Some persons say that higher education is the best time of your lifestyle. But Heidi and Charlie Dees have been earning reminiscences and constructing stronger friendships with the households of 10 of Charlie’s higher education mates every single summer season since 1986.
The Dees met at the College of Evansville — where the men of every of the families who consider aspect in the yearly tradition ended up associates of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
“[They] had been mainly soccer players with a few swimmers in the mix,” Heidi said.
The 1st summer season, the men resolved to commit a weekend jointly at Kentucky Lake with their people, and the following calendar year they did a weekend in Gatlinburg. Just after that, they decided a total 7 days of holiday was required.
“The wives needed a beach front so we moved the vacation to the Outer Banking companies,” Heidi mentioned. “As a lot more young ones arrived, we required a personal beach with less violent waves. Sunset Seashore checked all of our packing containers and we have been returning to this beach for the past 23 a long time.”
The 10 initial couples come from various states, which includes South Carolina, Texas, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, California and Kentucky. There were being 65 folks in attendance at this year’s vacation.
“Most people are equipped to go to each individual 12 months,” Heidi stated. “It’s a journey that we under no circumstances want to pass up. Reconnecting with your higher education pals each year is priceless.”
The little ones of all the couples continue being shut good friends as properly, Heidi stated, and the more mature little ones often bring their significant other.
“We are now getting into all those a long time wherever a few of our youngsters now have spouses and are starting people of their very own,” Heidi mentioned.
The Sunset Beach journey is the week of the Fourth of July. They rented 7 homes this year, while they continue on to need additional as grandchildren arrive.
Each calendar year they acquire a team image, have catered foods, rent bikes, play golf and bocce ball, and have karaoke and improv nights. There is also annually swag for each and every spouse and children – towels, hats, T-shirts and cups.
“Our young ones glimpse ahead to this excursion as significantly as we do,” Heidi reported. “The youngsters now outnumber the grownups.”
The occasions are prepared by two partners each individual year, but for 2023, their kids are earning the designs.
“We discovered early on that our team is unique and we call it our seashore family,” Heidi stated. “We help each and every other via the ups and downs of life. We have a beach thread on our phones and share photographs and stories the full calendar year to retain in contact. We have shed two wives, parents, and have battled cancer and COVID through the years. We lean on each other when moments are tricky. We also rejoice all of our blessings with each other.”
Heidi claimed that even though the youngsters are now in university and further than, they plan to make this vacation a priority and have on the tradition.
A person of her little ones wrote a song about their time collectively and accompanies it with his guitar as he shares it every single 12 months.
“Absent to Carolina to Unwind sums it up for all of us,” she mentioned.
Inside of the track, the sentiments are echoed:
“That’s how we do it in Sunset Seaside
Tan bodies and sandy toes
Superior buddies and good instances
Unique drinks loaded with limes
These friendships will very last forever
As a result of ups and downs and all sorts of weather
‘Cause beach like is the strongest variety
May possibly we have numerous much more years of fun in the solar.”