It’s Week 32 of the 52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge, here’s our challenge for this week:
If you missed any of the other posts in the series, check them out here.
Week 32: A City You’ve Visited
I have always loved traveling. Even as a young kid, my family took vacations and trips as far west as California and Utah and as far East as New York and Florida. Since moving in with Mr. Penny Pincher, it has been one of our goals to see all of the United States together. In just the few years of living together we’ve been to:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina (we’ve done some in state traveling)
- New Jersey
- and more!
Atlantic Beach, NC
We’ve been to a lot of cities during our travels, whether it be for a wedding, vacation, or something else. One of the best trips we’ve ever taken together was our trip to Atlantic Beach. We had to head out to Greenville, NC one weekend for business. For those of you who don’t know, that’s easily a 2 hour and 30 minute drive from where we live. We had to take the full day off of work to drive out there on a Friday anyway, so we turned it into a weekend trip.
We stopped in Greenville to take care of our business, then proceeded to Atlantic Beach for the weekend! We didn’t make any plans, and just winged everything from food to activities. We went down to the beach, ate at two really awesome seafood restaurants, played some mini golf and arcade games, and even went to an aquarium. It wasn’t nearly as “grand” as some of our other trips, but it was one of the best trips to this date that I’ve been on.
I know I’m supposed to just pick one city, but I couldn’t do it! We ended up getting a free stay at a timeshare resort, and got to spend our memorial day weekend there. We had planned to head to Busch Gardens (since I’ve never been) and it rained the entire time we were there! Due to the rain, we actually ended up finishing the whole park in only half a day! Since it was raining from the minute we entered the park, we got to take advantage of almost non-existent lines.
After the trip, we made our way back to the hotel where we enjoyed a nice hot bath and room service! We got to eat at one of my favorite seafood establishments, Captain George’s, and just about ate our weight in crab legs. I had never been to Williamsburg before, so I enjoyed seeing some sights as well as enjoying some of the touristy destinations (aka mini golf and the general store.)
Why two locations?
After years of taking trips, there are two things these two adventures have in common. First, both trips were more or less unscheduled. In making budgets for the trips, we established categories for food, entertainment, and gas. There was no firm decisions on anything except the park tickets for Busch Gardens, which made the trip a freeing experience. While there are a lot of sights to see in every place we’ve traveled, some of our best trips have been those that we don’t plan, and just do on the fly.
Second, we didn’t do anything fancy. After my most recent trip to the beach, I learned that my love for shopping in the stores, and many other more frivolous activities I used to enjoy just don’t do the same thing for me. I loved being able to revisit areas from my childhood, but the most fun parts of each trip have been when we were just enjoying ourselves without a to-do list. Both of the trips that I’m most grateful for were the cheapest trips we went on during the year, and also the most fun! You don’t need to do a lot or plan a lot to enjoy a vacation, and those trips taught me just that.
These two cities will always have a special place in my heart. They mark a turning point for me as an adult, where I finally learned to take it easy while on vacation. I’ve learned to enjoy the local sights and activities, and also the food. Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the planning, that you forget why you left for vacation in the first place! As we plan future trips, I try to remember the fun and experiences we had during these two to help prepare for upcoming vacations.