Travel, Uncategorized

Day Trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina

To celebrate Mother’s Day with my husband and boys this past month, I decided I would like to take our first trip of the season to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s an easy 1 1/2 hour drive to the beautiful Outer Banks Islands from our home in Virginia. Along the way we pass fabulous Farmer’s Markets that are so much fun to stop and take a look around. One of them, Morris’, which I previously blogged about, is one of those places. You know spring has sprung when they open the doors for the season to the huge red building full of natures delicious bounty. There is plenty of great things to sample, cute sea inspired home decor items and a truly unique bathroom, (yes, I said bathroom) which makes it the perfect stop for a break along the way to the OBX. The bathrooms have a wonderful rustic, seaside charm. Each one is its own private sanctuary for the guest filled with antique pictures of the farm and surrounding area, but most importantly, is thoroughly cleaned after every patron and smell quite nice.

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Photo by Erik Scheel on Pexels.com

The charming bathrooms run on donations and typically do have a little bit of a wait, however there are portable bathrooms available if you decide you can’t wait and don’t have a dollar or so to spare on gratuities. If you are lucky enough to visit Morris’ Farmer’s Market, PLEASE use their wonderful restroom facilities, it’s certainly not your typical bathroom break while traveling.

The excitement is palpable in the car as we cross over the Wright Memorial Bridge connecting the mainland of North Carolina to the OBX. The air seems more fresh and the vacation vibe is everywhere once on the island. It is time to relax and simply enjoy an afternoon escape with my family.

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

Our first stop is Trash to Treasure, a quaint antique shop on Croatan Hwy in Kill Devil Hills. The shop is open seven days a week and filled with eclectic treasures from days gone by. There are vintage pieces still in their original condition as well as fresh re purposed furniture ready to find a new home. There is a heavy nautical theme in the shop which makes it a perfect place to find that, “one of a kind” item for your beach cottage. I hope to visit some of the other antique stores that seem to be popping up along Croatan Hwy very soon!

We never go to the OBX without stopping at the Outer Banks Boarding Company. This is no “run of the mill” surf shop. It’s owned and operated by Lynn Shell, an internationally known surf board shaper and all around amazing guy. If you need a surf board or anything related to surfing or water sports, this is the place. Lynn’s vast knowledge of the sport and top of the line surf equipment make his shop the best of the best. It’s one of those home town places that we just want to always support, we wait until we can stop by the OBBC to make a purchase that we could easily buy back home. The place is jam packed with not only surfing equipment but apparel, shoes and all things “beachy”! Spending time talking with Lynn and browsing through his shop is definitely a must do!

After eating dinner and stopping for dessert at a frozen yogurt bar, we end the day with a relaxing walk along the beach in Nag’s Head. It’s really the perfect day in my opinion!!

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My 7 Favorite things about FALL!

Today is November 1st and we are right in the middle of the beautiful fall season.  I love the summer but there is something so special about the crisp and fresh feeling of fall.  It’s such a welcome relief after a long hot summer. The holidays are just around the corner, football is king in our home and the house smells like coffee and pumpkin bread.  All things cozy and warm are on the agenda this time of year from comfy plaid flannel shirts to fuzzy blankets and spicy hot cider.  I decided to put together a list of 7 of my favorite things so far this year that I have in my home or have experienced with my family this fall.  They are in no particular order…

Unknown-1Silk Pumpkin Spice Almond Creamer – I found this creamer at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and thought I would try it.  I didn’t really have high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised.  It is delicious.  I try to stick to a mostly dairy free diet and struggle to find good dairy alternatives, but this pumpkin spice creamer was a great find! You can find out more about their products at silk.com

Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee – While on the subject of coffee creamer, I love the taste of Starbucks holiday blend especially when paired with the pumpkin spice creamer.  IMG_2986It’s not necessarily a fall product, but it comes out in stores around October.  I start buying it as soon as I see it.  From now until about the beginning of January it will be on your favorite grocery store shelves…so stock up!

 

IMG_2981Apple Fancy Richly Scented Candle – This candle is from a company called Haven Street Candle Co. and it smells fabulous.  There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh apples, it has a clean scent that doesn’t overpower the room.  I’ve been saving it so I could use it during the fall season, but this candle could certainly be used year around.

IMG_2983Fall Accent Pillows – I think I actually have a problem.  I am drawn to accent pillows, I can’t have enough of them.  I have a handful of pillow inserts and I usually try to buy pillow covers on Amazon.com and change them out seasonally, that way it’s much less expensive…BUT I found this cute little “pumpkin spice and everything nice” pillow at Burlington Coat Factory and had to have it!  They had a lot of really nice fall accent pieces in their store that was priced very reasonably.  I’m sure you can find something fun at burlington.com

IMG_2730Lilley Farms Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch – We moved last year to a new home and lucky for me there’s a sweet little pumpkin patch and corn maze just down the street.  We can walk, ride our bikes or drive down and enjoy the farmer’s market.  They have fresh local honey, cider, a vast variety of pumpkins and squash as well as a challenging corn maze and hayride (and much more) to enjoy with the kids.  It’s such a fun place to have right in our little area! If you live in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, make sure to visit.

IMG_2984 Pumpkin Butter – We love visiting Morris Farmer’s Market in N.C. throughout the summer as we head down to the Outer Banks.  One of my favorite finds while shopping there over the years is their pumpkin butter, the apple butter is wonderful too.  It is so yummy on a fresh hot buttery bisquit with a piping cup of hot coffee for breakfast.  I love having this on hand for out of town guests to serve with bagels or your favorite breakfast pastry.  Check their website out at morrisfarmmarket.com.

IMG_2619Pumpkins! I love decorating my house with fresh pumpkins from October through Thanksgiving.  The festive pops of color throughout the house set the mood just right from Halloween through Thanksgiving.  There are so many color and size options, they are inexpensive and easy to decorate with throughout the fall.  They welcome guests on my front porch and I add them to my back deck flower planters as well.   Clean up is a snap… they are perfect for composting.  We used to have chickens and they loved the left over pumpkins after Thanksgiving!

There you have it, my 7 favorite things so far this fall!!! Try some of them out and let me know what you think!