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Me and my family in OBX circa 1982 (Like my groovy glasses and watermelon shirt?)
In 1980...at the ripe old age of 10, I made my first trek down to the Outer Banks in North Carolina on a family vacation.  My father and uncle decided it was an up and coming place to vacation.  (They were right, and totally ahead of their time.)  Every year since I've come to "OBX" so that's a tradition in itself. 
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On the beach 1982 (My cousin Jessie is in the white hat)
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2012 (My cousin Jessie is in the bikini on the far right)
My Aunt, Uncle and parents had no idea how strong a tradition they were instilling! 
 They modeled a vacation where everyone pitched in with the household chores, 
and we all enjoyed looking after the little ones and we played games we all could participate in like Uno.  We went boogie boarding, sailing, & flew kites.  
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My brother Danny 1981 and his kite
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My dad fishing in 1995
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Lobster Night Circa 1982
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Lobster Night 1999
We ate out probably every other night, but we always had a lobster night and we also 
had dinners of spot (a kind of fish) filets that my father caught wading in the surf 
while we were swimming or making drippy castles.
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Lobster Night 2008
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Seafood Night this year, 2012
A large form of entertainment for us was putting on musical skits...our favorite in the 80's was the magenta flamingo skit.  Our kids' favorite in 2003 was "cows."
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Andy, Eebie, Danny & Jessie
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Joe, Claire, Emmy & Isabelle
In 1987 my high school boy friend started coming with us.  He was used as my 
younger cousins' personal jungle gym, and despite some of their best efforts to come between us, he passed the test, they liked him, and he was proclaimed a keeper.  My college roommate Mara and her boy friend, Walt followed in the early 1990s.  In fact Mara went on my family vacation to OBX in 1993, while that high school boyfriend and I were on our honeymoon (yup, I married him...I told you he was a keeper.)
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Me and Jed and the Carolina Moon 1989
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Jessie & Mara playing put-put in 1994
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On the beach...1993 or 1994?
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Jonathan's favorite "cousin" Jed (aka "Shed") 1989
A few years after college (and for some law school) we decided to start renting our own house in the Outer Banks with Mara and Walt & we invited our family to come stay with us.  
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In 1994 we were beach babes!
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By 1999 we had a couple of beach babies of our own.
Once we started having kids we got down to showing them all the great things we love about coming to OBX: Days on the beach, sharing a bedroom with your "cousins," climbing the light house, biking, sailing and lots of time spent with family.
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Little Mermaids in 2000
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By the pool in 2010
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Sailing 2002
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Currituck Light House 2011
Now a days we spend time on the tennis court, go stand up paddle boarding or plan 
our favorite dinner..."hors d'ouevres for dinner" night (starring such favorites as baked garlic, seven layer diptexas caviar, or chex mix)  Mara's Dad, and the Arizona contingent come for a week...and that's proof that it's a fun week right there, 
since getting to OBX from Arizona is a huge pain in the neck.  Various family of mine as well as Jed's folks come to relive the fun over and over again, too.
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The Doyle, Bocek, Maillard, Schmittinbitz Crowd in 2008
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With The AZ Crew 2009
Though it's been 32 years, it's still my favorite vacation.  
My house is booked for next summer but until then I may need a little 
Outer Banks fix...maybe I'll make a seven layer dip for dinner!!