Outer Banks, North Carolina

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Corolla OBX

Well hello there!  I think that was the longest break from blogging I have ever taken.  It felt good, but I’m itching to get back into the kitchen.  Cooking will have to wait until the weekend though.  The 24 hours of flying and arrival in Bangkok at midnight on Monday left me with a sore throat and a busy week at work. Thank goodness I have the Fourth of July to rest and look through pictures from the two-week trip home. It was a fun one!

Star Hill Beach

OBX Crab

I came back from this summertime visit to the U.S. feeling like Frank and I got nearly everything checked off our to-do-while-home list.  I ate loads of green salads, fresh berries, kalamata olives (no bottles broke in my purse this time), a good portion of two separate wedges of Port Salut cheese, sweet corn on the cob, ice cream on more occasions than entirely appropriate, and even a peach or two.

Grandy Farm Market

My family has vacationed at the Outer Banks in North Carolina every couple years for as long as I can remember.  The Outer Banks are a thin stretch of island along the coast of North Carolina  – so thin at some points that  you can see the ocean and the sound at the same time from the two-lane road that runs through the middle.  Weeks spent at the Outer Banks epitomize summer for me.  Twelve members of my family met up at a rental house there this year.

We spent our days on the beach…

Beach Umbrellas

and our nights on the deck overlooking the water.

Jess and Frank OBX

One of my favorite things about weeks at the Outer Banks is that we cook big family dinners together.  Our rental house had a well-stocked kitchen that we put to good use every night.  I failed as a food blogger and took zero pictures of food.

My sister, Veronica did catch this great picture of the dinner table all set and ready.  (She sent it to me in an email titled “Hello, Dinner.”)

OBX Dinner Table

We caught some sunrises.  Okay…I didn’t actually “catch” any sunrises.  This gorgeous photo was taken by my mom who did actually witness a sunrise from the deck of the house.

sunrise OBX

I saw many moonrises though.

moon rise OBX

We book-ended our Outer Banks trip in Norfolk with Frank’s parents.  The weather there was spectacular and we had lots of leisurely family dinners and long walks through the neighborhood.  We were tempted with lemonade stands.

lemonade stand Norfolk

But had to save room to sample lots of local beers.

Norfolk brews

Considering that we have just landed back in Bangkok, I haven’t done a bit of cooking.  We ate cereal for dinner on Tuesday night!  But if you’re looking for something quick and fun for the long weekend, I just posted one of my favorite summer tortellini salads over at Parade.com.

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomato Basil and Mozzarella :: Inquiring Chef

Happy Fourth of July!

Veronica Beach



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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. All of your photos are great, especially the one of that pasta. Yummy! The picture of the dinner table is making me a bit nostalgic for home, too.

  2. Your photos are bringing me back to my own vacation on the Outer Banks last summer. It’s such a magical place!

    1. I had nearly forgotten, Anjali, but going back there this year reminded me of what a wonderful spot it is. Hopefully you’ll make it back soon!

  3. Few things better than a beach vacation with family. So glad you enjoyed yours! 🙂

  4. I came back from NYC and last week was thinking I hadn’t heard anything from you for a while. Looks like a wonderful holiday!

  5. Sounds like you had a great trip! Family trips are always fun when there’s lots of chatting, food and booze! 🙂 Happy 4th Jess.

  6. Jess your vacation sounded like a little slice of heaven! I love those big family vacations that linger over sun, food, laughter and lots of pictures. 🙂 What a gorgeous picture of you and Frank! Have a lovely 4th of July and can’t wait to see what you post next.

  7. Glad you’re back safe and sound. Beautiful pictures. Thank you and Happy 4th to you and your family!