Last week (during my blog hiatus) I vacationed to Sunset Beach, NC with my family. Kyle and I, my mom and dad, and my little brother Fred and his wife Christina all stayed in a 4 bedroom beachfront house along the east coast.

It was kind of odd to be back in a house with my parents and brother- especially with the addition of our spouses. We all have different personalities and habits, but I think the week went really well.

K and I were almost always the first ones awake. We also made almost all the homemade meals. We were I was also the planner of the days/excursions.

Fred and Christina were much more laid back. They went on walks when they wanted to, woke up naturally and slowly, and often went with whatever flow I suggested. (Our older sibling/younger sibling personalities come out in full force when we’re together…)

My parents are familiar with Fred’s and my differing personalities so they just mediated and provided some form of structure. There were no outburst last week, though, so my parents had a pretty easy job.

Like most beach vacations we had a nice mix of shore time, restaurant dining, mini-golfing, and adventuring. We wandered up to Wilmington, NC one day to tour the USS North Carolina and grab some lunch. Another day was spent down in North Myrtle Beach at the outlet malls.

Funny enough, K’s family was vacationing in MB the same week we were down there. We spent the 4th of July having dinner at their beach house and visiting with relatives that we only see once a year. (They had 15 people living in their house… 😳)

As I mentioned on Tuesday, my parents’ 14 year old shepherd-lab mix passed away from old age while we were gone. We all hated that we weren’t with Heidi for those last few days. She was a loyal, sweet, stubborn, protective, loving soul. My parents’ dog-sitter Jen was devastated to find that Heidi had died in her sleep- we all felt terrible for her. Obviously it wasn’t Jennifer’s fault and she had nothing to do with Heidi’s passing, but what a crappy thing to discover…

The heartwarming thing was that a handful of my parents’ friends called or texted to offer their condolences and some even offered to drive out to my parents’ house and bury her. My grandma had saved a steak bone from their supper for Heidi the night before and was heartbroken to hear she’d died. I honestly can’t explain how good it feels to be a part of a community that loves our family- including all our dogs.

So overall, even with the loss of Heidi, our vacation was a nice one. K and I are super happy to be home with our fur babes and it’s nice to be back in the midst of our company (running a company from the road is stressful but necessary). That said, the week-long break was 100% necessary.

This was my first time at Sunset Beach! It was much quieter and less commercialized than Myrtle. I’d recommend the island to anyone. Specifically, if you’re in the area, check these out!

Crabby Oddwaters (restaurant in Sunset Beach, NC)
Sooooo good. The staff was super friendly, the atmosphere was beachy and slightly bayou-y, and we had an amazing meal! We also saw an alligator (…crocodile?) in the water outside the window!

USS North Carolina (navy boat and museum in Wilmington, NC)
Last year when K and I went to Myrtle we almost wandered up the coast to tour this ship, but we decided not to. I’m so glad we went this time around! I love history and walking through the cabins and rooms of a once-active warship gave me goosebumps. It was hotter than Hell but I loved experiencing this piece of history!

Bummz Beach Cafe (restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC)
We had the steamed shrimp as an appetizer and it was so. dang. good. I swear I’ve thought about that shrimp at least once a day since we left Bummz. I think you’d definitely drive right past this place if you were cruising N. Ocean Boulevard for some dinner, but I’m telling you right now you need to pull over and give this place a shot! (Also, it kind of cracked me up that my grandma sent us to this restaurant… I mean, it’s named after butts… hahaha!)

Have you been to Sunset Beach, NC? Where is your summer vacation spot this year?

26 thoughts on “Let’s Go to the Beach, Beach…

  1. WOW, this place sounds super nice! I’ll have to keep it in my mind as a vacation place.

    Ugh, my heart is just broken for your family over the loss of Heidi. I am so sorry. ❀


    1. It was lovely. I’ve been to Myrtle Beach a thousand times and staying a mere 25 minutes north of there totally got rid of the commercialization and crowds and busyness. It was great!

      Thank you ❀ She was an old girl- not really age wise but she loved to run through the countryside and she was an energetic dog and she just slipped into old age before we even saw the years fly by. My parents' house is lonely without her.


  2. It’s always fun doing vacay with family & friends … but a fine line from irritating πŸ˜‰ haha
    I love your black/floral top in front of the ship. Where did you get that?
    That is my fear watching someone’s animal… how awful to discover that. But sometimes I feel like animals – & people – choose when to pass away & did it knowing everyone was away… like to make it easier for their loved ones.


    1. A fine, fine, fine line from irritating πŸ˜‰ We were all happy to be home in our own elements by the end, I think. Lol
      My top is from Old Navy!! And it was SO inexpensive!
      I think you might be right about animals. We were able to remember her so, so fondly and think about all the fun times we had with her. If we’d have been home it would have shattered us to see that empty doghouse so fresh in our minds and to spend those first few summer days without her ❀


  3. Somehow it didn’t register that your family dog passed away while you were away. That’s my worst nightmare. I’m glad, though, that you had lots of people rally around and give support.

    Sunset Beach looks gorgeous. And now I’m dreaming about those shrimp! LOL! Last year, my parents and my brother and his family came to visit for a week. They didn’t stay with me (1 bedroom apartment can’t handle 8 people) but I made a lot of meals for everyone. It’s crazy but a good kind of crazy. Glad you were able to get away and spend some quality time with the family!


    1. My parents have two dogs. One is a little gremlin that hates people (except the core family… and even still- he’s like a fickle cat). The other, Heidi, was super protective but smart smart smart. She accepted anyone we introduced to her (as long as we gave her the ‘ok’ that they were a good human) and she loved sitting around the fire with us on summer/fall nights. We’re going to miss her…

      Oh man. The shrimp… TAKE ME BAAAAACK. Hahaha!


  4. I haven’t been to Sunset Beach, but I have such a soft spot for Wilmington since it’s where we got engaged. I’ve never visited the battleship, though!


    1. It was an adorable little town!! THe battleship was awesome, though! My family really enjoys that kind of thing πŸ™‚ We also ate at a place called Platypus and Gnome in the historic district. It was yummy!


  5. Sounds like such a wonderful family vacation!!! We always travel with Chris’s family (his sister and BIL and their kid in the summer to the beach and then all of them plus Chris’s parents and usually his older brother and his kids at Christmas.) We always tend to get along pretty well, but are always glad to be home just as our own family unit too when we get back haha. And the outlets are always on our to do list when we travel too!

    I am so sorry to hear about your parents dog though. Breaks my heart.


    1. It’s funny that 6 or so years ago I was under the same roof as my parents and Fred, but in those last few years we now all live SO differently and have different habits. I’m glad vacation was just a week πŸ˜‰ It’d be tough to all live under one roof again, lol!!
      Thank you ❀ She was a sweet girl. We miss her.


  6. Glad you had a nice vacation! It’s always good when everyone gets along with all that togetherness! πŸ™‚

    So sorry to hear about Heidi. That is so hard. They really do become members of the family.


    1. It was JUST the right amount of time… One more day and there may have been some head-butting. Lol

      Thank you. My brother and I were the ones who brought her home and I felt like all our memories with her just played through my mind when we got the news. It was tough 😦 She’s already missed for sure.


    1. We felt terrible for the dog sitter 😦 It was just a sad situation all the way around. We loved on her as much as possible before leaving and I know Jenn always gave her lots of attention.


  7. What a fun trip! I’m glad you guys were able to enjoy time together! And I really am so sorry about Heidi! What a sad loss! ❀


    1. Thank you. It wasn’t a happy call to get while on vacation.
      We’re lucky to have so many dog lovers and people who love us in our lives, though!


  8. I’m so sorry for their loss..that is heartbreaking. I’m glad you were all still able to enjoy the trip! Dog people are the BEST people.


    1. Dog people are definitely the best people. Everyone at home being so wonderful made the distance a little bit easier for us. That night was kind of shot, but we were able to focus on the happy memories of Heidi verses the idea of her death and having to bury her and everything.


  9. Sounds like a great trip! I haven’t ever been to the carolinas… but I want to! πŸ™‚ Glad you guys were able to go at your own pace and still do things together. It can definitely be challenging at times. I’m so sorry about your parents’ dog. 😦 That’s so sad, but I’m sure passed peacefully. Glad you have a good support group around you. XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things


    1. You should go! (Although they’re a bit warm in the summer, lol.) Lots of stuff to do and see. When you go with a big group it can be hard to agree on stuff or branch out, but we balanced it pretty well!
      The dog sitter said she passed in her sleep, which was comforting. She was getting pretty fragile and slow. We were surprised necessarily, but pretty sad nonetheless.


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