Life's a Beach! North Carolina's Crystal Coast Delights

I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving! My family spent our holiday on North Carolina's Crystal Coast in the coastal community of Emerald Isle, located on Bogue Island. This island is bustling in the summer months, but is quiet in the off-season which makes for a great fall/winter escape at a reduced rate.

We celebrated the holiday with Will's extended family. Every other year, seventeen family members make the trek to Emerald Isle.  The oldest person is not quite 80, and the youngest just turned 3. This year, we switched to a new rental house on the island.

The house is named 1 Angel's Haven with Emerald Isle Realty. 
Honestly, it was as if we rented our own bed and breakfast inn.  This home had 10 bedrooms, and 10 bathrooms. It was amazing! The decor was bright and cheery, and it had so many spaces to escape from the children.  Did I just say that?  Well, in reality, we have some teenagers in the family now so they actually escaped from us in their own rooms.  It was an ideal house for a large group of people. I loved it. We've stayed in beautiful homes before on Emerald Isle before, but we've never had the bedroom space that this home allowed.  And of course, the ocean was our playground.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, a shrimp and oyster night, and a margarita night. In this luxurious house, the days flew by, and now my own home seems so small, and noisy.   Here's a peek into our special holiday.

My children discovered "Shirley Temple" cocktails.  We made this little one sing, "On the Good Ship Lollipop!"

The walls were quite colorful in the house, but they are not as bright as photos make them appear. 

On the way back to Raleigh, we stopped briefly in the historic town of Swansboro, NC so I could get a cup of coffee for an afternoon break.  I also wanted to look around. What can I say? I am a travel writer.  This is a quaint town with lots of shops, and an adorable bakery and cafe called Boro.  They certainly greeted me with a smile.  The Church Street Inn on the waterfront certainly caught my eye.  It has only five rooms, but they are well-done, and would be great for an overnight escape.

For more on Emerald Isle, visit and to learn more about the town of Swansboro in Onslow County, visit

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