Monday, March 30, 2009

Why Grocery Shop When You're On Vacation?

Perhaps your vacation this year will involve less eating out and more dining in? I know that is true for our family this year; but at the beach, surrounded by all that fresh seafood, you're not going to lack superior choices that make for quick and easy-to-prepare meals. When there's a large pot available for a shrimp boil (and there is in our condo's kitchen) and plenty of Old Bay Seasoning, my family's quite happy with skipping the expensive restaurant visits.

However, one thing I have always hated when on vacation with the family is having to waste precious vacation time wandering around an unfamiliar grocery store, trying to get all the food for the week crammed into my cart, while the kids whine "When are we going to get to the beach, Mom?"

Well, in this age of Internet and eager-to-please grocery chains, all that is a thing of the past for me now! I present to you . . . Lowes Foods To Go Service!

The nearest Lowes Foods location is about 5 miles from our condo*, and they offer (YAY!) a "Lowes Foods To Go" service, which means that you can order your groceries online at the beginning of your trip, and either have them delivered to the condo after you arrive - or just pick them up on the first day (which costs less than delivery). Just register yourself on their website, select the store you want (see below) and start shopping!

Lowes Foods - Store #230 of Sunset Beach - 6278 Beach Drive, Unit 5 Ocean Isle Beach, NC

What's not to love?

Just to make things a little easier for you, here's a short list of staples & supplies to get you started in planning for your Summer vacation at Sunset Beach Bliss.  On the other hand, previous guests sometimes leave these leftover supplies at the condo, so it's a good idea to take a look before deciding what you need to buy:
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Coffee or Tea
  • Sugar or sweetener
  • Old Bay Seasoning (note: we do try to keep salt, pepper, & cinnamon in the condo's kitchen for our guests, so you shouldn't need to worry about those)
  • Dishwasher detergent & dish soap
  • Extra toilet paper (Of course, we provide an initial couple days' supply in the bathrooms)
  • Extra paper towels (You'll find one roll provided in the kitchen)
  • cooking oil
  • paper towels/napkins
  • plastic wrap
  • Laundry detergent
  • Briquettes for the Grille
Happy not-grocery shopping!

*  There's also a Food Lion, that's even closer.

About this Blog

Our family discovered Sunset Beach, NC, late in the Summer of 2008 and spent several months after that first encounter, searching for a little place nearby so we could enjoy it again and again . . . and perhaps make it our permanent home once we retire. So now we have a little place in Sunset Village at Sandpiper Bay, surrounded by lagoons and pristine golfing greens, with only 5 miles of easy driving between us and that lovely beach!

We have wanted a vacation condo on the North Carolina coast for many years, and with the addition of our lovely little daughter, a desire for a home away from home for our vacations grew stronger. And one year we decided to make the leap and started the process of choosing our beach. After months of visiting one NC beach after another, we eventually got to Sunset and fell in love.

Sunset Beach

Yes, the phrase "unspoiled beauty" may be overused; but it's such an appropriate way to describe Sunset Beach, I'll risk putting it here. The beach is broad and flat, and when the tide was out that afternoon, we saw it left behind shallow wading pools of warm water all along the surf line, which were perfect for Moms and Dads to sit with their little babies to play. With all the houses and other development tucked neatly and well back behind the sand dunes, the views up and down this coastline were innocent of all the big, blocky condominium buildings and other development that clutter the view at the busier, more well-known Southern beaches. And although it was hardly deserted on that fine Summer day and it did take a few minutes to find a free parking spot, it didn't feel crowded. Once we stepped out onto the warm sand, we saw that there was elbow room, there was quiet, there was peace and relaxation . . . during high season!

Sunset Village at Sandpiper Bay

Another happy discovery was the golfing community of Sunset Village at Sandpiper Bay, a lovely little collection of villas tucked away behind the manicured grounds and shady lagoons of the Sandpiper Bay Golf and Country Club. The 3BR/2BA condo that we chose is light and airy, with a peaceful view over the water, right by a decorative fountain. We discovered that our 3rd-floor balcony provides an excellent vantage point for observing White Egrets fishing at the edge of the water, and the neighborhood is well laid out for a leisurely walk to the Club or an easy bike ride down its quiet streets. With all this in the village-like atmosphere of Sunset Beach, with excellent dining, entertainment and shopping of Calabash and N. Myrtle Beach just a short drive away, we feel extremely lucky to have a vacation home here. We hope to use this blog to share all our discoveries about Sunset Beach and its nearby attractions.