Last year my immediate and extended family took a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and, by far, it has been the best trip I had ever been on. We live in a suburb of Philadelphia and although we are not world travelers, we have been to places like Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, and have even taken a Caribbean cruise. I have also been on vacation with my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents before. So, I wasn’t surprised when my parents told me that they were planning another big family vacation. I was excited about it but I had no idea what a great time was in store for me.
I have seven cousins (and an older sister) that range in age from 20 years to 3 years old. Most of us are in our teens and our interests vary so much it is quite a challenge to find a destination that we will all equally enjoy. We’ve got sports fanatics, nature lovers, beach bums, shop-aholics and video game junkies. Corolla, North Carolina was perfect for us. There was something that appealed to everyone—and most within walking distance (which was great for those of us that don’t have our driver’s licenses yet). Personally, I could spend time doing any number of the things my cousins were interested in…so I did!
The beaches were clean and wide (and free! No beach tags necessary!). There were just enough other people on the beach to make you not feel alone, yet there was still plenty of room to play ball or skim board. The huge house we rented was only a block from the beach so it was easy to come and go as we pleased. Much of the day, I would spend skim boarding with one or two of my cousins. When the sun went down, there was a fireworks show every night. Sand crabs would emerge from the sand later in the night and in some places, there were so many sand crabs, it looked as if the sand was moving! Then, as quickly as they appeared, they’d descend back under the sand at morning’s first light.
A shopping area was located just a short walk away. There were surf shops, a movie theater, a cafÃ© and a rock-climbing wall. A slightly further walk would take you to yet another shopping area where you could rent Jet Ski’s, play miniature golf, shop and dine.
A five-minute drive down the road, in Whalehead, was a public park where one day we spent most of the day fishing and crabbing. A few days later, one of my uncles hired a fishing boat and a bunch of us went deep-sea fishing.
I tagged along with my uncle and his family to see the wild horses on the beach and to Kitty Hawk. On another day, I went with my mom and my grandparents to tour some lighthouses and historic Whalehead mansion.
Even when weren’t doing anything and chose to stay at the house, we hung out in the game room to play video games, air hockey or foosball. There was a pool and hot tub in the backyard and a basketball net on the drive. Two of my family members would play guitar for us. The house had several decks on different levels and it seemed that every night the adults would gather on a different deck for cocktails and music after dinner.
Freedom to do whatever I wanted to do for whatever mood I was in for an entire week: every teenagers dream!
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