Bucking Tradition

“So…where are we going on vacation this summer?” was the question that kicked off our dinner conversation earlier this week.

Um, yes…vacation. About that. What to do and where to go are the questions that my husband and I have asked each other…without answer. It’s not that we don’t want to go anywhere, it’s more like we are bogged down with indecision due to lack of time to look into it.

And since I can get bogged down some mornings just deciding what pair of shoes to wear, well…you can imagine how overwhelming the decision could get.

And here it is, April, which is really late to be booking anything. Oops.

You see,  we have gone to the Outer Banks nearly every summer since my son was 5 months old, barring a few summers that we were in the UK and opted to travel there.

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The Outer Banks was the spot that my husband grew up vacationing, as well, so there is a bit of “carrying on the tradition” and all that.  It’s a great vacation place, but I will confess this: I like it because it is EASY on this mom. I know where (and when) to shop, we have our favorite restaurants, and we fall into an easy routine.

We eat a lot of fish, steamed shrimp, and North Carolina barbecue.  We get up early to beat the crowd at Duck Donuts once or twice a week. We sleep in, go to the beach, chill, play some board games, maybe fly a kite if we remembered to pack it (or if the kids have talked us into another one). Now that the kids are older, it’s more fun to venture a bit further afield and explore the area.

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Still, there is a danger of getting stuck in a rut (although that rut is paved with margaritas and old bay steamed shrimp, or a fresh caught fish washed down with an icy Tito’s and tonic, so it’s not an uncomfortable rut.)

Are we getting…boring? Do we need to buck tradition and try something new? After all, there are so many awesome places to visit here in Texas alone, never mind the rest of the U.S..  Are we playing it safe, not wanting to gamble on a new spot with little planning?

I’ll let you in on a secret – since I’ve had kids, I’ve become a bit of an obsessive planner. As in hours researching things to do, restaurants, info on the area…so the thought of picking out something with little research makes me nervous. I’m also a perfectionist. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost a lot of my sense of adventure, then realize that it’s there, it just requires background info in order to operate.

In poking around our usual beach rental site I discovered that a favorite house was actually open for a week mid-summer, and sent it off to my husband, who said “book it” – confiding that he lost a bit of sleep the night before turning it all over in his head. I guess neither of us are particularly impulsive.

And I’m good with that.

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We’ve build up a lot of great memories and good traditions (including the girlie getting her hair braided every year and falling asleep in the chair, without fail) and I’m looking forward to continuing them.

After all, there is another 355 days in the year to play with, isn’t there?

What about you? Do you have a family vacation spot that you return to every year? Share in the comment section below (because I really do want to try someplace new next year….maybe….)


  1. It’s only April. We don’t usually plan a summer vacation until late May/early June. Although I did mention we should start planning for a 2016 or 2017 trip to Yellowstone. This year though…still have no idea. A cruise has been thrown in the suggestion box but to where nobody knows. The kids threw out Hawaii and I just laughed. Joe threw out San Francisco but that didn’t light my fire. I threw out skip a summer vacation and go skiing in Colorado next Spring Break. That didn’t go over. They want a summer vacation and Spring Break next year. Eh, I’ve another 6 weeks or so to figure something out. We research what we are going to do once we get there.

    • It seems like, for the OBX, your house has to be rented by early february if you want a shot at a house you can afford in the place you want. Most of the other destinations we looked at had no availability, either. It’s frustrating, but we got lucky in the end!

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