Sunday, September 29, 2013

Improving the Tradition of Thanksgiving at Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is much quieter as we moved into Autumn, but still just as beautiful.  Starting in October and November the North Carolina coast serves as a great refuge for those escaping the "nippy" North, with plenty of sunny days and average daytime temperatures in the mid-60's and 70's (Fahrenheit).

The Holiday Season starts for most with the week of Thanksgiving, and over the years many families have used Sunset Beach Bliss as gathering place with their families to celebrate winter holidays. Being able to spend the week away from home, instead of having to decide "who's hosting this year," makes it a true holiday for everyone.  Our guests like the fact that there's more than one king-sized bedroom, which allows everyone to get a good night's sleep when vacationing with extended family.  And our fully-equipped kitchen has all you need to make and serve your group a holiday meal to remember.

Or if you'd like to experience the true luxury of a delicious Thanksgiving meal with the family, without having to do the cooking, and clearing up, The Boundary House Restaurant, just minutes away in nearby Calabash, serves a traditional fixed-price menu on Thanksgiving Day starting at 11:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day, with the last seating taken at 6 p.m. Their menu includes a choice of 3 appetisers, an entree of either turkey and ham with gravy or prime rib, all the traditional sides, plus their famous Boundary House salad, and choice of pecan or pumpkin pie for dessert. According to the manager, this is a tremendously popular day for families to come eat at Boundary House, so making a reservation is strongly encouraged.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Farm Heritage Day at Indigo Farms in Calabash

The Welcoming Oak at Indigo Farms.
image credit: indigo farms website 

"Last year, one lady and her daughter just came to buy some fresh baked bread and ended up staying the whole day!" - Mary Bellamy

Summer has ended, and it is now time to experience the rich bounty of Autumn on the Carolina coast.  Long before the beaches began to attract summertime holiday-makers, the people living along the coasts of North and South Carolina worked hard, farming and fishing, and lived well off the land. We are lucky to have some descendants from those original communities still living in the area, who generously share their rural heritage with newcomers.

The owners of Indigo Farms, OK and Mary Bellamy, whose family has farmed this land for six generations, preserve and share their history and traditions with others through their annual Farm Heritage Day. Every year it's held on the first Saturday of October (This year, it's October 5th, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.), and admission and parking are still free. Bring the kids, and come hungry for delicious food and a good time learning about the lives our ancestors lived.

The farm bakery will be selling its usual range of tasty pies, cookies, crusty bread, as well as traditional treats like molasses and hoop cheese available at their produce market. But on the day there also will be a concession stand selling a wide selection of yummy sandwiches and barbeque plates to tempt your tummy - and the farm's apple and grape harvests have been pressed for fresh cider and juice to quench everybody's thirst.

This event always provides lots to see and learn about, with demonstrations of blacksmithing, the making of lye soap, and the craft of dying with indigo, the valuable cash crop of the past for which the farm is named. You'll also get to see some demonstrations of a horse-drawn plow and a horse-powered cane mill - plus the good folks from the nearby Horry County Museum will be there with still more historical artifacts, antique guns, and a working turn-of-the-century engine.  Every year attracts a little something more to this gathering.

The children can run off their energy in the corn maze, or explore the straw house and a tee-pee; and then rev it up again with the excitement of a hayride or "stock pig racing." Adding to the festive atmosphere, local musicians and gospel singers come to Farm Heritage Day every year to entertain the crowds and help to honor the traditions of those who came before us.

For additional details on this event and many others throughout the year, visit the Indigo Farm website.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Celebrating Sunset . . . at Sunset! Advantages of a South-Facing Beach

Sunset Beach, NC, enjoys an advantage that no other part of coastal carolina has:  If you stay on its wide sandy expanses until the end of day, you can watch the sun set over the ocean! Because of its Northeast-Southwest orientation, the sands of Sunset provide the best seat in the house from which to admire the brilliant beauties of the sun sinking into the waves. The privileges of such a position are not lost on the residents of Sunset Beach, who celebrate every year with an annual festival called Sunset at Sunset.