Despite living in North Carolina for many years on and off, I have never made it to the Outer Banks, until now. Last week my two nephews Eshaan and Aashrai (ages 14 and 10) were visiting with school being out, and we figured what better time to try out our fantasy of having lots of kids than to plan a weekend trip with the whole crew to Nags Head Beach in the OBX. In order to accommodate four kids and two adults, we traded our tiny Prius with my dad’s van and off we went.
***Like the thought of moving to the suburbs, thought of owning a minivan used to give me hives too. But of course, over time we have rented them on vacations and their appeal is growing on me. It basically feels like a mini apartment with all the space, outlets, and media player. In fact it might just be as big as one of the rooms I rented in D.C. This trip definitely proved that minivans are no longer hive inducing to me.
***The population of Nags Head is under 3000 people. 90% of the homes we passed had a “rent-me” sign making it very likely that most of those residents are vacationing somewhere else. For our stay we chose the Comfort Inn which was right on the ocean albeit a little on the older side. Before checking in we played around in Jockey’s Ridge State Park which is the largest natural sand dune park on the Atlantic coast. It was absolutely amazing and unlike anything I have ever seen (even better than the Michigan or Indiana Dunes).
***I love this picture. It’s so funny. The classic case of “I am sure someone is watching the baby” which can only happen when there are too many people around.
***Clearly I need to work on my jumping skills.
***The next day there was a no swim advisory because of high winds and strong rip currants. We were getting slapped by the sand just walking in the parking lot. Needless to say that with four eager kids, it was disappointing to not be able to spend any time in the water. Instead after a great breakfast at the hotel we drove around and visited some more natural parks and lighthouses. Bodie (horizontal strips) and Hatters (curly strips with the red base) are both so beautiful with a surrounding area that is equally fun to explore.
***Color coordinating breakfast with clothes!
**This next picture was requested by my nephew who insisted we take a “perspective picture”. It turned out so great!
***After all the sightseeing, Devang found a great place for lunch called Watermen’s Bar & Grill. They have great outdoor seating with live music and good food. I had the crab cake burger and it was the best I have ever had. There was a wall of lockers on the other side of us and it kept both Arjun and Asha entertained a considerable time.
***We also made a stop at Pea Island which has a lagoon of turtles and a really nice beach (reminded me of Cape Cod). Arjun was napping and my nephews agreed to stay with him while the three of us headed out for a short walk on the beach. Asha and Devang have inside jokes and their own lingo; it is always fun for me to take a back seat and observe the two of them goofing around.
***In the evening we went for a walk on the pier but it was insanely windy. The kind of windy where the birds could barely fly in the direction of their choosing. We were hoping for a nice walk which would put the littles to sleep but no such luck. It was cold and a bit uncomfortable. But on the way back we saw a nice rainbow which made it all worth the trouble.
Traveling with four kids was certainly an adventure. I am so used to little kids that being around Eshaan and Aashrai was a good reminder that Asha and Arjun too will grow up so fast and be little adults one day. And to think that I won’t have to spend an hour feeding someone or putting them to sleep makes me happy and sad all at the same time. It was so rewarding to see the older kids helping the little ones all day. Devang and I could actually hold hands and sit for a minute you know! Of all the things though, I had to catch myself from nagging E and A too much because I am so used to giving instructions to my littles. All in all, this was a fantastic little trip. I can’t believe such a beautiful place is just three hours away from us. I can’t wait to visit Nags Head and the rest of the outer banks area again. Hopefully next time we will spend more time in the water than out.
Thanks for reading such a long post and hope your summer is off to a great start too!