Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Living Lovely ~ Vacations

This week's living lovely with family theme is about vacations. Our family really looks forward to our annual trip to the beach ~ the day after we return, at least one the kids usually asks "when are we going back to the beach house?"

Before becoming parents, my husband and I enjoyed a mini-vacation at a bed-and-breakfast overlooking the sound in Nags Head, NC - and we fell in love with the slower pace of this beach town (compared to some others we had visited).

Two years later we returned to Nags Head (Duck, to be exact) for our first family vacation with our then 18-month old toddler and some family friends. We chose to visit in October (house rental rates really drop after September), and we had a wonderful time.

Caleb does NOT like the feeling of sand between his toes!
Since then, we have returned many, many times. We've vacationed there in June (much busier, but also better "beach" weather),

we've also visited in February ~ snow flurries on the beach, anyone?

Hunting for seashells on a winter beach

But I do believe that we enjoy our October visits most of all. I guess some people may say that vacationing at the beach during the off-season is a bit "out of the box", but we have found that we actually prefer this time of the year...
there are lighthouses to climb
Currituck Beach Lighthouse

a fabulous kid-friendly aquarium to explore

fun, historical sights to visit
and the sun rise over the ocean is always beautiful, no matter the time of year :)

As a one-income family on a budget, we have found ways to make our beach vacations affordable for our family:
  • rent during the off-season, we prefer vacationing in October
  • invite another family to share the rental, we love sharing our beach house with the grandparents
  • since we rent a house, we take full advantage of the kitchen and eat-in A LOT

fishing with Papa
Other ideas for future vacations on a budget:
  • Plan daytrips to visit all the nearby attactions that other people actually visit our area in order to see ~ Washington DC, nearby battlefields (Gettysburg, Antietam), Harpers Ferry
  • Take a bike trip on the C&O Canal Towpath
  • Spend a day swimming and playing at Greenbriar State Park

I picked up a great little book at a homeschool convention titled Kids Love Maryland. The subtitle for this book describes it as "a family travel guide to Exploring "Kid-Tested Places in Maryland...Year Round" - and it is crammed with information about all kinds of things you can do for fun in Maryland. I know this guide will come in handy when I run out of ideas for kid-friendly daytrips.


Heidi said...

You have so many great places to see near you! I'm jealous of all that history! I was lucky enough to visit there with my family when we took our U.S. Tour. We need to do some more research to find out places near us that I just don't know about yet. Thanks for contributing your ideas. I appreciate it!

Mon Cheri said...

Your beach vacations sound wonderful.East coust versus our West coast beach. When we visited Cape Cod on our trip many years ago it was so strange to see the sunrise over the ocean instead of the sun set. As your children get older all those historic places will be wonderful for you to see with them! This is the first time I have popped over to your blog. Enjoyed it!


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