Long Time, No Sea!!

May 26, 2008

We had a fabulous time! This weekend wrapped up 5 straight weeks of celebrations, vacations and events and was quite the grand finale!

Bald Head Island has tons of fun food events on holiday weekends so we planned this trip around the Memorial Day events – a cookout with a band, a cocktail party, wine + cheese (all free) plus a fun event at the island’s beach club on Saturday night (which required tickets).

Thanks for letting me take the weekend off of blogging to truly enjoy a little R&R. But don’t worry – I’ve got a monster of a post to recap it all. So without further ado…


On The Road

Friday afternoon I ate a Larabar while driving, as the ferry ride to the island wasn’t until 6 and I knew dinner wouldn’t be until late…


Anniversary Dinner

We started with our celebratory bottle of Chardonnay that we brought back from the honeymoon. Here’s the husband with his bouquet uncorking it –


And my glass with the bottle –


For dinner we cooked Goat Cheese-Almond Crusted Tilapia with Kale Chips and Asparagus (wine pour #2)


Wedding Cake!

It was so. good. ‘Nuff said.

(Click to enlarge)

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I split my quadrant in 2 pieces and saved half to have on Sunday.


My mom sent us a giant piece of her cake (I had ordered one for her too since she didn’t get a piece at the wedding because she was up chatting and we ran out of cake!) We all shared that slice, so here’s my second piece. Mmmmm!


After dinner we went to a bar and the group split a pitcher of beer. I only had a few sips of the husband’s cup, as I was pretty full of cake!


Fishin’ For Breakfast

We made oatmeal for the group for Saturday’s breakfast. Made with banana, skim, and topped with granola and a spoonful of PB brought from home. With coffee –


After breakfast, we all made the trek to the club fitness center for a workout before we got started on the day’s events. My family likes to have what my mom calls “jock trips” when we exercise together and go on walks. I’m thankful I am surrounded by others who enjoy exercise.

After our workout I had a handful of trail mix


Memorial Day Cookout

The island holds a free cookout with burgers and hot dogs plus a live band and kids’ games on Saturday. Did I mention there are kegs too!? The weather was bad, so we were under a pavilion and sat on a towel. The husband and I did some dancing after lunch to the beach music 😉

My sister and I split a burger patty. I topped mine with cheese, lettuce, tomato, K + M, and relish and had half a bag of chips and a beer.


Who knew Bud Light tasted so good!?


Appetizers + Wine at The Hammocks

Later that afternoon we went to a complimentary cocktail party for one of the real estate communities. We’ve been to this before on previous holidays and knew it was the hidden gem of the events schedule!

My plate included: a delicious roll, cheese and crackers (blue cheese, goat cheese + brie), antipasta (mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes + olives), 4 shrimp, ahi tuna, fresh fruit.


Plus I had a glass of wine and a bottle of water


Plate #2!! More fruit + cheese. I also had bites of the husband’s sandwich and another shrimp.


Wine #2!! And I tried sips of the 2 reds.


We spotted an alligator in the marsh!!


Shoal’s Club Party

The party that night was so much fun. The weather cleared and warmed up a bit and we got all dressed up :)

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The event was “Ports of the USA” with a different station for each port.

San Francisco’s table –


And the decor was so cool – a room full of Chinese lanterns.


As for the food, there’s no way I can recap all that I ate because I had lots of small bites of things and shared plates (and more) with the group. But you can assume I had at least one bite of all of the choices (sometimes two) with the exception of the New York hot dog, which I passed on 😉

Here’s a recap of the cuisine:

  • San Francisco (dim sum, crab salad on sourdough)
  • San Diego (fish tacos + California wraps)
  • Savannah (Shrimp and fried oyster po’ boys + shrimp and grits)
  • New Orleans (gumbo + jambalaya)
  • New York (pizza + hot dogs)
  • Honolulu (beef and pineapple skewers + orzo)
  • Miami (Cuban sandwiches + beef something)
  • Baltimore (crabcakes + crab soup)

Here are some photos of our shared plates –

Gumbo + jambalaya, fish taco, shrimp + oysters, shrimp + grits


Dim sum, more gumbo, California wrap, crab salad


Cuban sandwich and beef kebab


Crab soup


Another cuban sandwich (my favorite on the buffet!), Miami beef, orzo, crab cake in the back


Not pictured: shrimp po’ boy + NY pizza


There was a cash bar, and complimentary champagne! I shared one with the hub when we arrived –


And got a Cosmo after dinner –


And had more sips of shared champagne that night –



I started with a reasonable plate of fruit, a little tart, chocolate brownie (ate half) and a macaroon


But they kept bringing out more desserts and we were all so curious we had to try them! So we went back for peach cobbler with whipped cream and a pear + cherry tart (I shared this plate with the husband so I probably had half)


THEN I went back for 3 tiny pieces of a new pie platter! Peanut butter, banana creme and cheesecake. They were literally 1 bite each, but it was too much dessert. Here’s the cheesecake platter because I was too lazy to take a photo of the bites. Sorry!



Breakfast + Run

Bald Head is a runner’s paradise. There are no cars on the island, only golf carts!! The winding roads are all narrow, flat, and pretty. We all were still feeling full when we woke up and decided to go for a run. I ran with the boys – about 5 miles – and we averaged about 8:15 per mile! I should run with guys more often. They were fast!


No one wanted a big breakfast after our run so we made smoothies with banana, strawberries, peach and milk.


Lunch on the Beach

In an effort to save money from the $10 club sandwiches and eat something healthy, we stopped by the lone island grocery store for some lunch fixins. We made hummus + veggie pitas and brought fresh fruit. (I didn’t end up eating the apple.)


Later that afternoon I had a Leinenkugel. Great choice for a hot day!


Poolside Snacks

We discovered some snacks by the poolside after coming in from the ocean.

Coconut Shrimp


Spoonful of ice cream


And my sis and I split a pina colada! If there’s ever a time to have the most caloric of tropical drinks, it’s poolside at the beach in the sunshine :) It was one of the best I’ve ever had!


Complimentary Event # 1,974,226

Wine and cheese at the inn! There was a parade of homes going on and we went to tour some of the homes and found a wine and cheese party!

Snacks – (I had about 10 more wheat thins after getting the wine munchies!)

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Wines –

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Low Country Boil

Can’t go to the beach without a low country boil!!

We started with some chips and salsa. I had a normal serving of chips –




My plate –


Anniversary cake leftovers!! SO good. I ate my piece very slowly. It looks huge here, but it wasn’t really that big. The fondant coating was the best part! Well, no the buttercream was…


We went back to the same bar from Friday night and got another pitcher of beer. This time I had my own cup, but I don’t really like drinking after dinner (I prefer lunch time and cocktail hour!) so I didn’t really want much.



Run + Goodbye Breakfast

I got up to run this morning and did about 4.5 miles in the morning sun. So peaceful and beautiful. It’s amazing how many other vacationers were out running too. I must have said “mornin'” to about 25 people.

For breakfast we made oatmeal with all milk instead of half water to use up the rest before we left. It was SO creamy and delicious with the double milk (and banana). I topped mine with some trail mix and almonds too.


Island Off The Island

Once we got off the ferry, we had lunch at a Key West-inspired restaurant. It was amazing.

We got portabello mushroom tempura fries to start. Such an inventive creation! I had 2 –


And for lunch I had a Blackened Scalloped Salad with Fresh Mango Dressing, plus a few sweet potato fries from the husband’s plate –


And to end the vacation – coconut ice cream!! You can’t go to the beach without getting at least 1 ice cream cone and having to eat it before it melts.


Seafood Continues


Once home, we unpacked quickly and hit the grocery store. I told the husband to pick out anything he wanted to cook for dinner and what do you know he chose more seafood.

Lemony Cod with Fennel, Zucchini, Spinach + Feta Cheese


We certainly didn’t need alcohol tonight, but he opened a mini bottle of white wine that we keep on hand for cooking in the sauce. We couldn’t let it go to waste, so we each had a tiny pour.


I missed you guys 😉

Whew! That was a hellova long post! Took me over an hour!

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cassie May 26, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Looks like such an amazing weekend! Thanks for sharing! I love your black, red, and white dress.. where is it from?

Glad you enjoyed yourself!


2 Sara May 26, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Love your blog! Your trip sounds wonderful and I think it’s great that you are able to enjoy yourself and stay fit when you are out of your routine. That’s been a challenge for me. Thanks for sharing — Sara


3 Sidi May 26, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Look at you, happy and relaxed ! I am happy too, happy to have you back!


4 Erin May 26, 2008 at 8:35 pm

I saw some mini cocktail glasses (e.g., martinia and margarita) at Crate & Barrel and thought of you!


5 Jen May 26, 2008 at 8:36 pm

so good to have you back

but im so glad you had a great vacay

Wish me luck as i prepare for my final exams this week (BOOOO…..)


6 VeggieGirl May 26, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Wowowowow!!! What a BEYOND terrific weekend you had, Kath!! Haha, I love the photograph of you driving while holding the Larabar :0D And whoa, that alligator!!


7 Fit4Life May 26, 2008 at 9:07 pm

i missed you so much!! it was hard always going to your website to not see a new post-but i survived! :) i made this recepie up, and the scones turned out AMAZING, just how you like them perfectly dry and crumbly.

2 cups whole wheat pancake flour (i use ant jemimas whole wheat pancake flour) (about 9 ounces)
3 tablespoons pure cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons chilled REGULAR butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons skim milk
2 teaspoons pure cane sugar
cinnimon (use as you please )

Preheat oven to 425°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or whisk until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Combine 1/2 cup milk, vanilla, and egg white in a bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be soft).
Pat dough into an 8-inch circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut dough into 12 wedges, cutting into, but not through, dough. Brush 2 teaspoons milk over surface of dough; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar. Bake at 425° for 17 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, or cool on a wire rack.



8 maddie May 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm

we missed you too!! looks like you guys had a blast and the food looks so good!!


9 Romina May 26, 2008 at 9:18 pm

My goodness, what a fantastic time you two had!!


10 mel May 26, 2008 at 9:24 pm

yumm everything looks so good and you all looked beautiful! so glad you had a great weekend and anniversary


11 Jen May 26, 2008 at 9:25 pm

That looks like such fun! Welcome home, though!


12 Justy2003 May 26, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Welcome back! Looks like you guys had a great vacation! Now it’s back to the daily grind tomorrow… 😉


13 Docfishie May 26, 2008 at 9:26 pm

I was reading over your archived posts. When you were trying to lose weight, your net to be 1200 or 1200 before subtracting for exercise? I’ve read that one should not go below 1200 calories per day so I have been aiming for 1200-1500 calories per day and then just counting my exercise as additional calories burned. Does that seem right or should I add some for the exercise I”m doing? For example, if I burn 400 calories and eat 1300, my net would be only 900, too low??? Thanks for clearing this up!


14 Crystal May 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Your weekend sounds fantastic! I’m glad you had so much fun and so much yummy food!


15 sp May 26, 2008 at 9:33 pm

RANDOM QUESTION ALERT!!! Do you have a southern accent? My husband is from N.C., and talks with a drawl a la’ Matthew McConaughey…just curious.


16 BethT May 26, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Wow, fun!

So did you order a fresh cake from the place that did your wedding cake? Or do they give you a complimentary one instead of making you freeze the top layer which always tastes nasty? 😀


17 Julie May 26, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Hey Kath! Glad you had a great vacation. I live in Greensboro – got a beach question for you :) I don’t have much experience beyond Myrtle. Bald Head Island looks great and so did the place you went a few weeks ago. What is your favorite beach in the NC/SC/GA area? Thanks!


18 Jenn May 26, 2008 at 9:53 pm

What a great weekend! It sounds like a wonderful way to spend your first anniversary — and what a delicious array of food! Glad to have you back though, we missed you too!!


19 Ally May 26, 2008 at 9:55 pm

What a fantastic post, you really captured the weekend!

I’m glad you guys had a great time! Welcome back to Charlotte :)


20 natalie May 26, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Welcome back!
Looks like you had a really great weekend :)
I love the picture of you and the larabar to!


21 Kate May 26, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Glad to have you back Kath!

sp, if you watch some of the video posts, you can see that both she and the husband have light southern accents. :) so cute.


22 Megan May 26, 2008 at 10:26 pm

OMG Kath your dress is SUPER ridiculously cute!!!!! Where’s it from??? I LOVE IT!


23 magpie May 26, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Wow! So much good food :) I do miss Cuban sandwiches since going veg…


24 RachelD May 26, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Kath: it looks like you had a lot of good times on your vacation! I hope you can hold on to some of that relaxation through your stressful summer classes.
Julie: I an in Greensboro too, I hope you don’t mind me putting in my 2 cents on the beaches here. I grew up going to Sunset Beach. it is in-between myrtle and ocean isle. its the best, you have to cross over a one lane bridge to get there and it is just what a beach should be. And it is close enough to myrtle that you can go to all the attractions there in 15-20 minutes. so you still have fun options for stuff to do on rainy days.


25 Kiala May 26, 2008 at 11:35 pm

Your dress was REALLY cute.


26 Becca May 26, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Wow, looks like it was a really fun weekend filled with lots of great food! Your dress was adorable! Have a great week!


27 Amandamoo May 26, 2008 at 11:55 pm

We missed you! Glad you’re back safe and sound, it sounds like you had a wonderful vacation!


28 Kristie May 26, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Wow. Every single moment of that island vacation looks absolutely wonderful, down to every bite of the different foods you had. So glad to hear you had such an amazing time! And so glad that you’re back and were able to tell (and show!) us all about it!


29 yaz May 27, 2008 at 12:27 am

mmm… anniversary cake looks yummy.

glad you guys had an awesome time, so so glad to have you back.


30 Richelle May 27, 2008 at 1:13 am

Looks like you had such a fun weekend! Everything looks SO delicious esp. your anniversary cake & that Cuban sandwich quickly caught my eye.

Btw, cute cocktail dress!


31 oatmeal May 27, 2008 at 1:25 am

Wow! I’m glad you got to enjoy such a great weekend with all these different types of food!
I love “jock trips” as well [hahah that’s such an awesome phrase!]


32 Kath May 27, 2008 at 5:32 am

Cassie + Megan,
I got the dress at Loehmann’s (a discount store like a nicer Marshalls, if you’ve never heard of it). The brand is Max Studio. I loved that it had adjustable spaghetti straps because I can never get those to fit me.

I love mini anything – sounds so cute! I’ll have to look for them, but with all the glassware my grandmother has sent me, I don’t have space for anything else!

GOOD LUCK JEN on your exams.

Fit4Life ,
Thanks for the recipe!! Dry + crumbly is the way to go :)

Docfishie ,
NET is always after exercise. You are right that it is not recommended to eat less than 1200 calories in order to get proper nutrients and because most people’s basal metabolic rates are above 1200. So to use NET calories (CalorieKing’s method) to calculate how many to eat per day, estimate your BMR with a tool like http://www.caloriesperhour.com and then ADD your exercise to that. I think I explained this more in the FAQs.

sp ,
I do have an accent, but it’s not as strong as NC natives since both my parents are from the north and I lost most of my accent at Davidson socializing with folks from all over the world. But if you watch the videos, I do say some words with a twang :)

BethT ,
Our baker makes complimentary anniversary cakes so you can serve the top layer to guests. It was so nice to have a fresh one! But I wish we could have had frozen to eat once a month AND a fresh one 😉 I think I’m going to order one from her on every anniversary!

Bald Head is a wonderful vacation spot – I would highly recommend it! And go on a holiday weekend if you can – Mem. Day, 4th of July, Labor Day and they have all the free food activities. It is quite pricey to stay on the beach though, but there are other options in the woods and marsh that are more affordable.

We grew up going to the Outer Banks (Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk area) as well as Carolina Beach + Kure Beach near Wilmington (plus Bald Head). The Outer Banks are hard to get to, but they are calmer in a way than the hustling coastal beaches. Jockey’s Ridge (the huge sand dune) is a ton of fun! I like both of the areas my family went to and have great memories there, but I really like some of the South Carolina beaches more. ALL of the Charleston area is great – we really liked Folly Beach when we went last month – as well as Isle of Palms. I really haven’t been to a ton of other beaches because my family always went to the same two, so I’m probably not the best person to ask!



33 Bev May 27, 2008 at 5:34 am

The place @ Bald Head looks lovely . What is the name of the place you stayed ? Looks like you celebrated in style


34 Tina May 27, 2008 at 6:28 am

What a weekend! Glad you guys had a nice time!


35 Stacy May 27, 2008 at 6:36 am

Hi Kath! If you like “jock vacations” you must try out my favorite vacation spot one day (although it’d be a further trek from North Carolina). Mackinac Island in Michigan is wonderful. It’s car free and the only motorized vehicles on this island are golf carts which have to stay on the courses. You need a bike (which you can rent or bring) to get around and there are lots of trails for hiking and biking. It’s gorgeous and once you get out of the main town area which is only one little street the island is peaceful and remote.


36 Yoon May 27, 2008 at 7:07 am

Happy Aniversary! Looks like you’ve had a fantastic weekend!! You look great in all the pictures. I hope you and the husband grow and mature to love each other more for the years to come:)


37 Katie May 27, 2008 at 7:07 am

WOOOOOW! Not only is that post long and FULL of amazing food, but what an AWESOME weekend! Hope it was just as awesomely fun as it looked! :)


38 Fit4Life May 27, 2008 at 7:38 am

your welcome!
i also tried something new (and amazing) this morning, i mixed fage 0% yougurt with NSA carnation instant breakfast! it was soo good it tasted like french vanilla yougurt!


39 Jessica May 27, 2008 at 7:46 am

What a wonderful vacation and first anniversary you had! I don’t think you could have planned it any better. I did miss your posts though 😉


40 Becky in MD May 27, 2008 at 8:56 am

I have to second the Outer Banks for beaches! It’s my favorite place in the world!


41 Heather May 27, 2008 at 9:57 am

Glad you’re back- we missed you!

Looks like a great trip! I’m pretty much drooling over that Ports of the USA buffet.

Do you have the recipe for the almond- goat cheese tilapia? It looks amazing!


42 LisaR May 27, 2008 at 10:33 am

RachelD— I’m going to Sunset Beach at the end Aug for vacation with my hubby and both sides of our fam too. We’re renting out a big house for all of us to stay in. My in-laws have gone there almost every year as my husband was growing up and now we all get to go together! I’m so excited! I’ve never been but they RAVE about it!!! Do you know how the weather is around Aug/Sept?


43 JB May 27, 2008 at 11:52 am

Would you mind posting both recipes for the fish you made? Thank you!


44 RachelD May 27, 2008 at 11:53 am

LisaR- in the last few years we have gone in the beginning of Aug. it will be a little hotter, but the water will be warmer. there is not usually much rain, and if there is it is only for a day. It is a great beach to run/walk on because it is really clean, no shells or jelly fish. and you should def. go to calabash they have the best restaurants and little gift shops. it’s only 5 mins off the Island.


45 Nick May 27, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Wow, I have never seen such a long post! Sounds like an incredible weekend, but it seems like it revolved around food! Not a bad thing for sure, at least you got some exercise in.

It seems like you had about 1-2 spoonfuls of every food type that exists. With all that mixing, I’m surprised you didn’t get sick!


46 Snake May 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm

Cheater! It’s not your anniversary yet, you shouldn’t have eaten the anniversary cake!

Kanz just emailed me about bikes. AWESOME! Can’t wait to see you again!



47 Kath May 28, 2008 at 4:26 am

Heather + JB,
The tilapia came from this Robin Miller recipe, which was originally over chicken with pistachios. It’s GREAT!

The low-country boil instructions are here:

Snake!!!!!!!!!!!!! ,
I miss you :) xoxo



48 Anne P May 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

Welcome back, Kath!! I am catching up as I just got back from the beach, too :) I love the monster post! Looks like you guys had a blast!!


49 Sarah May 28, 2008 at 2:59 pm

What a fun weekend! A wonderful mixture of vacation splurge and ‘regular everyday.’ It looks like you had great weather too.
California had a cloudy and cold Memorial Day weekend :-( so I’m a little jealous!


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