Wednesday, August 20, 2014


A break from our vacation stuff...

Today, Charly attended her first day of Pre-K! Last year, Charly did preschool two times a week at Blessed Beginnings, only in the afternoons for a few hours. This year she got into Kelli's school, Southdale, and will go five days a week from 8:45 in the morning till 1:50 in the afternoon! She will be a busy girl, but something tells us she will love it!

Last year, we had one of the only crying children at Blessed Beginnings on the first day. This year, we had one of the only non-crying children at Pre-K! Kelli thought Charly's first day of preschool last year was one of the saddest days we've ever experienced. But today, was lighter. Happier. She loves her teacher and had fun. She even told her teacher all about Papa Curt shooting a raccoon on his deck!

She's a pro!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Southport (Kure Beach: Day 4, Pt. 1)

On the fifth day of our vacation, we drove our car onto a boat and visited Southport.

Southport is a fun little fishing village in southern North Carolina. In order to get there, we had to drive our van onto a ferry and take a 30-minute boat ride. We had debated Southport all vacation. Kelli really wanted to visit it. I thought it sounded like a waste of time! Part of my trepidation was the ferry. We took a ferry to Mackinac Island last summer in Michigan but did not have to drive our vehicle onto a boat. I didn't know anything about this and was just a little apprehensive.

In the end, we decided that we needed a morning away from the beach for just a little variety. The older couple we befriended on the beach strongly recommended it as did the owners of our cottage. I skipped out of my online UNI class a bit early so we could catch the ferry in time.

Turns out, Kelli was right. Southport was a perfect getaway. The ferry was easy, albeit crammed with vehicles. But it was a fun experience. Our plan was to walk around the town, eat some lunch, and return to Kure in plenty of time to still do the beach in the afternoon.

After we drove the van off the ferry and into town, we decided we were hungry and wanted to get lunch in before the kids became tired. We chose to eat at Fishy Fishy, a cool little cafe on the Cape Fear river. We learned that Southport is used by television and film studios often to emulate "Cape Cod-like" settings, sometimes even Cape Cod itself. The television show Revenge on ABC actually leased Fishy Fishy and totally transformed it into a completely different restaurant for the show. When it was finished filming, it changed it back to Fishy Fishy.

There were so many seating options at Fishy Fishy. The cafe was sprawling. There was an outdoor bar area. There was an indoor dining area and an outdoor dining area along a dock. Of course we wanted to sit outside and our table was at the end of the covered dock amidst the sailboats and seagulls. There were even boat slips for boaters to park and enter the cafe from the back docks. The atmosphere was really cool.

Another popular restaurant in Southport is The Frying Pan. It was just down the road from Fishy Fishy and behind The Frying Pan was a neat spot of shore where the water from the Cape Fear River lapped in calmly providing a quieter experience than the beach in Kure. There were a bunch of exposed posts from an old dock that the kids loved to play near and climb on.

Next we walked down to the Southport Riverwalk. The town was getting ready for a Fourth of July festival so it was crowded with visitors. Having learned from Mackinac Island last summer, we pushed the kids in umbrella strollers instead of carrying them! After about a half-mile walk, we reached a long fishing dock and beach filled with shells. Charly and Hayes had been gathering quite the collection in Kure, so they had a lot of fun filling their pockets in Southport!

When our pockets were overflowing with shells, we decided it was time to head back to the van and drive to the ferry. We still wanted to have plenty of time to hang out on the beach, and with the kids needing a nap, we timed it well. With the kids asleep in their strollers, Kelli grabbed an ice cream cone and I grabbed a soda before we loaded in the van and drove to the ferry.

While Hayes slept in the van on the ferry, Charly woke up and wanted to go look at the water. I carried her to the front of the boat to find people throwing food in the air for the seagulls. As cool as it was to see them fill the sky, Charly became a little freaked and I felt like we were in the movie The Birds. We went back to the van to rest before arriving back in Kure.