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Outer Banks Guide > Will's Outer Banks Trip Reports > Carolina Dreamin I, Sanderling, Outer Banks
Outer Banks Trip Report: CAROLINA DREAMIN' I - SANDERLING 7/31/2016 - 8/16/2016

Twiddy & Company
Carolina Dreamin I Vacation Rental In Sanderling

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Picking Our Vacation Rental

Our summer was crazy hectic with activities and a never-ending stream of commitments. By the end of July we were exhausted and more than ready to get away to the Outer Banks and relax! This past winter, while looking through homes that were available on the Twiddy website I found a house in the Sanderling community of Duck - Carolina Dreamin' I - and instantly knew that it was THE ONE. Most important, it was available the only two weeks we had no commitments this summer. The house had:

* Sunday check-in
* Ocean view, yet close to the sound for sunset pictures
* Short walk to the beach
* No condos or hotels near the beach access
* No trolleys full of vacationers being dropped off at the beach
* Four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and under house parking
* Access to a pool and tennis courts
* Keyless entry

Sanderling, the last community in Duck before you cross into Pine Island, turned out to be the perfect relaxing getaway. The house, Carolina Dreamin’ I, was the perfect pick with an open great room that has high, wood covered, vaulted ceilings (I love), an ocean view and super comfy couches. Off the great room is a balcony/porch that was the perfect place to sit in the evenings and stare at the ocean or even later in the night to gaze at the stars and comets (we were there during the Perseid Meteor Shower!). The kitchen is big and open and it has the super elusive GARBAGE DISPOSAL (it’s the little things that count and I was thrilled to have a garbage disposal). On the lower floor are the bedrooms, two full bathrooms and the laundry closet. All are a good size and the beds were comfy. I could easily see us living in this house! So here’s what we did on our two week VACATION.


Sunday – July 31st, 2016

We loaded up and left Richmond at 7:30 and arrived early at the Twiddy office in Duck. They were very friendly on a super busy checkin day and even gave us a early checkin and a aweesome soft-sided beach cooler with a magnetic top. We left in great spirits ready to start our vacation. The kids were ready for the beach, but we stopped to grab a quick lunch at Duck Deli before heading to our house in Sanderling. After lunch, we drove north to the house, unloaded and went to the beach. Then left the beach as a storm was approaching south of us, showered and since the storm was over quickly, walked around the neighborhood and found a nature trail! We made a quick run to Harris Teeter in Corolla for coffee filters (I always forget these since we have a Keurig) and a few other essentials. I made Chicken Philly cheesesteaks and fruit salad for dinner, we watched Harry Potter since the new book/script was released and then went to bed. It was a nice and eventful first day!

Monday – August 1st, 2016

We ate breakfast at the house and I went for a run on the beach where I met the rest of the gang. It was super clear and flat in the ocean with tons of tiny fish, completely entertaining all of us as we were able to see many sea creatures. We played paddleball then left at lunchtime as storms were coming. Ate sandwiches at the house and lounged while waiting for the sun. Then went to the shops on the waterfront at Duck and bought candy, sunglasses and crazy socks (Sea Dragon). We had snacks at Coastal Cantina. I wanted to like this place, but we found their salsa bland, chips borderline stale and ceviche was served swimming in the marinade – meh. I’d stick to drinks next time. Came home and made a big pot of spaghetti for dinner while it stormed again. We saw a great rainbow on our way to the sound for the sunset. Left the sound and went to the store for beach stuff and picked up a few things at Harris Teeter, again! Our daughter repeated throughout the day that, "It is a great day" and it was!

Tuesday – August 2nd, 2016

Everyone slept in and took a little longer getting down to the beach as the clouds were moving in and out. It was overcast in the morning, but still pretty on “Lake Atlantic”. Kids had a great time with goggles, masks, a net and a bucket, catching a variety of crabs and fish and observing them in their bucket. We were then driven off the beach by thunder and lightening. Went back to the house and lounged, ate lunch and the sun came out again. This time the boys stayed behind, but the rest of us hit the beach. Within two hours the conditions changed from sunny, with glassy and calm water to slightly windy, waves and then the dark clouds came back. In between the two, while on a walk, I spotted a manatee, maybe 20 feet from shore making it’s way north. It was quite a treat watching it come up for air snout first then using its semi-circular tail to push itself back down and further north. We came back, showered, then got ready to go out for dinner while it rained. Will and I left the kids at the house with a pizza and treated ourselves to Aqua. I had their snapper special and it was amazing. Will had their tuna, which was good, and the noodles it was served on were very tasty. We went out on their deck to catch the sunset, hit a few shops to pick up a few more essentials, then made our way home. Cleaned up after the kids, ran a few loads of laundry and hit the beds.

Wednesday – August 3rd, 2016

Will had taken his early morning sunrise photos and said that we wouldn’t believe the change in the ocean. Within 12 hours the ocean changed from slick lake like conditions to a complete washing machine. It was rough! We put on our suits, and spent time reading under the umbrella and watching our middle child dig a huge hole. Ate sandwiches on the beach and then our younger two played in the crazy waves for over an hour. We all filled in the hole and we left realizing we got too much sun! Came back, showered, made hotdogs and fruit salad, drove up to Whalehead Club to see the sunset – wow was it crowded in Corolla. Stopped at the Food Lion on the way home thinking it wouldn’t be bad at 9 on a Wednesday night. We were wrong! I do love the new path they have paved throughout Corolla. There were throngs of tourists riding bikes and walking all along the path. After being in super quiet Sanderling, we were ready to return to our refuge. Came back to the house and had cold drinks and snacks, watched a little tv and went to bed.

Thursday – August 4th, 2016

The waves were crazy again today, with shore crashers. We went down to Nags Head to the Ben Franklin for some beach essentials, had lunch at Tortugas Lie, super yummy, and headed over to Manteo. We walked along the waterfront, peeked into some of the shops, had a beer at Full Moon and then went home stopping at the Dockside in Duck on the way. We bought tasty mahi and shrimp and zucchini at the nearby produce stand and made it all for an excellent dinner. We ran over to the sound for sunset photos then went back to the house to take the kids fishing. Nothing was caught, but they had fun anyways. While on the beach, we got the call that my parents arrived for their visit. We helped them unload, had a few drinks and went to bed.

Friday – August 5th, 2016

I went for a run in the morning, this time on the nature trail throughout Sanderling. The waves were still pretty crazy so we hung out on the beach reading books under our umbrella. We ate sandwiches on the beach for lunch. The ocean settled down a little bit as low tide drew near and the kids played in the water. My parents made an excellent dinner of salmon from Dad’s Alaskan fishing trip, baked potatoes, salad, and home made cookies. We ran over to the sound to catch the sunset and then came back to the house to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.

Saturday – August 6th, 2016

First woke up in the middle of the night to the buzz of crazy traffic – everyone leaving for Saturday check-out, but it was before Will even wakes up for the sunrise. I’ve never heard anything like it before. Fell back asleep soundly knowing I had nowhere I needed to be and then woke up later to coffee and cookies and watching women’s Olympic sculling. Headed down to the beach where the waves were calmer, but still produced big shore crashers. Came back from the beach around 1 pm for a long lunch of sandwiches and chips and watched some Olympic swimming and the men’s bike race. Went back down the beach and tried to get some boogey boarding in during low tide but the sand bar was out pretty far and was pretty narrow. Swam back in and played near the shore and read books. Came in for dinner of tamales and hot dogs, (very Chicago style) went to catch the sunset at the sound and then went down to the shops on the boardwalk in Duck to let the kids play Pokemon. They had a great time, even the big kid and by that I mean the one in his 40s. We came home, watched men’s gymnastics and went to bed.


Sunday – August 7th, 2016

Slept in, ate bagels, didn’t get down to the beach until 11 and I brought lunch with me. Kids played in the water as it was fairly calm and very clear again. Stayed on the beach until almost 4, taking a walk, reading books, and watching the waves crash on the shore. Drove up to Corolla for BBQ, which was a bizarre experience. We called ahead to order BBQ by the pint/quart and were told they couldn’t give us or sell us buns - to stop at Food Lion. Anyway, my dad got the buns from them and the BBQ was OK, not great, but the potato salad was bad with hard, undercooked potatoes. The BBQ has been spotty, which is a shame as it used to be great. After the BBQ we ran over to the sound for Will’s nightly photo of the sunset and then back for a quick trip to the beach and then home for the Olympics.

Monday – August 8th, 2016

It was overcast so the sunrise was a bust, then it began raining, so we took our time getting ready. The three girls went to Pine Island to play tennis indoors. The boys went to lunch in Duck and then checked out the waterfront shops. The girls went out to lunch in Corolla, hit a few shops then we all met at the house, went for a long walk on the beach and helped Dad make dinner. We ate a huge meal of BBQ ribs, potatoes, peaches, cantaloupe, beans, and slaw. After dinner some of us went down to the beach to chase crabs, fish, metal detect and watch the waves. Then we finished the night with the Olympics!

Tuesday – August 9th, 2016

It was raining at sunrise, so everyone slept in. It was a beautiful day on the beach so we headed down and spent the early part of the day on the beach, came in for a late lunch of sandwiches, showered, hit the grocery store for a few odds and ends, made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, kale salad, broccoli, etc. for dinner and watched the Olympics.

Wednesday – August 10th, 2016

Went for a run in the late morning and cut it short because the humidity was super high. Made it down to the beach and played in the waves. We haven’t been able to surf or boogie board yet and these waves were no better, but everyone is having fun playing in them. The water is still pretty clear despite the waves. We came in for BLTs for lunch, then headed back down for another few hours and played in the water and played paddle ball. We all cleaned up and then made meatloaf sandwiches for the kids and some frozen cheesy breadsticks then the adults headed out for dinner at Paper Canoe. We had excellent seats and watched the sunset while enjoying their fish specials and some great beer and wine, some of which we drank, some we spilled – can’t take us anywhere! Back to the house for brownies and ice cream to celebrate my dad’s birthday and then the three older guys played cribbage while I fell asleep.

Thursday – August 11th, 2016

Late start to the day with people sleeping in and picking at breakfast and my mom getting an early start on dinner! So we went ahead and made lunch, which was brunch, before heading down to the beach. My parents were talked into staying a day longer so this was their last day and we spent it relaxing on the beach and playing in the waves. We washed up and ate an incredible meal of short ribs, risotto, conch peas and fruit. We ate way too much. We watched more Olympics and then sat on the deck watching the meteors. The kids and Will headed down to the beach at midnight and watched the meteors until 1:30!!! It was quite a show!

Friday – August 12th, 2016

My parents left this morning. I woke up planning to help them, but they already loaded the car. I said goodbye and went back to bed for another hour. We took our time heading down to the beach and decided to go ahead and eat lunch before we finally made it down. The kids had a great time playing in the waves, but still no boogie boarding or surfing. We spent the entire afternoon on the beach late into early evening. Came “home” washed up and ate a ton of left overs trying to clear out all the great food. We then left and headed into Duck proper to grab a few donuts before they closed at 9:00. We had great timing and got there right as the crowd died down just before they shut down for the evening. We headed back to the house again and watched the Olympics until 11:30 then headed down to beach to watch the meteorites. There weren’t as many as there were the night before so we called it a night and went in for bed.

Saturday – August 13th, 2016

OUR LAST DAY! Well technically we are leaving on Sunday, but it’s our last day to enjoy the beach. We made it down around 11 and holy cow it was hot, super hot, as in the sand was scorching our feet hot and the water was cold!!! It didn’t take too long to get used to the cold water with the heat. The waves were actually decent. The kids tried to boogie board with no luck, but several people were out surfing. We had lunch on the beach and came in around 4:00 as the water kept getting even colder, I think I had icicles dripping off me after one quick soak to cool down from the crazy heat. We cleaned up and began packing, made burgers and dogs on the grill, then took off to catch the sunset at the Sanderling dock. I got some great shots with my phone, but Will’s camera fogged - BUMMER!!! We left and headed up to Corolla for mini golf. It finally cooled down with the sunset and we got a breeze off the sound and were able to enjoy the rest of the evening. After golf, we let the kids do spinning bumper cars. They had a great time and neither activity were too busy since it was most people’s first day. Back to the house for cold drinks and more packing! And, then to bed!

Sunday – August 14th, 2016

Time to go! We woke up, finished packing and cleaning up and slowly made our way to the car. I went down to the beach to get a few photos before we left Sanderling. It was another warm day, but it was beautiful and desolate on the beach, making it really hard to leave. We started driving north towards Corolla and right as we arrived, we turned around with the idea to spend the afternoon in Duck instead. Had we driven straight south, we would have just missed the slew of traffic leaving at 10:00, but instead we drove right into it! HA! Oh, well, we rolled into duck about 30 minutes later and shopped at Scarborough Faire as the kids hit the nice toy store and then we went over to the sound for lunch at Waves Pizza. It was pretty on the deck and the food was great. Finally, we drove home.

Our routine was kept simple on this trip with no major excursions and it was perfect, exactly what we needed to relax! The house Carolina Dreamin’ I and it’s location in Sanderling were superb. I’ve never been disappointed with any house we’ve rented through Twiddy, if anything, I leave our beach vacations motivated to fix and updates things in our own home when we return. We are again, very grateful for another wonderful getaway to the Outer Banks and we very much look forward to returning soon!

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