O-H-I-O F-T-W: Andrea N. Wins Grand Prize

We appreciate the hometown pride of our members, especially when it’s the home state of our president and CEO, Tom Lyons. Global Discovery Vacations member Andrea N., who has her own photography business, brought the spirit of Ohio to Outer Banks, North Carolina, winning the Shoot for the Stars $500 grand prize (Family and Friends category). She was happy to share more about their photo and trip.

GDV: What was the inspiration for this photo?

Andrea: I actually have that photo blown up to a 30 in. x 40 in. in my family room. We were in the Outer Banks last summer, having visited there several times with Global. O-H-I-O is a huge thing for Ohio State fans, and it was something I wanted to capture under the pier. With kids, it only took about 100 tries to get it right. But we got it!

GDV: How was the trip?

Andrea: We enjoy the Outer Banks. We’ve stayed there three times, every time at a different resort. We stayed at Kitty Hawk this time, which was good. With four boys, we like being able to relax on the beach and explore. We especially like visiting the lighthouses there and we’ve climbed several. At different ages, my kids haven’t always been able to climb up, but it’s something we always try to do as a family.

The Outer Banks is a little bit of a different animal in that most of the accommodations there are large houses on the beach. There isn’t a large variety to choose from, but every place that we’ve stayed has been good.

GDV: What would you recommend to do in the area?

Shell's perspective.

Shell’s perspective.

Andrea: Visit as many lighthouses as possible. We’ve climbed up Corolla’s lighthouse, which I think is the most northern one. We’ve done a good majority of them. Jockey Ridge State Park is a huge sand dune area where people fly kites and watch the sunset. It’s really fun and the kids can run up and down the dunes.

GDV: Where else have you traveled with the membership?

Andrea: Our first vacation with Global was Panama City beach. We’re actually going back there this coming June. Both of the resorts are beachfront, so it’s good for us and the kids to have that convenience. My husband and I went to Fort Lauderdale for our 10-year wedding anniversary and had a good experience there. In February, we went to Orlando and Disney World. We’ve been with Global for six years and we’ve traveled every year.

GDV: What do you want your kids to take away from these vacations?

Sunset at OBX, 2015.

Sunset at OBX, 2015.

Andrea: A main reason why we’re with Global and why we just upgraded our membership is because family vacation is a huge priority for us. Neither of us grew up with that, but we feel that it is worth the money that it costs to take our boys. We want to create memories of a lifetime for them. That’s a lot more important than counting our pennies at home.

GDV: How long have you had a photography business?

Andrea: I’ve had it for five years. I always loved taking pictures, but when my youngest was born, that’s when I became a professional photographer. Creativity as an artist is a huge deal. I have a picture of my kids from their first trip still hanging in my house. I keep older pictures hanging up while adding new ones, so I don’t always switch them out. Photos of my kids on the beach are my favorite. Because the beach is my favorite and my kids are my favorite.

GDV: How do you want to spend your winnings?

Andrea: My husband and I talked about that the other day and we’d like to look into a cruise since we’ve never cruised with you guys before. Since we just upgraded, we have three stars to use with that $500, so I just need to call and figure out what we’ll be able to do.

You can’t go wrong with that, Andrea! We’re glad to hear your family is getting out and exploring and we can’t wait to see more of your travel photos down the road.

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.