Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This is How We Both Win!

Hello, Hello!

Summer is officially here in New Jersey and therefore I have been MIA from the blog for a couple of days because naturally I am outside enjoying it! Having said that Monday I took my sunshine life a little too far when Tanya and I spent our day poolside and yesterday I spent my day cooling off! Two days later though I am sporting a nice caramel color and I ain't hatin' it!

Life has not been all that exciting I am not going to lie so I was thinking I need kick my creative juices into high gear because the blog is suffering! I haven't really tried a lot of new products because lets be real, everything is double the price here in this good ol' city! So when I go home I will stock up... and that's where today's post comes in!

Home is a pretty big topic of conversation on the blog and that's what I am looking forward too.. GOING HOME over the 4th of July weekend! HECK YA! So when Cathy (Whispering Soul Photography) emailed me over the weekend and said she was thinking of planning a trip to North Carolina and was looking for suggestions I was anxious to be of some help! Then I figured, I did the leg work why not blog about! Win for you.. the info obviously.. win for me.. I love talking about home!

So shall we?

Obviously I feel like Raleigh is a fantastic place to live but it really isn't all that touristy! In fact I really don't think you are going to find much for souvenirs except for at the airport and maybe Target, which is still limited. I love Raleigh, but if you didn't live there or know people who do you probably wouldn't choose to vacation there. So where in North Carolina would you choose to vacation?

Asheville, North Carolina is AMAZING! Jason and I spent a long weekend there a couple of years ago and it was just fantastic! Real estate there is quite expensive or I could see us having chose to live up there rather than in Raleigh (although I am by no means disappointed). We went up there int he fall and the scenery was absolutely stunning! There is a ton of hiking trails up there, lots of quaint little shops and higher end shopping. The set up is gorgeous, there are places that are small town home and quaint little places where you need to stay in a B&B and go to the hole in the wall for breakfast. There was really nothing I didn't love about our time there.

If you are interested in doing a little looking yourself check out THIS amazing tour Asheville website. A wonderful aspect of this website is that you can also explore what will be available the season you plan to visit!

While in Asheville there is one thing you just cannot miss, the Biltmore Estate! I have heard the best time to be there is around the holidays because they go above and beyond with the decorations. Having said that the fall ain't too shabby either! You can tour the estate, I have seen a ton of pictures of couples who have gotten engaged there, the place is magical!

If you get the chance Google "Asheville, North Carolina Attractions" and you will get a ton of fantastic ideas that are more geared to what you are looking for, some of those may be:

- The Thomas Wolfe House
- North Carolina Arboretum
- Pisgah National Forest
- Botanical Gardens
- Asheville Art Museum
- Folk Art Center
- Carl Sandburg Home, National Historic Site
- Asheville Mall
- Smith-McDowell House

And the list goes on!

Up in Asheboro, North Carolina - Not to be confused with Asheville you have the amazing North Carolina Zoo! Again Jason and I made it out there during the fall and it was FANTASTIC. We make going to the zoo where ever we can a priority if we can make the time, we have been to the Toronto Zoo a million times and its one of our favorite places. The North Carolina Zoo is really spread out and the walk around is so fun and relaxing! The zoo contains animals from two different continents and is spread out over 500 acres, there is over 1,500 animals and 52,000 plants!

If you are leaning towards traveling in the summer, its still a good option to hit up the mountains because as you can imagine the temperatures are a little cooler up there but the summers in the south are still quite warm. If you are thinking a beach vacation I am told Wilmington is the place for you. Sadly Jason and I have not gotten down that way but I have been told by everyone and anyone that Wilmington is the beach to see! The beaches are beautiful and naturally its quite touristy, you can view the official website HERE.

If you are thinking beaches in North Carolina, you may also want to check out:

- Carolina Beach
- Wrightsville Beach
- Kure Beach

I would really recommend if you are down there and that close to visit Charleston, South Carolina as well! You can view our trip details HERE, and I swear you wouldn't regret taking the time!

If you are in North Carolina and a fan of surfing then Nags Head is the place for you to be. We have friends who have been there and I have heard amazing things about the area! It is definitely on our list of place to visit even though I am definitely not a surfer.. having said that I think Jason may want to attempt it again. If you want to do a little more exploring then check it out HERE.

Now recently Jason and I have added a new place to our list of places to see and explore in North Carolina. Although our warranty guy is a big fat dufus he mentioned to Jason recently that he couldn't help us with a few things because he would be at Top Sail Island. We hadn't heard of this place, and like I said although buddy is a dufus Jason decided to Google it, and let me tell you.. no let me show you.. a picture is worth a thousand words.

Doesn't that scream tropical vacay? I think so!

Now that I have gotten your interest you are probably opening another window so you can Google this fantastic place, let me save you the trouble.. just click HERE. You can enjoy the beach, the pier, museums, aquatic life! I mean look at this...

Not Hawaii.. I swear!!! You're packing your bags, aren't you?

Check out coastal North Carolina HERE when you get a chance, I honestly don't think you could ever be disappointed in visiting the State anywhere but if you are a beach goer have a look, maybe plan a trip!

Brunswick Island is another place I recommended to Cathy in my email, coastal North Carolina at its finest! In all the coastal North Carolina I have yet to mention the option of Salt Water fishing! I am told by the locals that the time to go out fishing is April, May and I believe September! I have never really given much though to deep sea fishing but I know it is definitely of interest to Jason especially after Halibut fishing in Alaska, I truly had no idea you could catch Tuna down in North Carolina though. There is a thousand charters, but I bet you could make friends with a local too.. that southern charm and hospitality.. oh how I miss it! 

Now where ever you go in North Carolina there are a few things you should know:

- Eat LOTS of BBQ! 
- Don't go to the Waffle House, its crap! (Sorry Fiona!)
- Have Mexican, its too die for!
- Eat fresh seafood by the coast. 
- Eat biscuits and gravy, in the smallest little hole in the wall place you can find and everywhere else!
- Eat the fruit, its soo good! 
- Tomatoes there are too die for!
- Visit a local farmers market!
- Drink sweet tea, but if anyone offers you a Southern Sipper.. RUN!
- The alcohol is cheap, enjoy it. 
- If you see a Cracker Barrel, GO! Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.. its incredible!

Take it all in, we have been around and it is one of my favorite places in the whole world. Relax there, smell the fresh air, have a drink and just be.. because for me there is no where else better in the world to do it. I promise a vacation there will be money well spent!

So thank you Cathy for getting the ball rolling on what should have made an appearance on the blog a long time ago, and thank you all you other bloggers for being just as tardy as myself around your blogs because its summer and we need to enjoy it, and mostly thank you to all of you who are still stopping in because you know even if I am gone for a few days I will be back! 

I have been out of contact in most ways truth be told, I'm just finding my way here and really trying to get in a good place with it. I am trying not to go over my cell phone minutes or data so Jason wont kill me (last month.. eek!) and mostly I feel like those moments where I can just be are what I need right now. I'm not sleeping well at night and nothing seems to be helping that and I try to keep busy during the day (which leaves me with no wifi most often) in hopes of the days going by faster and maybe getting a decent nights sleep. Jason gets home early and has weekends off which I love, more of him in my life (because he usually works a TON) is always a good thing! So if I owe you a phone call, an email or something.. bare with me! Maybe force the issue a little, I swear you are important and I haven't forgotten about you! 

Something worth blogging about it bound to happen, especially if it doesn't rain this week like they are calling for. I will keep you posted.. right now its looking like wings and beers for us, and in my books that is nothing to complain about! 

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  1. Thank you SO MUCH for this - we are really getting more excited after all your wonderful suggestions. While we had initially planned to go to Maine, the coastal route we wanted to do was VERY expensive. So we may do that another time - perhaps a bit off season. The entire state of North Carolina looks amazing - we may have to go back again one day! Again, many thanks! I have lots of research to do!

  2. I'm so glad this was helpful! I cant wait to hear about your plans and your trip, I just know you will love it!
    Coastal Maine is gorgeous as well, definitely a trip to take but off seasons probably would be the best. My absolute favorite time in New England is the fall!