Wedding photographer, Lover of Ferrero Rocher. Wife. Girl Mom. Dreamer.


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What a wonderful time we had in Emerald Isle this past week! It had been 3 years since we took a family vacation, so it was definitely time. I had diligently planned this vacation nearly a year in advance. With the arrival of Hurricane Irma a couple weeks ago those plans were not looking too promising. The week following up to our vacation, I had never watched the weather so closely-lol. As of that Wednesday I had counted our vacation out, & I was already trying to think of new places to go. Luckily for us, on Thursday the weather models had Hurricane Irma shifting more west. We had decided to go ahead and resume with our vacation plans Thursday night. Now, we just prayed that our beach vacation wasn’t a complete “wash out”…

Anyone who has younger kids knows that traveling can be a bit stressful. The longest car ride April has ever been on was about 2.5 hours. This part of the trip stressed me out the most. When I planned this trip, I figured April would be communicating more & would also be forward facing in her car seat by then….but, NOPE. My little peanut still only weighs a whopping 23.5 pounds, which resulted in leaving her car seat in the rear facing position. OH WELL, lol! At first my husband and I had planned on driving through the night in hopes April would sleep, however our vacation home didn’t let us check in until 3:00pm. Scratch that idea. Then I had the idea of splitting the trip in half, and staying in a hotel that night continuing our journey the following morning. Jamie (my husband) was not fond of the idea as he hates staying in hotels, but I assured him it would make the trip less stressful with a 2 year old. Boy. was. I. wrong…

Some of you may wonder why I’m going into such detail about this, and that’s because it makes a somewhat comical story. I can assure you it was not comical at the time, but now it’s worth sharing. Just to sum things up, April actually did fantastic the first half of the car trip….not a peep! She watched her movies, but not once did she fall asleep (go figure). We checked into our hotel room at 11:00pm, just to discover that the place had bed bugs. BED BUGS. Are you kidding me? At this point April is already in her jammies as we are trying to wind her down for the night. We scooped up April, all of our belongings, & out the door we went back towards our vehicle. We then drove down I95 & checked into a Hampton Inn around midnight. We did not get to sleep until 1:00 am….with a toddler. However, April was loving all of it lol. She found it exciting…for us, not so much. Of course she was having the time of her life because she also got to sleep beside mommy in the “big bed”. That never happens. At least April had a good time…but this Momma didn’t get any sleep.

Finally, the next morning! April had us up at 7:00am so we decided to roam the downstairs to get some breakfast. Keeping a toddler entertained inside a hotel room is never easy, so we walked the hallway outside of our room about 50 times before we decided it was time to leave. Luckily, April did great the 2nd half of the trip as well. I was able to keep her entertained with movies, toys, and her new “Water Wow” books (which are awesome by the way-even for adults, lol).

We finally made our arrival to our beautiful beach home!

We were an hour and a half early, so we enjoyed some beach time before our check in at 3:00pm. April loved playing in the sand, but she was terrified of the ocean thanks to a surprise wave that almost knocked her over :-/ However, I’m just thankful that she didn’t hate the beach altogether. I’ve never seen a child roll in the sand before, let alone stick her face straight down in it, lol. It was a miracle that we never had an issue with sand getting into her eyes. April also loved climbing the sand dunes, & then sliding down them as if it were a playground. It was truly a sight.The back of our vacation home. It looks small, but it was actually quite large inside… Luckily we had a short & easy walk to the beach. Very convenient when you have a 2 year old 🙂 

Melissa giving April a pep talk about trying the ocean again. The shirt says it all…
Our friends Jeff & Ginger came up and stayed with us for a few days! Jeff decided to bring out his kite for April to see. It was the funniest sight watching April chase that kite all over the beach. I also find it ironic the letters in the sand right next to her…that was not planned out. It explains this photo perfectly. Thanks Jeff for providing some entertainment!  Even though I kept finding myself tangled in the string, LoL!

During the entire week, we only had one day of rain as a result from Hurricane Irma. The weather temperature was perfect, & in the evenings it even got a little chilly. On the one day that we did have rain, we decided to hit up the NC Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores, & that seemed to be a big hit with April. Even us adults enjoyed it 🙂 The sea otters were everyone’s favorite of course. April was overwhelmed with the fish on both sides of her. She ran every inch of that aquarium & pointed at every sea creature in sight. We even came back the next day & took “Meemaw” with us that time! 🙂

Then the rain cleared, & it was back on the beach!

Ice Cream on the beach is a must! A very messy must! Now it’s time to get cleaned off. Yes, my daughter figured out very quickly how to turn the hose on and off.

On Thursday we decided to take a little trip over to Beaufort, NC to explore the maritime museum and the downtown shops that lined the board walk. Unfortunately the bridge that connects to Beaufort was closed for maintenance & did not plan to reopen for hours. That killed our plans for the day, but we were able to return on Friday & explore this quaint little town! If anyone knows me, they know that I love small towns nestled on the water. It was also every photographer’s dream. Can I move here, please?

“C’mon Daddy, keep up!”

Last evening on the beach!

Until next time!



Emerald Isle, North Carolina

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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