When you live in vacationland, taking a vacation is so important. I've always said this! I'm sure you've heard me say it before, but it feels even more important this year after spending so much time at home. In fact, we even took a staycation in our same town a few months back! When you serve people who are on vacation, you eventually hit a burnout phase because we ALL tend to be a little bit entitled while we're traveling. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that people act entitled because they are jerks, I think people act entitled because they are spending their hard earned money and taking time off of work, so the expectation of perfection is so high. My photography company, like so many other small businesses here on the beach, aims to deliver that level of perfection and by October... I am exhausted and burnt out! For this there is only one cure! A vacation! This year feels a little bit tricky because of COVID. I'd love to travel to Costa Rica or the Bahamas, but I'm a little bit worried about flying with kids right now so we decided to take a mini vacation to Ocracoke Island, the southern island of the Outer Banks! We booked this trip at the last minute which gave us the unique opportunity to book a partial week stay through Ocracoke Island Realty. We were thrilled with our cottage and the level of comfort and cleanliness. Plus, Ocracoke Island Realty made the check-in and check-out process all happen via text. Perfect for the germaphobe in me! When you're going to Ocracoke, half the fun is getting there! We all love the ferry ride! Please excuse my low grade iPhone photos... I couldn't break out the big camera on vacay!
I'll tell you what... Ocracoke Island knows how to pivot! From flooding, island closures and limited resources, they often make island life look easy though we all know it is not. We were blown away by local restaurants that put together incredible outdoor dining options and practically rolled out the red carpet for their customers.
On our first night, we stopped at 1718 Brewing Ocracoke to grab dinner and a beer. We always stop here for the brews but had a phenomenal meal from the Plum Pointe Kitchen that is tucked inside the brewery! Our girls loved it so much that they ended up begging to go back every single night! The proof is in this pic! 1718 Brewing had picnic tables set up outside so the girls were able to stay outside and mask free the entire time. We tried nearly everything on the menu from the caesar salad (Lulu's fave!) and ALL of the sliders to the shrimp po'Boy and the Thai carrot and zucchini noodles. We were so obsessed with the Jumbo Pretzel and the cheesesteak was better than any of the cheesesteaks that we had on our Philadelphia cheesesteak tour... I'm telling you... 1718 Brewing and the Plum Pointe Kitchen are a match made in Heaven... aka, Ocracoke! I'm a huge fan of their Kolsch, "Pretty Work" and I'll be sharing a little bit more about why I love this brewery in the next few weeks! ;)
On night two, we hit up The Flying Melon. The food and the margaritas were fabulous! They've set up a beautiful picnic table area with bistro lights so we enjoyed our dinner here outside. I ordered the Filet Marchand de Vin and was blown away by how perfectly it was cooked and the complex flavors especially because they are currently take-out only.
Read: the best steak I have had in a long time was served in a takeout container. The guys enjoyed the Spanish Mackerel special and the girls found the mac n' cheese and shrimp to be delish! Let's just say that everyone was in the clean plates club so we biked to get ice cream!
Of course, breakfast from Eduardo's and Ocracoke Island Coffee is a given. These two are island must-haves in my book! We LOVE taking bikes when we vacation on Ocracoke Island.
In all of our trips to Ocracoke we hadn't ever stopped at Howard's Pub but after a long day on the boat we were needing some shade so we enjoyed the screened in porch at Howards for sandwiches and... margaritas again... I was on vacation, okay?! Our food was great and baby Goldie even enjoyed her first real pickles since she actually cut a tooth while we were on vacay! From now on, Howard's is 100% on our fave spot for lunch!
We had an epic beach day with giant tide pools.
We also enjoyed an amazing afternoon on the dock where the kids got to fish for the first time and they were so excited to catch so many fish! We bought these kids fishing poles for our trip and the entire vacation revolved around casting a line and catching a fish! Including this creeper with teeth...
Between late nights staying up with our oldest and early mornings with our girls, we truly squeezed every waking moment of family time out of our trip! If you're thinking about taking a mid-covid vacation... I'd strongly recommend it! We all came back feeling rested and best of all...happy to be home!