The first night was great. Chesapeake, VA is a nice place, not very far from the Outer Banks (OBX), where we would be staying and I had reward points for a free-night in a two bed-room suite at the Residence Inn there. The room was tremendously large, even for 2 adults and 3 children. The drive down on US 13 was pleasant and uneventful. We had a great time.
The drive from Chesapeake to Corolla, OBX was not very long - approximately two hours in length. We were able to get into our rented apartment early. Unfortunately, this wasn't quite as nice as the two-bedroom suite back in Chesapeake. Don't get me wrong - it was fine for 2 adults, perhaps even 4 adults. It was not fine for 2 adults and any number of kids.
The problems were essentially two-fold: it was in the middle of a commercial development (above Nicoletta's Italian cafe), and it was barely big enough to qualify as a decent sized one bedroom apartment. For a two bed-room, it was cramped - probably nearly the size of the 1 bed-room suite I'm in right now.
It's a big hassle having to always be careful to make sure the young children don't go head-over-heels down the stairs and end up in the middle of the parking lot, sprawled face-down in the fire lane. There was a small playground, which was fenced, but it was too small to be really enjoyable by the children for more than about 20 minutes. Despite the fact that most properties in Corolla do not have grass lawns, there is still a large amount of comfort in knowing that people won't be actively driving through the sand-lot yards that are there.
I enjoyed the pool time that I was able to have and hope to use the outdoor pool at the Brandywine YMCA a few more times before it closes Labor Day weekend. I was unable to enjoy the beach, however, because it's very difficult to walk on the sand with my fused-ankle and I wasn't able to go out into the water far enough to benefit from the ocean taking the weight off of my foot. The constant shifting of the sand at the tide line made for more than a few awkward steps with my bad ankle as well.
All of this would have been enough to convince me that a beach vacation is not a grand idea next year, unless my foot is substantially better (perhaps because I've lost a lot of weight between now and then). The coup de grace, though, was the psychological distress caused by sharing the beach time with other members of the extended family. In the end, there just isn't enough positive benefit derived to justify the additional stress and the bad influence the cousins have on my own children.
For the first time in two+ years, I need a vacation to get over my vacation.