Family, Random

Sunrise, Sunset (Part 1)

No, the title of this post is is not a Fiddler on the Roof reference, for those of you wondering.  It is, however, a reference to two of my favorite memories of our trip to the Outer Banks last month.

The morning of our trip, we gathered up our bags and the kids’ bags and headed first to my parents house to drop the kids off.  For me, it was a bit of an emotional ordeal.  As much as I was looking forward to the alone time with my husband (and I really, REALLY was), it was very hard for me to leave the kids, even in my parents’ super capable hands.   Yes, there were tears as we drove away (mine, as I think the kids were fine), but thankfully a few miles down the road I was able to switch into wife mode and realize that We. Were. Alone. In. The. Van.

We made our way to the Outer Banks in good time and checked into our bed and breakfast a little after 3pm.  Once we had been given the tour and got settled into our bedroom, we enjoyed the wine and chocolates that was part of the Living Social deal and talked about what we wanted to do that evening.  We decided to grab something to eat and, um… go to a movie.  Yes, really.  We rarely go to movies (maybe once or twice a year) and when we do go, we often have to rush back to pick up the kids to get them home to bed or something along those lines.  I had purchased a deal through Living Social (noticing a theme here?) a while back for two tickets that I managed to get for $5.  We had both been wanting to see Courageous while it was in the theaters, and given that this was the Outer Banks in October, many things were closed for the season.  So…we first set out to find something to eat.  Did I mention that many things were closed for the season?  The place we had planned to eat was one of them- I had heard it had been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network, and some good friends of ours had also recommended it, so I was a bit bummed that it was one of the places that was already closed for the season.

As we drove around looking for a plan B, we noticed that the sun was going down and the sky was becoming a beautiful blaze of color.  So we decided to stop food hunting and find a place to watch the sunset.  We had about 10 minutes before it was due to set and  drove along trying to find a quick access on the sound side.  Thankfully, we found one and pulled off on the side of the road just in time to get some gorgeous pictures that still don’t do the actual event justice.

Because of that sunset, I’m glad that the place we had planned on was closed.  I don’t think we would have experienced that amazing, spontaneous moment otherwise.




We ended up at Five Guys, which I found hilarious because it is certainly not a restaurant unique to the OBX.  But it was good and fast, which allowed us to get to our movie in time. Being that it was a Monday night in late October, there was only one other couple in the movie theater, which was nice actually.  Courageous is an absolutely incredible movie.  And for those of you that have seen it, you can probably understand why it is not an easy movie to watch when you have left your kids for a few nights in a row for the first time…it was like an emotional punch to the stomach…but in a good way.

We got back to our room and reveled in the fact that we not only had a full nights sleep ahead of us with no little feet padding into our room, but that we could actually watch a movie undisturbed!  Our kids had the last laugh, however, because apparently I am now programmed to wake up at 6:30am no matter what.

That first full day in the Outer Banks we had planned to take the ferry over to Ocracoke Island and get back in time for the couples massage that was also part of the deal we had purchased.  Now, normally I am a planner and check into every little detail.  But I was seriously trying to just go with it on this trip.  Which meant that I didn’t realize it would be an hours drive to get to the ferry, on top of the 40 minute ride to and from Ocracoke.  Oh well, we figured we would be a little limited on our time on the island but could make it work.  That was, until the ferry was late.  Over 30 minutes late.  And we couldn’t easily abort our plan because we were stuck in the sardine-packed ferry lanes of cars waiting to board once the ferry actually ARRIVED.  As we sat in our car contemplating what to do, we decided to call our B&B to see if we could push our massage back.  It wasn’t possible.  We didn’t want to forfeit the massage due to the cost, and knew at this point that there was no way we’d have enough time on Ocracoke if we proceeded with our original plan.

We waited for the ferry (which apparently had been having some technical difficulties) and then managed to extract our car and head back towards Manteo.  I was back in my mode of “not managing failed expectations well” despite my attempts at a laidback, go-with-it attitude, and was not pleasant to be with at the particular moment.  Thankfully, we shook it off, decided to pick up a pizza, and ate it on the beach.

We made it back just in time for our couples massage (okay, about 3 minutes late).  And yet again, because this entry is getting a bit long, I’ll stop now and share about the last half of our trip next time.  I know, I know, I’m leaving you in suspense. Ha.

Family, Random

I’m guessing the tandem bike will be more of a success…

The countdown has begun. Well, it had begun back in April when my husband and I first decided to do something completely out of character by purchasing a Living Social deal for a vacation at a bed and breakfast on the Outer Banks. This was out of character because a) we have gotten in the habit of rarely spending larger amounts of money on non-essentials (or “frivolous” things, b) we are actually going on a vacation, and c) we are going on said vacation without children.

Ever since we booked this deal, I’ve been torn between guilt, excitement, and a bit of anxiety. The guilt is due to our typical spending habits and the knowledge that this vacation is not part of our usual budget. We were blessed to be able to pay cash for this trip (or we wouldn’t have done it), but it does take away from the savings we had been building up. The excitement part should be obvious. And the anxiety part? Well, that is because of our almost 4-year-old and our almost 2-year-old. We have never left them overnight before (2 exceptions: the first was when I was giving birth to Asher- Eila stayed with my parents; the 2nd was when Will had to go out of town, Asher was not yet sleeping through the night, and my parents offered to have Eila spend the night so I would only have one child waking me mercilessly). In fact, we’ve never been gone from both of them together more than maybe 5-6 hours. I will miss them terribly and worry primarily about Asher since he is in full-blown “must be with mommy” phase and I’m not sure how he will do sleeping in a bed rather than a crib! But…

Now that we are less than a week out from our trip, I am getting very excited. The anxiety is easing because I do know that, overall, the kids will do great and my parents will do a great job with them. The guilt has eased, primarily because I know we are responsible with our finances but also because I believe that having time with just my husband is so incredibly important for our marriage. I am a homebody most of the time, but I definitely love opportunities to experience new things and new places, and who better to do that with than my best friend? I can’t wait to be able to have uninterrupted conversations, uninterrupted sleep, and the opportunity to go out and explore without having to accommodate naptimes!   The bed and breakfast we are staying at has gotten great reviews and the deal we purchased through Living Social included a couples massage, which will be especially welcome by my tension-filled shoulders (resulting from carrying a toddler around on clingy days).

The B&B also has a tandem bicycle couples can use.  I hope we get to take it around the Outer Banks.  My last experience with anything remotely similar was kayaking with Will pre-kids on an NC mountain lake.  Let’s just say I use that experience frequently as an analogy for marriage- when you both try to do it your own way, or to go your own way, you get nowhere.  We you finally start to work together towards a common goal, progress is made and it is filled with an amazing amount of fun and excitement!   Let’s just say that with the kayak, my stubborn self had a hard time doing it anything other than my way for a bit, and we made some beautiful circles in the middle of the lake…at least the bike won’t allow that some degree of stubbornness!  Although, I’m now thinking that it would be incredibly great to rent a kayak while we are there…

Anyway, I’ll make sure to take some pictures and share about it when we return.  I’m going to go back to knocking things off my pre-vacation to-do list!