My family has spent a week skiing in Vermont every year since I was 4. We built traditions off of hot chocolate in the snow, braving our favorite trails, and losing at bingo.
Since my nephews were born and our family has evolved it's been harder and harder to get us all together and available to ski in January, so we've improvised our family vacation to add an annual pilgrimage to the Outer Banks, NC where all of us are consistently able to join in.
We're lucky enough to have access to the home of a family friend, but sadly they have decided to sell it and relocate. It was bittersweet that this was our last year in a home that has become to feel like our own over the years- a place for our family to congregate and come together among life's otherwise hectic ups and downs.
It's seen me at such different stages of my life: planning my college schedule, scheduling job interviews in the "real" world, gushing over a new boyfriend, then years later that same boyfriend asking my Dad permission to join our family on a walk back home from the beach. Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, jobs, and new family additions- the house has been a benchmark and a time to reflect on what the past year has brought and what lies ahead.
This year was extra special as we savored every moment of time in the beach house we've grown to love.
As bittersweet as it was to leave for the last time, we look forward to the new adventures to come, the memories yet to be made, and the new places yet to be discovered.