My fondest childhood memories are of summers spent on the beaches of North Carolina. One of the beaches we frequented was Ocean Isle. Ocean Isle Beach, NC is centrally located between the port city of Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC.
If you plan on going to the beach this summer I highly recommend staying at The Islander Inn in Ocean Isle Beach,NC. At The Islander Inn you can enjoy all things that make the North Carolina coast my favorite, sunset walks on the beach, fresh seafood, and of course watching the waves from your private balcony.
- Outdoor and indoor pools
- Tiki Hut
- Wet bars
- In room refrigerators
- All Ocean Front rooms have 50″ plasma screen TVs.
- Cable TV with HBO
- Complimentary breakfast with fresh fruits, pastry, cereal and more
Visit The Islander Inn and then leave a comment telling me your favorite feature or something you learned about the Inn.
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This week we took a trip to Charlotte for a blog event I was invited to (you can read more about it here.) The event was over around lunch time so Joe, Jude and I had some fun toodling around Charlotte and visiting some friends. We at lunch at Pike’s. Visited our friend Mike at a great park in Weddington. We even visited IKEA where we bought Jude a table and chair. (I’m proud to say we were only there for an hour and only spent $30!)
As usually Jude was a great little traveler. He took a few brief naps in the car but we were all pretty tuckered out when we got home last night. Overall it was a great day!
Last Thursday Jude and I took a little field trip with our friends Kim and Jacob to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham. We got a little lost on our way there and couldn’t find a gas station anywhere in Durham on our way home but all the hassle was worth it! It’s a little bit pricey (kids under 3 do get in free) but one day I might consider getting a membership. (For the 2 person membership you’d only have to go about 4 times a year to get your money’s worth) Anyway it’s a great place and we’re hoping to go back in September when Joe’s parents come to visit. There is a special exhibit we want to see; Heros, Villans and Special Effects!
We only stayed about 4 hours so we didn’t get to see and do nearly everything but hopefully next time we’ll be able to pick up where we left off. Jude really like the butterflies, there were so many of them flying around. We played instruments in Loblolly Park, danced in soundSpace, built towers to knock over, played in the toddler learning area, launched giant seeds, pumped water, laughed in the fog, steered a sailboat, and much more.
This weekend we took a quick trip to Charleston to visit Joe’s grandparents. Joe’s grandfather recently had shoulder replacement surgery and has been in rehab for a few weeks so we thought now would be a good time to visit. Baby Jude can cheer anyone up!
Speaking of Jude, he did wonderfully the whole trip. The drive from Raleigh to Charleston is between 5-6 hours. Traffic on the way down was a bit heavy and we stopped 3 times. (1 for gas, 1 bathroom, 1 dinner) Arriving around 8pm Jude was pretty tired but also excited to be in a new place with new people. Joe’s parents also came down to Charleston so Jude didn’t lack for attention. That evening he learned to climb the stairs, Grandma and Great-Grandma fed him a banana and he opened and closed all the cabinets in the house. He had a pretty hard time going to sleep that night but finally around 11:30 he fell asleep after fighting sleep for over 3 hours. However, during the middle of the night we were all awaken by Joe falling off the bed. Apparently, he dreamed Jude was falling off the bed and he was trying to catch him. Unfortunately, Joe fell of the bed and bumped into Jude’s bed scaring him. We sat up for a bit with a scared screaming baby but he was so exhausted he fell back to sleep pretty easily.
The next day we stopped at Metto for coffee, tea and a muffin then headed over to visit Jude’s great-PaPa. Jude didn’t get any of his regular naps but did pretty well with little cat naps as we drove in the car from place to place. We ate lunch at Melvin’s BBQ then went in search of a record store. We didn’t find any but we did get sufficently lost. We drove around all of Mt. Pleasant and even took a little trip over the bridge to the Isle of Palms(where Joe lived when he was little) and Sullivan’s Island. We took a wrong turn down a dead end street with a large median so we had to back-up about 1/2 a mile. Finally we gave up on the record store and went back to visit Joe’s grandfather again. Jude crawled around the room, playing with anything he could find. Smiled and laughed at everyone he saw! Then we stopped by the house to pick up more diapers and food then went to the Shoppes at Sea Side farms and walked around a bit before meeting up with Joe’s extended family at Gilligan’s Steamer and Raw Bar for dinner. Joe’s parents, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and her son were there. Jude had a great time showing off for everyone and tried his first hushpuppie. After lunch we finally found Mt. Pleasant Towne Center. We walked around a bit, got a Carvel Ice Cream Cone and met an interesting guy named Justin. (Ask us about Justin and Geneology and we’ll give the awkward details)
Finally we headed home with a sleepy baby who slept great that night! My plan was to run him until he crashed and I think we succeded.
Sunday we went to First Baptist Church of Mt. Pleasant with Joe’s grandma. Jude played in the nursery, where he was treated with extra special care since his Great-Grandma served in the nursery for over 30 years. They even have a picture of her on the wall! Of course Jude was the best baby every and all the ladies wanted to keep him but we decided they couldn’t keep him. After church we visited PaPa again before going to lunch at Queen Annes Revenge. Then it was time to go home so we packed up our stuff, stopped by Metto for a coffee to go and off we went. Traffic was great we made home by 8ish even after stopping for an hour for dinner. Jude is the world’s best traveling baby. We brought plenty of toys and snacks on the road and he even got a new toy for being so great. Also his grandma bought him his very own pair of sunglasses since he took such an interest in playing with everyone’s glasses.
Now we’re home and it’s nice to relax and get back into the swing of thing. Vacations are fun but not usually very relaxing.
This past weekend we went to Chicago for my dear friend, Vasti’s wedding. It was a great weekend with great Chicago weather and great Puerto Rican fun. We arrived on Friday afternoon and after we checked into our hotel we went to meet Vasti at her house. I went with her and Talitha to her bachelorette party while Joe and Jude got some dinner and had guy time just chillin at the hotel. Several of Vasti’s bridesmaids organized a little get together at one of their houses complete with the yummiest Chicago style pizza, made my Mexicans and cupcakes. We played games and laughed alot. I definitely learned a little too much about some of her friends.
On Saturday we found some coffee for Joe and explored the area before heading over to the Family and Friends Luncheon. Vasti’s mom and Antoinio’s dad prepared all the food and it was absolutely delicious. Joe could probably eat that rice every day for every meal. After the luncheon the bridal party had the rehearsal so Joe and I went to meet his friend Brandon that lived in the area. We walked to a cool coffee shop near their house and the fellas got to catch up while I got to know Brandon’s wife, Sarah. Later that evening we ate dinner with them at a local restaurant called Dunlay’s, they had the most amazing Skillet Cookie. Everyone loved baby Jude and he loved all the attention.
Sunday was the day of the wedding so in the early day we got some lunch and hung out at the hotel with the bridal party as they were getting ready and taking pictures. The wedding was beautiful. We were probably the whitest people there but we loved every moment. It was very emotional and made you want to clap or maybe cry. Vasti’s father officiated the ceremony and his words were so encouraging and right on. I know they are very blessed to have such a great family. After the ceremony there was a long break before the reception so we stopped at a local record store before heading to the reception hall. The Hall was beautiful and the food was delicious. There was alot of dancing and laughing the whole weekend. We were blessed to be apart of this beautiful day of Antoinio and Vasti’s. I don’t know Antoinio very well but I can tell he loves Vasti very much and his eyes are full of kindness. I know they will have a beautiful marriage and I hope they have lots of little half Puerto Rican babies for me to kiss.
Monday we dropped Talitha off at the airport, filled up our rental car, cursed the navigation system and went back to the airport. We were very glad to be home after a long day of traveling and a busy wedding weekend.
I learned a few thing about Chicago. First people use their horns alot while driving , not always to let you know they are pissed off but sometimes just to inform you they are running the red light or driving on the median. Secondly, you must be good at parallel parking to live in the city. Luckily Joe is a master at parallel parking so we managed pretty well. But if I’d been driving we wouldn’t have gone many places. Finally, it’s true what they say about Southern hospitality. People up north aren’t quite as friendly and courteous as us southerners. I guess it’s just too cold.
This past Sunday we took a little road trip to Charlotte for a friends wedding. This was Jude’s FIRST road trip but NOT his first wedding. It was actually his 4th wedding, not bad for a 5 month old.
Jude did great on the ride down for the first hour he talked and played the second hour he napped. Then we stopped changed his diaper and fed him. Then he played and talked the rest of the way there. We ate lunch at Wolfman pizza and got coffee at Dilworth Coffee . Then Joe showed me around Charlotte… where he used to live and hang out. We had a great time at the wedding. Joe got to hang out with alot of his old highschool and church friends and Jude made many new friends. At one point I think Jude was dancing with two different ladies at the same time. We got a little bit of a late start home but luckily Jude slept the whole way. It was a fun and exhausting day!