A couple of weeks ago we decided to undertake a little escape and arranged to spend a week out on the coast. Not a complete vacation, but at least an opportunity to spend time in a different house and at least have the sounds of the ocean in the background. We have been out to Carolina Beach almost every year since we moved down here, and love the mixture of “touristy” and quiet that it offers. This would be the first time we had been there outside of the summer, and we were definitely looking forward to enjoying more of the quiet that it has to offer.
We were able to rent a beautiful condo right on the beach, (a place we have stayed a few times now), that gave us ample space and also allowed us to bring the dogs with us. With few plans other than working when necessary and enjoying some walks on the beach and the change of scenery we quickly settled in, ready to enjoy our week. We had been hoping for some nice weather and definitely lucked out as we managed to have a week in the mid-70’s with only a little bit of rain. Hard to complain about that in early November.
We not only enjoyed daily walks on the beach, but also regular forays around the little “lake” in the middle of town which was a favorite of the dogs for their daily rituals. We probably averaged close to ten miles a day of walking, which was good as we ate like we were on vacation. All of our favorite places were open for takeout, and we discovered a couple of new places as well, as there has definitely been some nice new development going on in Carolina Beach. The beach was beautiful and was definitely more rewarding than my normal walks around the neighborhood. We have a nice neighborhood, but once you have walked it a few hundred times, it does get a little boring.
We also paid a visit to Carolina Beach State Park for some nice, flat hiking trails which seemed like the thing to do on the one drizzly day. It’s a beautiful park with sandy trails and a nice mix of open space and trees. Definitely an easy hike, but some beautiful scenery and a great way to spend the afternoon.
The other major source of entertainment was taking the dogs down to the beach. Our French Mastiff thinks the beach is nature’s greatest creation. All she wants to do is run, and sample the water in different spots, looking for the one place where it might not be salty. The bulldog actually will voluntarily go for a walk on the beach, which is something, as I firmly believe that dog would gladly sleep in one place all day long if she could figure out how to still get her meals in. Being pulled down the beach by the mastiff, while trying to dodge the suddenly mobile bulldog was a workout in and of itself.
The other highlight of the trip was the food. Great burgers from the Cork ‘N Fork (and a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich that burned my face off), breakfast from Kate’s Pancake House, Sushi from Nikki’s, burritos at Flaming Amy’s, ice cream from Squigley’s and pizza and calzones from Michaelangelo’s. The highlights as always though are the donuts at Wake and Bake (just go ahead and get a dozen and worry about exercising after) and anything from the Hang Ten Grill (but the best is the blackened Mahi Mahi with fries). I am drooling a bit on the keyboard as I remember each meal.
While we haven’t been able to do the regular traveling and vacationing we normally do, the week out at Carolina Beach gave everyone a bit of a break and provided a much needed change of scenery. Thankfully we lucked in the great weather that allowed us to eat outside on some patios and truly enjoy walking the beach. If you are able, I highly recommend finding some kind of socially distanced option near you, in order to help maintain some sense of sanity.
The Free Range Viking