When I was a little girl we all piled into my Mom's Montero SUV every June and drove the 8 hours from Pennsylvania to Corolla. I distinctly remember having my little sister screaming for half of the drive and my older sister would secretly hit me. No matter what happened I somehow came out as the whiney one...! Truth be told, all of that was irrelevant and forgotten the second the back hatch to our SUV swung open and my Dad would toss bathing suits at us so that we could hit the beach before it was time for the 4pm beach house check-in.
Over the next few hours my extended family would arrive by the car load. My grandparents, my aunts and uncles and my cousins all arrived and we would meet at the beach house. We would all be sharing a beach house that week and it was the best week of the year. Lots of sleeping bags were rolled out, sleepovers on the screened in porch were a must, a beach fire complete with marshmallows and sunkissed skin. Each family would pick a day that week to cook dinner for everyone and we would all eat together. Going crabbing on the docks in Corolla with my sisters is one of my favorite experiences ever! These are the memories that I truly treasure!
My mom and her sisters knew the importance of family time and so they made it happen year after year.
Not to do a 180 on you here but so often I see those ridiculous little posts on social media about how "Back in the day, we knew it was time for dinner by the street lights Now-a-days parents text their kids to come home for dinner."
Blah Blah Blah.
"Back in the day," we made time for extended family. We cultivated the relationships that made us who we are today. If my cousins weren't a part of my life back then, they wouldn't be so important to me now and I certainly wouldn’t have turned out the same. Shoot, I even have some 2nd cousins that mean the world to me. I'm so grateful for those relationships and that my parents cultivated them for me as a child. Now, it's up to me to do the same.
I shoot family portraits for a living in a vacation destination. Last year, my company hit 700 families during our season. It's so amazing to see that some people still plan extended family vacations but in the past 5 years, that number is dwindling and the number of people that are vacationing with groups of friends or neighbors is increasing. I'm certainly not knocking a good friends getaway as long as those family vacations are still a priority! We've been saying it ourselves for years that we are going to take a big family vacation, this is our year to make that happen!
There’s truly no place like the Outer Banks. We’re such a family oriented beach and it’s such a beautiful place to vacation and raise a family. It truly couldn’t be any easier to plan a family vacation here! Of course, I would suggest starting with your vacation week accommodations!
I'm teaming up with some amazing local businesses to give away the greatest getaway to one lucky reader! If you've been to the Outer Banks, then you know all about The Sanderling Resort! To enter to win a *free night at the Sanderling Resort, show us how you are cultivating your relationships on Instagram by posting a photo of you and your spouse, significant other, family or friends. Use the hashtag #CultivateMeaningfulRelationships and Be sure to stay tuned to hear more about the amazing giveaway and what else is included! We'll be sharing the BIG news right here and via Instagram on Monday!
Here's a picture of my family, missing a few family members but this was one of the last trips my beautiful Grandmother could make the trip for. Cultivate these relationships while you can! <3 Happy Friday everyone!