Visiting Family in Carolina Beach

We had a wonderful week+ stay at the “Ritz Carlson!” On Saturday, Kaleo glided into a guest slip at Auntie Linda’s condo on Carolina Beach where we would spend the next nine days lounging, learning lots of new ways to slay sea creatures (thanks Jim!), and soaking up treasured time with the family.

It was an action-packed visit culminating in a festive 4th of July celebration. We were well taken care of by auntie and cousins as we:

  • Learned the art of scratch’n for clams! Despite the pouring rain, it was well worth hearing the distinct “clink” of clam shells against the rake tine and filling a bucket with a healthy haul of over 100. We picked out the best, tossed some back to mature, shared with neighbors and cooked up the rest for a delish dinner. (Jim and Sarah sautéed them in a white wine, fresh basil, diced tomato, and minced garlic sauce!)

Our first clamming excursion. (channeling American Gothic)

Scratch’n for clams in the rain


  • Toured the Carolina Beach area with Auntie Linda as our guide. From Carolina Beach’s basin, pier and boardwalk, down through Kure Beach, and into Fort Fisher State Park, we loved spending time on this beautiful island that is uniquely situated between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean.

Matty and Auntie Linda strolling around Fort Fisher

  • Spent a few hours dockside each day fishing for flounder. By mid-week it became a full-on family derby vying for the top spot on the leaderboard. While Matt reeled in two, they weren’t large enough to legally keep and by the time we left there were no other contenders.

Flounder derby catch

  • Lounged in and by the pool chatting with all the neighbors and keeping cool in the warm Carolina sun

Auntie Linda’s pool overlooking the ICW

  • Took a roadtrip to explore Raleigh/Durham. It’s a fun set of cities where we met up with a friend for lunch, stocked up on treasures from Trader Joe’s, and enjoyed a sushi dinner downtown before returning to the slower pace of beach life.
  • Walked to the Carolina Beach boardwalk on Wednesday morning and indulged in a renowned Britt’s Donut. Okay, two. Each. Voted the second best hometown donut in the nation, this local shop lived up to the hype.

Beach breakfast at Britt’s

  • Stopped into Taste of Olive, a unique experiential shop offering fresh cold pressed olive oils and balsamic vinegars where we tasted dozens of flavors ranging from Cinnamon Pear and Luscious Lavender to Outrageous Oregano and Boldly Butter.

Inside The Taste of Olive

  • Spent an evening with cousins Steve and Edie where we BBQed dinner, toured their neighborhood by golf cart, and caught up on everyone’s adventures.
  • Headed out on a spearfishing expedition but the ocean was too rough to make the journey. En route we took a wave over the bow of Jim’s boat which inadvertently inflating our offshore life jackets. Turns out they function properly and were up and ready to save us in no time.

They work!

  • Wrapped up our stay with a 4th of July neighborhood pig roast (Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, and Carolina BBQ styles) with every side imaginable, fishing, swimming and watching the fireworks from the water.

Happy Independence Day!

Thanks Auntie Linda for opening your home to us and Jim and Sarah for all the fishing and cooking lessons. We loved getting to spend time with you guys and the visit is one of the highlights of our trip.

N 34° 20.70  / W  77° 53. 37

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4 Responses
  1. eileen says:

    psst, tagged! And it won’t let me post a short comment, so I’ll say I love your adventure, and have never raked for clams in the rain, or otherwise. Digging for them with your hands is not recommended, as you will wreck your dainty paws. Trust me, I’ve been there.

  2. Tux says:

    Now that looks like a tasty dish! yummy!!

  3. Thanks for your note, Tux. Those clams did cook up well for one tasty dinner :o). Best wishes as you continue to prepare for your adventures!

  4. Thanks for the tag, Eileen! The “7 Links” Challenge certainly looks challenging but I’ll give it a go. Love your site and appreciate you sharing your Santiaguinan adventures.

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