The Best of Eastern North Carolina

Our weekend on the Crystal Coast was a smashing success and I am so excited that Chris finally got to meet that side of my family and experience that part of my life!  Here’s the day by day breakdown:

Friday, we woke up in Richmond and got on the road and headed straight to Wilbers, our favorite BBQ joint in Goldsboro.  We’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember and their food is simple but delicious.  It’s also located right next to the runway of the local Air Force Base, and we were lucky enough to see some fighter jets practicing above and then come in to land.  It’s pretty awesome to see those planes just a few hundred feet above your head.

Chris with a fighter jet making it's approach to land.

In front of the world famous Wilbers BBQ!

After a yummy lunch of pulled pork, hush puppies and sweet tea, we headed east toward Carteret County and made it within just 2.5 hours.

We spent Friday tooling around the county, visiting with family, visiting Oceana Pier (Hurricane Earl was on his way out and made the ocean quite mad), had a seafood dinner and then finished out the evening with amazing lemon pie from Captain Bills on the waterfront.

Chris & Me on the sound before dinner.

Sunset from Oceana Pier. Rough seas thanks to Hurricane Earl.

Saturday morning, we were up at 4am to head out to sea for a full day of deep sea fishing.  Chris, my dad and myself made the trip this time, and it was interesting to say the least.  Even though the Hurricane was in New England by Saturday morning, the seas were still pretty rough that morning, so the trip out was an adventure.

The boat holds about 80 people, but only 24 showed up, which meant we could really spread out and have lots of room for ourselves.  However, of those 24 people, I’m pretty sure 19 of them threw up for at least half the day, my dad included.  Chris and I never got sick (thank god!), and I’ve never seen and/or heard so much vomit in my LIFE.  Thank god we were outside and people could just barf off the side of the boat and we never had to smell it or anything, but gawd, it was gross.  At one point, I thought I was going to get sick only because I felt like “everyone else around me is barfing, I should be too,” but luckily, that feeling passed.

Around 1 o’clock, my dad woke up from his vomit & Dramamine induced coma and was back and ready for action, so we at least salvaged half the day and ended up catching 27 pounds of fish for the day.

The boat at 5am.

Sun rising over the Atlantic around 6:30am

Chris getting a quick lesson on how to fish from Amos, our mate.

Chris' first catch of the day, a Silver Snapper.

Me, baiting some squid on my line.

I caught a shark!

Chris loves to play with Sharks.

Our 27 pounds of fish for the day. Red Snapper, Trigger Fish, Silver Snapper & Sea Bass. Not too shabby!

By the time we were off the boat and the fish were cleaned, it was 6pm and we were starving.  We hit up our favorite local drive in for some shrimp burgers and hot dogs and made our way back to the hotel.  We were literally in bed and asleep by 6:45.  What an exhausting but fun day.

Sunday, we woke up refreshed and rejuvenated and hit the ground running.

We had breakfast at a local hole in the wall and stuffed our faces with sausage biscuits and gravy until we couldn’t eat anymore.  Weight watchers went out the window and it was 100% worth it.

After breakfast, my dad took us around his old stomping grounds in the area he grew up in as a child and that was cool.

Vintage Pepsi machine in Mill Creek, NC.

Pretty trees in the forest.

On the banks of the Newport River

After the trip down memory lane, we headed to Ft. Macon which is an old military installation from the 1800’s.  It’s a cool state park right on the water, so you can go down to the beach (no swimming) and also visit the historic fort.  It’s pretty neat.

Chris at Ft. Macon.

The flag at Ft. Macon from the beach.

On the Ft. Macon beach.

Sad in one of the Ft. Macon jail cells.

Livin' it up in the jail cell.

Part of the exterior of the Fort.

After Fort Macon, we headed to my cousin Nicole and her boyfriend, Justin’s house to visit with them and their two kids for the evening.

Me, and precious 5 month old, Carly.

Logan being cute.

Logan the little dare devil. That's not an electric 4-wheeler...that's the real deal gas powered kind....and he's FAST!

Chris & Justin riding around.

Even Carly likes the 4-wheeler.

After a fun evening with the family, it was back to the hotel for some rest before heading home the next day.

On our way out of Carteret County, we stopped by one of my favorite places, the old railroad tracks behind my grandmas house.  I have pictures of me on these tracks going back to when I was about 4 years old, so it’s always fun to revisit and take pictures as I get older.

Chris, deep in thought. :)

Me.

We hit the road, and about 20 miles down the road, saw this:

Typical North Carolina. I love it.

What a fun, fast and adventure filled weekend.  We made it home safely, but we can’t wait to go back!

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