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Travel Reviews

North Carolina Trip Recap & Spending

Hey guys! I’m back from sunny NC! I spent a week with my mom and her best friend from junior high chilling in Middle of Nowhere, North Carolina. Don’t worry, we ventured into civilization quite a bit. We spent Sunday & Saturday driving, so I just included a short recap of Monday through Friday. Wanna hear about it? Do ya, do ya? Awesome! For more pics, check out my Instagram.


After the infamous Biscuit That Must Not Be Named incident, I spent the majority of the day writhing in pain watching too many episodes of Reba. Before that we checked out a few shops in Elizabeth City.


Feeling much better, we headed out for a day of shopping in Norfolk, VA. I ate a wonderful salad at The Green Onion, coffee at Fair Grounds, and did a lot of look-shopping. I tried gelato for the first time (Ginger Pear) and loved it! I also discovered my apparent love for tea at the aptly named Teavana.

Around 3 AM on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, my mom woke me up and had me take her to the ER. She’s been having dizziness and nausea issues recently and the pain became too much. After a freaked out drive (half because Mom was going to the hospital, half because I was afraid of hitting a deer or bear) we were in and out of the ER in 15 minutes flat. She had fluid trapped in her ears and they pumped her full of drugs and sent her on her way. I’m still convinced the biscuit had something to do with this…


We spent the day at the Outer Banks in Duck, NC. We laid out on the beach and splashed around at the edge of the water so as not to be eaten by sharks. And when I say “laid out”, I don’t mean for tanning purposes. SPF 55, baby. Then we headed into Duck for dinner and exploring. We went to Aqua for dinner — where I had Caesar salad, crab dip, and fries cooked in truffle oil.

After wandering around (and even scoring some free wine and snacks at a local hammock shop), we had the brilliant idea to go see the wild horses in Corolla. We drove and drove and came up on a beach that had a sign “No Stopping For Any Reason” which we heeded. About 15 feet later we were completely stuck in the sand because we didn’t read the second sign that said “4WD Vehicles Only”. A drunk and/or high guy managed to get us out of there so we didn’t need a tow.


Lunch and look-shopping in Elizabeth City. I had a delicious salad (yes, I had a lot of salads) at The Pineapple Cafe and then went back to the house to catch up on freelance work. Everyday I’m hustlin’.


We woke up early and headed to Manteo, NC in the Outer Banks. We were supposed to go parasailing there in the afternoon, but unfortunately it was cancelled for “dangerous weather conditions”. It was just a little wind! I was very disappointed by that.

Anyways, when we got there we saw a group of people dancing on the pavilion. After watching them practice for awhile, a guy came up to us and told us that they would be putting on an impromptu show at 11. They were all part of The Lost Colony — a production about America’s first English Colony. The 11 o’clock show was comprised of song and dance selections not related to the show — ranging from Les Miserables to Adele. It was incredible. My favorites were the singing of “A Little Fall of Rain” from Les Miserables and “Lost In the Wilderness” from Children of Eden, as well as a dance duet to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. So freaking good.

We had dinner and drinks at Avenue Grille, which was amazing. I had salad (big surprise) with gorgeous shrimp and crab bisque and we shared an appetizer of baked brie in a cantaloupe sauce. Um, yum. I also had some fancy schmancy drinks — a Lavender Lemonade and some wonderful fruity cocktail that I can’t remember the name of. Delish.

After lunch, I had a freelance phone interview. I was nervous but I got it. Boom, baby.

After some more wandering around (and the purchase of local wines and ice cream), we went down to Rodanthe. ‘Twas beautiful. It was just one of those perfect days. The weather was gorgeous, the waves were crashing. Just perfection.

That wasn’t really as short as I thought it would be. Whatever, I had fun. Now onto the costs…

I don’t think I did too terrible. I stayed under $400 from Sunday – Saturday. Not too shabby, eh?

Lodging: $0

My mom’s friend was nice enough to host us (and put up with us) the entire trip.

Transportation: $78.36

Two tanks of gas and tolls.

Food/Alcohol/Coffee: $180.65

I swear half of this was spent on coffee. We drank a lot of coffee.

Gifts: $25

We bought my mom’s friend a gift card for being so kind as to host us.

Shopping: $104.72

Two bottles of wine from local vineyards and the Teavana Starter Set. Minimalists still need beverages.

Entertainment: $0

Since we didn’t go parasailing, I didn’t spend anything here. All my entertainment was free — the beach, the window shopping, getting stuck in the sand — priceless.

TOTAL: $388.73

That’s my NC trip, folks! I had a freaking blast and I’m so glad I left work three weeks early.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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