22 September 2011

OBX Pictures! {Finally.}

My goal was to get these posted before leaving for Disney, so technically I'm still early right. RIGHT?

Hold tight for the world's longest post.

Okay, so just to remind you, we were schedule to head down to Outer Banks, NC for our family vacation bright and early on Saturday morning, August 27th.

That didn't happen. {Damn you, Irene!}

Instead, a hurricane decided to hit OBX the exact time we were scheduled to check-in to our gorgeous beach-front home. We were stalking all the weather websites and our realty company website just waiting for them to tell us that we were able to start our 7 hour drive south.

By Sunday night {Aug 28th} the entire island of Outer Banks was still closed. But we were ready.Around 8 or 9pm Sunday night they finally posted an update on the Dare & Currituck County websites.... they were allowing people to enter the island on Monday at noon. Woo hoo! We could finally start our vacation!

But hold up. Reading a little further, I saw this...

..."however, the island will remain closed to Duck and towns north until Tuesday, August 29th at 10am."

Huh? Tuesday? TUESDAY!?! You can NOT be serious.

Guess what? They were.

After talking to all 22 people that we were vacationing with, we made the executive decision to head down to OBX on Monday morning and stay in a hotel in Nags Head {which opened at noon on Monday} so that we could at least head to our house early Tuesday morning instead of making the 7 hour drive on Tuesday and waste yet another beach day of our already shortened vacation.

We searched frantically for a hotel that had enough rooms for all of us. When we finally found one, we booked it immediately. {Sidenote: When we checked into the hotel, they said they sold out within an hour of those news releases being posted online. We weren't the only people with that idea! Whew, so glad we made it!}

During our long drive down on Monday, we had to pick up my sister in VA Beach... we also stopped by the lake/park so that the kids could stretch their legs a bit before we continued our decent south.

Brynn's first time on a swing!
Feeding the ducks =)
When we finally got on the island and checked in to our beach-front {woo hoo!} hotel, the skies were still grey and the beach erosion was in full effect after Irene.
My sister Kristi and I shared a room, so the kids all slept on the floor in their new Cars & Princess air mattresses in the living room area. They loved it!
On Tuesday morning, we got some breakfast and then headed north to Corolla where we could finally check in to our house. We had to wait in a long line of cars for about an hour before finally driving up to northern OBX.

When we arrived at our house, it was still boarded up...
It was actually left like that until Wednesday night, so we stayed there for more than 24 hours with no windows. We were so annoyed that we finally complained to the owner and she hired people to take them down. I mean, really!?! We paid extra to be beach front... we want to SEE the ocean!

On Tuesday, once we got settled, the first thing we did was RUN to the beach!
By Wednesday, you could start to see some debris left over from the hurricane as well as whole trees washing up on the beach.
While we couldn't really swim in the ocean, we could still dip our feet in and play in the sand!
Sidenote: My kids think that the beach is only for snacking. As soon as we arrived everyday, they'd sit in their chairs and demand snacks right away. We had to remain fully stocked of Goldfish and Pringles at all times.
On Wednesday night, all the girls headed to the Whalehead Club Annual Wine Festival. It's always one of the highlights of our vacation! It's held right on the sound and there's live music, food {you can even bring your own!} and lots and lots of wine!
You can't really beat this view!
My sisters and I {with baby girl Reese in Kristi's belly... due 11.11.11!}
We caught a golf cart ride back to the parking lot, which was awesome after some yummy wine ;)
Oh Thursday, we headed back to the beach. We lived there from breakfast until dinner everyday =)
I absolutely LOVE this picture of my niece, Gracie. She is so sassy! =)
Carter and I jumping the "big waves!"
The pool was just a tad cold {okay fine, it was friggin freezing} because they had to refill it after the hurricane. Brrrrr.
Lifeguards on duty!
Friday arrived so fast. We made sure to wake up extra early so that we could soak up every bit of our last beach day.
More snacks!
And who doesn't love a good nap on the beach!?!
Friday afternoon, the kids went in for a late nap, and I snuck back down to the beach so that I could finally read without stopping every 5 seconds to get snacks, fill up water buckets or break up sand fights.

It? Was lovely.
Friday night was filled with games, movie night, and the annual "clean out the fridge" party.
The kiddos wanted to share a seat in the theater to watch Rio.
By Saturday morning, we unwillingly packed up our cars and said goodbye to this beautiful house & view...

{4 people are missing from this picture and yes we all wear the same shirts for the drive to and from OBX.}

Even though it was short, we felt so lucky to be able to go at all. We had a WONDERFUL time with some of our favorite people in the entire world.

Until next year, Outer Banks.

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Sarah said...

LOVE all the pics. Glad you were able to salvage some of the vacation and enjoy yourselves!! Brynn is really slimming down and looking like a big girl. What a cutie!!

kacy said...

yayyyy! i wanna go back :(

Chelsea said...

Looks like you guys had a beautiful time!

Shannon said...

I'm so jealous. we havent been on a vacation since our honeymoon. :(

molly said...

Jenni, I am SO glad your family had lots of fun! Great photos!

Fisher Price Swing said...

A fun time you guys had. I wish I can head off for a break too!

Anonymous said...

Wow - I usually like you and I realize you paid a lot of money for that rental but Irene was the worst hurricane to hit that area in decades. And you're surprised that they didn't have time to take down the boards yet?? Hatteras Island is still reeling - I've heard it referred to as their Katrina, minus the death toll. Many people are homeless. Islanders have to take a 2-hour ferry ride to get to the mainland.

I'm realize I'm a huge Debbie Downer but I love OBX - I lived there for 3 years and it was the best 3 years of my life. I'm happy people want to vacation there and I'm glad you had a great time but you could have some compassion and understanding for what that whole area went through and is still going through.

jenni from the blog said...

I have compassion for the area, Anonymous, but my post wasn't about Irene, it was about my vacation pictures and what happened to our vacay as a result. But thanks for your concern.

I actually have a post scheduled with pictures of some of the hardest hit areas as we drove through to get to our home. But this post was NOT about that.

PS- Our home was the only one that was still boarded up in the entire area. The owner didn't want to take any of them down because of another possible hurricane coming 2 weeks later. Um, no... we're not staying in a boarded up house, TYVM.

Luisa Rodríguez said...

Beautiful house!! I simple LOVE this season...

Glad I bumped into your blog!


Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous. I love your blog, I am a regular reader of it. But while the purpose of your post was to show your family vacation, you also came off as a little bit harsh when commenting on the house still being boarded up. One of my best friends lives in OBX and his house was filled with 4ft of water after Irene. He supports his family with rental properties which like your vacation home, were boarded up. That is their job, their well-being depends on it.

Glad your vacation went well, and keep OBX in your prayers. A month later, people are still trying to recover.

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