Another week in paradise! WB 2018

Another beautiful week that left my memory banks overflowing.  Another trip that I will never forget!  We had a new house that was absolutely a dream, beautiful and comfortable. 

I am so happy to report that, aside from an unexpected 45 minute process to get through security in Denver, our travel was uneventful and we arrived in Wilmington in time to spend a few minutes on the beach before we headed to my cousin's house for some east coast crab to kick off our adventures!

Below,  I will give you a little (or maybe big) review of our week, what we saw, experienced and felt! I hope you enjoy the ride!

Day 1:

Up at 3am to leave time to get to our 7am departure left us pretty sleepy, but full of excitement to just get there! Coffee, donuts and bagels at the airport!

Although I forgot to get assigned seats when we bought the tickets, I somehow lucked out that we all got to sit together on the long flights AND on one of the short flights!! 

Get ready WB, here we come!

We got settled and checked out our most AMAZING place we would call home for the week, before heading over to Geoff and Leslie's.

Shenanigans...always with these two!

Yep lol....

  Geoff, Leslie, Dustin and Chelsea, plus a slew of other family members gathered to have a crab night!  Other than shelling king crab legs, none of us had never eaten crab from the shell!  It was an adventure for sure trying to learn how to get the good stuff! 

The girls loved the experience!!

My dad was basically a pro! 

Dustin and Chelsea's dog Dale was a huge hit with the girls!  Maddie, Stella and Dale were all excited with all the extra guests in the house!

I gave up on trying to crack crabs for a morsel of food lol.  


More of Dale because he is so darn CUTE!

 Dale and Maddie going in for a kiss from Farron!

Dustin, Farron and I made a quick trip to the grocery store for some dessert, and I secretly tossed a baked chicken into the cart so I could get something to eat lol. πŸ˜‚  We headed back to the house with a peach pie (that would be eaten at the BIG family gathering the next night) my chicken, and some cookies! 

We bid our farewell to the gang that was hanging out there and headed back to the beach to tuck into bed after a long day of travel and excitement!

Day 2:

As per my usual mojo in WB, I woke before sunrise so I could enjoy it on the porch. I was the only body in our group that got up that first morning, so I made some coffee, then grabbed my camera and headed down to the water and deserted beach, to photograph the surfers that were taking advantage of the bigger waves from the tropical storms off shore! I was in bliss, sitting all alone taking in the smells, sounds and feels that I get here.

But first, a fist pump...

I was excited to have a girl out there finally! I usually only see dudes!  She killed it btw!  ;-)

The water was really rough, red flags every day we were there. 

Out of focus but I loved the shot anyway.

There were too many clouds when the sun was coming up to see sunrise, but then it peeked through a bit while I was sitting on the sand, enough to illuminate the surfers beautifully!

oh hey...

The waves aren't always really big in WB, but today they had some serious volume! lol

Wipe out

Finally my mom woke so we ate a bite, got our walk in and and succeeded in getting two teenagers up for the day, the girls and I headed down to Sweetwater Surf Shop, Wings, Redix and Hallelu for some shopping!  

Finding the little boutique Hallelu, recommended by Chelsea, was amazing! Farron found 3 items that fit her like a glove, no alterations necessary!!  (short girl probs).  We got our standard WB attire for gifts and us and headed back to the house!!

I don't think we spent more than a few minutes of our days inside. Having access to you blame us?  I loved being in the middle of it ALL the time!

I can never get enough pictures on this porch.  ...or anywhere in WB actually lol.  Over 3000 this trip! πŸ˜‰

Baby girl...

Our time in this beautiful, relaxing place is all thanks to these two generous and amazing souls who spoil us rotten!!  

Love this lady more than life. How did I get so lucky to have her as a mom?

Being a tourist and having fun in the local shops.

Obsessed with yellow....everything.

Those wooden boards....if I were a surfer..... πŸ’—

Sunday was the designated night for our all family get together at the cottage (it is weird to me that they call it a beach cottage, but I guess compared to the mansions surrounding us, it is relatively small lol). We had about 30 relatives over, and swam, ate and chatted for hours catching up and spending time together!  Reconnecting and catching up makes for a happy crowd!

 Rich with the vino and Patsy in the background helping get set up for the gang to arrive!

Ugh I can't get ENOUGH of spending time with Gabs. 

Reiner getting groovey.

When you are feeling the love, and then realize what your girl is doing for the fair...πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ 

The girls, Braedon and Neil all braved the currents to get wet for a bit! 

Neil Jr. stayed put on the sand, like me!

Brinna racing with her dad and ultimately took a hard fall lol! She was winning though, do I suspect foul play?  Maybe....

These guys always pick up like it was yesterday that they were together! πŸ’—

Time for FOOD!  ...and there was lots of it.  Taco bar!

We always try to get a group shot and I wish this one was good as last years...I should have set everyone up better :(.

Just before the group started arriving, Farron and I went to see if there was any wind on the beach. lol


needs no caption.

The "kids" table.  I was hovering on the side, wanting to be a part of the group. ;-)

Day 3!

Sunrise, it's a big deal to me.  I have NO clue why this has happened since my first trip to WB, some 14 years ago, but I have naturally have woken up to see sunrise every day of every trip. This year I set my alarm just in case, because it has become a time that I SO look forward to, and it has become part of my experience. Just like running, that has turned to walking, down to the end of the island and back with my mom.  She joins me for sunrise, we get to talk, and talk a LOT since we are both talkers, when we walk.  Even though she is where I got the talking gene from, she is so good at just listening to me when we walk. I have an nonjudgmental ear in her, and I appreciate that more than I can express! It's a great way to start my day off!

Everything is beautiful in the morning light, especially the sea oats!

Farron's breakfast almost every day. Almond butter, David's bread and fruit.

The sun making it's ascent above the horizon.  Just before we get the full force of the rays, it offers the most beautiful glow. This day was cloudy which gave a whole different look to the  morning!

I loved the light it cast in my room and onto the door.

There were a couple of days that the moon was fantastically bright in the sky! I'm actually surprised and delighted that my lens was able to capture it so clearly!

This was my favorite sunrise picture of the trip. I actually didn't even realize that I had the gulls in the shot until I pulled it off the card and saw it enlarged!  Probably blowing this one up for the wall!

Other than walking, this was my only day of doing a formal workout! lol I brought my bands with good intentions but walking on the sand and biking all over the island felt more important this time!

Ok, done!  

 I consumed an awful lot of coffee this trip πŸ˜€πŸ’—.  I started with my home brew, and then... see below

We are's official. The Workshop Coffee was hands down the best iced, decaf, americano that I have ever had!! Audrey was such an amazing business owner and came to know our order in a few short days. It became a daily habit, as soon as the girls woke up!  I MISSSS her coffee blend!!  

We walk, we talk and we btake time to take in everything around us!

Our path.

Mom and I see a lot of the same people out running or walking when we are on our own personal trek to the end of the island each morning. Vacationers or residents that are there during the same week we are. This day we ran into THIS handsome trio of Shih Tsu's and I feel in LOVE!!

So blessed, we are.

After our morning "stuff", we headed back into do some more shopping/browing at the local shops and wander around! I could spend a lot of time meandering around and making my final choices of what to spend money on this trip, and of course take in the local sights.

Local homes. Always a wet suit, surf board, skate board or bike outside.

I've always loved these colorful condos!

Sweetwater Surf Shop had a new mural up! LOVED it!

Grom heading to the waves.

We got our fill and came back to the house to spend some good hours on the beach and in the water. Tried out the GoPro and the new attachment I purchased to try some water photography!  Definitely

Always a comedian in the group! 

Day 4!

We decided one fun adventure we hadn't done was a trip to the river front, to really check out the historical old buildings that Wilmington has to offer. We met up with Patsy and Rich for lunch at a river front restaurant that was SOOO good, and we had one of the nicest waiters I have EVER encountered!  πŸ’•

We wandered through shops, Gabby and I went off to see some of the older buildings and alleys, and said goodbye to a couple family members.

Gabby trying to lure in a cat that was roaming around!

The boardwalk was really pretty, old and with cute shops!

This pic may seem like a nothing shot, but I love it! My mom took it of me and Gabby walking to a back alley to take some pictures, per her request! She loved the old historical look of the buildings!


No comment lol.

Taken in the alley we were walking too. Such wonderful brick, textures and greenery!

This row of white and earthy tones was absolutely stunning!

Love the love that still exists between these two, after 56 years!

This wall...I'm dying!!  πŸ’š

...and this one...

This evening, like many while we were here, we went out shooting and riding bikes!

Gab was more interested in being behind the camera this trip! I love that the photography bug has hit her!

The sunset this night was UNREAL!!  Seriously the most beautiful one of the trip!

Day 5!

Today we had the opportunity to visit a Sea Turtle rehabilitation center, and see what they were having to go through with all the pollution and how we are literally killing them by not being conscious of litter.  :(. This was a very eye opening trip that I am so thankful to have had!!  

It was worth the wait but wow was it awful outside lol. Hot hot hot and no breeze!!  

The girls were both so interested in the turtles and what we can do to help keep them safe in the future!! 

We got to walk through a series of mini presentations on our way to see the turtles that were super informative!!

It was really impressive to see these turtles in person and so close up!  They had a 500 pound and 300 pound turtle there that was absolutely incredible!

We ended up that evening with a HUGE downpour on our way back to the cottage. I thought that the night would be spent inside but we ended up with some of the most incredible golden hour light that I took full advantage of with a mini photo shoot on the water!  Below is only a handful of what I got that night...absolutely incredible!

This light though....the light was SO warm and beautiful it was INSANE!

Gabby being Gabby lol. She wanted to swim versus shoot pics but allowed me to capture her just as she is!  πŸ’“ favorite thing to do!

We always get a picture with Nana on the beach with these two!

Don't leave me out of the fun!!  

I adore these shots I got of Gabby looking for what we call Periwinkles.  I don't know their true name, but they are the tiny little clams that wash up with the tide and burrow back in the sand quickly!!

My favorite!! 

We got him out to the sand later in the trip but my dad is usually very happy with his book on the deck! 

Day 6!

Gabby wanted to head into WB and shoot "stuff" so she and I took an adventure to see what we could find! We found "stuff" and had a great time lol!!

Lucky us to have a residential connection in WB through Dustin and Chelsea who let us park at their bungalow!
  This is Jazzy's art store where we have purchased art from in prior years! He uses all stuff found on the beach! From the sand, to old wood to shells...really cool art!!

Our favorite surf shop!


The ice cream/ice/gelato shop! We have stopped here many time during our visits here!!

super cool find

There was a really cool mural on the side of this building. Perfect!

I wanted a pic here and Gabby did a GREAT job of getting the cool shadows from the palms in the shot!! I LOVE this!!

I told the girls that if we were lucky enough to get another beautiful golden hour, I wanted to head back out to shoot this night.  We lucked out (rain in the forecast our last two days) and headed back out!  

I can't even....that light, my girl...the perfect combo ever.


Not set up, and the perfect capture of my baby girl.

Each girl, so perfectly them.

no words, just emotion for me.

One of many favorites of my beautiful mama during this trip!

Funny story, I had filled an entire memory card this day and had 1 shot left.  I told them to "do something"....this is it ladys and gents! lol 

Best picture EVER of my dad...taken by my mom! πŸ’˜

Thank you mom and Farron and Gab for helping me be so present in the pictures this trip!  

She may look worried, she wasn't, its a look that is one I remember from many years, glad to have the candid capture!

We were able to head to the Carolina Yacht Club where we got to play a rousing game of Bingo with my relatives! It's a gorgeous place and we had fun, plus saw some cool sights on the sound which were so different from the ocean side!!

Day 7! 

Last full day brings a sense of sadness that it's wrapping up, but also a sense of satisfaction knowing what we have just been able to feel, see and experience over the last week.  I will include a bunch of random shots, that I love and tell more of our story here.  The story is a good one and so very important to me and my girls!  

I could photograph surfers all day. 

There was a piece of us missing on this trip.  My beautiful Aunt Edie had left this world a short while ago and while her physical presence was felt and missed, her spirit and soul were right there with all of us!

The beauty of Leslie's back yard.  

If we were at the house, you could always find us out wandering the beach!

Shot just before sunrise, with the beautiful orange glow and a line up of surfers in the water.

The calm.

A happy set up, captured from my porch.


The love I saw expressed between my mom and dad this trip was heartwarming. To have such a strong and supportive loving bond after so many years is something I aspire to.  

My papa!!

Rain storm coming through, makes the hair extra curly!

Lol, yes this was being done on purpuse. 

Free spirited child running free. 

Favorite family pic by Sophie!

Love that smile, that face, those eyes and every sense of her being. 

Farron was on a mission to collect trash.  Saving the planet one piece at a time. 

Adore this..

Every day...

Trying to dry clothes in the sun since the humidity keeps them damp FOREVER lol!

Last stop at our fave on the way out of town.

Because you always need a good bathroom selfie...especially when you have such a cool bathroom to selfie in!!  πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‡πŸ˜š

So congratulations if you are still with me!  I write this for a few reasons, one of which being I can document my adventure for my own memories, AND, so that I can share something I find so fulfilling, with YOU. I know it's long, and hopefully you found something that added a smile to your day!  

I'm always loving connecting and hearing YOUR stories and adventures so reach out, link me up and leave a comment! It's always appreciated to know that someone other than MOM is out there!!  

Thank you for being here and until next time!!