Pork Rinds And The Crystal Coast

It’s no secret I love North Carolina despite having massive culture shock upon moving there. So coming back to visit after nine months away was a huge treat. We were looking forward to so many things and decided to just squeeze in as much of it as possible.

IMG_5058 IMG_5062 IMG_5066

First up was a visit to see Lena’s second cousins. She needed some kid time and I was confident that after a couple hours of being manhandled by the four older kids, she would be sufficiently worn out. Since we didn’t have a car, Dustin and Melissa offered to go with us/drive us. It was a typical Southern summer day – high temperatures and sweltering humidity. I have to admit I questioned my love for the Tarheel state after a few minutes outside but then I remembered we were headed to the beach the next day and my confidence was restored.

IMG_5055 IMG_5057

Wanting Lena to sleep, we stopped at a gas station for some necessities. My pregnant pal, Melissa, requested white cheddar popcorn and pork rinds. Dustin, being the little saint that he is, happily obliged and emerged from the shop with an enormous shopping bag full of nutritious goodies.

IMG_5067 IMG_5068 IMG_5071 IMG_5080 IMG_5086

The next day, it was off to the Emerald Isle or, as I like to call it, Heaven. If I had to be stuck one place for the rest of my life, I would choose the North Carolina beaches. I don’t have words to describe my love for this sandy stretch of paradise. And when you add in my “people,” life is complete.

IMG_5093 IMG_5099 IMG_5103 IMG_5109

We lounged, swam, and made sand castles. Glorious, I tell you! And contrary to last year, Lena didn’t eat the sand so I wasn’t stuck trying to wipe it out of her butt crack for a week after. After taking some time to get used to them, Lena decided she liked the crashing waves and demanded we take her out to swim. I love that she’s adventurous though she freaked me out a little bit when she thought she could just swim on her own.

IMG_5119 IMG_5120 IMG_5124 IMG_5149 IMG_5150

The guys booked us a great room overlooking the ocean. Melissa and I were pretty excited especially since it had beach access and a pool and we vowed to come back every year. Unfortunately, there was no sound barrier between the “rooms” and when Lena woke up before anyone else, we headed outside so the rest of the adults could sleep.

IMG_5129 IMG_5140 IMG_5160 IMG_5166

Dustin must have heard us because he crept up on Lena to surprise her before taking a walk with us down to the ocean. Normally, we just drive to the beach for the day so this was my first time seeing a sunrise over the Atlantic. The beach was relatively empty and the sunlight made everything feel so fresh and pure. The hotel staff had started setting up for a wedding the day before making me think if we ever were to have an anniversary celebration, I’d want it at that exact location.

IMG_5151 IMG_5156 IMG_5159

We let Lena chase some waves and get her giggles out with Uncle Ducky before heading back to the room for breakfast. Then it was down to the beach to soak up some more sun and salt water. At one point, Dustin and Lena had both fallen asleep and were laying in the exact same position. If ever there was a guy who was made to be a dad, it is Dustin.

IMG_5174 IMG_5176 IMG_5178 IMG_5188 IMG_5199

Before heading back to Goldsboro, we took a final dip in the hotel pool. Everything was going great until we noticed a floater of the brown variety. Jason and Dustin made an enormously obvious scene trying to get out of the pool leaving me holding a diaperless Lena and swimming away from the poo shark. They claimed it came from Lena but I know better. Even more curious is that both Jason and Dustin had upset “tummies” on the way home. Guilty much, boys?

Slightly sunburnt and salty skinned, we bid farewell to the Crystal Coast eagerly anticipating our customary stop at Hardee’s. It’s not an official beach trip until we’ve filled our bellies with the glorious grease of hamburgers and french fries.

Can you blame me for loving this place so much?!

IMG_5152 IMG_5211

By | 2017-02-10T16:55:45+00:00 October 16th, 2013|Days Out, Travel With Kids|0 Comments

About the Author:

Wife, mama, graphic designer, and documentary photographer. Never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like. I love celebrating special occasions, exploring new cities through their local cuisine, and kissing my babies incessantly.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!