NC Beaches

The Blogorail: Exploring the NC Beaches

NC Beaches

The Atlantic Ocean rolls in at Atlantic Beach, NC

Welcome everyone!  Today the Blogorail is looking at beach vacation ideas — and for this resident of North Carolina, I’m here to tell you why exploring the NC beaches is where it’s at!

From the Outer Banks in the northern part of the state, all the way down to Wrightsville Beach and beyond in the south, the state of North Carolina has an incredible selection of beaches for you to choose from.  Whether it is to explore the Outer Banks and see Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers made their historic flight from, or to head down to Fort Fisher in the south, there are countless ways to explore the NC beaches year after year.

Today I’m going to focus on a small town that we visited with our family a few years back — Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  This sleepy little town is big enough to have things that you’ll want while you visit — grocery stores, great restaurants, and a lot of awesome places to stay — but it’s also small enough that you can relax, enjoy yourself, and not find yourself packed together like a bunch of sardines in a can.  The picture at the top was our spot of beach — the vegetation was navigated by a small pathway, and while it looks like there isn’t much beach there, there really is, with plenty of spots to setup your chairs and umbrellas for the day.  On that day the winds were up, and we had rain, but even with some rain, it didn’t matter because we were able to just sit on our back porch and take it all in — the sounds of the surf, the ocean breezes, the warm temperatures — and just let life’s stresses melt away.  That’s just some of the reasons why the NC beaches are worth exploring!

NC beaches

The 4th of July Parade navigates down our stretch of Beach Heaven!

When we visited, it was the weekend of July 4th, and the community had a local parade — grab your jeep, truck, trailer, golf cart, bike, or RV — you name it, go grab it — and drive along and join in. Or, if you don’t want to, just enjoy the parade from the sidelines, like we did.

NC beaches

A patriotic row of beach houses lines the shore!

As you can see, there is civilization further south, but we liked it just here — and even with all of the houses, there was space to move, and we didn’t feel crowded at all!

NC beaches

And don’t forget, what 4th of July celebration would be complete without fireworks?  These were fired off from the pier at the main public beach, and we watched them from our location.

So, when you are thinking about the beaches and where you should spend some of your time this summer, think about all of the wonderful beaches to be found in North Carolina, and give Atlantic Beach some thought — if you come, you will be glad you did!  Have you been to any of the NC beaches?  Which is your favorite and why?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

For more on this really awesome topic,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

My Disney Blogger Friends – a Tight-Knit Community

My Dreams of Disney Header

One of the biggest enjoyments I get out of my Disney blog has been the friendships that I have developed over the years of writing here at My Dreams of Disney.  I am a truly blessed man, and I can count my blessings on the number of great friendships that God has put in my path for me to learn from, laugh with, cry with, virtually hug, meet in person, and even vacation with.  Like everything, though, nothing is perfect, and I have had to help friends out who have been stabbed in the back by other Disney bloggers — or, should I say, people that think they fit into the Disney community of bloggers when, in fact, they are about as far away from the Disney community as you can be — at least, with regards to the morals that Walt Disney exhibited when he was alive.

However, overall, the people in my Disney blogging life that I have been blessed to associate with — even if I haven’t met most of them — are ones that I would give the shirt off my back for, and ones that I regularly include in my prayers at night.  This post isn’t really about anything in particular that relates to Disney, but it is a post from the heart, and as we conclude the year 2013, it seems good that I take a few minutes to publicly thank them for all of their support over the year.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

My dear friend Amanda is also known as the Cheapskate Princess.  This wife/mother/teacher with a heart of gold not only is always there for me when I need to talk with her, but she is also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and whenever we chat, it is a rare day that I don’t end up laughing at something she said.  I have been fortunate enough to meet Amanda and her family, although if it hadn’t been for her shouting across Tomorrowland as I was going to Space Mountain, it never would have happened…

The Magical Blogorail

My collective group of friends at the Magical Blogorail are some of my closest friends, and I take great pride in being able to help them out when I can.  The Blogorail is going through some changes starting in January, and that has caused some of the members to step down, but the changes are, in my opinion, for the better, and I look forward to being a help in the transition of the Blogorail from what it was to what it will become.  My Blogorail friends have always been there for me, and I’ll be there for them always, too, even those that have chosen to move on in their blogging path.

Chip & Company

My friend Chip from Chip & Company gave me my first start when I was starting my blog — he was looking for writers and I sent him an email.  I was a writer for Chip & Company for over two years before our paths differed, but Chip and I are still friends, and we have maintained that friendship despite not collaborating on the site together — and we will always be friends, I believe.

Ideally Disney

My sister-in-Christ Brenda is one of the sweetest people I know — and one that my family and I have been blessed to meet and hang out with, and even vacation with!  Brenda is the creator of the site Ideally Disney, and she and her husband and family are friends — but even more than that, they are fellow Christians, and I know whenever I need them, they are here for me, as I am for them.  We have laughed, we have cried, and we have hugged — and even video-conferenced — and I know that we will for years in the future also!

This is just a small sample of all of the people that mean a lot to me in the Disney community, and as I said, the blessings I have are too many to count.  If you don’t know these sites, go check them out, leave a comment, tell them that I said hi and that I sent you over to them.  They are great people, and I think you will enjoy getting to know them a bit better too.  Thank you for always taking the time to stop by and visit, and I’ll see you around the Internet!

Friendship Friday – My Blogorail Friends

MB Banner 2012

Hello everyone, and welcome to a special Friendship Friday post.  I have been entirely too remiss in talking about the friends that I have, and what they mean to me, so for today, I plan to rectify that!

Today isn’t a post about one specific friend — today I’m writing about as great a group of people as you will ever meet — even if I’ve never met them — and to tell them all what I think of them and the support that we all give one another.

The Magical Blogorail is the brainchild of Beth from Pursuing the Magic, who started it along with Kristen from Cooking With Mickey, Chad from Days in the Park, Bryan and Crystal from The CanaDisney Blog, Natalie from Meet the Magic, and Jenn from Disney Babies Blog.  The concept is simple: come up with a topic for discussion, and have a loop that takes you from one blog to the next, on and on down the list, until you get to the end.  Each person writes their own take on the topic, and each person links to the next in the chain.  The brilliance is in the simplicity of it all.  They came up with the Magical Blogorail as a tribute to that awesome, incredible Monorail that we all know and love, and they chose the blue color for their line, so they are the Magical Blogorail Blue line.

I have had the honor of being part of the second line that Beth got going, and this past February was the second anniversary of that line!  Month in and month out, the Magical Blogorail provides useful and helpful tips, tricks, and planning information to help you have an incredible Disney vacation!  The Blogorail is now up to eight lines, so there is a lot of Disney information for everyone to share!

But you know what?  As incredible as it is to be a part of the Magical Blogorail, what really sets the Blogorail apart from every other group I’m a part of is the people.  There have been times when we’ve all needed a group hug, or someone (usually me) just had to tell a corny joke, or something, just to break up the tension that the world sometimes brings into our group, despite our best efforts to keep it at bay.

I think that, without a doubt, the members that we have in our group would tell you that there are times when the best thing they have going is knowing that, no matter what the issue is, there are a group of people that all share the same love for Disney that they can go to, share what is going on in their lives, get a virtual hug, a laugh, or share a cry with, and know that it will be okay.

I know that not a day goes by when I’m not laughing at something dumb that Dave or Bryan say, or cringing at some stupid comment that I make and hit enter without taking a moment to read my comment first.

All in all, though, my friends in the Magical Blogorail are incredible — and I love each and every one of them for different reasons.  We’ve all got a special connection, our love of Disney; and a passion to share that love with as many fans as we can.  It has led us to great heights, to feats that we never would have imagined possible; and in many ways, our blogs would not be the same if we did not have the Magical Blogorail as a group connection.

So I thank you all, my friends, for your support, patience, understanding, and help (especially help!) as I have taken this itty bitty blog to heights that continues to astound me.  As always, I’m here for you, so if you need anything, all you need do is ask.

As for my readers, as always, I thank you for stopping by, and making my little blog one of your stops on your daily Disney fix.  The site is only as good as my readers, and I appreciate each and every one of you more then you will ever know.

If you would like to learn more about the Magical Blogorail and it’s members, please click on the link and check out all of the blogs you find listed there!  But make sure you’ve got some time on your hands, you could be there a while!

The Friendship Friday series is the brainchild of my good friend Heidi from Heidi’s Head.  Heidi is one of the members of the Magical Blogorail Orange Line, and is just one example of the great people that you can meet.  Please check out her blog and see who she is featuring today on her blog!  If you would like to be considered for inclusion in the Magical Blogorail team, please send me an email ( and I will forward your information on to Beth!