I’ve always prided myself on being a good traveler. During my years in grad school, I made a point of saving up whatever I earned performing a variable plethora of part-time jobs. When it came time for a break in my studies, I was always able to find reduced airfare to visit another part of the world. A healthy sense of international curiosity just came naturally to me.
Perhaps this is why I was appointed our family travel guide. When it comes time to schedule and organize a family vacation, it generally falls upon me. However, I don’t mind in the least. It gives me a chance to recharge my old sense of wanderlust, even if traveling with teenage kids isn’t quite the same as it was in my single days.
This year was special, as last year my parents were unable to travel due to illness. As a couple that can be officially be described as senior citizens, it’s always important to take their age into consideration. To do this, I needed to look for a location here on the east coast that offered something for everyone. While we needed a place that provided our family with athletic pursuits, there also had to be an emphasis on rest and relaxation.
After researching a myriad of states, I decided that we would spend our vacation in the Outer Banks or OBX. Florida was simply too hot during the summer months and my parents were in no shape to trudge around crowded amusement parks. Cities like Boston and Washington D.C. offered a lot in the way of history and culture. But we’d have little chance to truly spend time in an unspoiled rural environment.
Unlike other family vacations, I did not want my parents to spent time alone in a separate hotel suite. Years from now, I want my adult children to reflect back on fun times they spent with their grandparents. As in decades past, this meant three generations of family living under the same roof.
After looking at descriptions, photographs and traveler reviews online, I booked us into a house named “I Luv View.” I’ve always been a sucker for puns and it seems too irresistible to pass up. The house was located in the Corolla Light area of the OBX. It had six bedrooms, including five full bathrooms and an extra half bath downstairs.
I drove down with the kids from Long Island, New York. As my parents are now full-time Floridians, they flew up to meet us from Hollywood Fort Lauderdale Airport. We synchronized our trip details, so I was able to pick them up from Norfolk International Airport in Virginia shortly after their arrival. My mini-van held all of us along with our luggage. After a stop for lunch, we would be in the Outer Banks in approximately two hours.
As soon as we approached the house, it was love at first sight. The house had a direct view of the Sound. Once inside, we saw that it had a sizable dining room table. It also had a sun-room where Dad could catch up on his reading with a morning cup of coffee. In the afternoon, Mom would enjoy the exquisite landscape while working on her needlepoint.
The kitchen was fully equipped with a spacious refrigerator, toaster, dishwasher, coffee maker and microwave. We had a washer and dryer, which came in handy so we didn’t need to pack too many clothes. When we didn’t feel like cooking inside, the BBQ grill was ready for our family cook-outs.
Outside we had our own heated pool and hot tub. The town of Corolla Light is known as a “wristband community.” For this reason, we received more than enough wristbands for the entire family. These were worn whenever we took advantage of amenities for Corolla Light residents.
Dad went fishing with the kids literally right in front of our home. Meanwhile, Mom and I savored our Mother-Daughter time on the screened-in porch. At night we made good use of the Game Room, as well as the television, DVD player and stereo that played our favorite music CD’s.
Sweet memories were made during our trip and I imagine that this is not the last time we’ll visit the Outer Banks. Next year, it would be wonderful if we could rent another home with a view of the Ocean or the Canal. Let’s hope this becomes a family tradition for years to come.