Labor day weekend the Mister had four days off work - which was the first and time this summer we were both available to go on a trip together. That Monday also ended up being our anniversary, and we knew it was the only chance we were going to have to truly "get away" before the baby arrives. So, of course, we headed to our favorite place, Ocracoke Island, for the long weekend. It's a place near and dear to our hearts because we spent most of our honeymoon there.
As you may know or remember from our honeymoon post, Ocracoke is pretty remote. A three and a half hour drive from our house to a ferry terminal and then another two and a half hours on a ferry are required to access the island. We were brave (or dumb) enough to bring the dogs this time, so that added an extra challenge to our travel arrangements and lodging situation. When we first started talking about bringing the dogs this year, we entertained the idea of camping instead of staying at a hotel, but considering I'm pregnant and I was still sick a good bit of the time in September, we decided we would give up on the camping for the sake of both of our sanity. So, I had to find a hotel or inn that allowed dogs, and there aren't a ton of those on the island. We decided on Blackbeard's Lodge, which allows pets in a select few of their rooms. For as much as we paid for the room, I was a little disappointed in the quality of our accommodations (I was relieved I had brought a sheet and a blanket to use over what they provided on our bed in the room), but I know that's just part of the package when you stay somewhere that allows crazy dog people like us. And in the hotel's defense, I imagine their rooms in which dogs aren't allowed are cleaner and nicer. We're not the type of folks who care much about how fancy our room is when it comes to vacations, especially at the beach where we prefer to spend most of our time outside anyway, so we were happy.
Our collection of photos from the weekend is below if you care to see! It's hard to believe it's already been two months since this little getaway - and that it's taken me that long to get this post on the blog!
Luellen has a really lovely habit of of riding right in Chris's blind spot in the truck. She cares not about our safety when it comes to her awesome windshield view.
We had to turn the truck off on the ferry, so the dogs were very warm. Luckily we were at least parked in the shade on this trip. There's no cell phone reception out in the middle of the sound, so the ride can get a little boring, but the view of the water all around is kind of awe-inspiring.
My little family out on the beach - they're so cute. : ) Our sunshade/easy up situation only lasted a couple days before the wind destroyed it, but we invested in a beach umbrella that we honestly ended up liking better. If only if we'd known that before we spent $50 on the easy up.
Both of our dogs seemed to love the actual beach, but neither of them were fond of the idea of actually getting in the water. Lulu was especially terrified - she spent most of her time up by our chairs while we were frolicking in the waves.
Since we were staying in a hotel room without a kitchen, and my dietary choices were kind of limited due to the whole pregnancy thing, we ate out for almost every meal, which was a really nice treat (even though it got pretty expensive by the end of the trip). Luckily, the hotel allowed us to leave the dogs in their crate in our room as long as they didn't make a lot of noise, so we were able to go out without them in the evenings. The photo of the Mister above is at our most favorite place, Howard's Pub, where we ate dinner two out of the four days we were on the island. We frequented Jolly Roger Pub and Marina for lunch because they allow dogs and have yummy food - and really good virgin pina coladas!
For breakfast every morning, we went to the best place for breakfast on the island, Pony Island Restaurant. They had this lovely outdoor seating area open where we sat a couple times. I had to take a photo because I just loved the ambiance - and the temperature was perfect in the shade out there in the mornings.
My four month baby bump and my doggies on the beach - it's much bigger now!
Chris enjoyed a beer and a cigar on the deck at Zillie's, a cool little place that sells craft beer, cigars, and snacks. (Don't worry, he blew his secondhand smoke away from me and the baby!)
As someone who pretty much exclusively uses naturally derived cleaning products like Method and Mrs. Meyer's, I know how difficult it can be to find them at your local grocery store, so I got a kick out of the fact that they had a whole shelf of them at the general store on this itty bitty island. There must be a high demand for these products there!
Ocracoke has quite a few wonderful little galleries. I got a lot of my Christmas shopping done that weekend!
I've been strangely obsessed with candlestick holders lately. I wanted to take every single one home with me.
The cutest/weirdest tire swing outside the local bookshop
These little green biting flies were particularly evil on the days the wind wasn't blowing! Luellen was NOT a fan.
Mister frog, just drinking his cup of brew outside the coffee shop
Back on the ferry we go! We were parked in the sun on the way back to the mainland, which was a little tough on us and the dogs. But we survived!
This guy was very patient with his preggo wife and our doggies all weekend. : )
Our Labor Day weekend trip was everything we wanted it to be. It was so nice to relax and take some time to enjoy being "just the two of us." Even though we loved the alone time together, we hope to be able to take our little one back to the island with us sometime soon. It'll be harder since we'll be moving away from NC this coming year, but we'll make it happen! Until next time Ocracoke : )