Ocracoke Island + Portsmouth Island Recap!

Under the Oaks blog: Ocracoke Island + Portsmouth Island Recap!

Jason and I are settling in from a long weekend on Ocracoke Island, on the southern tip of the Outer Banks of NC. We were happy to spend the last weekend of the summer crashing my sister’s family vacation (as invited guests, of course). I pride myself on having visited many of the coastal towns on the NC Coast but there are still a few that I haven’t gotten to yet. I was able to check Ocracoke off the list of places I haven’t visited and add it to the list of places that will be visited as often as possible. It was a great little island and, even though it’s part of NC and touristy, it felt like such a destination vacation.

Continue reading

Have an adventurous week.

Under the Oaks blog: Have an adventurous week.

Greetings from Upstate New York! Jason and I are traveling home today from an awesome trip back to my homeland and surrounding areas. I’ll be working on a few posts for this week and next to recap our trip to NY & Canada, including my hometown of Corning, Seneca Lake and Finger Lakes Wine Country, Niagara Falls, and Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. If you have any questions about any of the areas, feel free to post a comment or send me an email and I’ll include it in one of the posts!

Heading home is always a much different “vacation” than going somewhere we’ve never been before. I never make agendas or schedule anything when I go home because I feel like I’ve seen everything, even though I definitely haven’t. I’ve been to Canada before but it has been over 10 years so a lot has changed. I don’t remember any of the drive up there which made it feel much like an impromptu adventure this time. That’s also because I may or may not have chosen the more rural route from the GPS knowing it would be a lot more fun than interstates! This confession was made after the above picture was taken and after Jason asked if NY had any highways.

Growing up in a smaller town (under 12,000 people) allowed for many impromptu adventures when I got old enough to drive (or date someone with a car). Some of my favorite days were spent driving around for hours with friends, getting lost, and finding our way back home in a time before GPS or cell phones (or responsibility). We were carefree. This drive to Canada brought back a lot of those feelings and made me realize how much I miss that carefree feeling, even if only for a few hours.

As an adult living in a much larger city, I wonder if this carefree feeling and sense of adventure could be achieved on a regular basis again. Since I’ve been in Raleigh for ten years now, I think I have a few things I can suggest to help make your week more adventurous:

  • Our recent bike trips on the Greenway have brought back some of that feeling and I love it.
  • Take a day trip┬áto one of the many nearby small towns, like Sanford, Carrboro, Durham, or Wake Forest.
  • Park just outside of downtown and walk all over. It’s amazing how different the city can seem on foot.
  • Visit the museums, even if you’ve been before. Take your time and learn something new.
  • Pack a picnic and find a park you’ve never been to. Raleigh has some good ones.

What are some mini adventures that you go on? I’d love to add some new ones to the list!

– A

Dreaming of… San Francisco

Under the Oaks blog: Dreaming of... San Francisco(original image via, edited with Over)

Lately, my mind has been nonstop about San Francisco. I read a lot of blogs and follow a ton of Instagram accounts of people in San Fran and it has me day dreaming all the time. I have a bad (but so good) feeling that I’m going to fall in love and never want to come back to the East Coast. I really can’t believe that I’ve made it this far in life without ever having visited California. Jason and I have been talking about our First Year Anniversary trip and where we’d like to go. I suggested a very long weekend in San Fran but ideally, and not necessarily for our anniversary, I’d like to take a whole week or more to drive from LA up the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur, on to a few days in San Fran, then heading all the way up through the Redwood National Park to Seattle for a few more days. How amazing would that be? San Francisco is top on my list though and if I could get only a weekend, I’d take it in a heartbeat!

Continue reading