Cross-Country Wedding, SC/NC, Congaree NP, + OBX!

Whoa, I am behind on the blog! Let’s get right to it. Last I left y’all was mid-March-ish. I worked in the north panhandle of Texas in an adorable little town called Perryton with the world’s nicest people. It is the kind of place I didn’t know existed anymore. There isn’t even a Walmart… Crazy, right?! Crazy-wonderful. The job is fantastic- nice facility, congenial surgeons, lovely nurses and staff. I truly enjoyed my time there, even the week that Ross left me to go to Vegas for his best friend’s bachelor party. I’ll spare y’all the full details, but he did mention zombie apocalypse paintball, desert dunebuggies, and lots of booze and gambling. I was jealous of that whole booze thing, since while working and on call 24/7 that meant no wine or whiskey. Tragic, I know. Ha! My bossman luckily made it back from the Middle East in one piece and relieved me in March 20th.

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We then began our 1300-mile journey to Columbia, SC where said best friend (Brent) was getting married on March 25th. So, we had to book it to make it halfway across the country with the tiny house in tow. We traveled 8-10 hours per day for three days to make it in time for all the festivities. For the first time, we did stay overnight in a Walmart parking lot in North Little Rock one night. It was not too bad. There was a curious security guard who kept an extra eye out for us. Of course, we’re a traveling side show everywhere we go, so we always get people asking questions and wanting tours. It is usually no problem, and we’re used to it by now.

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The next morning, we traveled another long day and stopped overnight at Big Oak RV Park in Tallapoosa, GA. The sweetest lady runs the park and made sure we were taken care of. We were able to recharge our solar batteries and fill our freshwater tank since our next stop was to be boondocking in Ross’s best friend’s neighborhood (for which we got permission from the neighbors, no worries). We arrived in Columbia and parked in a cute little cul-de-sac behind Brent’s house on a pond.

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We loved getting to spend an extra day with Brent and his beautiful bride Rachel before the wedding at her parent’s lake house. They are such a fun and welcoming family. The weekend that followed was a whirlwind of a rehearsal dinner, gorgeous ceremony, funky-cool wedding reception, friends, food, drinks, and dancing. We had a blast. So much so that Ross may have needed a recovery day on Sunday including naps, tacos, and lots of Gatorade. It happens.

That Monday, we made our way to Congaree National Park just outside of Columbia. Yay, another NP checked off the list! There is a giant loop boardwalk to explore the different areas. It was gorgeous, even though some of the boardwalk was under construction. We saw all kinds of critters and enjoyed being out in sunshine.

The weekend of April 7th-9th has been planned for months, thanks to my BFF Chelsey. Our childhood neighborhood friends/might as well be family have an amazing place in the North Carolina mountains. But that was still 10 days away. So Ross and I got to do one of our favorite things as full-time travelers: randomly pick somewhere and GO. I have always wanted to visit the Outer Banks of NC (OBX). So we headed that way. That’s just so fun to be able to do. Boom. Go. Yay! We decided to use our awesome Harvest Host membership and found a gem in Tabor City, NC on the way to OBX called Grapefull Sisters Vineyard. A wonderful family runs a campground and winery on site, and it was perfect for us. Great weather, wine, wine slushes (!), moonshine pickles, chunky pepper hot sauce. Yum. I’m drooling just remembering it.

The next day we went to New Bern, NC and stayed at a Good Sam RV Park called Moonlight Lake. It was just an overnight to break up the driving. Then we hit the OBX. We decided to stay in the thick of it (read: more expensive), but our location made it worth it to explore what we wanted. We stayed at OBX Campground and loved it so much that we stayed for two nights despite the cost. We did a lot of driving around on Thursday. Exploring Roanoke/Ft. Raleigh (the Lost Colony) was interesting, yet touristy. Jockey’s Ridge State Park has the tallest sand dunes in the eastern U.S. We loved it so much that we actually visited all three days we were there. We ate at John’s, a local staple, which was unique and delicious.

Then… Friday happened. It was a rainy, overcast, cold, and dreary day, but we were determined to make the most of it. We got up early and ate Duck Donuts as recommended by all the locals, which were amazing. The dogs needed some exploring time so back to Jockey’s Ridge we went.

We took the two heathens (pups) back to the tiny house so they could rest while went to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Now THAT was cool. Getting to stand in the exact spot where the birth of flight occurred was stirring. The visitor center is under construction but luckily most of it is outdoors.

The weather started to go from blah to worse, so we decided to take a driving tour up to Duck and Corolla (pronounced like cholera, not the Toyota kind). There are HUGE houses on the beach in that area, to the price tag I don’t want to even guess. Let’s just say our tiny house would not be welcomed. Anyhow, we went to the northern most point of OBX where the road turns to a drive-on beach. We were in our bad boy 4×4 dually, and I was driving so I thought “Heck yeah, let’s go play!” I, apparently, am a %*&^@$$. I got us thoroughly and utterly stuck in the sand about 10 feet onto the beach, bad. Like, real bad. Oh, did I mention it started pouring rain, too? True genius, this one. Insert eyeroll here. We were trying to dig ourselves out to no avail. Thankfully, some local good Samaritans had us strapped down and towed out of that deep rutted mess in no time. Now at this point, pre-tiny house livin’ Sheena probably would have had a full-blown breakdown. Losing my mind, rain-soaked, COVERED in sand, probably crying, stressed out because of the experience after a solution. Apparently, current tiny house lifestyle Sheena is a lot more chill. Ross and I started hugging and dancing around in the rain like idiots once the truck was safely out of the way. It’s funny looking back on it, but definitely was not-so-funny in the moment. We took our disgusting selves back to the tiny house to shower and hose off the truck after her sandy romp on the beach. After deciding that was enough exploring for the day, we went to I Got Your Crabs for some of the most delicious seafood grub we had ever eaten. Our waitress was amazing and hooked us up with the best stuff on the menu. So good!

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So OBX: check! We didn’t spend too terribly long there because of the weather and expense. We like to travel cheap so we can travel more and it was time to start heading back across the state for our planned weekend I wrote about earlier. We left out from OBX on Saturday, April 1st and stayed at a great Harvest Host site in Pine Level, NC called Hinnant Winery. Man, was that place busy! Too busy for even a tasting. We gave a few tours and relaxed with some good weather and wines, two bottle of which were given to us as a thank you for letting them tour our house. I also bought an adorable sign that reads “This is the Life” that fit our design and one bare spot on the wall.

The next day we stopped at another Harvest Host in Albemarle, NC named Uwmarrie Winery. We were the only ones there so we got to enjoy a private tasting of a huge variety of wines and their beautiful patio. So relaxing!

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Next stop, western North Carolina!

 

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