Laresa Watkins

#WatkinsVacay2015 AKA National Lampoons Outer Banks Vacation

Jul 12, 2015
mommyinbonlee

We returned from our family beach vacation yesterday.  I wasn’t going to write about it, but Mama told me that I had to because if she didn’t laugh about it she would cry! So here goes…

We have been planning and anticipating this beach trip for months.  Jason and I have been slowly but surely moving our family vacations (by family, I am referring to our large family vacations with our parents and brothers and sisters) up the NC coast, and this year we finally reached our ultimate destination: the NC Outer Banks.

This isn’t an easy feat for people who have grown up going to Myrtle Beach, SC, where there are tons of restaurants, lots of shopping, putt-putt courses, movie theaters, huge theatrical productions, and lots more.  Our families love those things, but Jason and I are more drawn to the secluded NC beaches, where Jason can fish and I can be on the beach with no one around.   We don’t mind eating at hole-in-the-wall restaurants and having nothing to do but play on the beach all day long.

We were so excited to get a house named the Moon Palace in Salvo, NC for a week this year.  The first few days of our vacation were excellent, even though the house wasn’t quite up to par.

Charlie, Maddie, Sam, and Aaron on the beach.

Charlie, Maddie, Sam, and Aaron on the beach.

 

Jason catching some fish. They were delicious!

Jason catching some fish. They were delicious!

 

Another one of the kids on the beach, with Macy (who is an official beach bum) in this one.  Too cute, right?

Another one of the kids on the beach, with Macy (who is an official beach bum) in this one. Too cute, right?  (There are some beach bums in the background, too! 🙂

 

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This is what I love doing on the beach-sitting at the edge of the surf while the kids play around me and Jason fishes. I could do this all day.

 

We spent a lot of time in the swimming pool.

We spent a lot of time in the swimming pool.

 

And Charlie and Maddie spent too much time in the hot tub!  This was Charlie's one request when we were looking for a house-that it have a hot tub!

And Charlie and Maddie spent too much time in the hot tub! This was Charlie’s one request when we were looking for a house-that it have a hot tub!

 

Kitten feeding the birds on the back deck.

Kitten feeding the birds on the back deck.  The birds, as usual, loved him!

 

The kids playing Twister.

The kids playing Twister.

 

And reading some stories.

And reading some stories.

 

I was super-excited to find a selfie-stick at a Wings. I looked and looked at stores around home, but they were sold out!  Apparently everyone wants one.  Here’s the first picture I took:

Me and Mama on our way back from the store.

Me and Mama on our way back from the store.

 

And here's one of me, Julie, and Macy (she is hidden behind the blanket).

And here’s one of me, Julie, and Macy (she is hidden behind the blanket).

 

We spent some time exploring the Outer Banks.  There is some great history on the islands.

Charlie and Maddie at the aquarium.  Behind them is an actual shipwreck that has been moved into their saltwater tank.  There were huge sharks swimming in there!

Charlie and Maddie at the aquarium. Behind them is an actual shipwreck that has been moved into their saltwater tank. There were huge sharks swimming in there!

 

Now, I’m sure you noticed earlier that I said the first few days of our vacation were great?  Here’s what the pictures above aren’t telling you.

First of all, there has been a strange outbreak of shark attacks on the NC coast.  We couldn’t go in the ocean!

Scoping out the situation on our first day there.

Scoping out the situation on our first day there.

 

Speaking of the ocean, to get to the ocean we had to cross this huge sand dune.  It looks beautiful, I know, but it was a nightmare.   The sand was burning hot and full of sand spurs and cactus.  We were constantly picking spikes and spurs out of our feet.  And do you know how hard it is to climb those hills of sand with children, umbrellas, chairs, coolers, beach bags, and fishing gear? Some of us only made it to the beach a couple of times, just because they couldn’t make it over.

A few days in, we were all jokingly referring to this dune as “Heartbreak Ridge.” Kitten and Mack would sit on the deck and watch us as we struggled over.  One time, Mack cheered me on as I pulled the beach cart behind me by screaming, “Ya, Mule!” over and over.  I am laughing about it now, but at the time didn’t find it all that funny.

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And the picture of me and Mama, where we look so happy about or selfie-stick find?  Mama had just finished crying as she told me that she had blown her good hip walking up and down the stairs (we had 4 floors and no elevator) at the Moon Palace.  This means that she is in a lot of pain, can hardly walk, and will have to have another hip replacement very soon.  This put a serious damper on her vacation, to say the least.

Also, did you notice that Charlie doesn’t look too excited in the picture of him and Maddie at the aquarium?  That’s because he was on day 2 of a terrible stomach virus.  I mean terrible.  He spent the last half of his vacation laying in bed or on the couch.

So, this vacation was full of the most emotional ups and downs ever!  We had a great time cooking and playing games and putting together our puzzle and swimming and just being together. And Jason and I loved the Outer Banks and the atmosphere there.

But a lot of not-so-good things happened, too.

Goodbye, Moon Palace!

Goodbye, Moon Palace!

 

This was the last picture that I took.  On our way to of town, my little family stopped at the Urgent Care in Nags Head.  Charlie needed to be looked at (turns out he had a bad virus that is going around) and Jason needed 3 stitches.  He cut his finger open while he was packing up the car.  Boy do we know how to go out with a bang!

I think I was embarrassing them.  And obviously I don't have the selfie-stick quite figured out yet.

I think I was embarrassing them. And obviously I don’t have the selfie-stick quite figured out yet.

 

We decided that we are definitely going to have a do-over for the OBX.  The four of us are thinking of going back on October for a few nights.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to talk our extended family into the Outer Banks for our big vacation next summer, though.

 

4 Comments on “#WatkinsVacay2015 AKA National Lampoons Outer Banks Vacation

  1. Mary Vett
    / Reply

    Sounds like the best and also the worst vacation ever. Maybe the OBX is not a family vacation spot. Better luck next year.

    1. mommyinbonlee
      / Reply

      Thanks, Mary Vett! We are definitely giving it another chance. Jason loves fishing there and we want to take the kids to see some of the lighthouses, so we’ll be back. It was just total bad luck that all of those things happened.

  2. Katherine
    / Reply

    I loved this! We vacationed in Corolla this year in the outer banks too, and it seemed my children swam with a shark the first day of the many reported shark attacks! Levi says, “I saw something with 2 dorsal fins near us..” Thanking the Lord we weren’t on the news and were protected. So sorry you guys had a not so fresh vacation, but you made memories anyway! What a special time in our lives right now raising our children. I hope your mom’s hip improved, and Jason’s finger healing. We have had sickness on vacations too, looking for the nearest hospital and buying thermometer and Advil… But I am amazed at families that vacation TOGETHER. I am in awe of you! Being flexible and sharing cooking and cleaning and caregiving is part of growing together and being family. You do such a great job, Laresa, of shining the Light by caring for and praying for your family.

    1. mommyinbonlee
      / Reply

      Oh, Katherine, thank you! I am so thankful for friends like you. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

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