Another Girls' Weekend is in the books! Each year, we Harris Sisters spend a long weekend somewhere fun doing special things and spending lots of quality girl time together. This year we set our sights on the Carolina coast- Beaufort, NC to be specific. So we met up in Raleigh, NC, where our road trip began. And then it was off to the coast!
We rented a little cottage in small town Beaufort. It was situated right across the street from the courthouse square, lined with big beautiful live oak trees. And our home away from home was within walking distance to the waterfront and boardwalk- Beaufort's home to all it's little shops, restaurants, and other attractions.
But first thing's first. We got down to the business of relaxing pretty quickly. And that front porch kind of called to us.
On our first night in town, we decided to talk a walk through town to get our bearings. Historic Beaufort was lovely. It is the 3rd oldest city in all of North Carolina, and as luck would have it, our little cottage was also smack dab in the middle of the historic district.
Yep, we passed lots of historic homes and buildings- most with plaques like this one to show exactly how old each was.
And another bit of luck brought Misty to a street named just for her!
The boardwalk was full of pretty storefronts- lots of beachy themed windows. We liked this one though. Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina!
There were constant reminders on every corner that we had indeed found a gem of town. Beaufort really was special for lots of reasons.
We all really enjoyed The General Store. Of course, I think we are all suckers for a general store anyway, but this one was super cute, and lived up to it's name.
Our first full day in Beaufort brought an early morning tour of Shackleford Island to see the wild horses that make their home there and go shelling along the beach. Here we are waiting for our ferry to begin the journey.
The only way to get to this island was by ferry, and joining a tour isn't necessary but we thought it would be fun and also help to guarantee that we would find those beautiful horses that we were seeking.
So we boarded our ferry boat along with our fellow passengers, and set sail for our three hour tour. On the way over to the island our nice little ferry ride turned into an unplanned saltwater bath. The captain told us the water was pretty choppy and we were likely to get wet. Drowned was more like it, and we were screaming like we were on a roller coaster every time another wave came over the side of the boat. Ahhh, good times.
But once we were back on solid ground, these beauties more than made up for the rocky ride there. The wild horses that live on Shackleford Island have been there for hundreds of years now. They long outlasted their human counterparts that originally settled there with them. Now the island is their home exclusively.
Here's a little video of a close encounter with one of these friendly horses. They are very used to people by now, and they aren't shy at all. Still you should never get too close or try to touch them. They are wild animals, after all. We all had to get out of the way pretty quickly to make way for this little horse as he moseyed on his way.
We spent quite a bit of quality time watching and hearing all about those beautiful creatures. After that, we set out on a hike to the other side of the island for some top notch shelling. We learned all about the shells that were out there and where to find the best ones. We spent some time searching the surf and shore for the prettiest shells, and then started making our way back to the ferry pick up point.
That was another long hike. Thankfully, we knew what we were in for ahead of time and were prepared for lots of sandy hiking.
The weather was perfect. Partially cloudy and breezy. And we made it back with about five minutes to spare before the next ferry arrived.
By the time we were ready to head back, the island was noticeably busier than when we first arrived. Thankfully, we had a few minutes to spare for some more pics, and then we were on our way again.
The ferry ride back was a lot calmer, and we even got treated to a school of dolphins playing in the water. Our captain slowed down to allow us all a chance to get a good look at them frolicking alongside our boat.
That afternoon, we decided to switch gears and do a little antiquing in neighboring Swansboro, NC. On the way, we spotted this old garage with lots of cool old automobiles that were just waiting for their close-ups. Here's Donna with this red hot Lucky Strike Ford pick up truck.
Then I stepped in with this peachy keen of a beauty.
Misty decided to model with this old Cadillac. We felt like Barker's beauties out there!
But then it was back to the business of antiquing. We found quite a few little antique shops that we spent our time and monies in. :)
We all fell in love with this multicolored afghan, but sadly, it wasn't for sale. It did make for a nice picture though.
So we ended our day with more shopping, milling around, and just generally having fun.
Day two brought lots of fun in the sun on Emerald Isle Beach. Of course, we started our time there cooling our heels in the shade (because that's what all good fair skinned girls should do whilst at the beach!)
Then it was time to take a walk down memory lane. When we were kids, we always stopped for Donald Duck Orange Juice when we were on roadtrips. Back then, it was widely available at convenienve stores, and was sold in glass bottles. We fondly nicknamed it "Duck Juice", and it was always such a treat! Well apparently, they still make it, just in cans now. And it's still just as tasty as ever!
We also thought it would be fun to document our whereabouts on the beach for another picture, but that sand was HOT- very HOT- so we snapped this pic super fast and headed straight for the water to cool down.
Here's Misty wasting no time. Lounging in the surf is how Girls' Weekend should be spent!
And here's Donna snorfunkling (the Harris Sister term for laughing) in the surf. :)
And then there's me jumping for joy in the surf. We know how to keep it fun!
Time out for another selfie. There sure were a lot of those on this trip!
Here's a picture that we couldn't resist. If you recall, we also capitalized on last year's Share a Coke campaign. Last year, the bottles and cans featured names on the side of them, as in share a Coke with _______ (you fill in the blank with your favorite person.) Here's the link to our pics from last year. This year, it's song lyrics. So the obvious choice was "Summer, Summer, Summertime".
After we'd had enough beach time, it was off again. More shopping, sightseeing, and milling around. We stopped in to a corner store for a few essentials, and this pup met us at the door, When we were ready to check out, he was there again to ring us up. I've never seen anything cuter than that. We laughed and joked about this sweet pup the rest of the trip!
Next stop was a few antique shops and markets in town. We found these letters just calling our names. (or at least our initials!)
The porch was so pretty too. I loved that Pepsi- Cola button sign.
And this checkerboard was all set up and ready to go. What a cute idea- using bottle caps as checkers!
Misty was immediately ready to try it out!
Even the back porch was all done up, and these hydrangeas sure did make a pretty picture with Harris Sister Donna.
As luck would have it, the local Farmer's Market was actually celebrating it's 100th anniversary with a night market just steps away from our beach cottage. So of course, we rambled over. We met this beauty right off. Her name is Holly and she's a sweetie. She likes people and having her picture taken. :)
There was also a play area set up for the "kids". Hmmmm....
Donna is a master hula hooper from way back!
We had to show those young whipper snappers how it is done.
There was live music. Lots of food and craft vendors. People walking around everywhere. What a fun time!
So on our final morning together, we decided to take another trip down memory lane and visit Morehead City, NC- the site of so many of our childhood family vacations. We instantly recognized many of the areas there. But we set our sights on finding the Triple S Fishing Pier. That's where Daddy always fished from back in the day. It was a humongous pier that extended seemingly forever out into the Atlantic Ocean. When we got there, it was nowhere to be found. What?!?!? A quick google search revealed that it was actually demolished over 10 years ago to make room for more ocean front real estate. Again, what?!?!? As it turns out, Daddy was well aware of that tidbit. :) Since we couldn't get our picture on the old Triple S pier as we had planned, we found ourselves another pier and snapped a quick pic.
Then we switched gears, and visited another old time favorite- Fort Macon State Park.
We always used to come here as kids to break up the beach time. It's a very old military fort. Lots of history here.
Today, it has a pretty new museum and visitor center that has been added. But all of the old fort still remains. It's a perfect combination of the old and the new.
Another Harris Sister selfie for good measure out in front of the shade trees of Fort Macon.
Back at the ranch, it was time to pack up and hit the road, but not before leaving our thoughts about the trip in our cottage's visitor book. Here's what we wrote.
Names: Donna, Deanna, and Misty
Date of Visit: June 2016
The weather was: warm, muggy- really you could wring the water out of the air! But breezy and no real rain to dodge. :)
Some wonderful things we did: Beaufort Horse and Shelling Tour- ask for Doug- it was awesome!
What we saw and discovered: Farmer's Market on Saturdays; the cashier at the corner Big Daddy's Market is a dog! (not kidding) He was AMAZING and also very helpful!
Moments and glimpses and little details that mattered: Ophelia the PIG! Walking distance to Olde Beaufort, having access to the beachcombers. Beaufort Ice Company is a great spot for some "cool" pictures!
Some other thoughts: We enjoyed our time at the "Law Offices of Beaufort and Turkle". Not sure if this is a positive thing, but we've never been catcalled quite as much as here in Beaufort.
--XOXO, Three middle aged mothers and wives
Just as we were heading out of town on our way home, we ran upon this field of pretty sunflowers.
Umm, no brainer- time for a few more pictures!
Never pass by a field of sunflowers without stopping! I think it's a good luck thing.
Yep, here's another selfie, but not the last one... :)
We did happen to make time for one more selfie before the end of our journey. As it turns out, we ran into an old friend on the way home. What luck!
And so ends another Girls' Weekend. What a fun time. We hope you enjoyed recounting it with us!