“So yeah, I’ve kind of won this 1 week stay at a house in North Carolina that sleeps 18 people”. That’s how it all started. That’s how myself and 7 of my buddies ended up at what can only be described as a beach side mansion in The Outer Banks, North Carolina last September. It was a long time in the planning but there was no way we could pass up an opportunity to spend 7 nights in this beautiful house.
We rocked up in our maroon Chrysler Voyager around 8pm with a boot full of luggage, kraken rum, whiskey, vodka, beer, cider, moonshine and bourbon. We should have known that night was going to be a disaster from the minute that all got rung through the till at the liquor store.
Anyway, it was around 8pm when we arrived at Sea La Vie in Nags Head. We’d had a 2 hour flight from New York City and then another 2.5 hour drive from Norfolk, West Virginia, so we were all more than happy to get to the house and to hear the sounds of the crashing waves just a couple hundred metres away. There were only 5 of us at this stage as 2 more of the party were showing up the following day but that was not going to spoil our first night in North Carolina. It was a warm, balmy evening so there was only one way to celebrate being in the Outer Banks and that was a POOL PARTAY! Okay, it was more of a jacuzzi party but still. I still looked like a wrinkled prune because I spent so much time in the water. Who knew you were only meant to spend 20 minutes in a jacuzzi, not 8 hours?
It was only the next morning I got to see how beautiful Sea la Vie actually was. A gorgeous, 3 storey, wooden panelled house that shone a pale duck egg blue in the sun. There was a pool which was a perfect retreat from the warm and humid September heat, a jacuzzi which was the place to be in an evening and a giant BBQ that provided more than one decent dinner during the week.
Under the house there was a little sailing boat, a couple of paddle boards and some kayaks and as this place was nestled in between Pamlico Sound and the great Atlantic Ocean, Sea la Vie couldn’t have been more of a beach and ocean lovers dream.
It’s safe to say I had a pretty happy week here, I paddle boarded for the first time and subsequently found a new love which I wish I could carry on here in the UK. I also ate far too many cooked breakfasts on the sun drenched balcony over looking the sound.
There were beautiful sunrises, one which I almost didn’t wake up for but I’m glad I didn’t miss, many bike rides along the flat road, hours spent shooting hoops on the front drive and days upon days spent on the wild beaches of the Outer Banks.
Inside the house was just as spectacular. I think there were a total of 7 bedrooms, a huge open plan kitchen and living room, several bathrooms, a little cubby hole with a bookcase and comfy bed, hammocks set up on the middle balcony and a seating area on the top balcony, even when the weather was bad – which it was the first day spent there – the house was a beaut.
I’ve never been to a place so peaceful. A place where I could chill out on a hammock, happily wake up at 5.30am to see the sunrise, a place where the ocean is only a few hundred metres from the house. Just throw in a few palm trees and you have my idea of heaven right there. I hope one day you’ll make the journey to the Outer Banks for your own beach side retreat and I hope one day I’ll return for a holiday like no other.