Our first family vacation – Outer Banks

Last year, Sean won our annual game of golf to determine who would have the opportunity to choose where we would go for our anniversary. He choose Duck, North Carolina in the Outer Banks this year. He had been there when he was younger but I had never been. It was a great choice and extremely relaxing.

This year was a little different as we had another person to take into consideration. Guyon made the trip with us so it turned out to be our first family vacation as well as a celebration of being married for four years. Yes, you read that correctly, four years. Time seems to be flying by quickly.

We drove down on a Tuesday afternoon and arrived around 8pm. Guyon was an awesome traveler again but was extremely excited to get out of his car seat upon arriving.
Untitled
Wednesday we started the day off by going to the Wright Brothers Memorial. It was very neat to see but was hot. It was a good thing we went on the early side because none of us would have lasted very long in the afternoon.
DSC02262DSC02260DSC02257DSC02256DSC02250DSC02245DSC02243
On our way back to the hotel we went thru a Brew Thru, a drive thru beer store. It was pretty neat and they had so many different types of beer.
UntitledUntitled
After some rest and pool time, we went and got a pizza and walked around Duck a little bit.
DSC02267Untitled
Thursday, we decided we wanted to visit the Currituck Lighthouse and I was brave enough to wear Guyon as we hiked the 220 steps to the top. The view (and the workout) was so worth it. It was so pretty from the top and you could see for miles.
UntitledDSC02289DSC02287DSC02283DSC02278DSC02276DSC02270DSC02269
On the way back we stopped to have lunch at a place with a really great view….the food was ok but not great. Then it was off to the beach for a little bit before ordering dinner to pick up and have on our balcony. Since the weather was so hot (heat advisory type weather almost everyday) we had a a lot of take out dinners and ate on our balcony. Sean and I were completely ok with this since we had packed our own little stash of alcohol for the room. We had a great dinner that night from a place in Duck that was featured on Dives, Diners and Drive-Ins. It’s a gas station that does carryout food as well. Shockingly I didn’t take any pictures of food while we were there! HA!
DSC_1459DSC_1473DSC02291DSC_1497DSC_1517Untitled
Thursday was also the day we discovered that Guyon had cut both of his bottom teeth. At the same time.
DSC_1606

Friday was a laid back day. We had breakfast and then it was off to the beach. Guyon took a nap as soon as we made our way down there. Sean and I both enjoyed just sitting there and testing out the much colder ocean water.
UntitledUntitledUntitledUntitled
We cleaned up and it was off to play our mini golf game. We were both so excited to play since it was a course we didn’t know and we got to ride a mine train to the first hole.
UntitledUntitledUntitledUntitled
Guess who won? I did! That’s right… the first time in four years. I guess that means I have to plan our vacation next year and it’s for the big 5 year anniversary meaning we will want to do something special. This may take all year to plan…….

Saturday, Sean really wanted to drive a jeep on the 4×4 beach. It is one of the only beaches where you can drive on the actually beach and park. We ended up not being able to take the jeep though because they were scared it was going to breakdown and they didn’t want that to happen since we had Guyon with us. SO we got our own private tour in a truck with air conditioning and a tour guide. ┬áIt actually worked out really well. We got to see some wild horses and see some beautiful houses. Guyon slept the whole time. We did get him out just long enough to get a picture on top of Penny’s Hill though. It was soooo pretty up there. You could see for miles and the whole beach. It was super cool.
DSC_1521DSC_1523DSC_1528UntitledDSC_1537DSC02311DSC_1553
The next morning it was up early. We packed the car, walked to the beach to see the sunrise and then had breakfast before heading out to come back home. It was a short trip but an awesome one. We had such a great time and can’t wait for our next trip with Guyon. I really can’t wait to show him so many other places that I have been and others that I haven’t been to before. It’s amazing how when you have a child you see things so differently and you want them to experience as much they can. Who knows where our next stop will be?
DSC_1652DSC_1648DSC_1623DSC_1615

Wedding Anniversary #4

DSC_1467


DSC_1455
DSC022914 down….and tons more to go.

This year we packed the car, the baby and headed south to the Outer Banks. We stayed right on the other side of that dune behind us and had a great time. More to come on our first vacation with our little man soon.

This year’s notebook was a little disappointing as the Chamberlins were the only ones who wrote in the notebook. We enjoyed reading it though.

This picture was taken right on the beach while Guyon was sleeping on the beach.

Charleston, SC – Anniversary Trip

Sean’s pick for Anniversary #3 was Charleston, South Carolina. I am not completely sure what he was thinking since we were going to be heading to a very hot place in August but I have to say even though it was hot, it was a great choice. Even though Sean had been before, we both agreed that we absolutely LOVE the city and we will be back.

We boarded the train in Wilmington around 5:30 pm on Friday night. We got a sleeper car so that we would be able to sleep since it was almost 12 hours on the train. We had dinner and then it was time to get the bed fixed up and fall asleep.
Charleston SC Anniversary 3 Charleston SC Anniversary 3Unfortunately for us, we arrived at 4:45 am in Charleston and neither one of us really slept very well on the train. By the time our cab picked us up from the station and dropped us off at the hotel, it was time for breakfast. We headed up the street from the hotel and found a great little place for breakfast. We knew that we were going to have a while before we were going to be able to check into the hotel so it was off to walk around the city for a while. We walked almost the entire point, the pier, down to the city market area and around there, and we still had more time. We sat outside of the hotel for a little while because we were both exhausted. We even met with the concierge to help get some of our reservations for dinner and tours scheduled. Right before we were getting ready to go grab some lunch, they came to get us to tell us our room was ready. That was a huge relief and it was immediately nap time. Charleston SC Anniversary 3 Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3 DSC_7390At 3pm, we had a 90 minute bus tour of the city. It was an interesting tour with a very eclectic gentleman for our tour guide. He took us all over the city and told us about a lot of the places that we had seen when we walked the city but had no idea what we were looking at earlier. I took some pictures with my phone but not with the big camera, it was a little hard to do with the big camera. The worst part though, I don’t remember everything that I took pictures of on the tour. Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3

Dinner that night was at Amen Street Oyster House. We had a free appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes(I only tasted a little bit of it.) I had shrimp and grits and of course Sean had oysters.
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3 UntitledUpon arriving back at the hotel, there was champagne waiting for us in our room as a gift from the hotel. It was really cool and a big surprise. Charleston SC Anniversary 3
Oh and each night the hotel offered warm cookies and milk at 9pm. Sean visited every single night.
UntitledSunday we decided to walk down to the dock area. We went on a harbor tour. It was a neat tour and we got to go past a lot of the places that we had decided not to go visit. DSC_7394DSC_7395DSC_7396DSC_7401DSC_7414DSC_7417DSC_7433DSC_7437DSC_7439DSC_7443DSC_7447
Lunch was on the way back at Mac’s, which turned out to be a Big10 / Chicago Bar. It was really cool to see that type of decor in South Carolina.
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3We tried to walk King Street, the shopping district, but it was very crowded and we didn’t really enjoy it so it was back to the hotel. Afternoon snack and walk were to the pier and Italian Ice. It was a great combination. Untitled

Nap time followed and then it was off to dinner. Slightly North of Broad of SNOB was on the menu for the night. I had Shrimp and Grits for a 2nd night in a row. The food was yummy but we decided that we liked Amen Street’s atmosphere a little bit better.
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Sean had found a place online called “The Gin Joint” and he really wanted to try it out. So after dinner drinks were there. There were very good. UntitledCharleston SC Anniversary 3UntitledCharleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3UntitledMonday it was off to see Magnolia Plantation. We decided that we wanted to try to see at least one of them and this one came recommended because there was transportation also available. We took a tour of the house and the grounds while there. It was just in time to get us back to the center of the city for lunch. DSC_7464DSC_7469DSC_7472DSC_7475DSC_7476DSC_7487DSC_7489DSC_7496DSC_7501DSC_7505Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Lunch was at Southend Brewery and Smokehouse. The pizza we had there was AH-MA-zing. BBQ and pizza go together so nicely. I also finally got my sweet tea and Sean had a brewery sampler. Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3
We went back to the room and napped again. This seemed to be a afternoon ritual we had. It also really helped to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Dinner was at Pearlz Oyster House. Sean had read many reviews about this place and really wanted to visit. We went a little earlier since they didn’t take reservations. The food was awesome! He enjoyed both his oysters and his lobster roll and my salad was crazy good.
UntitledCharleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Untitled

We walked around after dinner for a bit to walk off our large dinner and then we went to the rooftop bar at the hotel. It was a really neat view of the city.
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3UntitledCharleston SC Anniversary 3

Tuesday was our anniversary. We decided that we were toured out by this time and that we were going to take it easy for the day. I wanted to take some pictures so we went over and walked the city market and then off to Ansonbourgh area because the doors were beautiful and that was going to be the subject of the photos. We went back to King Street and did a little shopping in a much less crowded area. I don’t remember what we had for lunch that day.

After we shopped till we dropped it was back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Dinner was at High Cotton. This restaurant was featured in the movie “The Notebook”. As we sat down at the table, we noticed that there was a card on the table for our anniversary and then the waiter came right over with champagne to celebrate. Dinner followed and it was awesome. We felt very spoiled. We had never told a restaurant before that we were celebrating our anniversary.
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Untitled
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Untitled

We didn’t go out for drinks that night but we did take a long walk down to the point. Then it was back to the hotel for cookies and milk (at least for Sean).
Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3

Wednesday we started the day a little later as we knew that it was going to be a long day. We checked out of the hotel and made our way through town to the dock. We had tickets to go to the South Carolina Aquarium. It was a little smaller than what we thought it was going to be but it was still fun. That was the first time that we had been to an aquarium together. We also witnessed a camper fall in the shark tank and get pulled up almost immediately but a employee that was watching him better than his camp chaperone.

Lunch was at a pizza place on King Street. It was super yummy. We walked around a little more before we headed back to the hotel for our cab. Our train was supposed to be there at 9pm but it didn’t make it there until about 10pm.
UntitledCharleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3On the train, it was time for sleep, breakfast and home. I dropped Sean off at work and I made my way home for the day. It was a great trip and hopefully we will make it back down to South Carolina soon. Like I said before, it really was one of our favorite places. Side note: My maternal side of the family is apparently famous in town because not only is there a street named after them but also a borough. Charleston SC Anniversary 3Charleston SC Anniversary 3

And the winner is…..

We played our annual game of mini golf this past Sunday. A little change this year, my mom and dad played with us. It was so much fun and they got to experience the little course that we play on each year.

It was actually dad’s suggestion to play on Sunday. After the crazy day we had on Saturday for my mother-in-law’s surprise birthday party, we were all exhausted and the golf course is close to home. Perfect activity.

The winner this year was officially my mom but since the competition is really just between Sean and I, Sean won. He only won by one though. I actually thought I won but my mom had miscalculated and Sean won. Its completely ok though, I think I am cool with not having to plan our anniversary trip. We will have to see where he chooses for next year!