Monday, June 27, 2011

There's No Place Like...a Beach Front Condo

I know Dorothy always said that "there's no place like home," but I feel the need to contradict her today. Kate is hosting a little Vacation Destination Party today at Centsational Girl, and I thought it would be fun to share one of my very favorite vacation spots with you all today.

I've done a fair amount of traveling compared to some. I've been to Europe twice, the Bahamas, Jamaica, various little islands, Mexico, and all over the US. I once spent the night in a real medieval castle in Germany. I've seen Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. I climbed stairs at the Empire State Building. I've been hit on in a casino in Las Vegas (when I was pregnant!). I've been in a West Virginia coal mine. I walked through the Alamo on every childhood visit to San Antonio so my brother could get his Davy Crockett fix. Like Johnny Cash says, "I been everywhere, man..."

But really, my most favorite spot is a little beach condo in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.

That picture pretty much sums it up for me. There's nothing like that first sight of the ocean as you hit the top of the dunes or hearing the waves crash on the shore as the salty air brushes your cheeks.

I'm not much of an outdoorsy girl, but I love the beach. My grandparents bought a little vacation condo when I was a couple of years old and every summer, without fail, my parents would load three kids in our Volvo and make the trip to North Carolina. Down the coast, past Nagshead, where everyone else seemed to stop, until we reached Atlantic Beach.

I love that the beach is private, so it's not packed with travelers jockeying for a coveted shoreline spot. It was perfect for my sister and I to build sand castles and make "sand soup," which my mother dutifully pretended to enjoy when she wasn't trying to rinse sand off of our brother.

When we grew older, we enjoyed dancing parties in the condo family room before heading out on the town for dinner.

Speaking of out on the town, we loved crossing the bridge back to "mainland" Morehead City, North Carolina for dinner at the best seafood place you will ever find, Sanitary Fish Market and Restaurant. Yes, it is the worst name ever for an eatery, but it opened in the 1930s as a fish market and the owners wanted to demonstrate their compliance with local codes.
On any given night you'll see loads of people hanging out on the dock, waiting for a table to open. Best hushpuppies you'll ever eat.

I've sported my Sanitary t-shirt in various cities across the country, and I always run into someone who loves to dine there.

Sadly, my deadbeat aunt has been living in our family vacation spot for several years now. My exasperated mom rented out a separate condo a couple of times so we could all enjoy the beach life, but the last time we visited was in 2007, when I was pregnant with Michaela Byrd.

The stars aligned and my mom decided to rent a condo in the same complex as our old vacation spot. It even overlooks the pool I grew up splashing around in with my brother and sister. At the end of July, the girls and I will spend a week with my mom, sister, niece, sister-in-law, and nephew. It's been several years since we've been on a real vacation, and I am so excited. I'm already thinking about trips to the little shops in Beaufort, the aquarium, and yes..the hushpuppies at the Sanitary.

I can almost feel that salt air on my cheeks!

{What's your favorite vacation spot?}

*Stop in tomorrow for Session #2 in my new Blogging Myths series!


  1. Love this post! It's great that you are going to get to share your favorite beach spot with your girls this summer.

    A summer wouldn't be a summer for me if I didn't go to Kill Devil Hills with my mom. My aunt and uncle stay two blocks away and we have the best time visiting. In fact, I'm on day seven of being at the beach right now.

    I've never been to Atlantic Beach or Morehead City but if I ever do, I'll be sure to eat at Sanitary Seafood. I'll admit that I like good hushpuppies better than seafood!

  2. That sounds like a great place! I don't really have a favorite vacation place. I honestly don't think I've been back to the same place more than twice:) I do remember a vacation from when I was little {or at least I've seen pictures} when we stayed on an island in the gulf that was only accessible by boat:)

  3. I grew up on Long Island, never more than 5 minutes from a beach in nearly every direction. My wife grew up in Pittsburgh, about 10 hours from any kind of fun water areas, let alone a beach. When they went to the beach they made a week long outing. For us, it was just something to do in the afternoon for an hour or two before going to a party.

    For some reason, her beach pictures from her childhood look alot like your and they always look more fun than ours. Maybe because it was so close we never bothered to take pictures of something that was just there. Not sure. But cool post. Thanks.

  4. I hope you all have a fabulous time! It's so cool that your girls will get to see their mommy's favorite vacation spots. BTW, I really think your older daughter resembles you!

    We have a favorite vacation spot by Lake Huron- the waves are amazing and the french fries are crispy!

  5. I've been out to Morehead City and Atlantic was great! Wish I would have known to eat at that restaurant when I was there.

    I love going to the beach too. I grew up going to Myrtle Beach, SC and I still enjoy going there with my kids now. We usually go once a year even if just for a long weekend.

    This year we are looking into trying a Florida beach. We're "researching" it now for a fall vacation.

    There's just something about going to the beach...

    Have a great time this summer on your vacation!

  6. Love that area. My parents moved to New Bern, NC almost ten years ago from our hometown in Long Island, NY. I was worried that they'd be too far from a beach for my liking, but soon discovered Atlantic Beach, Morehead City and my favorite, Beaufort. How lucky you were to spend your summers there! Enjoy your trip this year!

  7. First off...I love that your dead beat aunt is living in your
    Gmas condo!!! I have a couple of those as well!! :p
    Second...I love condos!! We are going to our friends condo in a couple weeks and can't wait!! Over here on the West coast we hit the central coast!! Wonderful clam chowder and San Luis sour dough bread! Have fun!!

  8. Now that looks absolutely wonderful, you clearly have some very special memories there! Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up friend!

  9. Okay, first off - wow...your girls are your TWINS! I can't believe how much your little girl picture resembles them!

    Also, I had no idea you were so well-traveled! I've hardly been anywhere.

    What a beautiful, fun, and memorable vacation spot!

    My favorite memories growing up were camping in Idaho for our family reunions. Hanging out in the mountains, playing in the river with all my cousins, and staying up all night around the campfire while all our parents went to bed.

  10. That is my dream vacation! I want to go and just stay at a beach. Just stay there and be cooled by ocean breezes. Aaahh! (It's gonna be 102 today, so I am dreaming hard today!) You lucky, lucky girl!!

  11. That will be so much fun! It's always great to get to return to those places that hold a special place in our hearts! I hope you have a wonderful time!

  12. These are gorgeous. I love the old beach shots and the dancing party! Gorgeous!

  13. I can't believe I'm just getting around to reading this now. I love the NC beaches, too. Someday I hope to live in NC again! The dance party looks so fun, and I hope you have a fabulous time on your July vacation with your family!


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