Things to do on Bald Island, NC

Relax And Unwind On Bald Head Island, NC

Did someone say National Relaxation Day?

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With school beginning, I decided to try to fit in one last vacation while I could. Bald Head Island is located in North Carolina and very close to Oak Island. I have been able to visit for the past few years as my boyfriend's grandparents own a charming house on the island. National Relaxation Day took place just a few days ago, August 15, while I was on vacation. So, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Bald Head or this holiday, here are some wonderful things to take advantage of while vacationing here and ways to relax as well.

1. Take a 30-minute ferry ride from the Deep Point Marina to the island.

Once you get to the Deep Point marina, there will be workers who will assist you with you bags and put them on the ferry for you. You can decide to go on the top deck of the ferry where you can be outside enjoying the breeze from the ferry ride and see dogs that visitors are bringing to the island or you can stay in the indoor seating area with air conditioning.

2. Drive around a golf cart. 

In my opinion, golf carts are more fun to drive than cars!

3. Not have to deal with cars beeping at you or any traffic.

Who wants to deal with a ton of traffic while on vacation, anyway?

4. Visit Old Baldy Lighthouse which is the oldest lighthouse still standing in all of North Carolina.

You can climb the stairs inside all the way to the top to get an amazing view of the island. There are over 100 stairs to take so you can get some exercise while you're at it!

5. Take a guided tour to learn more about the island’s history which is two hours long and includes a visit the Old Baldy Lighthouse as well.

This is a great way to familiarize yourself with what Bald Head is all about. You also have the ability to ask the tour guides any questions you may have.

6. Go kayaking or canoeing through the creeks.

These outdoor activities are a lot of fun on a day when there is beautiful weather and allow you to see the marshes on Bald Head.

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7. Walk through Keeper's Cottage located within walking distance of Old Baldy Lighthouse.

This museum includes a replica of what a cottage would have looked like in the mid-1800's where the keepers stayed.

8. Enjoy a scavenger hunt hosted by the island’s conservancy that allows you to explore parts of the island you may not see otherwise.

The Bald Head Island Conservancy works on conservation and preservation as it pertains to the island. People who work at the conservancy are very knowledgeable and friendly so you can stop by to ask them any questions about nature or the wildlife.

9. Try standup paddleboarding and experience beautiful views of the surrounding water.

Standup paddleboarding is a newer version of the original but has been receiving a lot of attention lately and is becoming more popular. Why not give it a try?

10. Grab lunch or a cold Italian ice treat at Mike’s Bites which is located at Turtle Central.

The owner, Mike, changes up the Italian ice flavors often so you can always count on being able to try something new. My favorite flavor is mango and pineapple. Besides being delicious, it is also a great way to cool down on a hot day during the summer!

11. Look for deer by driving your golf cart around the island after the sun starts to go down.

This is one of the biggest bucks we have seen on the island.

Leah Fryar

You can even find deer crossing over the roads you are driving your golf cart on and witness them from a close distance.

12. Stop by the Turtle Pond to see if any alligators are out and about.

Here is a baby alligator surrounded by two turtles.

Leah Fryar

We saw an alligator that was 8 feet long! You can also find bass and turtles swimming around as well.

13. Not have to deal with overly crowded beaches.

Every time we go out onto a beach access, there are barely any people out or even none at all. It feels like your own private beach!

14. Complete a round of golf or take lessons at the golf course which provides amazing views of the island, too.

Sometimes you can even see an alligator or deer passing by on the course if you are lucky. Since the island is not overly crowded, you will most likely be one of the only players on the course.

15. Enjoy time spent with family and friends.

Make memories with the people that mean the most to you while on the island.

16. Eat at Mojo’s on the Harbor where you can eat seafood, drink cocktails, and take in the sights since this restaurant is waterfront.

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Mojo's is a wonderful choice if you do not feel like cooking or if you are just wanting to treat yourself to a nice and relaxing meal.

17. Buy a membership to the Shoal’s Club or Bald Head Island Club which offers outdoor swimming pools and poolside restaurants with a bar as well.

The pools are very family-friendly which is also nice. There is a lot of seating around the pool and towels are provided for you when you arrive.

18. Enjoy a relaxing end to your day by watching the sun set over the ocean.

Here is one night spend on the beach watching the sun go down on BHI.

Leah Fryar

The view is definitely hard to beat!

19. Go on a nature walk through a few trails where you can see wildlife also.

What a love about the trails are that they are not very demanding so almost anyone can walk them.

20. Bike on the 15 miles of roadways available for leisure or to get a workout in.

The roads are fairly flat so they are not difficult to maneuver on either so you don't have to be an experienced biker to do this activity on the island.

21. Peruse through several of the shops on the island which include jewelry, equipment for the outdoors, shoes, bags, accessories, bathing suits, and more.

This is the Maritime Market which has all of the grocery items you may need while on your trip.

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There is even a new candy shop that opened recently which is a lot of fun to look around in.

22. Experience a relaxing day at the Island Retreat Spa and Salon where massages, treatments, manicures, pedicures, and hair styling is offered.

I know some people who really enjoy getting their hair and nails done here. I will have to treat myself to it sometime soon if I get the chance.

23. Stop by Sandpiper Coffee and Ice Cream located right near the ferry terminal.

www.baldheadisland.com

This cute shop serves yummy treats from lattes to ice cream to freshly baked pastries. My favorite ice cream is definitely the oreo mocha.

24. Go saltwater fishing on the beach.

You may be able to catch a baby shark, stingray, and other species!

25. Go on a riverboat cruise to travel past the Cape Fear and bring a bottle of wine to share with others.

You have the opportunity to be on the water, socialize with people who attend, and try a variety of different wines.

If you are looking to find a few ways to relax and are wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, consider traveling to Bald Head Island and enjoy some much-needed fun and relaxation with everything this island has to offer.

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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Visiting A Long-Distance Friend in Edinburgh

It was a short but sweet trip and we packed in lots of fun activities.

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I lugged my heavy suitcase off the train onto the busy Edinburgh train station platform. Before I could get my bearings, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I quickly turned around to see my closest and oldest friend, Sasha, with the warmest smile on her face. After a big hug and quick catch up, we braved the bustling tourist streets of Edinburgh in June.

I spent my first week of summer vacation in the United Kingdom. I visited family, met my baby cousin, spent time with my godfather, and enjoyed my favorite city. All in all, it was such a wonderful way to start my summer break. One of the highlights of the trip was going to see my best friend in Edinburgh.

Sasha and I have been friends since we were eight years old. She and I quickly bonded and formed a close friendship that despite the distance, we have maintained for almost 12 years. We don't talk constantly but when we do it is like nothing has changed. I am complete, 100% myself around her and I couldn't ask for a better friend.

Prior to this trip, it had been a little over two years since I'd seen her, which in our opinion was far too long. So knowing I was going to be in the UK for ten days, I scheduled 3 of them to be in Edinburgh with Sash. It was a short but sweet trip and we packed in lots of fun activities.

Day 1.

I arrived on Friday afternoon. We dropped my suitcase at Sasha's apartment, which is a scenic fifteen-minute walk from the station past the infamous Edinburgh castle. Sash then took a walking tour of the city through Princes Street Gardens and the Royal Mile. We stopped for a drink at a pub on the GrassMarket. We talked and talked and caught each other up on the highs and lows of the past two years.

Grace Bellman

There is something about an old friend that makes you feel so comfortable. Sash has been my friend through it all. She didn't walk away when my life didn't look so pretty and she always makes an effort to prioritize our friendship.

Sasha made a healthy vegan potato curry with naan bread for dinner before we set off on a hike up Arthur's Seat. The crazy thing about Edinburgh is that one minute you are walking through a busy city street with buses and cars and tourists and general organized chaos, and the next minute you are walking up an extinct volcano, looking down on the city at sunset. It takes your breath away (from beauty and exhaustion).


Grace Bellman

Day 2.

I forced Sash to be a morning person and started our day relatively early. Our first stop: The National Gallery of Scotland. Neither Sash nor I feel the need to spend too long in museums so we whipped around the exhibits quickly and found a trendy coffee shop to get a pick-me-up. We took our coffees up Calton Hill, a less vigorous but still beautiful walk than Arthur's Seat. I think this may have been my favorite spot of the trip. We attempted (and succeeded) in climbing the National Monument and laughed so hard while trying to take pictures in the classic Scottish windy, slightly damp weather.

All this walking and climbing made us quite hungry so Sasha took the opportunity to show me part of her university. We ate black bean burgers and chips at the Student Union Library Bar before proceeding to hop between thrift stores, book stores, and art galleries for the next few hours.

Later that afternoon, we visited the National Museum of Scotland, which is home to a series of exhibits about animals, music, and technological advances. For someone who is usually not the biggest museum fan, it was fascinating and very enjoyable.

Physically tired but still high in spirit, we discussed what to do with our evening. We spontaneously decided to attend a local comedy show in the basement of a theatre. Both Sash and I hate to be called out in an audience but we muscled through and ended up really enjoying the new experience.

Grace Bellman

Day 3.

My last morning in Edinburgh was wonderful. We, of course, had to check out the famous castle on a hill before stopping at a lovely cafe for some coffee. We then explored the Writer's Museum. It was in a small building that seemed to be a house in its previous life. It had old memorabilia from Robert Burns, Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. From photographs to old shoes and even locks of hair, the museum seemed to have covered each of these men's lives in detail.

My final meal in Scotland was definitely indulgent, to say the least. Sasha took me to a new restaurant, Cold Town Beer, with a rooftop view of the castle and a really yummy vegetarian full breakfast. We were both full to the brim with food and with post-meal sugar highs.

Sadly, I only had about half an hour before I had to get to the station so we marched back to her flat, packed my bag, and ended the trip in the way we started: dodging tourists with my heavy bag on the hilly streets of Edinburgh.

It was such a special trip that made me realize how much I am missing by not living closer to one of my closest friends. It was a funny feeling waving goodbye to her from the train knowing it would be at least a year, if not more until I would see her again. But I guess that phrase is really true: "How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard" - A.A.Milne.

Sasha Milne

Sash, thank you for having me and for being a friend through everything. We survived our separation at thirteen, high school, and the first two years of college apart. There is no way we can't get through another year. Have an amazing time studying in Spain and Italy. I'll see you soon.

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