Monday, May 4, 2009

Hatteras Vacation, Part One

We got back a week or so ago from Hatteras, NC. My aunt and uncle have vacationed in Hatteras for nearly 42 years now and my parents have gone a few times with them. This year they rented a huge house and fourteen of us went for part of all of the week. Tara and myself, my parents, my brother, my sister and her family, my aunt and uncle, and their daughter and her boyfriend. Not quite The Waltons, but close.

We haven't been home since Christmas 2007 and this was the first time we have seen any of my immediate family since then. We hadn't met my newest nephew, Jacob, yet, and that was Tara's primary objective. Once she got her hands on him, she was reluctant to let him go. He's just too damn cute.

We flew into Norfolk, VA, on Friday, as it cut $150/ticket off our airfare. We couldn't get into the rental house until Sunday, so we stayed at the Hyatt Place in Chesepeake, VA, until Sunday morning. It was a great place. Each room has a 42" plasma with inputs for computer monitor, external DVD, you name it. The rooms were huge. I'd found a great deal on it, and my sister's brood had a room booked for Saturday night.

Everyone else drove down from Maine. My parents and aunt/uncle drove straight to Hatteras. My sister and her family had planned stops, as you can only drive so far with energetic 8 yo and 6 yo boys and a 14 month toddler. They visited a dinosaur museum near Hartford Friday and we met them at the Virginia Zoo on Saturday afternoon. They had been watching the zoo's various webcams for months and the boys could barely be contained. This was the boys first trip outside of Maine and New Hampshire and it was fun to see them take in things they'd never seen live, like lions, elephants, and fennec foxes. It reminded me of my family's first visit to a zoo when I was about their age. We went to the National Zoo in Washington, DC. After that as your first zoological experience, other places can't quite compare. The boys had a blast and took tons of pictures.

After the zoo, we headed to a restaurant near our hotel for an early dinner. After dinner they all got dressed to use the hotel pool, only to have it be closed just as they got there. Someone got sick in the pool and we decided to skip it, despite it being "cleaned" and reopened a few hours later.

I had some on-call work to do late Sat night/early Sunday morning. Between that, the 3 hour time difference, and incredibly uncomfortable sheets, neither Tara or I got much sleep. Around 6am or so, we decided to just get ready and head down to Hatteras. We grabbed breakfast at the free buffet in the hotel and headed out. For the record, my sister slept fine on the sheets, so we may just be overly picky.

It was a nice relaxing drive. There was very little traffic and the lush green scenery was a nice change from the dessert landscapes in Phoenix. We stopped at a few road-side vegetable stands and generally played tourist. Before we knew it, we hit the long bridge between the mainland and the outer banks. A few more hours, and we'd be down to Hatteras and vacation could officially start.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Agree w/ you on Hyatt Place! I've stayed at two so far (Las Vegas and Indianapolis) and enjoyed both.