cape hatteras

our week away in cape hatteras was as blissful and quiet and restful as any time i've ever had. it was the perfect end of summer escape.
vacations usually come with a stuffed itinerary...things to do and see and taste and smell and not enough time for any of it. and often times we come home feeling more exhausted then before we left. but this one, this one was a laid back kind of trip. we fell into a beachy way of living from day one...where the only plan was to just sit and be and the only routine was sunscreen and a late lunch.
we hid away in a giant sandcastle of a house on the beach with matt's dad and step mom, brothers, aunt and uncle and cousins. matt's family is wonderful with traditions! they've been coming to cape hatteras for years and years. being all together became our own little beach commune...with homemade dinner every night around a large table, late night bonfires on the beach, and plenty of hands taking care of the little ones.
we stayed on the beach all week long, leaving only for quick grocery store runs and for matt to take me to the hatteras lighthouse. i had never been up in a lighthouse before! 
the rest of the time was spent under an umbrella with sand in our toes and salty wet hair. there were lots of book reading and knitting and friendship bracelet making...bocce ball and kite flying and poker games. i collected seashells like a 5 year old...they were like amazing little treasures each one! i couldn't pass them up. days after being back, i'm still finding them in random pockets. 

i woke up early a few mornings to be alone on the beach...to walk and paint and think. painting by the ocean is something i remember reading out of a children's book when i was little...it was about a girl who painted on the sand dunes. i've always had an ache to try it. i found the perfect spot on the top of a dune and 10 year old katie was beside herself! it was just like the book...painting on a sand dune...listening to the ocean move...getting bits of sand stuck in the paint and washing out the brushes in ocean water.

growing up i've always been a little bit timid about the ocean. it's so alive...constantly moving and pulling. i got such a kick out of seeing how fearless max was with it. he took to the salty water like a shiny fish...darting around, getting carried up in the waves. he shark fished with the older boys and effortlessly boogie boarded on waves that sent me crashing into the ocean floor (i've got the scrapes and broken tailbone to prove it). 
 it's a hoot finding out your son is a real beach bum at heart. and i guess we all kind of were.
it did my heart some good to start this new summer tradition with max and matt.
new memories of ghost crab hunting and sandcastle smashing...moving to a slower rhythm and being with family in one of the most beautiful places around.
now that's how you end a summer!

p.s. keep your fingers crossed for max. he starts his new school tomorrow! i'm a bit of a ball of nerves for him.
first grade, make way!


  1. i just got choked up looking at the picture of max hugging matt (and vice versa). glad you had such a perfect get-away!

  2. These are all so magical. The photo of Matt and Max near the water is amazing, what a beautiful bond they share!

  3. Your photos are so great. Every time I visit your blog I'm able to see the whole story without any reading. Love it!

  4. Looking at these photos was like having a little mini vacation! So relaxing. I have to go the beach now! So glad you all had such a wonderful time and that it was restful as well. And good luck to Max! I've been an aide in a first grade class for three years and I have to say it's definitely an awesome grade.

  5. so lovely! even though i'm not always on vacation, i'm grateful that i've always lived by the sea. there's something so magical about it. xx

    p.s. good luck to max!

  6. oh my! This is my home...well wilmington, nc more specifically, but I have spent so many days on hatteras...ahhhh... thanks for sending me on a daydream vacation!!! I love and miss that place so much...and will always be special to me...though I am only 4 hours away now. I know you had a wonderful time...I don't know how anyone couldn't! So glad you were able to experience the magic of that place!

  7. These are beautiful and heartwarming. I'm glad you all had a great time! That's a perfect way to end a summer. :)

    Oh Jazmyn

  8. too bad you left! you could've felt the earthquake today ;) oh! and experience a hurricane this weekend! yippee!

    but seriously, if this is a tradition, we WILL meet up next year. even if it is just on the beach.

  9. He he, I have that same swimsuit. =]
    I just love these! I can't wait to visit a cape someday!

  10. So so beautiful, dreamy, enchanting....I love the beach anywhere I can find it. You all seem to have a good time together wherever you go.


  11. oh my... overload of beauty! glad your trip was as great as it looked. i've never been much of a beach girl, but i definitely understand why people love it.

    i'd love to see what you painted!

  12. i have that blue swimsuit. isn't it glorious?
    your pictures are BREATHTAKING. seriously in love with all of them.

  13. oh my goodness, it looks so magical. i think summer vacation traditions are some of the best ones to have. somewhere you can always go back to to be nostalgic even while you're there still.

    and good luck max! i know he'll be great :)

  14. Striped shirts, high-waisted pants, watercolors on the beach....there are so many amazing things going on in this post I'm flabbergasted!!!

  15. Its winter over here in Australia at the moment & these pictures have made me super jelous!! Looks like you had a great get away, love your blog x

  16. I loved hearing about your vacation. I've never had a vacation that was about relaxing. The pictures are stunning!

  17. Oh Cape Hatteras is one of my favorites! Your photos capture your getaway beautifully! It was a nice 5 minute vacation for me :] Good luck to Max on his first day of school!

    xo Shannon

  18. Lovely, lovely, lovely! That does look like the perfect end to summer. Good luck to Max for the new year :)

  19. I loved the way you described your vacation! It's a dream of mine to visit the ocean. I've never been! This whole post was magical! Especially the part about painting!
    so sorry to hear about your injuries though! Hope it wasn't too bad!
    Good luck to Max with school!

  20. LOOOOOOVE! These photos made me feel relaxed! You are such a babe! Love your swimsuit!

    A Collection of Passions

  21. I always love each outfit you wear! You have the most amazing wardrobe!! :) -Lo

  22. This looks like so much fun, the pictures are amazing! I wish I knew how to surf:( And your kid is sooo handsome!

  23. Oh, Katie. I absolutely love the way you write! This vacation sounds amazing and you described it so perfectly. Your pictures are all gorgeous and I love your teal bathing suit and the picture of the orange and white friendship bracelet the most!! <3

  24. These photos are amazing. They depict my dream life.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.