me|
And one more tradition! Are you tired of the traditions yet? This one is a really good one. The kids absolutely love it and wear me out Every. Single. Day. while we are there about when we are going to go out to do it.
GHOST CRAB HUNTING!
You have to wait until dusk and really dark before you see these little crabs scurrying around. We get flashlights and nets and go down to the beach and look. It's like a live game of Where's Waldo. More about this activity HERE.
Here is a stock pic of what they look like. They are camouflaged to look like sand. In the low light they are hard to find.
This year we stepped up our game with ghost crabbing kits.
Oh wow. That is a horrible quality picture grab from Amazon. But you get the idea. Click on the link above if you want to see it more clearly and in greater detail.
Here is a very blurry pic, but you can see the crab in the top left corner. Of course, we catch and release them, and we are as gentle to them as possible. But we make a big deal when someone finds one and we all gather around to take a look at it.
All of us ghost crabbing! Thanks again selfie stick!
Most of that took place in one day! After this, we all went in and crashed! Can't wait to share with you the rest of the visit!
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