My bucket list since I was a small child was to see or live on the East Coast, I have never had a good explanation of why it attracts me but it is safe to say it tugs at my heart strings. Part of me hoped I would hate it so I could check it off and be done and part of me wanted it to be everything I thought it would. Either way I want to share my experiences of traveling the Southern East Coast (NC- New Orleans) stop by stop. Some were bigger more well known stops and others we accidental finds, all of which blew our mind time after time. With out giving away too much ... I lost count how many times we said "I am not sure if it can better than this!" Most of you know we did this trip in an RV, the most often asked question is if we bought it or rented it. After heavily looking into both, we opted to buy our RV. However we highly considered renting and I would definitely recommend it as a "try before you buy" and one of the best sources we found for rentals was Outdoorsy. So if you are at all intrigued by our whirlwind 5,300 mile cross country trip and decide to do it for yourself I highly recommend you check into Outdoorsy.
Our first stop was one John and I both really looked forward too. I am a total gypsy soul so basically that means I can binge watch Beach Front Bargain Hunt or House Hunters on HGTV all day long and find all the places I am convinced I need to live. Outer Banks, NC has been the top of that list for a few years now. Every episode sucks me in more and more. So YES, a big part of this trip was to convince my husband we could TOTALLY be east coasters. Let's just say I didn't have to do any convincing ... the beauty, water, and fishing did all the selling for me. DON'T FRET, we aren't moving ... yet. Anyone want to hire the most enthusiastic, child at heart, love to fish all day every day??? For real. He is built in entertainment and he works really hard, has some degrees, but he just wants to be on the water!! Ok, back to the point.
I will say getting to the Outer Banks there was very little signage that reassured you you were on the right path, thank goodness for majority of it it was still daylight, as the sun was going down we saw a sign that confirmed we were on the right road but when it got dark and you are on the one and only road which is like back two lane roads (said from a country girl turned suburbs chick). When we approached our RV park we all sighed a little but felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. Of course it was super late and the office was closed so we unloaded our car and googled the closest food establishment. So you can see we were all exhausted, it was 11 pm and we had been driving all day but we were so excited to be there. We all went to bed eager to see what the daylight held for us!!
Yea, soak that baby in. Safe to say the daylight did not disappoint. My heart just pitter pattered again looking at the photo above. We woke up to that for the next 4 days. Fisherman setting out before sunlight for their days catch. Couples and families walking the docks to check their crab pots. So much wildlife surrounded us and our pup had a blast chasing rabbits that didn't suspect him coming. In our true family fashion we joined the early bird crowd and set out to the docks.
Tatum spent hours upon hours on these docks. Checking crab pots and casting poles. It seemed weird that my heart was bursting with joy and breaking at the same time. His independence blew my mind. Doing it all himself. This kid is meant to be on the water that is one thing I am sure of.
We spent all our days going back and forth from the dock to the pool to the beach in town. We spoke to some regulars are the RV park and they directed us to go to the Islander Hotel where there is a great parking and walks right on to the beach! That was so helpful and we absolutely had a blast at the beach. I love bench swings and this was one of the first things I saw upon entering the beach. I think that is just a good sign. There were showers as you left to wash off and clean bathrooms (major plus in my book!) This amazing water slide and pool was at our RV park, the kids were so excited to say the least. Honestly they couldn't decide what to do first. The pool was within walking distance to our spot and you had to pass the dock on the way to the pool! Check out the view from our pool!! Yes, that is the ocean you see behind it. I mean ... does it get any better? Did I mention we had perfect weather? Low humidity, mid 80's, and a perfect breeze coming off of the ocean ... can you feel it? Aaahhh, yea it was that good.
After all that time in the sun and in the sand, it was only fitting that we stop for ice cream on the way home. As much as we would have loved a local joint here, DQ is a safe bet for my dairy free little one. If you didn't know even though there is dairy in DQ its diluted down to almost nothing so the two dairy free ones in our house can have it. So again, it was a safe bet. Boy was it delic too.
All the running and ice cream is sure to wear down the little ones, we all slept great but some of us can apparently sleep anywhere. Hey, when you need sleep, you need sleep! She went back to the RV with Dad to get a treat and check on the meat he was smoking and they never came back, John sent me this picture in a text message!!
Here we go again with my heart bursting with love and joy and breaking all at the same time. This picture has my whole heart (minus the hubs) The beach, ocean, outdoors, my babes, the pup, and the last night at an amazing first stop. I think writing this post was even harder than coming home from this trip. Remember when I said part of me wished it wasn't all I had dreamt it would be ... it was and SO MUCH MORE. We still had so much to see on this trip, this was only the first stop for the next month, and leaving I left a little part of me there.
I'll see you at the next stop ... Myrtle Beach, SC.