Hey friends! Matt and I are back in DC after a fun week in North Carolina at the beach! We go to the Outer Banks (Duck specifically) every year with Matt’s family and a big group of family friends – it’s always a blast. If you missed the first two recaps, check them out: Outer Banks Beach Fun and Fitness + Food in the Outer Banks. Here’s the final recap!
Hot tip: if you are in the Outer Banks and have an SUV with 4 wheel drive, check out the wild horse beaches up north of Corolla! You drive right onto the beach because there’s no road up that far – so cool.
Matt and I went up there on our own one afternoon – we’d always wanted to check it out and decided this was the year! We ended up having quite the adventure because our car got stuck in a patch of deep sand – thankfully some good samaritans helped us out with some shovels and pushing! They also gave us the tip to let some air out of our tires (and re-inflate them once back on normal roads). Whew!
We hung out there for the afternoon and while sadly we didn’t see any wild horses, we did see a ton of dolphins! They were really close to us in the water, playing away.
Next time it would be fun to do an official wild horse tour – they can take you farther into the deeper sand where our car couldn’t quite hack it. 🙂
Anyway! One of the best things about our annual OBX trip is all the good eating and socializing! We always rent two big houses and a couple times during the week we all get together for a big group meal. On Tuesday, the other house hosted our group feast – here’s the whole gang!
Tuesday’s dinner was an old fashioned BBQ in honor of the little guy of the house who was turning 3. We also had unpictured cupcakes and ice cream – delicious!
Matt and his brother Drew provided the entertainment – as you can see, we had all sorts of music equipment with us for the occasion. 🙂 We even had the house next door out listening and cheering them on!
On Wednesday night we had another yummy home cooked meal, this time as a smaller group at our place. Drew and my sister-in-law Morgana were in charge of this one and whipped up a yummy peanut-y slaw with grilled tuna.
Using broccoli slaw as the slaw was a great idea – no chopping required!
For dessert, they picked up some fun goodies from a place called Zen Pop – organic popsicles and ice cream sandwiches! We all shared so we could try a little of everything – my fave was the salted caramel chocolate popsicle. Mmmmm!
Thursday night was another big group night – everyone came to our place for this one! Matt’s dad was in charge and did a fun made to order pasta bar.
There was obviously a menu for the occasion, too – tradition! (If you’re wondering about the “Mauney State Senate” sticker like I was, it was apparently Matt’s dad’s uncle – neat!)
The appetizers were amazing too:
When my turn to make my own pasta creation arrived I put together a chicken, shrimp, and penne combo with a ton of veggies and pesto, marinara, AND chunky tomatoes. Delicious! I like it saucy. 🙂
Matt’s dad brought those portable burners from home for the occasion – smart!
Ready to eat with some fresh basil on top! So yummy. For the grilled chicken (prepped in advance) he used a rub inspired by my Roasted Salmon with Watermelon Salsa recipe – a mix of ground coriander and chili powder.
Friday night we split up and did separate dinners – this time our house had a simple grilled swordfish with a big salad and some grilled veggies – trying to use up all the random stuff in the fridge!
Dessert was a special treat: the famous Duck Donuts! 🙂 Sooooo delicious – donuts are one of my favorite treats. I enjoyed half a cinnamon sugar and half a plain glazed – both were awesome but cinnamon sugar was my fave!
After eating in all week we decided to go out to eat for our last night together on Saturday. We hit up the Life Saving Station over at the Sanderling Resort, which is a nice but low key spot with good food that’s appropriate to bring the little kids to. 🙂
I was rocking a dress from StitchFix! It was fun to dress up after being mostly in wet swimsuits/a hot mess all week. 🙂
As for food, I started with the crab ceviche (crab + avocado + watermelon):
And then had the Mahi Mahi for my entrée. This was delicious! And now I’m officially burned out on fish for a little while. 🙂
As for other highlights from the past week, they included some pool volleyball show downs…
A fun bike ride with Matt on Saturday morning…
And happy hour on the beach (complete with fresh oysters – my favorite tradition!)…
What a fun week – I’m so sad it’s over and already looking forward to next year! Matt and I got up super early yesterday to beat the traffic – it gets insane and we wanted to get back to DC in time to have most of Sunday to get organized for the week. We left just after 6 a.m. and were home by 11 – sweet! Totally worth the early wake up to have a quick drive.
Have a great day guys!
Have you ever been to the Outer Banks? Which beach do you go to?