One of the things I loved most about our stay in Duck, North Carolina was the Waterfront Shops. It was like stepping back in time. I didn’t count how many shops are involved but there are quite a few. I’m guessing there were around 20 shops. A variety of shops offer just about everything including clothing boutiques, beach items, souvenirs, and restaurants. You’ll need to carry cash. Some of the shops do not take cards or checks. We stopped at a little ice cream shop that would only take cash. I’m glad we had some because my butter pecan ice cream scoop was heavenly. If we hadn’t been carrying a little cash, I would have missed out on this experience! 🙂
*I did not receive any form of compensation for writing this review. My husband and I stayed at Barrier Island Station. This was our personal experience.
Yesterday, I told you about our stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Florence, South Carolina. After we left there, we headed to our final destination, Barrier Island Station in Duck, North Carolina. Barrier Island Station sits between the open Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound which is right across the street from the gate. My sweet husband booked us a week there for our 25th wedding anniversary. You might call it our “second honeymoon.” After he booked our stay, I checked out some of the reviews. They were not the best reviews. They were pretty much just mediocre. However, none of them were terrible so I decided not to worry too much about it. Let me say up front that we loved our stay at Barrier Island Station.
Personal Review of Barrier Island Station –
Duck, North Carolina
Most of the negative comments in the online reviews mentioned the dated buildings. The buildings were dated, but I have no problem with older buildings. I do have a problem with filth and bugs. We found none of that in our condo. In fact, our condo was neat and clean. The kitchen was fully furnished with clean pots, pans, utensils, and a few appliances. We stayed in a one bedroom condo. It included a small dorm-sized refrigerator as indicated on their website. I saw an electric skillet and a double eye electrical stove top under the counter top, but we didn’t need to use those. The carpet showed signs of some wear, but considering the age of the carpet, I felt it was well kept, especially for a beach resort. The kitchen area and bathroom floors were covered with linoleum instead of tile but that didn’t bother me one bit. The blue color and older patterns were obviously dated but I have no problem with dated decor as long as it’s clean. It was very clean. The bedroom was nice and roomy with a ceiling fan. The sheets were snow white and fresh. A door in the bedroom opened up to a private balcony. A white round patio table was on the balcony. The bathroom tub/shower, toilet, sink, counter top, and mirror were all clean. Clean, white wash cloths and towels were provided. [Read more…]
Disclaimer: I was not contacted by Hampton Inn and Suites nor was I offered any compensation for writing the following review. It is based on my person experience.
My husband and I just returned from a fabulous “second honeymoon” trip. This past Wednesday was our 25th wedding anniversary. This trip is the first time in 15 years that we traveled alone. The first time was on our 10th anniversary and it was a weekend cruise to the Bahamas. I’ve always hated leaving our kids behind but it is important for couples to find time to get away together, without the kids, and focus on each other. Needless to say, we have not done this enough. The first stop on our way to our final destination was an overnight stay in Florence, South Carolina. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites. Whenever we travel, we always try to find a Hampton Inn. We’ve always enjoyed clean rooms and great hotel service. We’ve never had a bad experience at any Hampton. This trip was no exception.
Review of Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel
As always, the bed was nice and clean. It was well made, fresh, and ready for a good night’s sleep.
The Berry College Bald Eagles
I learned something new today that is just too cool! Berry College has a live Bald Eagle cam. In March 2012, a student spotted the eagles on the Berry College campus and reported them to his professor. They nested too late to produce eaglets and were gone by April. During the summer months, an approach camera was installed. In the Fall of 2012, the bald eagles were spotted again. They had returned, laid eggs in December or January, and had two eaglets by Spring. The college then installed a nest camera. In January 2013, mama eagle laid 2 more eggs. One hatched, but the other one was non-viable. The hatched eaglet fledged in May of 2013. A third camera was added in 2014 and the bald eagles returned again. In February 2015, the Bald Eagle couple enjoyed the births of two more eaglets. Like their sibling the previous year, they fledged in May 2015. Bald Eagles mate for life. Faculty and students at the college hope to enjoy watching this Bald Eagle couple return and produce offspring every year for many years to come. The Berry College Eagles have a Facebook page and they get millions of viewers per day. To enjoy watching these beautiful bald eagles via the Berry College live eagle cam, visit the Berry College website here.
Here is a video recorded on January 4, 2016, just 4 days ago.
Bald Eagle Facts:
Once paired, eagles mate for life. They stay together until one of them dies.
Baby eagles grow fast. They add one pound every 4 or 5 days. By the time they are 6 weeks old, they are about the size of their parents. Adult eagles typically weigh between 10 and 14 pounds.
In the wild, eagles live about 30 years.
In 2007, Bald Eagles were removed from the endangered species list.
The Bald Eagle became the national symbol for the United States 1782.
Usborne Books has a great book about a special Bald Eagle. You can find this one on my personal Usborne Books website here.
You’ve probably heard plenty about the 7 natural wonders of the world, but my home state of Georgia has its own 7 natural wonders. I was born and raised in the state of Georgia. I raised my children in the state of Georgia and I look forward to watching my future grandchildren grow up in the state of Georgia. I have loved living here. It truly is a beautiful state and a great place to raise a family. Georgia is filled with places to go, things to do, and beautiful things to see. Here are the 7 natural wonders of Georgia.
Georgia’s 7 Natural Wonders
- Stone Mountain: Stone Mountain is probably the most popular of Georgia’s 7 natural wonders. Stone Mountain is the largest most exposed mass of granite in the world. About 4 million people visit the mountain every year. Visitors to Stone Mountain park enjoy a variety of attractions including the confederate memorial carving, a summit skyride, a nightly laser show, campgrounds, golf, and so much more. For a complete guide to Stone Mountain and to plan your trip, visit the Stone Mountain Park website here.
- Warm Springs: The town of Warm Springs, Georgia is home to Georgia’s natural warm springs. The water flows down Pine Mountain from nearly 90 degree springs. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the springs to treat his paralysis due to Polio. In fact, he had a home in Warm Springs called The Little White House. For more information about Georgia’s Warm Springs, visit the Warm Springs website here.
- Amicalola Falls: Amicalola Falls is absolutely beautiful. Visitors enjoy a mountain top lodge, hiking trails including part of the Appalachian Trail, and they will visit the tallest cascading water fall in the southeast. To learn more about Amicalola Falls, visit the Georgia State Parks website here.
- Tallulah Gorge: I recently hiked Tallulah Gorge. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. The Tallulah Gorge canyon is 2 miles long and 1000 feet deep. Visitors can hike trails, view overlooks, and more. Visit the Georgia State Parks website here to learn more about Tallulah Gorge.
- Radium Springs: Radium Springs is Georgia’s largest natural spring located on the east side of the Flint River in Albany. The spring pours out 70,000 gallons of fresh water per minute. The spot was best known for swimming and fishing until the 20th century discovery that the springs contained traces of radium. In addition to the springs glowing blue color, visitors also enjoy cottages, riding and walking trails, and golf courses. To learn more about Radium Springs, visit Explore Southern History here.
- The Okefenokee Swamp: The Okefenokee Swamp is one of the “largest natural, unspoiled freshwater and black water wilderness swamps in North America.” (Okefenokee.com) It covers about 7oo square miles. The word “Okefenokee” means “land of trembling Earth” in the Creek Indian language. The swamp offers paddle and motor boat trails, cabins, camping, and guided tours. To learn more about The Okefenokee Swamp, visit the Okefenokee Swamp website here.
- Providence Canyon: Providence Canyon is also known as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.” Poor farming practices in the 1800s resulted in massive gullies as deep as 150 feet. Visitors enjoy beautiful views in unique natural colors, hiking trails, and cottages. For more information about Providence Canyon, visit the Georgia State Parks website here.
Recently, my family visited Chattanooga, Tennessee. We live approximately two and one-half hours from the city and visit there from time to time, but our visits are usually short and restricted to only activities that will fit into a short weekend. This year, we needed a family friendly vacation within a short distance from home so we decided to spend an entire week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We found Chattanooga to be an incredibly family friendly place to visit. Residents there have spent a great deal of time, money, and efforts to improve the city’s previously neglected areas. Parks, bridges, and shopping venues have been added to the city’s attractions and older attractions have been well-kept and improved. Chattanooga, Tennessee is a perfect place to spend quality with the most special people on earth, family.
Chattanooga Lookouts Minor League Baseball Game
While visiting Chattanooga, be sure to take in a baseball game. The Chattanooga Lookouts’ is the local minor league baseball team and the stadium is located within walking distance from the Tennessee Aquarium and Imax Theater. The tickets are well priced and the stadium is rarely crowded. The mascots put on a great show and you never know who might show up to surprise the fans. When my family attended the game, we were entertained by the famous San Diego Chicken. A minor league baseball game is an inexpensive way to entertain a family and add to the experience of a Chattanooga vacation.
The Chattanooga Lookouts Minor League Baseball Game
Dinner Aboard The Southern Belle
*Note: This is an older post. At some point, something happened to all the photos stored in my Google account. Most of the photos in this post were lost.
Summer Vacation Activities
Ok Dad, you need a few good ideas for summer vacation fun with the kids. Vacations can get expensive so save a few dollars and go for some free fun. Find a grassy area or some sort of open space and set up a Volleyball net. Since the idea here is to keep your vacation kid-friendly, I would suggest avoiding the already set-up beach Volleyball areas. From personal experience, when you join in with other people you don’t know, the language might be inappropriate for your children and female beach attire might not be the best example for your daughters so try setting up your own space and invite a few guests to join you. Perhaps your kids have made a few friends on your trip and they would like to invite them and their parents to join you for a game of Volleyball, Badminton, Frisbee or similar sport. This way, you stay in control; therefore, avoiding any negative examples for your kids.
Few things will provide dads and their kids more quality time together than a camping trip. A few years ago, when my children were very young, I went out of town on a ladies retreat with a group from my church. My husband decided to take our kids (we only had two at the time) on a camping trip. I was worried sick. I really don’t even remember much about the retreat because I was so worried about my babies . . . on the lake . . . with my husband . . . who had never taken care of them on his own at home, much less near the lake. What I do remember is that one of my babies suffered a bee sting and the other one fell and cut something, his arm I think it was. When I returned home, the children were filthy and my husband told me stories that made me think I probably should have stayed home. However, the three of them had the time of their lives, except for the bee sting. My two oldest children remember the trip fondly which surprises me since they were so young. They rarely talk about a camping trip without talking about that one. It left an impression on them and the bond between them and their daddy, which was already strong, was strengthened even more. If you and your children enjoy the great outdoors, you can’t go wrong with a camping trip, but use caution. My hub Tips on Camping with the Family might provide you with some good insight into your trip.
Coyote is open to the public for family reunions, retreats and other group events. Check the website often for dates and times for Camp Coyote Father-Son retreats. If you are a dad with daughters, you can schedule a party so you can enjoy time at the camp with all your children.
Blankets and Pillows: Even if the movie is great for kids, kids get tired. When I was a child, my parents took my brother and me to drive-in movies all the time. We always took our pillows and blankets for no other reason than the fact that it was fun to snuggle up in them while we watched the movie.Extra Money: Even if you provide you kids with all their needs for drive-in movie enjoyment, you can bet they will find a reason to go to the concession stand because it is fun for them. Take a few extra dollars for them to make their trip. After all, no snack can measure up to movie theater or concession stand pop-corn.