Thursday, June 17, 2010

A More Perfect "Perfect Escape"- Part 1

Family vacation. Those two words can strike fear in the hearts of many, but in the Dowd household, it is something we look forward to and plan for all year long. For many years before I began working at Jefferson Lab I never had paid vacation and when my children were young,when there was time there was no money, and when there was money there was no time. So now, vacation is an almost sacred time for our family. And while we love the mountains, vacation for us means the beach at the Outer Banks. This year was particularly special since,for the first time, we were taking 2 weeks !!! We were saving, and planning and comparing and negotiating from January to find a house that would provide a view of the ocean,and a pool,and were thrilled when we found out that the house we had rented last year in the Whalehead section of Corolla, A Perfect Escape, was available. We enjoyed the house so much last year we had reserved it for 2010 and were disappointed when we were told that it would no longer be part of the rental program. After three trips to scout other homes in the Outer Banks, we found out that it was again available through Sun Realty, and we jumped at the chance to stay there again. The house is situated just steps from the beach, has great views and plenty of room, and a great pool and hot tub- a perfect get-away whether you love walking the beach, swimming laps, or just soaking up the sun on the beach.

Planning is an important part of a successful vacation and for us that means making arrangements for our two dogs, making lists of what we want to take and planning menus. I ordered special shirts from Queensboro with the Dowd Beach Week logo. We actually started our countdown at about 145 days out, with Molly writing the number of days to the beach each day on the chalkboard in our kitchen. Since we knew we would have a large crowd the first week with extended family, we needed to plan meals that would be easy enough that I would still have a vacation, but still fun and festive and taking full advantage of the the local produce and seafood. Our meals had to appeal to a variety of eaters, some adventurous, some meat and potatoes, some gourmet. We had decided to carry some meats, cheeses and condiments that we thought we would have trouble getting or that might be more expensive in the Outer Banks. We carried our panini maker, which was a great hit last year, our own coffee grinder, and a couple of our own good knives since even the best rentals often have knives that are past their prime. I printed out new recipes I wanted to try, and carried along a couple of tablespoons each of baking soda and powder in case I decided to bake. We decided to take two cars in order to carry everything we needed, and packed the cars the night before. as a real treat,since we were going to be leaving on Memorial Day weekend and our rental was not occupied the week before, we were able to negotiate a price on an extra day to arrive on Friday instead of Saturday so that we could get settled and unpacked before the rest of the crew arrived.

Two weeks is a lot of time and a lot of family, fun and food I want to share, so this is the first of several posts that will take you through our perfect escape.

2 comments:

thepassionatecook said...

this looks like the perfect holiday home... what a wonderful time you must have had! i wish i could visit that part of the world some time!

Deborah Dowd said...

thepassionatecook - It was perfect, and we enjoyed every moment! If you get the chance the Outer Banks is a wonderful place to relax!!