Beach, cocktails, Dining

Kitsey’s guide to the Crystal Coast

People are always asking me for my recommendations on things to do, and in particular, places to eat on North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, so here’s the quick and dirty!

About the Crystal Coast:
I love its tourism slogan “North Carolina’s Gem.” It’s so fitting for this lovely area that includes Atlantic Beach, Morehead City and Beaufort.

Where to stay:
Formerly known as the Clamdigger, it now goes by the more upscale sounding moniker of The Inn at Pine Knoll Shores. It’s a great hotel for a quick weekend trip. For longer trips we book a condo through Cannon and Gruber.

Where to eat: (The most frequently asked question!)

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Amos Mosquitos in Atlantic Beach. My number one choice though it’s really a tie between here and Floyds. Fun, casual atmosphere and great food. The pork chop with tasso ham gravy is what I’d want as my last meal if I’m ever on death row. It’s only open for dinner and always packed in the summer. Get there early and be prepared for a wait, but it’s worth it. Have a mojito in the bar while you wait. And order the s’mores for dessert cause it’s fun!

 

Floyds 1921 in Morehead City. My other number one. In a beautiful old home it’s casual but still has a fine dining flair to it. The entire menu is wonderful. The crab bisque, mac and cheese appetizer and meatloaf are all good. I usually order mahi mahi when I’m here. And I ALWAYS (well except for last year when I was pregnant) order a Big Daddy Dirty Martini! Amazing desserts too!

Ruddy Ducks in Morehead City. This is my dad’s favorite place and we usually end up eating here at least twice if not three times while we are visiting in the summer. The shrimp basket is the best deal at the beach! Sitting on the deck makes for an even more enjoyable experience. The painkiller cocktail is another yummy choice. The fish tacos are good as are all the burgers. Great place for the seafood and non-seafood lovers.

acs_0246Channel Marker in Atlantic Beach. This place has a bit of an old-school feel to it. They put out the cracker basket and cheese on the table when you arrive. The deck is great if you like to sit outdoors with a view, it’s right on the waterway. The mahi is good and just the plain ol’ fried flounder is another of our favorites. I always upgrade to the stuffed baked potato.

 

 

 

acs_0245Spouter Inn in Beaufort. Great spot for lunch. The flounder sandwich is good as is the egg salad. Another great place to dine al fresco right on the water!

 

 

 

What to do: 

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. I just love this place. I go nearly every summer. Be sure to pet the stingrays and say hi to the otters, Neuse, Pungo and Eno. If the otters are asleep on your first trip around, swing back by again before you go. It’s worth it to see them playing!

Shackleford Banks. Take the ferry from Beaufort over to this little island to see the wild ponies and collect some shells. It’s wonderful at low tide as there is a big sandbar you can walk way out on.

Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach. If you like history this place is definitely worth a visit.

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The Lush's Blush blog
cocktails, pregnancy

Pickles and pina coladas

The Lush's Blush blog
Flashback to being 32 weeks pregnant with my sweet little boy.

“When are you due?”

“Are you having a boy or girl?”

These are some of the most frequently asked questions of pregnant people. People also want to know what crazy thing you have been craving to eat. I’m a little bummed to report that I didn’t really have any weird cravings while I was pregnant. I was very lucky to not have any morning sickness but my appetite all but disappeared, particularly during my first trimester.

As someone who loves food and loves to eat, it was very weird to not feel hungry. Every day when he got off work, my sweet husband would call and ask what I wanted for dinner. He would beg and cajole and offer to fix anything I wanted. I would just sigh and tell him to fix whatever he wanted and I would try to eat a few bites.

The closest I did have to a craving I’m convinced was brought on my other factors than my pregnancy. In the early months of my pregnancy I really wanted a pina colada. I didn’t want alcohol I just wanted a cool creamy coconut and pineapple drink. At the time I was using a shampoo that smelled strongly of coconut and I blamed the craving on that, and perhaps my constant desire to be somewhere warm and tropical.

After several trips to the grocery store and talking myself out of getting the makings for a pina colada, I finally did it. My pregger pina colada was a simple mixture of cream of coconut and pineapple juice, add ice and put it in the blender. It really hit the spot and that was the end of my craving for it.

I confess that I did want to eat pickles while I was pregnant, but I’ve always loved pickles. I didn’t eat any with my pina colada. The weird thing was I didn’t want my homemade pickles. I only wanted the plain store bought dill pickle chips.

While I didn’t have any cravings while I was pregnant, I pretty much crave all the food all the time now that I’m breastfeeding.