My stepbrother just got back last from his first deployment in Afghanistan. To celebrate, my family met in Duck, North Carolina for some quality togetherness. My dad, stepmother and brother flew in from Oklahoma on Thursday, meeting my stepbrother and his wife in Durham, where they live, before making the drive to OBX. Tom and I left Friday after work to meet up with everyone.
It was a long drive, but road trips are awesome just for the sake of being able to bring our little guy with us. He’s an excellent road tripper, he slept the entire way, except during our Sonic break when he reminded us that he very much enjoys hamburgers.
We arrived a little before 10 p.m., and had a laid back first night in our spacious house rental in Duck. The next morning, we walked over to the beach, which was conveniently located less than 200 yards from our front door!
We really lucked out with the weather. It rained a few times over the weekend, but when it was dry it was much warmer than I’d expected.
We adopted Ashton when he was already nine years old, so we have no idea if he’s ever been to a beach or not.
At first, he was intrigued, but after getting pelted by a wave he quickly changed his mind. We wound up carrying a wet and sandy puppy around the beach the rest of the morning. He’s worth it.
We wandered around a bit more, but we had a football game to attend to, so we left after a while to run to get groceries and get into our Sooner gear before kickoff. One of the things I really miss about Oklahoma is getting to watch games with a bunch of true Sooner fans, it was nice to get that fix this weekend.
During half time, we grilled steaks for lunch and some people partook in a very serious game of Jenga.
It was really nice to actually have some downtime on a trip. Normally during travel I go nonstop, but this was a needed departure from that.
What wasn’t different though, was how much we ate on the trip. When I travel, I make it a priority to eat as much of the local cuisine as possible. In OBX, this means Duck Donuts, of course. I actually don’t have any photographic evidence of the two dozen plus donuts we put away over the course of the weekend, because they were inhaled too quickly for any of that.
For dinner the first night, we went to Cravings, which was located quite close to our house. The restaurant didn’t take reservations, but we got in after about a half hour wait, which was definitely small price to pay for such a delicious meal. The tiny restaurant was featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and I can definitely see why – though it’s far from a dive, and it’s not a drive-in. I suppose you could call it a diner, but a very nice one.
No matter, the food was delicious from start to finish. We shared a few affordable bottles of wine and appetizers – mussels, oysters Rockefeller and rich, creamy crab dip. Tom and I shared a wedge salad and a fish and chips basket for our entree – hands down the best fried fish I’ve ever had. Go to this place!
The next morning, after a bit of a slow start, we went for a walk on the boardwalk to explore Duck a bit more.
The day was a bit overcast, but still warm, and the town was hopping. There was a jazz festival going on and people came out in droves to watch and listen.
We had lunch at The Blue Point before heading back to the football to relax for awhile. I watched football with the boys for awhile, before tiring of the NFL (college football is so much better!) and heading to the beach solo to soak up a little more of the view.
The weather was cooling down and the waves were much stronger than they’d been the day before. There is nothing more meditative to me than the sound of crashing waves and the feeling of the ocean breeze on my face.
Time was running out on the trip, and I didn’t want to be antisocial, so I rejoined everyone back at the house for some games before another amazing dinner – this time at Colington Cafe in Kill Devil Hills, an Italian and French restaurant with incredible food, known for their she-crab soup, steaks and seafood.
Before I knew it, Monday had arrived and we had to hurry to clean up the house and vacate before 10 a.m. It was a quick trip, but so much fun. I would definitely go back to the Outer Banks in the off season, for a slow-paced relaxing weekend, or during the summer, or winter… Any time really.