Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Vacation RECAP!

Surf's up everyone! ;)

Did you follow me on Instagram to see some tidbits of the shenanigans from our long awaited #vacation?!

Oh the ocean, how we miss thee!... but nonetheless, all good things must come to an end and we have returned from Nags Head, NC enjoying the beaches of the Outer Banks to celebrate my sister and brother-in-law's safe return from the Peace Corps and 3 1/2 year wedding anniversary... beach-side style!


Since I'm more-than-incredibly afraid of flying the nearest airport was 2 hours away, most of our family opted to drive the 14 hours, split up by stopping in Richmond, VA first and then headin' in or headin' home!

So, let's hit the road folks!

Off we went, car stuffed full, dogs dropped off with our generous cousin who took great care of them (THANKS JUSTIN!), Alex's interesting chex mix blend in toe that we devoured on the trip down... SLURP, SLURP!

Meanwhile, I was on a mission to get all the state signs as we drove... and utterly failed with only capturing West Virginia crossing a beautiful blue bridge... why aren't more bridges blue?! For reals, so pretty!

And stopped along the way to stretch our legs and enjoy some scenic views and rest stops before the sun went down as we headed into Virginia!

I was feelin' pretty good with about the 2-hours-left... I usually HATE being a passenger, but I was A-OKAY this ride!

We woke up the next morning in Richmond to drive the rest of the way to Nags Head and get our feet in that sand... STAT!

My little dare-devil ;)

I see..... OCEAN!!!!!

Enjoying the breeze at a rest stop just outside of Nags Head! 

Spotted our first SAND DUNES on the way onto the island!

Welcome to Nag's Head!!!!

First day was really hectic with driving 4 hours into the island, but once we arrived, let the games begin!

1) Smell the ocean, 2) Feel the sand, 3) Pop open a beer... not particularly in that order ;)



Now things are pickin' up as 15+ people unload their cars and stuff, find their rooms in this maze of a house, get things ready for White Night: Wine & Dine and then get ready ourselves so it didn't look like we all were pulled out of a drain...

Enter casa partay-town!


Private beach entrance... FTW!

Time to start Night 1 festivities!

Let's wine and dine people!... or more like take long-overdue family pictures before it's too late, then stuff our faces with food followed by a lot bit of whiskey...

All 5 of us finally reunited after 3+ years! WOOT!... It's family time peeps!... Bring on the wine now ;)

Over the past 3 1/2 years, 5 became 7... soon to be 8 siblings! =)
Doesn't Mike look so excited for the extra testosterone?!... Welcome to the family fellas!

Before we stuff our faces... Time for a toast from and to the couple of the week!

Commence chow time!

My veggie plate loaded with pureed sweet potatoes, summer orzo pasta, mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette and a tomato, mozzarella and pesto sandwich on ciabatta bread! 

SLURP!... More pah-please!

Served with wine.... naturally!

Let the partay begin... Ya' can't be with my sista's until you're ready to laugh until ya' cry... seriously! 

Quality sister and hubby time ya'll!

I <3 these ladies like none other :)

....Are we ready for day 2 yet? ;)

Up and at em' ready for Sunday brunch for 60+ people, with a view that's hard to beat!

A delicious #vegetarian brunch with a slice of asparagus & roasted red pepper frittata, spinach, artichoke & sun-dried tomato quiche, a side salad and mixed fruit!

Next came pool time with family and friends... and my desperate attempt to not look like Caspar the friendly Ghost!... that's a losing battle for me.

Then Black Night rolls around: Beer, Bourbon & BBQ!

Time to rally folks ;)

More family lovin'!... We clean up nice eh?!

Then... more chow time!

My delicious #veggie plate of more summer orzo pasta, potato salad and cole slaw slathered in North Carolina BBQ on a slider bun! More YUM!

Sunday night was quieter since most of the friends had either left already or were leavin' early Monday mornin' so the shenanigans were kept at bay we'll say ;)

Monday was another beauty, and as our family does best: hydrate, rest, relax, enjoy the ocean breeze..... 

 Then it's time to play ball!....of some sort, thus...


We didn't skip a beat with meals on this vacation.... 


My veggie plate of a #Morningstar veggie dog (SO GOOD!) topped with leftover slaw and BBQ sauce... LURV this!... and let's not forget the DE-LISH side of potato salad (kicked up with some extra seasoning) and a side salad!

.. And back to the beach we go!... and never too far from the house for the often occasional beer run ;)

Dinner was made by my sister's in-laws and I'm tellin' ya... WHAT-A-DARN-GOOD-MEAL they made!

Chicken Piccata over Angel Hair Pasta -- so perfectly beach and summer-like!... And they so nicely substituted my plate sans Chicken with a Quorn Chik'n Cutlet (this is a must re-create at home dish, ASAP!) and it was AH-MAY-ZING! Served with a side of grilled zucchini, squash and eggplant slices, fresh tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and baked crostini's topped with goat cheese and roasted red peppers.  

Did we just enter food heaven?!

Why yes... I think we did =)

The rest of the week was FAMILY TIME on steroids... AKA... the best kind there is!
The athlete of our family, Christine, rallied us one by one from just throwin' the frisbee around to a full on sibling ultimate frisbee game that began with probably the best moment of the entire vacation...

After givin' my mom a hard time for insisting on family pictures while we're awkwardly mid-bite and finally all siblings have assembled to strategize teams for ultimate frisbee while she continues to play bocchi ball without takin' any pictures... She hauls herself over to the field, camera in hand ready to take video (oh yes, Christine made a sand FIELD my friends.. I told ya', she we don't play around!)

Conrad yells, "LET'S GO" and throws it to our team... but the wind had a better idea...

All 4 of my team are lookin' up, waitin' to see whose best to catch it and start this game a-goin' and KERPLUNK!.... Wind take holds and my dear bystander mom gets nailed with the frisbee while all 5 of her oh-so-loving children fall to the ground laughin' so hard I'm pretty sure I'm covered on any ab workout for the next century... and the nice son-in-law's ask if she's okay naturally!

Sorry mom.... but not really, cause' that was just classic!

It's frisbee-time!

... of which Alex and I lasted until the last 2-3 plays... clearly we need to work out more to keep up with my fam... EEK!

As we come panting off the field, catchin' our breath's... here's Kyle...
"Life's rough..."

HA!... He cracks me up...

That was our family's night to cook for the whole gang!... and we are a cookin' fam!

My brother Mike inserted his role in kitchen as the official "taste-tester"... naturally!

He took his role very seriously ;)


Sorry for the blurry photos... we had multiple photog's this vacation!

Each day was goin' faster and faster, with so much we wanted to do, but by Thursday, we definitely needed a nap and to chillax on the beach, take a stroll and enjoy the view!

On our walk to the pier, we spotted some friends =)

A beautiful family of dolphins!... Sorry folks, an IPhone can only zoom so far :(

Then came Friday... Our last day to soak it all up and enjoy our time on the beach, so we mozied over to the farther pier and enjoyed a great view and some lunch!
 Then snapped our last photo by the ocean and some of the birdies before sayin' our goodbyes and heading back to Richmond before our 10 hour drive the next day!

 Until next time... bye bye beach! 'Twas fun :)

Back to Indy we went... beating the pit stains from an absurd heat wave that was apparently rampant all week while we enjoyed the ocean breeze! (WOOT!)

So back to some fresh and light cookin' after stuffing my face all week!

Hope ya' had a relaxing and food-filled Labor Day!

Meet ya' tomorrow for some back-to-reality fresh, light & veg-licious dishes!


Don't forget my next #Giveaway has been announced on my Facebook page, so take a look to the right of ya' there!

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