il dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing

beach2I need to start this blog off by saying I am blessed, truly blessed, and I will never take that for granted! Anyone that reads my blog has realized that most of my posts are about vacations and trip recaps. That is for a few reasons, first, because I like to keep a journal or record of all our trips and second because I love to travel. It brings me joy, peace and calmness.

In front of the John Rutledge House Inn - getting ready to start our scavenger hunt.

In front of the John Rutledge House Inn – getting ready to start our scavenger hunt.

We recently got back from a lovely ten-day trip to South Carolina and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My family of four headed out to South Carolina on Fourth of July (red-eye flight that went surprisingly well), we stayed in an adorable and quaint Bed & Breakfast called the John Rutledge House Inn. This was a cool treat for our family, because Andrew’s family has Rutledge heritage on his mom’s side, so we felt like we were at a distant relative’s home. We signed up for the Family Fourth of July Package, which included picnic dinner with chairs to watch the fireworks over the harbor, scavenger hunt fun and dinner out with babysitting for the kids. The fancy dinner out, with rickshaw transportation and babysitting for the girls was really what sealed the deal for us. We ate at an amazing restaurant, Circa 1886 and the girls had tons of fun with the hotel staff and other kids staying in the Inn, playing games, watching movies and eating pizza. The one thing I loved about Charleston was the Southern hospitality from everyone, and the city has tons of cool history that we learned about in our scavenger hunt. We also visited Fort Sumter (where the civil war started – which reminds me I know very little about the Civil War), the USS Yorktown Battleship and Charleston’s super cool aquarium.

OBXtasy - view of house from the beach

OBXtasy – view of house from the beach

After 3 nights in Charleston we packed up and headed North for the main reason we were on the East coast. For the next leg of the vacation we were meeting up with my family (my parents, sisters, brother and all their families – total of 16 of us). We rented an amazing beach house in Corolla, NC on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We found this great house, OBXtasy, four years ago when my sister, Debbie, was pregnant with her son. We usually made Deb and her family travel to meet us, but since she was 8 months pregnant we came to her, since the Outer Banks is just a 2-hour drive from her house in Virginia. After spending a week there we all fell in love, so we had to go back. We arrived on Sunday night after an 8+ hour drive from Charleston, and immediately fell into the groove of beach life: dinner with the whole family around the giant table, cocktails on the deck listening to the waves, playing games and catching up with family.

Hanging out on the deck

Hanging out on the deck

And the kids were as happy as they could be, hanging with ALL their cousins, sleeping in the bunkroom and staying up later than usual! The next day (and really all the following days) we did a whole lot of nothing; swimming, sitting on the beach, boogie boarding, taking walks and runs on the beach, eating great meals, taking photos, reading and just hanging out.

There was one day we felt like we should get out of the house and each family did their own little adventure. Our family, plus my brother, decided to rent Jet Skis/Wave Runners, our 30 minute adventure was super fun times, zooming around on the water, wind in our hair and just being crazy. The girls loved it and we were happy we did something a little different. We found these Jet Skis because they were conveniently located next to the crab shack in Duck, that we ordered our dinner from, a bushel of crabs, which was now a tradition from the last trip. This is such a fun way to eat dinner, pour out crabs all over the table and dig in!

Storm rolling in

Storm rolling in

Dinner!

Dinner!

Despite a few thunderstorms (which were pretty cool to watch roll in) and a few hours of rain, we had tons of sunny, warm weather where we all enjoyed “il dolce far niente”, which in Italian means, “the sweetness of doing nothing” – and isn’t that what vacation is all about.

My Family

My Family

Thanks to my whole family for allowing me to share our awesome experience! – Until Next Time my friends!

**This video pretty much sums up the whole trip, my amazing husband made this video with a combo of his GoPro POV Underwater camera and time lapsed camera images using an IKEA egg timer:

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