Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Lovin'

Best Friends <3
This past week my husband and I crashed my best friend's family vacation. Well, let me rephrase...we were invited but we felt like we were crashing. Every few years my best friend's entire family gathers at the beach for a week of family fun. When we were first invited I said we wouldn't go. I felt bad. If you know me, you know that I don't like to impose on any situation. My best friend assured me it was fine and we decided to accept the invitation. Aside from a weekend in Atlantic City here and there, hubby and I haven't been on a vacation since our honeymoon four years ago!

Crossing the bridge into OKI.
After a 9 hour drive, we arrived in Oak Island, NC. It was beautiful! The drive wasn't bad. We played travel bingo and the license plate game. I think we're still looking for 35 states but we'll continue the game on our next trip! We went straight to the condo and changed into our swimsuits and met the family at the pool. Not 15 minutes after we arrived and we were already soaking up the sun. Lovely. From the moment we walked in we felt welcome. The entire family embraced us with smiles and beer. What could be better, right?

Sunday night (night1) started with a big dinner out at The Lucky Fisherman. They had a great seafood buffet and I tried pineapple trigger fish. If you know me, you know this was adventurous for me! It was delish and I'd totally try it again. Me eating fish...who would've thunk it? Monday night brought us to our first family dinner. All of the siblings split up the nights of the week to feed everyone and the family gets together in one condo to enjoy the meal together. Monday was my best friend's dad & uncle's night. We had pizza and salad; can't go wrong with that! Tuesday was another family dinner night hosted by two of my bestie's aunts. We had tacos and everything was delish; I ate way too much.
My Ragin' Cajun Steampot @ Joe's. 
Wednesday was a free night so hubby and I had date night. We drove about 40 minutes to Myrtle Beach and went to Joe's Crabshack at Barefoot Landing. We finished up with a trip to Maggie Moo's and it was yummy. Best. Ice. Cream. Ever. Thursday was another family dinner night, hosted by my bestie's aunt and her grandparents. It was also her cousin's 10th birthday so we had a luau and celebrated together. We ate delicious pulled BBQ chicken and the most delicious black bean salsa I've ever had. Why am I detailing our eating escapades? Well, because we were included in every family dinner and that was special for us. The family didn't have to include us and didn't have to extend the invite for family dinner but they did. ALL week we were included in every plan, activity, dinner or event. The entire family welcomed us with open arms and we were so grateful.

Breaking into teams for the Amazing Race.
The entire week was nothing but sun, smiles and relaxation. We spent our mornings at the beach and our afternoons at the pool. We jumped waves, walked the beach, dug for sand crabs and had tea parties in the pool. (Don't judge, there were little kids there!) We laughed A LOT and just had a blast getting to know everyone. We also got to participate in the family activity, an intense Amazing Race around OKI. The entire family broke into teams and raced around the island performing different "stunts" in a race to finish first. My team came in last but we still had a blast. Well, a blast aside from the pitcher of Killian's we had to chug. Nastiest. Beer. Ever.
Cousins at Rumor's

We also got to enjoy "Cousin's Night." Everyone (21+) went out for the night. We hit up Rumor's Night Club and danced the night away.  My bestie's sister made a new friend and everyone enjoyed dancing, laughing and just being together. It was so nice to see the cousins together. I don't have a big family and my cousins and I don't talk much. It's unfortunate but it is what it is. Don't get me wrong, I know my cousins would be there for me if I needed them, but we just don't stay in touch the way we should. My friends have become my family and this week my family grew. I really can't say it enough; I am so grateful.

This past week was really amazing. I would probably rate it as my best vacation ever. Yes, it was that good and we're already talking about going back next summer! After everything that 2011 put us through we needed this. An entire week to just shut our minds down, relax, and be reminded of what is really important in life: family. I loved seeing my bestie laugh with her sisters and play with her niece. I cherished the family bonding and was inspired by their love for each other. I made sure to thank each sibling individually and each had the same response, "it was our pleasure." No, it was OUR pleasure. If any of you are reading this, let me say it again: THANK YOU for welcoming us and making us feel like a part of your family. You are really wonderful people and we're lucky to count you among our friends. If you're ever in/near Philly, hit us up!

We made so many wonderful new friends this week and we will treasure the memories of this trip for many years to come.


  1. I am so glad that you had an opportunity to get away love. You guys deserve to have a lifetime of happy memories. Glad you are back though :)

    I've been wanting to give Joe's Crabshack a try. Might be one of my adventures before the summer comes to a close.

    1. Thanks, friend. There is one in Wilmington. We should all go! ! ! (and by we I mean Marcie, you and me...Maybe Chris, Kev and Joe too. lol )It's DELISH.

  2. Sweet Amanda,
    We really enjoyed spending the week with you and Dave, and getting to know Dave! You are welcome anytime to our family functions because you are family! As I wrote on the wall at DUBS, our motto is "enter as friends, leave as family". We look forward to our "family" growing every day! Love you...hugs and kisses!
    Mama Wilkinson

  3. sounds like you had a great time! :) (new follower here!)

    1. We did, Nina! It was excellent. Thanks for coming and following along!