Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Day of Coastal Carolina

One of my goals for our East Coast duty station is to see all 7 coastal lighthouses in North Carolina. In order to accomplish this one, I will need to drive the entire coast line of this state. It is not an undoable task since the distance between the southern most lighthouse to the northern most lighthouse is 300 miles. North Carolina isn't that big regardless of what any map tries to indicate. Stay tuned for those adventures!

This lighthouse is in Wilmington which is near our home. I've learned the magical mommy art of integrating what I really want to do with what the kids want when adventuring. Our whole staycation day was really about the lighthouse. But I know if I say that to my kids they will complain and be completely obnoxious until we just don't go at all. Unless, they could climb to the top of that lighthouse, which to our "disappointment" top tours are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings only. Wow, I really didn't plan that well. Or did I?!?

This is the Oak Island Lighthouse which is unique in it's simply design. 
I believe this lighthouse is the newest in the state built in 1953. It also do not have the typical spiral staircase to climb to the top but small ship ladders. I might be brave to climb smaller stints on ladders  rather than an open spiraling staircase from top to bottom. But I can't be sure at this point. Either way 150-plus feet or more is way outside my comfort zone. It's more of a dad thing in our family :)
Anyways, if you like history and facts, here is the link for the Oak Island Lighthouse.

The kids experienced something new while exploring the Wilmington coastal area. A ferry ride! They have never been on a ferry, seen one work, or known the concept. I'm pretty confident they were a little freaked out as we waited in line to drive our car on the boat. They asked repeatedly asked questions like, "What happens if the boat sinks?" and "Who is responsible for replacing our car...if the boat sinks?" Haha. Luckily, this time, the boat didn't sink. 

We had a pretty neat experience and got them comfortable with ferry rides. This was my plan because I read adventuring to Cape Hatteras is a 2.5 hour ferry ride compared to this 40 minute one. Cape Hatteras is one my travel list here, so we need to be ok with that :)

Remember those activities I mentioned throwing in the mix to get my kids to go along with my plans? This day was the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. I did a quick photo tour of the NC aquarium which you can go back and read. The aquarium has rave reviews for being one of the best in the nation. I think we might be a little jaded having all the aquariums in Southern California. Aquarium of the Pacific, Birch Aquarium, and Sea World do the fish thing very well! But, here we are in NC, and the East Coast is a completely different ecosystem than the West Coast. So, we can learn new things. 

Like alligators!


  1. What a fun idea to check them all out!! So cool. I'll definitely be following along. I also have never been on a ferry, and I am sure I'd be freaked out and ask those same questions, haha!! That's what happens growing up landlocked, I guess (for me anyway, not them!)

  2. Gorgeous! I'm pretty sure we've been to that aquarium before.

  3. Right up my alley! There's a light house on an island right across from Oak Island too. The name escapes me at the moment.

  4. Nope to the Nope on the ferry boat, I cannot stand them! the interest of taking my boyfriend to see all the beautiful things of my "2nd home state" (where my parents now live), I think I have to suck it up. Have you been up to Cape Lookout yet? There is an awesome catamaran ride that takes you out there, serves lunch and is just a great time.