Sharing that first family trip – the honeymoon – has been one of our favorite parts of being in the travel business. While the years keep adding to the distance between our own honeymoon and now, we can’t help but smile when we get involved with new honeymoons.
As a photographer, our friend Sonya Christian gets to see and participate in those family beginnings regularly, too.
Sonya and her husband Chris recently spent their very own honeymoon along the North Carolina coast, and we were thrilled when Sonya agreed to document the trip here on Southern Girl Travel.
A beautiful day on Wrightsville Beach!
Wrightsville Beach was their destination back in September, and all of the photos in this post are Sonya’s…put a smile on your face and check out some of her work on Facebook, and enjoy her account of the perfect North Carolina honeymoon:
Hi! My name is Sonya Christian.
I was recently married back in April to my husband, Chris.
We have a dog named Roxy, who gets treated like a child. I work as a Training Coordinator for a Clinical Research Organization and am also a part-time photographer. Chris is a machine operator and also does construction work. I grew up in Bluff City, Tennessee, and we now live together in Blountville, Tennessee on his farm. We both come from small, close-knit families who we travelled with growing up. So, the travel bug has always been in our systems.
We are always on the go and any chance we have to take a trip, we take it!
It may be a day trip, weekend trip, or a week-long vacation. After working full-time jobs, it’s nice to take the time together and enjoy what we’ve worked for. We are lucky to live close to the mountains. It makes it easier for us to ‘get away’ for the day. We go to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Asheville, North Carolina, and recently Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
We have also been to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and enjoy our yearly trip to Atlanta, Georgia to watch the Supercross race.
My grandparents started taking me on vacation with them when I was three years old. We would go to Carolina Beach, North Carolina…staying at the same place, same room, year after year (King’s Motel, which is now Dolphin Lane Motel). When my grandparents got to the age they could not travel very well, my sister and I started making the trip ourselves, declaring it our “Sister Trip”. We went to Carolina Beach several times and each time ventured out of our ‘comfort zone’ a little more and explored the surrounding beaches/towns.
We fell in love with downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. It is only six hours from where we live and an easy drive, so that was a big perk.
Chris had never been to Wrightsville Beach, or that area of North Carolina beaches. When we got married, we decided we would go there for our honeymoon, which we took a little later on in September.
The weather was perfect, the beaches were not crowded, it was wonderful…and Chris ended up loving it as much as me.
We arrived at Wrightsville Beach early afternoon and got settled in to our hotel (Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort). We had dinner at Banks Channel Bar and Grill. The grilled chicken mac and cheese was amazing!! As we walked back to the hotel, we made a stop by Johnny Mercer Pier.
It was $2 to walk out on the pier, but worth it. It was just what we needed after a six hour drive that day. To feel the ocean breeze, sand between our toes, and to hear the waves…it was refreshing.
I had read articles about a couple who put a mailbox on the north end of the beach for people to write letters, prayers, anything they wanted and leave in the mailbox.
Since then, I had wanted to find it, but had no luck in previous years of visiting. That changed when my husband knew I wanted to find it.
We walked to the north end of the island in search of the mailbox.
Not only did we make the three mile walk to the north end, but we found two mailboxes!
The first one we came to was newer, but full of notebooks of messages. While I was reading, my husband found the other one.
It was just as I had seen in articles. We left notes at both of them. Being there and reading some of the messages, it was so peaceful and calming.
It brought back lots of memories for me of times at the beach with my Mamaw. She would have loved the mailbox.
After the walk back to hotel (and a small sunburn), we decided to freshen up and go to the USS North Carolina Battleship in downtown Wilmington.
When I asked Chris what he wanted to do while on vacation, his only request was to go to the battleship.
We toured the ship, going in and out of every entrance, hallway, and room we could. It truly amazes me how big the ship is and how small certain areas were beneath.
I would highly recommend visiting this and reading the facts that are given throughout the ship. Very interesting piece of history.
Fun fact – When Chris was younger, he was vacationing at Myrtle Beach and he and his Papaw drove up to the battleship. He has a photo of his Papaw standing beside a propeller that was on deck of the battleship from their trip.
We were lucky enough to find the same propeller and took the same photo of Chris at the same place as his Papaw.
Sunrise vs Sunset = cannot decide!
We woke up before the sunrise and spent the day on the beach, walking in the surf, and picking up shells.
The beach was not crowded at all and the temperature could not have been more perfect.
We booked a sunset cruise with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours.
We left from the dock in front of the Blockade Runner hotel. The tour took us through the waterway canals and the tour guide did an excellent job of telling us about the area.
Some of the houses on Wrightsville are gorgeous and most of them have some type of story to them…whether it be where Sandra Bullock stayed while filming a movie or how they built around this tiny house to make a huge home, to stay within the city laws.
The sailboats were my favorite!!
They come in each night and anchor down. There were sailboats from all around the world. We also saw a couple of dolphins jumping beside the boat. I couldn’t get my camera or phone out fast enough to catch them though. They’re quick!
The sunset was incredibly beautiful from the water. Our tour guide told us that no matter how cloudy of a day it is, from that spot, the sun always seems to find its way through the clouds.
We saw this happen a couple nights later, too.
This day was ‘tourist day’.
We left Wrightsville and drove to Fort Fisher, where we took the ferry to Southport.
We ate at the BEST BBQ place downtown Southport. It’s called ‘The Smoke House’. It was wonderful….and only $12 for the both of us to eat!!
We were planning to go to Bald Head Island, but when the weather looked like rain, we changed our minds (Bald Head is a must see though, I have been there before). We rode the ferry back to Fort Fisher and walked around there.
My Mamaw used to take me and my sister to the ‘crooked trees’ there and picnic so we made a stop there and admired the beauty of the canopy trees and ocean breeze.
Our next stop was Carolina Beach. We walked around the boardwalk and stopped for a drink at the Fat Pelican.
It was a rainy day at the beach, so we decided to have breakfast at the hotel overlooking the beach.
Waffles and bacon can make any day better!!
We drove into downtown Wilmington and got ice cream at Kilwin’s and walked around taking in the historic sites.
We had dinner at Tower 7 that night on Wrightsville Beach.
It is now my favorite Mexican restaurant!!
Sunset after the rain
We took the hotel shuttle to the south end of the island and spent the day there.
We practically had the beach to ourselves. We found huge shells there, too, which I loved!
We had dinner on the pier at the Oceanic. The atmosphere there is so fun!!
As we got back to the hotel, the sun was setting and it was the perfect end to the perfect honeymoon vacation.
We are early travelers, so we set the alarm to get up in time for sunrise and to continue back home to Tennessee.
Spots I haven’t visited that are on my bucket list. – My bucket list has a lot of places on it, but I would love to go to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Hawaii!!
Thanks so much, Sonya, for sharing your honeymoon with us!!!
Never forget to:
Relax…you CAN get there from here!