Salt + Sand

Hey friends! I’m back for my final Outer Banks beach vacation recap. 

If you missed my first two beach updates, they are here: Making Waves + 4th of July in Duck, OBX

Vacation with a toddler wasn’t exactly relaxing like vacation used to be, but it was definitely a lot of fun. :)

We got back to DC on Sunday and are now dreaming of last week, when we were busy enjoying beach happy hours…

(Riese ate legit ALL of the grapes (cut in half) in the following photo…)

And taking in the sights by foot!

I got in a short run one morning (I think I made it about 3 miles, but walked about half of it… sooooo hot out!) while Riese was out taking a walk with her grandparents – my favorite place to run in Duck is the boardwalk. Such beautiful views!

I also made it out to a couple yoga classes with my sister-in-law Morgana – we love Village Yoga in Duck and go every year. 

We also had lots of beach time – great sunny weather all week so we made it there at least once a day. 

We came back to the house for lunch and nap time every day; Matt and I would usually hang out at the pool (at our house) while Riese slept. 

As for eats from the rest of the week, we had some good ones!

On Wednesday night, we had our annual “kid’s night” – the grandparents watch the grandkids and the “kids” – meaning us – all go out for dinner and drinks. ;)

This year’s dinner was at Red Sky Cafe in the town of Duck. I don’t think I’d been there before – maybe once for lunch many years ago?

We had a drink out at the tiki bar while waiting for our table – here’s our huge group!

Dinner was really good – I shared a couple appetizers with Matt and others, starting with the buffalo tuna bites – basically the flavors of hot wings but it was tuna! Yum.

Plus the burrata salad – also really good.

red sky cafe duck

For my entree, I had the mixed grill with a grilled fish, crab cake, and shrimp combo. I had to get my fill of seafood while so close to the ocean!

red sky cafe duck

We also ate lots of salmon last week – my father-in-law did a tasty cedar plank grilled salmon with a maple mustard glaze one night that was delicious. 

Enjoyed with tomato pie (bought locally – a beach specialty), a farro and fruit salad, zucchini and squash with parmesan, and a pickled cucumber and onion salad. So fresh and satisfying. 

Post-dinner sunset enjoying from our deck once Riese was in bed:

I made good use of the leftover salmon, farro fruit salad, and other odds and ends in the fridge for a couple lunches later in the week. 

The final food hurrah of the week was dinner out on our very last night in Duck! We went to dinner at the Lifesaving Station at the Sanderling Hotel. We started nice and early (5 pm) which was great for the kid situation!

Matt and I shared two salads to start – the caesar and the mixed greens – as well as a crab cake. Plus some Prosecco!

And for my entree, I decided to go rogue (aka not get seafood) and have the lamb! Everything was great. 

lifesaving station sanderling restaurant

We were really sad to say goodbye to everyone! We headed out early on Sunday morning to try to beat some of the traffic, and made it out of the beach area quickly but did hit some traffic later in the drive towards DC. 

Riese did pretty well – she was a mess on the drive down to the beach and refused to fall asleep (until like 10 p.m., oof) and Matt and I thought it was probably because one of us was sitting back there with her so she wanted to keep hanging out vs. sleep. So this time one of us was back there with her for most of the drive, but when it was naptime after lunch, we both sat up front and sure enough, she fell right to sleep. Whew! Live and learn. 

Have a great day, friends, and I’ll see you back here on Friday!

Are you going to the beach this summer (or have you already been)? Which beach?


  1. 1

    I love the “kids” night out! Such a fun idea! We are going to my parents lake home for 5 days in August and I am hoping we can leave our little guy with my parents and fit a date night in while we are there.

    I’m glad Riese did better on the drive back. I drove solo with our son to/from the lake last week and it was not fun. The daytime drive was a bit better but the kind of cried on and off most of the trip. I thought my return trip would be great as I left at 7 so I figured he would sleep on the drive home. Nope. Didn’t happen. He cried quite a bit and screamed for the last 20 minutes. I knew he was overtired at that point and pulling over wouldn’t have solved anything so I gritted my teeth and got through that awful final leg of the trip. Driving with a toddler is not fun! Our little guy just can not sleep in the car no matter what time of day it is! I rode in the back with him last time we drove up to the lake and I figured he didn’t sleep because I was back there with him but now I know he just plain doesn’t sleep in the car!

    • 2

      Ugh driving with them when they are crying is the WORST – nothing you can do! Riese always falls asleep in the car when I don’t want her to (aka naptime… she’s hard to transfer) but then doesn’t when we do want her to. Ha!

  2. 3

    All of the food looks amazing, and I love tomato pie! Anything with that pie crust is a winner in my book. ;) Lovely recap and visit! No beach visits for us this year, but Matt and I did travel to Nashville, TN in June (only about a three hour drive from where we live), and we had a stellar weekend getaway!

  3. 5

    I love that dress! Where did you get it?

  4. 7
    Roadrunner says

    What a super week! Thanks for the great recap. Chasing a little one around the beach is not like lounging in a beach chair, but very special indeed!

  5. 8

    Sounds like a great trip – nothing like those OBX sunsets! This is making me excited for our trip to Duck next month. We have never been to the Lifesaving Station and you have convinced me to try it on this trip!

  6. 10

    The platter for your beach happy hours with the foldable screen lid is brilliant! A separate cover is so cumbersome. I’d love to get one for my parents (who live at the beach). Where did you find it?

  7. 14

    Your beach vacation looks like you had a fabulous time!!!! We have plans for a trip to our friend’s lake house next month and we are so excited…..except for a 4 hour drive with our youngest who just turned 2. I am hoping if we leave at nap time, she will sleep. Our older boys will do great in the van and do try to help keep her occupied at least. Enjoy the rest of your summer!!!

  8. 16

    We were in the OBX the week of 4th of July with my family! My 11 mo loved the ocean so much too! We were down on Hatteras Island by the lighthouse though.

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