OBX Adventure 2014

Everyone in the DMV hears about Outer Banks and I’ve always wanted to go. I mentioned it to Jason and he was amazing enough to make it happen. He secured us a nice house through It’s very similar to AirBNB or VBRO.

I would definitely recommend going to OBX as the cool kids call it at least once. It’s a cute little beach town.

This is my recap from my perspective, I’m sure everyone has their own since we had five separate cars, but again whose writing this recap? ME!

The Drive: Team Panda Love

To coordinate carpools, I set up a Doodle Calendar. On it, you can easily see what time everyone is leaving. Honestly, trying to remember what people say is very difficult and this way it allows everyone to take care of their needs. Plus, you’ll always hear me say this…We are ALL adults here. Figure it out.

Since I have a SUV, I volunteered my car and threw as many people in that was remaining after I grouped people based on departure time and approximate location.

Who knew we would get along so well? Tien said we are like family and I definitely do agree that we are a little family.

Our family roles:

-Chase is the dad. He is the one that keeps us on track and on schedule, makes the rules, and is able to rally everyone. That’s a skill, plus he has the ability to say “no” down cold, but he also has a sense of humor.

-I’m definitely the mom; I make lunch bags, make sure everyone is happy, well-fed, and enjoy everything. I over prepare and think of every detail to make sure that everything goes smoothly and effortlessly. Plus, who else, but a mom meal plans? It’s definitely something I get from my mom; she raised me specifically to be the nurturing type, especially as the eldest. She always made me take care of my sisters, I once told her, I hate being the oldest and wish I was the baby, I don’t have anything that’s mine- granted I was only 5 years old at the time.

-Thu is the sister you would want to have. She’s sweet, caring, and super nice. If there was a last piece of chicken at the dinner table, she would never be the person to take it.

-Tien is the most patient and go-with-the flow person you can be around. He’s easy going, funny, will take any picture we want him to. He can laugh at himself and lighten the mood anytime.

-Brandy is the funny one in the family. She cracks jokes non-stop. She is a spitfire; she’ll call a spade of spades when she sees it, she’ll tell it as it is. She is also the creative one that makes us all do things like gets a tramp stamp temporary tat or try to make a human pyramid on the sand dunes.

My favorite moment was when we were at a store and we found some stuff animal puppies. Brandy ran over to Chase and said, “dad, dad, dad come here.” When Chase came over, Tien was holding the puppy and Brandy asked if we can have it. Chase said no. Brandy said, then a pony? Chase said no again. Then he said, what about this cat. Brandy and Tien just looked at each other and Brandy was like, but we don’t want a cat.

Memories from the Drive:

  • Extreme Packing– Savoy was shocked when she found out I was taking 5 people in my car, but everyone else was going at different times, so it wasn’t worth us separating into one more car, but because of this, my trunk was so full, we couldn’t see out of the back window.wpid-img_117318091758902.jpeg
  • No, no…and No-Right when we started driving, we were trying to decide where to eat. Moon called and mentioned Chick-Fil-a- Chase immediately said NO! Then I said Costco food court…again No. Everything I said unfortunately got a no. So the joke is that no matter what, Chase will say no to everything, so let’s just see what Chase wants to do.
  • We have a problemEven a CRV has its limits and I think we made it mad. The tire pressure light came on and the men had to do the manly thing and figure out what’s wrong.wpid-cymera_20140718_225443.jpg
  • Po Po AlertIt was my turn to drive and I was speeding as usual. I’m flying and Chase points out a cop, but there were other cars going about the same speed, but I was the leader in my lane. Well it was too late, so I kept going and just let my foot off the pedal a little and we saw the lights turn on. It pulled the car in front of me, it was a close call, but during this time of panic, Thu starts hiding her chips. We were like what do you have in those chips that if we got pulled over you are worried about. She was not worried about getting in trouble that we can’t see anything through the back windows, it was her chips.
  • Shotgun Rules-On this trip I learned that the person in the shotgun has to feed the driver. Even if that means it’s Tien feeding Chase.
  • Turn here, wait no here, nope now here– I took the last shift, so I needed a McDonald’s Coffee, so we pulled off the exit. Chase kept telling Tien to get off the exit AFTER we had passed it. 30 minutes later, we found a Walgreens, but it was worth it because me and Thu found glow in the dark cell phone cases for $1.25! PS. Never got my coffee from McDonald’s, just one in the drink aisle.wpid-cymera_20140811_204842.jpg
  • All about Bananas– We learned according to Chase that if you eat bananas before bed, you’ll get nightmares. Apparently he and Jason both get them, so it’s true. Then we learned from Tien that there are rules for men eating a banana. If you missed it, here you go.

Day 1:

This was a beach day all the way!

Follow the yellow brick road- We tried our best to find the sunset.  Instead, we took a super selfie.


At night we went to Sunset Grill for Karaoke. First off, you have to understand, there aren’t a lot of options, just like any other small beach town and secondly, this place is very strict about how many times you can go on for Karaoke. It’s once a round to be exact and you can’t go on in groups to avoid the rule. Trust me, we tried and got in trouble. The DJ was a mean old man.


Day 2:

Unfortunately, it was a rainy day, but it we still had fun. Everyone had plenty to eat.  We did go to the lighthouse and had fantastic conversations.


This movie still brings up emotions and it sucks you in every time. Our group got super emotional over the fact that Jack still had to die. Sorry spoiler alert. But we were talking about how cold-hearted Rose was to do that to Jack. Karen said he should have known with someone who gave it up so easily. All I’m saying it he did not have to die.


Currituck Lighthouse- Click here for information.

This gave a great view of the city. It’s not anything like the ones you’ll see in San Diego or up in Maine, but it’s pretty and it’s only $8.

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Friends that get tats together, stay together-

Brandy brought these temporary tats and body paint. It was so much fun! I got a tramp stamp hehe.

Would you Rather- You should all play this game with a group of people. We had it get very heated, awkward, funny, and confusing all within 30 minutes.

Day 3:

A lot of our group had left, but we stayed later.

The Town of Duck Boardwalk-Click here for directions.

  • The Boardwalk is a fun attraction for an hour. It’s very small compared to other beach areas, but you can feed ducks!
  • Dad gave us 20 minutes to shop. He even gave Thu a 5 minute warning to hustle in the store. Well, his plan failed, we ended up staying much longer because we ate ice cream.

You can see here how frustrated he was. He wanted to go to the Wright Brother’s Museum so badly, but his kids were unmanageable.

Wright Brother’s Museum– Click here for directions.

This was definitely worth a visit.

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Sand Dunes-Click here for details.

Chase told us about this. He gave us a choice of going to eat first or the sand dunes, of course we kids picked the sand dunes. It was one of the coolest things there. If you go, I would definitely recommend going there.

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Chase was not prepared with anything to go down the sand dunes with, except for a plastic bag. Watching him go down that hill was my favorite memory of the trip and I am sure he had sand in every nook and cranny.


Favorite moments:

On Replay- The entire time we pretty much repeated 2 songs: All of me, Loves all of you and Rude. It was blasting on the boom box, which happened to always be tucked in the back pocket of Savoy’s butt.

Ice, Ice…In the air- The entire night, Brandy pretty much got booted from karaoke. At the end of the night, the guy let her sing Genie in the Bottle. Moon, Savoy, Alex, and Brandy got up on stage and belted out some Christina Aguilera and Savoy…was being Savoy kept doing her signature arm moves with a cup of ice water in her hand. All of a sudden the entire cup of ice and water flew up in the air and all over the ground. We all had the “oh crap, what is the DJ going to do?” face at that moment.


I believe I can fly- We love jumping pics, but we’ve got a long way to go before we can be professional jumpers.

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I told you NO- No one LOVES karaoke like Brandy.  She tried every way to get back on stage. Jason was singing Hit Me Baby One More Time and she wanted to join, the DJ spoke right in the mic and said, I warned you. No.

Pyramid Issues- Look at this picture. We’ve got to get things together haha.


Dub stepping- We played Loaded Questions and one of them was “What do you consider a favor in the bedroom?” My answer was “A little ass slapping.” Well, apparently my cursive is horrible because the person read it as dub stepping, so forever will that be interchangeable.

Sangria- Esther’s little brother, Josh (super cool), made sangria for us. This kid makes amazing sangria and the genius thing; he made it right in the orange juice bottle. Talk about being inventive!

Amazeballs- Moon, Savoy, and I use amazeballs all the time, but when we said it around some of the guys, they looked at us like we were crazy. When I first said it to Chase, he thought I was talking about a maze bowl.

Tien- Look at these pics and you’ll know why it’s a favorite memory.


Life Lessons:

  • Never put a retainer in a red solo cup– Chase put his clear retainer in a red solo cup and his contacts. Well someone threw it away without knowing. Never do that, ever again because they had to dig through all the garbage to find it.
  • People accept snoring I snore and it’s a big reason I don’t go on big trips or sleepover. Well, this group doesn’t care. A) Chase snores louder than me B) They all can wear ear plugs C) They are pretty deep sleepers.
  • There is such a thing as over preparing-Because none of us knew what to expect in the OBX area that we did, I obviously over prepared. We had some people tell us depending on the location, it could be very remote. Wrong…OBX is just like any other cute beach town with shops, restaurants, grocery stores, etc…
  • Google Maps- Again, all the preparing could have been resolved if we just Google Mapped a grocery store nearby. Lesson learned.
  • Staying under budget is still cool-I bought as much stuff on sale from Costco to feed 16 people on a budget. I set up an Excel sheet with approximate costs total and per person and sadly, I was pretty much on target with my pricing because I go to Costco so much, I know the place and prices by heart. In my sheet, I had a projected budget and a goal amount. Now that I think about it, it’s sort of sad, but I’m a budget analyst, it’s what we do. I even rubbed off on Jason who was buying the perishables down there. He texted me and asked what the remaining budget was. I laughed because I was way below the costs, so I didn’t worry about his portion, but I told him I was rubbing off on him. We had one person who ended up not going and we were still under budget even covering all of their costs. I think I’m the only one who gets excited over that.


So I am so glad y’all enjoyed the food because I’ll let you in on a secret, I’m not a cook. I just throw stuff together and cross my finger that it turns out right. Moon on the other hand is, she made such good fried rice, I loved it and anytime she cooks, it’s amazing.

I don’t follow recipes; I just use them as more of a guideline and do my own thing. Sometimes it works, other times it is a big fat fail. One thing I was the most worried about was the fact that I cook very lean, even for breakfast; I could not make myself buy real bacon, I got turkey bacon.

I can’t really put down how much I used because these recipes were inflated to feed 16 people, but you can improvise.

Italian Salad

This one I’ve done before- Click here for the instructions.

Shrimp Scampi

This was all Thu! She was such an awesome chef and it was her first time making it.

  • Cook the pasta as directed. We used a box of wheat angel hair.
  • Pour Olive Oil at the bottom of the pan. Throw in several tablespoons of minced garlic and 2 diced onions. Stir for a few minutes.
  • Add in about 2 lbs of shrimp, add the seasoning. I used Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Stir until it’s cooked. It should be orange and white.
  • Squeeze 2 full lemons into the pan.
  • Add in about 3 cups of white wine. Any white wine will do, you are just enhancing the flavor.
  • Throw in the pasta and toss.

wpid-cymera_20140718_185241.jpgPesto Tortellini

This was so difficult. Ready?

  • Buy a bag of pre-made tortellini from Costco ($15)
  • Buy a jar of Kirkland’s Pesto Sauce
  • Boil the pasta, drain, and pour the sauce in and mix.

Chicken Fajita

 The secret is to cook everything in layers, which gives a lot of flavor without using a lot of salt. Keep a large serving bowl next to you.

  • Slice red bell peppers in long stripes
  • Slice onions
  • Dice about 3 lbs of chicken
  • Put some Olive Oil in the skillet. Throw in a bunch of minced garlic and the onions and sauté. Throw the onions in the serving bowl.
  • Sauté the bell peppers, add a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once it’s cooked, empty it in the serving bowl.
  • Add more Olive Oil and add the diced chicken. Squeeze one lemon over the chicken; add a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Cook thoroughly and throw everything together in the bowl to serve.

Veggie Omelets

Someone asked what I put in my omelets. It’s super healthy, the only way it could be healthier was if I made it solely with egg whites, but I won’t subject everyone to that.

  • Lots of eggs
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Diced onions
  • Diced red bell peppers
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced ham

This is the longest recap yet, but hey it’s a recap for 16 people and a weekend of awesome memories.


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