Ever wondered what it would be like to wake up on a white sandy beach, to the sound of ocean waves, and watch as the sun rises over the edge of the planet… from a tent?


Wonder no more…

Good morning, Earth.

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9


 

Welcome to FREEMAN PARK

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After a long day of driving, we arrived at the Freeman Park Carolina Beach campground right at dusk,  with stars in our eyes + the sound of waves crashing in our ears.

We spent some time running, playing, and committing acts of silliness on the sand, then soon determined that setting up  our tent at the campsite that night + getting the bunnies to bed at a decent hour just wasn’t going to happen.

We had already made reservations at the Freeman Park campground and had arrived there first to look around, but knew after seeing the park’s set-up, that the effort of this particular campsite build would be tough (explanation to follow below).

So we opted to stay at the nearby Carolina Beach Family Campground only a few miles down the road. They offered free WiFi… so, it seemed like a reasonable alternative for the night.


 

Rolling into the Family Campground after dark, we drove through and felt a bit underwhelmed after experiencing the awesomeness of Freeman Park.

The neighbors at the FC were more like residents – permanently parked campers with air conditioning units hanging out of the windows, cats running around absolutely EVERYWHERE, and an abundance of hungry sand fleas chomping on our legs + ankles.

To be fair, the Carolina Beach Family Campground’s website was seriously deceiving… the photos did not align with the surroundings. At. All.


X mentioned to me at one point that he could tell if he liked a campground by the way that it smells + THIS ONE, he said, “Smelled bad.”


But, hey – at least the WiFi worked! Hello IG ♡

After a very brief, one-night stay at what we affectionately nicknamed Sand Flea Kampground, we were up + rolling out at dawn in a mad dash to make it back to our beloved beachfront campground and set up for our two-night stay.


 

Freeman Campground is located directly on the sandy beaches and the only access to the actual campsites are by four-wheel drive or by foot.

We arrived in this cherry little beauty…

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…which of course meant, we were going in by foot.

With our reservations at campsite no. 1, amazing X loaded in all of our gear by foot.

He trudged through sand about 1/4 mile from the beach entrance to our site + back again.
In the intense mid-day North Carolina sun, heat + humidity.
By himself.
About a dozen times or so – maybe more.


[If I had been clever enough to get a shot of him carrying these loads with the camp stove, tents, and gear piled atop his head, like an African woman carrying a jug of water, it would be here. – But, I didn’t. So this description will have to do!]

Refusing help from onlookers driving past him in their giant trucks + SUV’s, X explained to me that it was “good training” for his ultra runs, particularly the 100-miler he’d signed up for this coming October.

Here’s what we did while he sweat in the sun:

After a while, I offered to help with a couple of loads, which I did gladly, but not nearly as effectively as he did while he took a break to float in the salt water.


 

After a refreshing dip in the ocean, we set to work putting up the tent + canopy for shade.

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The bunnies conked out in their beds while ocean breezes (and their battery-operated fans) blew across their tiny faces.

Upon waking, bunny boy + girl both had some serious fun in the sand + the sun!

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We all had an enjoyable day.

The sun was hot, the sea was a clear blue, and the winds were cool + salty.

The beach dunes + campground were gorgeous.


It was pure bliss.


 

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After a fun-filled day, the bunnies settled into their beds for the night while X + I admired the full moon rising over the dark sea.

 


I woke up at dawn + did yoga on the beach.



By the time I was finished, dear X had my camp chair + a big cup of chai tea waiting for me – just the way I like it {piping hot with entirely too much milk + sugar}.

Later that day, X took a run down the beach and saw the different campsites along the shoreline – explaining to me how each section is geographically different + diverse.

Since we had all spent the better part of the previous day in the sun, we were slightly sunburned (even regularly reapplying SPF 50 isn’t going to save you here) and weary from the heat.


So we decided to spend the next day at the
North Carolina Aquarium in nearby Fort Fisher.


THAT was awesome fun for everyone! Seriously.

 

We returned to our tent after dark that night and nestled the bunnies into their beds.

After another gorgeous night + beautiful morning at the ocean, we packed, hauled, and loaded everyone + everything back up into the van + drove off.

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There’s something so cleansing + energizing about spending your days and nights at the ocean’s side. Yes, it’s hot, sweaty, and dirty (sand gets absolutely everywhere) – but that’s not what I mean when I say that it’s cleansing…


The combination of the heat from the sun + the salt in the sea seems to be the best natural detox my body has ever experienced.


Leaving the beach was difficult, but I have a feeling that the ocean and I have many more moments to share + I hope many of them will be with these amazing people who I love so very much. ♡

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Namaste, beach bums <3

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