Vacation Packing List: Isle Essentials

“And, don’t forget to pack the…”

Staying at a beach house takes a bit more planning than many first-time guests may realize. Many items available for you at hotels are the very items you will need to bring to your beach house rental.

vacation packing list
Emerald Isle in spring

Regardless of your vacation destination, organization is key to any successful trip, whether you’re alone or with the entire family. Creating your vacation packing list is easy, especially with the input from your group.  One person cannot remember everything, therefore work together on building this list…and check it twice!  Seeking suggestions from sample lists can also be very helpful.  Below are a few suggested items recommended to bring on your Emerald Isle vacation.  Remember, a little extra preparation can make the difference between “Oh, bummer…” and “Ooo, summer!”

“Essentials” Vacation Packing List

Emerald Isle beach houses provide the opportunity to indulge in gorgeous views, amazing sunrises and sunsets, and delicious salty breezes that only the Crystal Coast offers.

You simple need to bring everything you will need to enjoy your time spent here. Shorewood has created a list of “Things to Bring” that suggest items you will need during your stay. Items include paper products, trash bags, dish & laundry soap, and so on. Be sure to go over this list and add or take away as needed when creating your own vacation packing list!

Vacation First Aid

One of the most important things to have on you at anytime is a well-stocked first aid kit. Below are just a few items to add to your vacation packing list that can really save the day!

  • Bandages, gauze, adhesives
  • Pain relievers / sleep aid / allergy / motion sickness / anti-diarrhea & laxative medicines (Because travelling can be hard on the body!)
  • Hydro cortisone cream / Insect repellent / sting relief
  • Sunburn relief (You’ll be happy to have it!)
  • Eye drops / artificial tears
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Mole skin (blister relief) / corn pads
  • Feminine / personal care products
  • Scissors / tweezers / sewing needle
  • Remember to bring your personal prescription medications in their  pharmacy labeled bottles!

Expect the Best, Plan for the Occasion

Plan ahead and take your time when creating your own vacation packing list.  Check it twice, and get advise from members of your group as to what they would like to bring as well. Pack smart! Also keep in mind there are stores on the Crystal Coast where you can purchase items you forget something or if you would rather stock up when you arrive. The Shorewood staff is here as a resource as well.  We are happy to guide you in the right direction as to what items will serve you best and where to find them while on your vacation to Emerald Isle.  We’ll see you this summer!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B

 

Beach Vacation Rentals: Emerald Isle 2018

New Year’s Discounts

Reservations are flooding in for Shorewood’s beach vacation rentals, and we are excited for the upcoming 2018 summer! I ask you, what’s more thrilling than the thought of heading to the beach?  Surely heading to the beach with a little extra cash in your pocket must sound good. Well, here is some great news! Many of our vacation rental properties are offering 10% off their base price if reserved before March 31st. (Call us to find out what properties are participating; there are quite a few!) Finding the best vacation rentals available for summer is a breeze!  Just think, that extra you save could turn into a romantic date night with your loved one or an awesome outing with the kids!

2018 Vacation Rentals

Think about what you want from your beach rental. Do you ultimately need an oceanfront Isle Treasure with a pool or a hot tub? Perhaps a cozy condo overlooking the ocean would be lovely? Maybe something in the middle would work, like a single-family cottage, possible second row with a pool.

beach vacation rentals
Views of the Crystal Coast

If any of these options sounds good, you’ve come to the right rental company. Furthermore, our wide variety of beach vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes, priced for most everyone’s budgets.  Moreover, there is no need to feel intimidated if you are new to the beach rental world. We will happily guide you to find the best property for your family.

Beach Vacation Rentals from Emerald Isle to Salter Path

Bogue Banks is 22 miles of gorgeous scenery spotted with homes and humble little business. Folks finding themselves here for the first time fall in love and return year after year. Many find preference for specific areas of our beautiful barrier island, but the entire piece of land is a slice of heaven. Shorewood offers homes in Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Indian Beach, and Pine Knoll Shores. Regardless of the location, if you’re here then you’re in for a treat! We hope to see you this summer!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Coastal Living: The Real Experience

Variety is the Spice of Life

Choices… that’s what life is all about. When it comes to the coastal living experience, Shorewood is the right choice for your beach vacation needs. Having a wide variety of vacation rentals to choose from can make life simple.  Most often, guests contacts us with a punch list of amenities the group just can’t live without. That’s actually not a bad way to approach the rental world!  Knowing what you want makes the selection process easy for both you and the reservationist working with you. We can help select the property you’ll fall in love with when we know exactly what you have in mind!

Coastal Living Experience

Shorewood has a few new additions to our rental offerings this year! Being a big fan of sound front vacation rentals, I’m thrilled to announce the addition of the lovely sound front home named Panacea.  This rental, named for the Greek goddess of universal remedy (aka cure-all),  is an absolute gem! Located in a quiet neighborhood on the mainland, Panacea is the perfect retreat for the avid water lovers seeking the coastal living experience.  The private dock comes complete with a 10,000 lb boat lift and two jet ski slips! I highly recommend Panacea to anyone who love coastal living, but doesn’t want to mess with the busy island during the summer.

coastal living
Bogue Sound at Sunset

New Year’s Discount

The new year is rolling right along, and just over a month remains to take advantage of the New Year’s Discount!  If you weren’t aware, surely I’m here to tell you… booking early has its benefits! Many of Shorewood’s beach rentals are offering a discount when you make your reservation before March 31st.  This is just one way Shorewood homeowners can say ‘Thank You’ for choosing their homes! Quite a few  homes, duplexes, and condos are still available for this summer, so let us help find the one that’s right for you. Choose the best, leave the rest 🙂 and as always…

Stay Salty!

Christine B

Crystal Coast Holiday Events

Holidays Are Here Again

Another year has flow by and the glorious winter season is once again upon us.  Crystal Coast holiday events are ready and raring to kick off as expected!  Winter is certainly the most wonderful time of year, as they say, so get out and about!  As a matter of fact, it’s the perfect time to mingle with others and meet your neighbors, as well as participating in events around our great community!  Since there is so much to do, make room on your calendars.  Check out these awesome Crystal Coast holiday events taking place in December!

Crystal Coast Holiday Events to Enjoy with the Family

23rd Annual John Costlow Train Show

December 1st-3rd @ Old 1907 Train Depot, Beaufort – Hours May Vary                                                                  At the corner of Pollock & Broad, you’ll find the Old 1907 Train Depot filled with model trains of all shapes and sizes.  From tiny models to outdoor sized displays, there’s something here to delight the children in all of us.  Bring the family to share in the joy brought on by this anticipated holiday tradition.  View both simple circular tracks and intricate displays, all set up by their respective operators.  Learn a bit of history and meet some real train enthusiast who love to share their hobby!  Find out more information here!

 

4th Annual “Santa and a Movie”

December 8th, 2017 @ EI Parks & Recreations  6 pm-8 pm                                                                                      Join Santa for a holiday story after watching a short Christmas movie classic!  Milk & cookies will be provided for children of all ages.  Make sure to bring a blanket to sit on during the movie, and wear your festive holiday pajamas!  In order to attend, you must pre-register.  Call 252-354-6350 or visit  www.emeraldisle-nc.org for more details.

 

5th Annual Gingerbread Festival

December 8-10, 2017 @ the Crystal Coast Civic Center

Crystal Coast holiday events                                 

 

December 8th:  Preview Party!    7:30 pm-11 pm  $50 Tickets                                                                              Come preview the Gingerbread Festival entries at this awesome holiday party.  Enjoy a dinner catered by Seaside Sensations, while Punch provides the musical entertainment.  Tickets to this fantastic celebration are available here!

December 9th & 10th: Open to the Public  11 am-5 pm   Free Admission                                                           Everyone in town is invited to view the festive gingerbread houses and Crab Pot Christmas Trees on display!  Festival goers can vote for their favorite gingerbread displays while enjoying the concerts held on both days.  Crafts will be available for the kids, along with a gingerbread decorating demonstration.   Additionally, concessions will also be available for hungry tummies. Winners of the Festival will receive awards on the afternoon of the 10th.

December 10th: Cookies & Cocoa with Santa  2 pm-4 pm   $10 Tickets                                                      Cookies & Cocoa with Santa will be held on the afternoon of Sunday the 10th.  Tickets allows the little ones to enjoy a fun afternoon visiting with Santa Claus.  They will participate in holiday crafts with other children while indulging in yummy treats!  Watch as little eyes light up with holiday wonder!

 

Morehead City Christmas Parade

December 9th  11 am-12 pm                                                                                                                                                       Join the community down in Morehead for this years parade!  The parade will begin at 1700 Arendell Street and end at 8th & Arendell Streets.  This years parade will feature floats, community groups, bands, entertainment, and above all, Santa!  Bring the family out to catch the holiday spirit!  For more information, visit www.downtownmoreheadcity.com.

More to Come!

All in all, I will keep you posted on the upcoming happenings in January and February.  However, I leave you with a full list of Crystal Coast holiday events.  Take advantage of the holiday season while enjoying simple outings with good friends.  Moreover, break the routine of chores and daily duties to spend time with the family.  Remember, next year will fly by just as quickly as this one has!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Rental Homes on Emerald Isle

Getting the Worm

The early bird gets the worm… a wise statement, indeed.  As far as I can tell, this rule of thumb holds true for most things in life.  Hence, consider the rental homes on Emerald Isle as the proverbial “worms.”  From the large Isle Treasures to cozy little condos, rental homes on Emerald Isle are some of the most popular in the world.  Early vacation planning ensures you are able to select from a wide variety of properties.  Planning ahead also allows for ample preparation time, especially important when renting a vacation property.  If it sounds like the pressure is on, fear not.  I’m here to guide you, my dear vacationer friends.  Here are a few tips to help you plan the best beach vacation yet!

Rental Homes on Emerald Isle: Choosing the Right One for You

Begin searching for your ideal rental property as soon as you decide to visit the Crystal Coast.  During the course of the year, most rental properties on the Isle fill up with reservations quickly.  Therefore, planning a year ahead of time isn’t a bad idea!  Each of the rental homes on Emerald Isle have unique personalities.  Take time to view pictures and descriptions of the ones that may work for your group.  Doing this will give you a better idea of what you will be walking into.  Room layout, kitchen size and dining arrangements, and accessibility all play a factor into what works best for your group.  Of course, we know our properties best so allow us to help when the planning process gets a bit overwhelming.

Plan Your Activities

Learning the lay of the land is the best way to maximize your coastal experience.  Whether you’re an avid angler, a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, there is something here to peek your interest.  While planning your trip, read about everything the area offers.  Ask members of your group what they are interested in experiencing.  This will help determine what activities your group will enjoy best.  Consider the charter fishing tours that leave out of Swansboro, Morehead City, and Beaufort.  These towns are not only beautifully historic, they also offer excellent waterfront shopping, dining, and sightseeing for all those who don’t quite have their sea legs.

rental homes on emerald isle
Cedar Point Nature Trail

For all you nature lovers, this coastal area provides many opportunities to enjoy serene beauty.  Popular natural areas include the Cedar Point Tideland Trail and the Emerald Isle Woods Path.  The Elliot Coues Trail at Fort Macon is another local favorite.  Additionally, Fort Macon is just one of the many historical sites worth visiting on Bogue Banks, along with the Historical Society in Morehead City.  Young people will enjoy the hands-on historical experience along with many other activities tailored to the youth.  We are always happy to offer many other suggestions for everyone in your group, including the young people!

Plan Your Meals

Most travelers wait until they are on the Isle to go grocery shopping.  As I’ve witnesses a thousand times, fighting crowds of hungry road warriors is rarely pleasant.  Regardless, people have to eat!  If you didn’t know already, groceries can be ordered online and delivered to rental homes on Emerald Isle!  Can you imagine the stress and confusion this can save, especially when travelling in with a large group?  Lowes Foods To Go offers the option to shop online and either pick up or have your food delivered.  Having the members of your group specify what they would like in the refrigerator can help avoid a lot of hassle.  Island Dawn Errands is another excellent resource when you need to handle personal and business errands.  Friendly and reputable, Dawn will get it done!  Plan to use these services and save yourself a major headache.

Of course, being on vacation also means dining at some of the best local restaurants in the area.  From fine dining to casual family meals, you’ll find the best of everything on the Crystal Coast.  The fishing industry on  our coast supplies restaurants with the freshest seafood available.  The creative chefs cook it up to reflect their own artistry.  Take time to look at menus, read reviews, and plan where you would really like to dine.  When the question finally comes up of “Where do you want to eat tonight?,” you’ll already know!

Items to Bring to Rental Homes on Emerald Isle

Many newcomers and first-time renters are under the impression that rental homes on Emerald Isle are like hotels.  They are indeed alike in many ways, and also different in many ways.  Hotels offer the convenience of turn-down service and mini bottles of shampoo and lotion.  Beach rental houses offer the privacy and room to accommodate an entire family with room to spare… try that in a single hotel room.  Rental homes on Emerald Isle provide a home away from home, a place to cozy up and relax.

Before you relax though, there are a few things you will need to pack.  At least begin making your list ahead of time.  Be sure to include things like paper towels, toilet paper, trash bags, and dish soap.  All of our properties have either coffee makers, a Keurig, or both.  Be sure to bring filters and your favorite hot beverages!  Also, bring shampoo & conditioner, bath & hand soaps, and all other toiletries.  Many properties include linens with weekly rentals, so double check if you will need to bring linens as well.  If so, be sure to have a correct bed count and know the sizes to bring!  We can help answer any questions about the properties and amenities.

See You Soon!

With all of that being said, I hope you start planning your trip to the Crystal Coast today!  Rental homes on Emerald Isle are available for families and groups of every size and vacation budget.  Let us help guide you to the one that will work best for you.  If you have any questions about the area, activities, and anything else, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.  We know the Crystal Coast and welcome you to it with open arms.  We’ll see you next summer!!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B

 

Winter Rentals on Emerald Isle

Bye Bye Summer

Winter on the Crystal Coast is that special time of the year filled with festivities, great food, amazing fishing and, of course, available winter rentals!  Summer crowds have dwindled, yet the gorgeous coastal scenery flourishes.  Weather on the Isle during the autumn and winter months is very mild, with average temperatures ranging anywhere between the mid-40’s to the mid-60’s.  Beach-combers and fishermen alike enjoy the serene beauty of the Crystal Coast in winter.  One visit during the off-season will certainly enlighten you as to why the Crystal Coast attracts visitors all year long!

Reel ‘Em In

Anglers know that autumn fishing on the Crystal Coast is prime!  With it’s recent remodel, Bogue Inlet Pier provides an exceptional fishing experience.

winter rentals
Bogue Inlet Pier

Folks from around the state come to cast their lines and reel in the wide variety that runs up the coast.  Ask the locals about recent seasonal catches along with where to pull them in!  So far this year, we’ve fried up sea mullet, pompano, spot, & trout, just to name a few.  Not only is it rewarding, it’s a lot of fun for the whole family.  Replace smart phones with fishing poles and see a whole new side of your family!  Your kids might even thank you for an amazing experience!

Yum Yum!

Searching for your next scrumptious meal in the off-season take little to no effort!  Local restaurants stay open year-round serving hot, fresh and delicious meals.  When cold breezes and snow flurries head your way, you head our way!  Grab a bowl of steaming Seafood Bisque at Flipperz, served with amazing homemade bread.  Visit Marty down at Captain’s Kitchen food truck for the best fried seafood anywhere.  Of course, you can always grab takeout from our fabulous local eateries to bring back to one of our winter rentals!  All in all, dine in comfort while watching the waves roll in!

Winter Rentals Just for You

Emerald Isle winter rentals are available now, and are priced to fit any vacation budget.  Enjoy the tranquility of “Island Living” during the off-season months by resting easy in one of our cozy Shorewood properties.  Altogether, our wide variety of beach homes are sure to delight!   By all means, take part in the many festivals and event happening during the winter months.  In essence, we encourage you to live like a local during your visit!  Call us today to plan your next vacation to the Isle!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Morehead City: Gem of the Crystal Coast

What’s All the Hubbub?

Nestled on the banks of the Beaufort Inlet, Morehead City is where tradition meets advancement.  As a matter of fact, this bustling seaside hub has been a hot spot for commerce & tourism for over 150 years!  Rich in culture, customs, and folklore, Morehead is a nerve center of inspiration.  Artists of all mediums find the coast to be a muse, of sorts.  Writers and musicians from around the world have found their calling on the Crystal Coast.  Edible inspiration is found everywhere, served up by local chefs showcasing their individual styles.  Art galleries and antiques shops filled with hidden treasures line the streets of Downtown Morehead City.  By all means, delve into the many sights, sounds, & flavors of this thriving city-by-the-sea!

Morehead City
Beautiful Morehead City

 The Birth of Morehead City

Governor John Motley Morehead envisioned the development of a large port city on the coast. He traveled to Carteret County in the mid-19th century, interested in studying the Beaufort Harbor and Port.  Fortunately, the 29th governor found the location to be quite impressive!  Governor Morehead purchased 600 acres from the Arendell family, giving birth to Shepard Point Land Company, formed in 1857.  At that time, Morehead was occupied by 300 individual families when finally incorporated in 1860.  Developers and first leaders of Morehead City have name streets named in their honor.

Community is Strength

Morehead City thrives on community interaction and involvement.  Events held throughout the year benefit many causes in Carteret County.  Residence and visitors come out in troves to take part in the support of our community!  This is just another reason to plan off-season vacations to the Crystal Coast (hint, hint!)  Morehead City proudly hosts annual events including the North Carolina Seafood Festival and the Carolina Chocolate Festival, not to mention the legendary Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.   These prominent, non-profit events have raised millions of dollars to help strengthen our community.  Additionally, they have helped provide support and awareness for many Carteret County charities.

In addition, Morehead City is home to several world-class postgraduate programs and research organizations.  Equally, Morehead is also home to the lovely waterfront campus of Carteret Community College.  Notable parent schools include UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, & Duke University.  Morehead is a highly active hotbed for higher education.  Students can excel while studying in this gorgeous area.  When they need a break from the books, the beach is a hop and a skip away!  All in all, education and community are major focal points on the Crystal Coast.

Morehead City Eats & Treats

Dining on the Morehead Waterfront is a vast journey in variety.  Spanning from traditional southern fare to fine dining, the choices are endless!  Local chefs combine fresh ingredients to create unmatched flavors unique to the Crystal Coast.  Local bakeries bring people back time and time again with fresh, homemade goods.  Poke your head in to any of these gems and savor the best of the coast!

In any event, take time to explore the rich history and culture of Morehead City.  Step back in time at The History Place and sip tea at the Infusion Café. Certainly, be sure to grab a treat at Sugarloaf Island Bakery and the Spouter Inn!  Furthermore, take time to meet the locals and ask questions!  Take in the sights, sounds and flavors of the Crystal Coast!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

Emerald Isle, NC: Family Reunions

Landlocked in the Lone Star

After years of a landlocked life, Great-Grandmother Louise chose to spend her 95th birthday on Emerald Isle, NC this year.  Raised in Oklahoma and having spent much of her life in Texas, our beloved matriarch was well deserving of some salty air in her lungs!  Making her way from the Lone Star state to the Crystal Coast, she eagerly anticipated an amazing birthday celebration on the coast.  With her heart full of adventure and a rental van full of kin, she made the long journey to the beach.  Clear skies and gorgeous weather were waiting, just in time for the extraordinary week to come!

Birthday on Emerald Isle, NC

Pulling up to the enormous oceanfront treasure on Emerald Isle, NC,  she already knew it would be a memorable occasion.  Gathering to honor her were sons, daughters, grandchildren, and a great-great grandson. Days were spent resting, relaxing, eating, and laughing.  The men surf fished and pulled in a delicious variety, including pompano, sea mullet, spot and drum!  Undoubtedly, the haul was promptly fried up and devoured.  The ladies went sightseeing, taking in the glorious views surrounding the Isle.  Great-Grandma Louise watched as her line of descendants relished in the joyous treasures of the Crystal Coast.

It’s Not a Goodbye, It’s a ‘See You Later’

Throughout 95 years of living, can you imagine what a person experiences, sees, & feels?  It’s almost impossible for a thirty-something to fathom that kind of longevity.  Although Great-Grandma Louise has lived several lifetimes, she is as radiant now as when she was a spry young woman.  Love and light pour from her, and her affectionate regard is enough to melt your heart. Looking into her lovely eyes is to look into the eyes of an earth angel!  At the week’s end, saying good-bye was the last thing I wanted to do.  Showering her with hugs and kisses did not pacify the longing for her to stay.  My heart ached as I pulled away from our final hug.  Goodbye was too final.  Through tearful eyes, we said, “See you later!”

Special Occasions On the Isle

Emerald Isle, NC
Great-Grandma Louise with Granddaughter Danielle & Great-great grandson Daniel

We can only appreciate the journeys of our elders after spending those precious moments with them.  Wisdom is passed along when we slow down and listen to their memories and experiences.  It is of the utmost importance to take advantage of the time we have with our family members.  Days are long but years are so short, therefore now is the time!  Beach houses serve as the perfect venue for reunions and special occasions, providing ample space and glorious scenery.  The off-season rates make beach rentals very affordable for large groups, especially if the party decides to split the bill.  Holidays at the beach are also a great opportunity to get everyone together!  Think Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Years!!

A Lifetime of Love

Time with our loved ones is priceless.  No one can tell their stories the way they do.  No one can replace them once they leave us behind.  So, take ten minutes, an hour, a week, to bask in the company of your family members.  Feel their experiences, see the expressions on their faces, hear the emotions in their voices as they tell their tales.  After all, they’ve spent their lives loving us!  Therefore, lend an ear and pass down the stories to the next generations!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Kindness at the North Carolina Aquarium

Trick or Treat Under the Sea

Halloween & the North Carolina Aquarium go hand-in-hand for many children on the Crystal Coast!  The exciting Trick or Treat Under the Sea is a special event hosted by the Aquarium every year to provide a safe place for children to collect their sweet treats.  Goodies are passed out by local businesses that participate, not only advertise, but also to partake in this favorite community happening.

Over the course of two days, the event brought in around 2,700 people this year.  Decorated to suite, the Aquarium featured spooky inflatable tunnels, haunted pirate scenes, and a headless horseman on the nature walk.  Spider webs clung to the walls, an old witch lurked in the corner… there was even a skeleton inside the Caribsea Wreck display, sporting beach wear with a fishing pole in its bony hand!  To say they did a great job with the decor would be a gross understatement!

Kindness At Its Finest

North Carolina Aquarium
Face to Face with The Sea Turtle

My own little boy, Daniel, had his first Halloween experience this year at the North Carolina Aquarium, and what an experience it was indeed!  I would personally like to extend a monumental “Thank You” to the Aquarium staff for reinforcing my faith in humanity.  My deepest gratitude is especially owed to the Assistant Special Events Coordinator, Kerri.  Yesterday evening, I experienced an overwhelming level of altruism that filled my heart and moved me to tears.

This is what happened…

I purchased tickets online for the event and was ready and raring to go!  I rushed home from work to get Daniel into his Bee costume which, by the way, I had been waiting two years for him to be able to wear.  Eagerly dressing myself as well, I just knew we were in for a wonderful evening! Quickly ushering my mom and him out the front door, we made our way to Pine Knoll Shores.  As we pulled into the parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice the lack of cars.  The only people I could see were dressed in very fancy evening attire, although all the Halloween decorations still adorned the Aquarium.   Attempting to rationalize what I was seeing, I told myself that perhaps the hoards had come the night before.  Not the case at all.

Mishap Turned Miracle

We tentatively entered the front door and looked around, quite confused.  The security guard walked towards us and asked, “May I help you?”  Bewildered, I pulled out my tickets and told him we were here for Trick or Treat Under the Sea.  My heart shattered to the floor when he informed us that the event had already taken place on Thursday and Friday night, not Saturday.  My facial expression must have screamed a thousand words because he asked us to stay put while this sweet man quickly ran off to gather the coordinator of the event taking place that evening.

A kind young woman approached us, introducing herself as Kerri.  She gently explained that the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher was holding their Trick or Treat that night, not Pine Knoll Shores.  We were at the wrong aquarium!!  To say the least, I was dumbfounded.  My ticket didn’t specify the location of the event, only the date therefore I assumed it was at PKS.  (Had I checked my email, I would have known that… duh!)  I noticed Kerri wracking her brain for about half a second before decidedly stating that since we were already there, she was going to make it worth our time.  Again, but in much better spirits, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!  Daniel was going to have his own private Trick or Treat session!

Having a Ball at the North Carolina Aquarium

The Aquarium was actually hosting a private masquerade ball that evening, and guests were slowly trickling in.  We had arrived just before the event truly kicked off.  Early guests were dressed in gowns, tuxedos, and fancy masks.  The girls at the front desk were also dressed for the occasion and looked magnificent!  It sure looked like Halloween to me!  Kerri swept the three of us through the inflatable tunnel and toured Daniel through the unoccupied areas of the Aquarium.  Using her walkie-talkie, she strategically arranged for other staff members to be in place when Daniel entered the various exhibits.  He was awestruck, shyly walking through the corridors, that is, until his bucket began filling up!  Two elegantly dressed women placed beads around his little neck.  Everyone he encountered filled his pumpkin bucket with goodies.  Even the spooky mannequin hanging from the ceiling dispersed treats!

Heroes of My Heart at the North Carolina Aquarium

By the end of the tour, he could barely carry it on his own!  Tears pricked my eyes throughout the entire experience.  The kindness and generosity shown to my two and a half year old bumblebee was overwhelming.  Kerri was incredibly warm, not at all rushing us through, although she was busy preparing for the masquerade that evening.  She even happily offered to take our picture with a few displays.  Her gracious compassion absolutely floored me.

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way

North Carolina Aquarium
Happy Halloween at the Aquarium

We only spent about 20 minutes or so in the Aquarium that night.  That was all it took to fill Daniel’s little pumpkin, and my heart with joy.  This amazing group of people treated my little boy like a true VIP, making right of every wrong in the world in those few minutes.  I can’t express my appreciation enough for the fine folks at the North Carolina Aquarium in Pine Knoll Shores.

All in all, be sure to visit these amazing people and fantastic animals at the Aquarium next time you visit the Crystal Coast!  Many Shorewood properties are just a short drive to Pine Knoll Shores.  The Aquarium itself is an awesome place to take your family, and the staff are there because they love what they do.  Your inner child will surely feel nurtured after encountering tenderness and joy offered by these wonderful individuals.  Thank you again, Kerri and staff, from the bottom of my heart.  You are true humanitarians!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B.

 

Emerald Isle Fall Vacation Rentals

Time to Plan for the Holidays

Cool autumn air signifies the end of the summer vacation season here on the Crystal Coast.  Shorewood Real Estate had a great summer!  We now look forward to welcoming guests to their Emerald Isle fall vacation rentals!  Many autumn & winter vacation rental homes are still available, ideal for fishing trips or gathering the whole family for the winter holidays.  Now is the time to plan!  Take a look at our selection of family friendly properties that hold promise to be the perfect venues to eat, drink, and be merry!

The Gift of Memories

Undeniably, we live in an age of excess.  Many of us have a plethora of things we really don’t need.  We speed through each day, just trying to get to the next.  Rather than looking up at the stars in the evening, we spend our time obliviously staring down at our phones and computers.  Families sit around dinner tables saying very little to one another while they have full texting conversations with someone else.  We have been cheating ourselves.  Beauty and wonderment lie just beyond those screens, just beyond the windows of our offices and homes.  Its time to look up, reach out, connect with ourselves and our families.  The time to make memories is at hand!

Emerald Isle Fall Vacation Rentals

Life is short, and that is no lie.  Our kids get bigger every time we glance at them.  Not to mention, we’re not getting any younger either!  Here is my proposal… take a family trip, regardless the time of year.  Gather the troops and head for the seashore.

Emerald Isle fall vacation rentals
Bogue Inlet Pier at Dusk

Visit the North Carolina Aquarium, eat at a few local gems, all while avoiding the hectic summer crowds.  Stay up late with the kids, play games, watch movies, relax and reconnect as a family.  No matter the activity, being together is most important.  Sweet memories are the rewards that life grants us simply for waking up each morning.  Take time to make them… your kids will thank you for it!

Until next time, Stay Salty!

Christine B