Summer is unofficially here even though summer solstice is still about 3 weeks away.
As mentioned in our 2016’s getaway, we usually travel before the official summer school break starts because the idea of dealing with a frantic sardine-packed crowd and the astronomical prices is a big NO for me.
So, we just unpacked ourselves from a fun-filled family vacation at the Outer Bank (OBX) at North Carolina.
I was definitely the excited one because I have not visited OBX before. I have heard so much about this place from friends and family. It has been voted as one of the top family beach destinations.
So yes, I was EXCITED!
The drive to OBX was fortunately a pleasant one as we were very lucky not to run into any traffic (we Virginians know how the tunnel traffic can be painfully annoying much of the time). It took us about 3 hours to get to Nags Head from home.
There is so much to see in OBX and it was definitely a challenge trying to squeeze everything into a 5-day vacation with a demanding toddler.
As per my husband’s request, we decided to make use of this vacation as a time to unwind and rejuvenate; and not try to pack too many itineraries into a day. It’s a getaway. Not an ‘Amazing Race’.
Being at the beach was the number one priority of this getaway, unless it was raining or storming.
We were at the beach at the first evening and we were there the very next morning on Memorial Day.
The weather was perfect at 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
My 19 month old son was fascinated and thrilled to be at the beach because he loved playing with the sand.
As much as he loved the sand, he hated the refreshing chilly waters. He flat out refused to stand there with his daddy and his sister.
My girl was the total opposite. She was obviously born to be at the beach and waters.
My son was very content to just be playing with the sand for hours.
Of course, we could not play at the beach for too long as Asher needed a good afternoon nap. We took the opportunity to drive around OBX as he napped in the car.
In order to cut down our expenses, we chose to pack a ton of food from home, bought some staple perishables from the nearby grocery store, and resolved to only dine out once a day. (In the end, we were so determined to eat off whatever we had in the refrigerator and so, we only dined out twice throughout the entire trip!)
Miller’s Restaurant was our first dining out experience at OBX and we could not say no to our favorite crab legs, crab cakes, shrimps and et cetera. How could we say NO to seafood, right?
The very next morning (Day 3), we headed straight to Roanoke Island to visit the NC Aquarium. We did not take the chance to stop by at the beach as the weather forecasted that it would rain all morning.
The NC Aquarium was about 15 minutes drive away from our hotel. The ticket price was definitely a little costly – about $40 for 2 adults and a child (3 years and above).
But hey, my girl was very excited to check out some life under the sea.
She even had the opportunity to touch some sting rays.
And my little man was definitely in wonder when he saw the sharks swim by.
I would suggest any one of you to allocate about 2 hours for this aquarium as there were so much to see and learn.
The NC Aquarium Soundside pier was also open to public to to provide visitors educational programs on fishing, birding, kayaking, dolphin watching etc.
As for my son, all he wanted to do was to run, run, run on the pier. Poor daddy – he had to chase after his little man non stop.
Later that afternoon, we headed to Jennette’s Pier to check out one of the longest running attractions on the OBX.
It has an incredibly long history of being a well-loved fishing spot after its construction and official opening in 1939.
And here is the view of the beach of Nags Head from Jennette’s Pier.
Day 4 kicked off with a great morning at the beach. The sun was hiding behind the clouds all morning and we could not be happier.
And again, we wished we could play at the beach all day long but Asher had to have his afternoon nap.
After his nap, we headed to Jockey Ridge State Park for the infamous kite flying fun at the sand dunes.
Yes, yes. My little girl is obsessed with Frozen characters and thus, she has chosen ‘Olaf’ to fly.
It was so amazing to be at the unique sand dunes even though it was humid and hot.
But hey, Annakate got to fly her first kite and she did it so well.
Little man was definitely bored but he got to play with more sand while his sister enjoyed kite-flying for at least 45 minutes. And again, we wished we could play longer but Asher had a time limit and the storm clouds were rolling in fast.
We were supposed to dine out that night but with the storm ongoing, we decided to clear out the refrigerator since it was our final night at OBX.
What are the chances of us eating on the bed while watching TV together? Right?
On our final day before we checked out of the hotel, we hit the beach one last time to enjoy the sounds of waves rolling in.
I kept telling myself “Life is taking us to so many places but the beach is definitely where I want to be right now“.
And if you zoom in to this very last picture, you can see the fins of dolphins swimming by. And seriously, what is the possibility of me enjoying this scenic view of dolphins at the oceans?
You know what? OBX, we will surely come back to visit. We still have not visited Wright Memorial, Bodie Lighthouse, Ocracoke Island, The Lost Colony and many more. Perhaps, when little man is a little older and easier to manage… am I right?
Ah! God is so good. I am definitely rejuvenated right now.
And tomorrow, it’s back to MOM LIFE (all over again)!