Fueled by spring fever and a rare open weekend, we ended up booking a last minute getaway to Ocean Isle Beach on Thursday night. This North Carolina beach is only a 3 1/2 hour drive for us, yet we had never been, so when we found a deal at The Winds Resort David snagged it. After throwing some clothes in a suitcase and stopping by the grocery store, we pulled into the parking lot by 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon.
We honestly had no idea what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised that the two bedroom/two bathroom space was efficient and clean- all we needed for a weekend jaunt. The view out the front wasn’t too shabby either and we quickly warmed to the fact that The Winds Resort features front-porch views instead of back patios. It seemed to give it the charm of an old-fashion family beach getaway and we really enjoyed having little chats with our neighbors (who were extremely understanding and gracious as our girls ran up and down the walkway in giggles).
Eager to get our toes in the sand, we quickly unloaded and headed to the beach. The weather was unseasonably warm, around 70 degrees, and the briny air was invigorating. I think this evening stroll was the highlight of the trip for me. I teared up when I saw the ocean; it just felt like such a release. Nature never fails to make me feel connected to something greater.
As the sun set, we came back in to cook up the pizzas we had grabbed at the store, sip margaritas, and listen to David play his guitar. The most notable event of the evening, though, had to be that for the first time EVER, the girls fell asleep in the same room on their own. Their room had two queen beds, but even with that ideal setup, we’ve usually had to separate them until they fall asleep, then carry Kaitlyn back into the room, so this was definitely monumental progress for us.
The next morning we ate breakfast in the room (can I get a fist bump for the convenience of kitchens of family vacations?). The resort offers complimentary bicycles, so we decided to take advantage of them and bike the 1.3 miles down to the center of the island to play putt-putt.
Well, apparently the adorably quaint beach town is extra sleepy in the off season (we should have known!) because despite the warm temperatures, the miniature golf place -and the ice cream shops!- were closed. We opted to play on the sandy playground before riding back, during which Hailey’s training wheel completely rusted off!
Luckily we were close to the resort by then, so a short walk later we were able to return the bike in one— err two— pieces. The staff was gracious and apologetic, but no harm, no foul. We decided to change course and stick to what we came for- the sunshine and the beach. We filled the afternoon with snacks, a long walk in the sand, sand castle building, and some ankle-deep fun in the waves (the water was freezing!).
We came in late afternoon to get washed up so we could go out to dinner. We really were hoping for a water view, and after calling, we confirmed that Jink’s Creek would open at 5:00 PM. Knowing we had tired kids on our hands, we decided to show up right as they opened. It proved to be a good call, as we snagged the last table on the dock and immediately ordered margaritas, pink lemonade, and oysters to celebrate.
Don’t be fooled- Kaitlyn immediately spit that oyster back out, but I called it a win that she tried it willingly!
We lucked out that the evening was beautiful all around- in scenery, in cuisine, and, by some lucky chance, the children’s temperament too. Thank you, stars, for aligning! David and I split the Jinks Creek Seafood Bog- clams, shrimp, oysters, fish, and mussels in an aromatic seafood tomato broth with basmati rice, trinity vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, and saffron. We both agreed it was was incredible and we left not a single crumb untouched. We tried for our one family picture of the trip, which turned out dark and blurry, but since it’s the only one we have, it’s worth sharing.
The evening was wonderful, and left us all exhausted. I dozed off, not long after the girls, at about 8:30 PM. No shame in my vacation game.
Sunday morning we opted to try the breakfast buffet, as we were given complimentary vouchers upon check in (an off-season special perhaps?). Though the breakfast (and the comfort of the bed if we’re being honest) left a bit to be desired, our overall stay was really nice and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a nice, low-key family beach vacation.
We packed up and made a quick pit stop by Drift Coffee, as so many of you highly recommended it on Instagram. Per usual, y’all nailed it- Drift hit the spot. I ordered the matcha latte made with almond milk and David had an Americano. We both split a piece of the Avocado Smash Toast and it gave us the fuel we needed to get us home, through meal planning, the grocery store, food prep, and laundry.
The quick weekend away was out of character for us, as we’re usually planners that prefer to have the itinerary set months in advance, but this impulsive getaway ended up being so good for my soul. I came home feeling grateful and replenished; ready to pay the feeling forward.
Where do you feel the most relaxed and connected to your soul?
For me, it’s nature. The mountains, any body of water, wide open prairies, any vast landscape. Though sometimes, the bookstore does the trick too.