We weren’t lucky with weather this week. The sun hardly peeked out from the clouds, it rained most days, and the temperature was definitely un-southern-ly (my new word). I remember it being really hot in April last year, but I was also coming from Detroit, one of the coldest cities in the U.S. during it’s record breaking winter. I think my expectations were a little too high this year. I just need to remember that after April showers, comes beautiful May flowers.
Nick had some work down in Southport on Sunday and so I tagged along with him. I never turn down the opportunity to visit a beach town or any road trip for that matter. Big or small, I want to see it all. Though, I’ve already been to Southport before, I still wanted to visit again; it’s definitely one of my favorite places.
You can read all about my first experience in Southport with THIS link. If you love the movie Safe Haven or anything Nicholas Sparks, you'll enjoy that post!
We were a little wishy-washy about bringing Tino (Santino) with us. It’s about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Charlotte to Southport and we didn’t know how he’d act being in a car for that long. We decided it would be a good idea to get him use to car rides while he’s a puppy so that he’s prepared for them later in life. Considering it was Tino’s first road trip, we left Grumples at home with Nick’s parents and let him hang out with the other dogs all day.
We made sure to pack treats, water, doggy bags, a Nyla bone, and a comfortable bed for him to sit in. Of course he sat in my lap the entire ride. Overall, he did extremely well. He just slept, woke up a couple times to chew on the bone, and then drank water. Now he can’t wait to hop in the car.
After Nick was done with his work, we went for a walk around the town and by the water. We are working on his pulling habits. The harness seems to work a little, but we are trying to break him from it while he’s young. Grumples pulls every now and then, usually when he sees a squirrel or other dog. I’m trying to work on it, but it’s hard now that he’s almost four. Nick’s dad has been a huge help in training him.
Most of the town closes down on Sundays. That’s the best day to go for photos because everything is empty. This is the outdoor area at the Moore’s Market. If you read that other post, you’ll know which place I’m talking about.
It was so peaceful walking around. If you closed your eyes, you’d hear seagulls, boats, and a couple cars pass through every now and then. I don’t care what anyone says, closing my eyes always helps me hear more of my surroundings, and it works the other way around, too . I have to turn down the music to find street numbers.
This time of year, you’ll see everything in bloom. If I had a front porch down there, I’d be sitting on it every second of daylight. I’d be watching the tourist, the fisherman, and blogging about my sites from the porch. I’d be the porch girl.
Most of the stores start opening up around noon on Sunday. We went into some of the boutiques and shops. Nick bought me a cute long sleeve T that said Southport. It’s a pretty purple 🙂
Some of the stores allow you to have dogs in there; of course we took Tino in! It’s good to socialize your pups around other dogs and people. Putting them in all kinds of environments help them! The kids seemed to LOVE Tino and he loved them back. You could pet that dog for hours, and he’d never get sick of it. He gave him all wet kisses and he let them hug him!
After shopping a little, we headed towards the water.
The line of houses with the big oak trees overlooking the water were my favorite. They all had big wooden staircases that lead you across the street to a private pier. They had big front porches upstairs and downstairs.
I guess I should add “buy house in Southport” on my bucket list. It’s a fairytale place. I never knew Safe Havens could actually exist; Southport is living proof.
The young boys, who probably lived in those houses across the street, were out fishing. It’s nice to see kids outside instead of sitting indoors on their iPads or in front of an Xbox. Though I’m sure if most kids could walk outside and be standing in a body of water, they’d trade in their xbox controllers for fishing poles too!
It was definitely an overcast day, but much better than the weather we were having all week long. You could see the rainstorms from across the water. We walked down the pier to see what the fisherman were catching, and went closer to the water to see how Tino would react.
The sun would peek out here and there, but never for long. We knew we’d be getting hit hard during the drive home.
The shore was empty. The wet sand must have turned people off. I actually like the wet sand because then it doesn’t stick to you when you’re shoes or feet get wet! Wet sand is perfect for walking days.
Tino didn’t mind walking on the beach, but as soon as we put him near the water, he was NOT having it. He clawed the sand, wined, and tried to escape. Now we know he’s a not a water dog, and that’s OK. Grumples loves the water! Maybe if we bring them both to the beach, he’ll follow Grumples’s lead; he tends to do that!
All the seashells were washed up onto shore. When I was a little girl, every time I’d go to a beach, I’d collect hundreds of them. My parents never cared that our car smelled like a sour fish from all the shells on our way home from our weekend trips. The only complaints came from my brother.
We left the beach and walked down a couple more neighborhoods. I could walk around there all day if we didn’t have to be back. Next time I go down there, it better be for the whole weekend or better yet, the whole week!
If you looked through trees and bushes, big beautiful southern homes appeared. They had the front porches that wrapped around and the double porches. I probably looked like a creeper, but it was worth the good shot!
Do you ever picture yourself in a scene?
I could see myself sitting at that picnic table with brunch, friends, and kids playing in the yard. Adults can have dreams too! Call me crazy; I’m used to it.
We were getting hungry after walking and so we decided to walk down and get some lunch at Fishy Fishy. We looked up on Bring Fido, which restaurants were dog friendly in Southport and the restaurant we had been wanting to try was!
The put us right at the corner table overlooking the town. Nick ordered a Corona and I ordered my once a month diet coke.
This was Tino’s first time at a restaurant; he had a lot of first times this weekend. We were a little nervous on how he’d behave, but were incredibly proud with him during the entire meal. The waitress brought out a doggy bowl for him to drink from, we tied him up right nest to us and he never barked or bothered anyone else.
The ladies behind us loved him. They called him over and we loosened up the leash so that she could pet him. He never jumped up once and let the lady rub his ears. We called I’m back over and he just sat there. How did we get so lucky?
We wanted to go to Fishy Fishy last time we were in Southport but they were closed. Luckily, they were open this time, allowed dogs, and we were ready to give it a try. Tons of my readers told me to try it out, and thank goodness I listened!
We started out with the two recommended appetizers. Zesty Calamari– which were buttermilk marinated calamari & cherry peppers deep fried with Thai Chili Sauce! Sounds super healthy right? Crab Dip – Baked three cheese crab dip with green onions and toasted french bread.
I love getting the opinions from my readers on what to order. I don’t know why, but I always feel more connected after trying your recommendations! I’m not a huge calamari person, my parents would always order it and I didn’t care for it much, but maybe I was doing it wrong. This calamari didn’t taste like the calamari I’ve had before. It had more flavor, it was fresh, and crisp! I may be a new fan of it; hopefully the next place I try it at doesn’t send me back to calamari square one.
Nick orders crab dip almost everywhere we go that has it on the menu. It’s a hit or miss for me; I love crab dip that contains more crab than cream cheese. I also like crab dip that contains real crab, and none of that imitation crab mush. This crab dip passed; it had real crab, mild cheese flavors, and was seasoned to perfection.
After ordering appetizers like that, I had to go with my choice of a salad. I don’t think getting the fried fish tacos would have been very safe after eating fried calamari and cheesy crab dip on French bread. Maybe next time, guys!
To carry on with the theme of everything, I ordered the Southport Salad. It came with romaine leaves, Gorgonzola cheese, fried onions, roasted garlic, tomatoes, bacon, and a side of ranch. It was on point!
I told Tino to jump up so I could take a picture of him with Nick. I bribed him with a piece of bacon, shame on me.
Nick ordered the Crab cake burger and it came with pan seared crab cake with lettuce, tomato, onion, and remoulade on a roll.
I love crab, but I’ve never been a crab cake person. Now, I couldn’t put a picture up of a meal without trying it and so I had a bite. The crab cake was crisp, flavorful, and pretty darn good. Nick said it was one of the best tasting crab cakes he’s ever had. I liked it as well, but still wouldn’t order it as my first option. Nick said if you like crab cakes, he’d definitely recommend this to you! Their sweet potato fries were a whole new story…hot, crisp, and juicy! One of the worst things is when your sweet potato fries come out cold at a restaurant. I can really respect restaurant that are on their sweet potato game.
It was time to head out after lunch, and I was bummed I had to leave. Just a little taste of Southport really made my week. It’s a place to relax, a place to think, and a place to reflect on life. When I’m there, all my stresses disappear and the beauty of what life is supposed to be about hits me. Southport is my safe haven.