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Paisley & Pearl

Outer Banks Vacation Rentals Made Easy

January 27, 2017
by ssp.obx@live.com
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The Outer Banks Hospital: Another OBX First

David hurt his knee a few weeks ago. It didn’t improve as quickly as we would have hoped, so we decided to get an MRI. A couple hours after the MRI, the doctor called and urged us to get an ultra sound. He was concerned about the possibility of a blood clot. Well, let me tell you, that got our attention! We were in OBX  at the time and so decided to go to The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head.

It was late in the afternoon on a Friday. The hospital staff facilitated the process and were incredibly friendly. The lady that administrated the ultrasound was professional and kindly informative, especially considering I was trying to act as though I wasn’t mildly freaked out (which I was.) The Radiologist even came in to reassure us when they weren’t able to get ahold of the ordering physician.

I don’t love hospitals nor do I frequent them often, but in this case, I’m very thankful Outer Banks Hospital was there. No one wants to think of needing a visit to the emergency room while on vacation.

Vacation. Relaxation. Emergency Room. Just checking. Nope, they don’t go together.

But,

Just in case, you have a great option. The Outer Banks Hospital, located just down the street in Nags Head at MP15. They’re there if you need them. We’ll pray that you don’t.

 

Wishing you Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

December 14, 2016
by ssp.obx@live.com
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Off-Season OBX Restaurant Guide

Here’s a list compiled by “The Restaurant Guide to The Outer Banks” (with some of my favorites thrown in) of some popular OBX restaurants’ hours and days of operations. Just remember that this is not set in stone, and it’s always best to call before you head out to dinner (especially right around the holidays).

November 29, 2016
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OBX Family Portraits with Epic Shutter!

I just had another “OBX first.” I booked a family portraits (for my side of the family) on our vacay in September. My brothers and I gave up on buying Christmas presents for each other years ago and finding something meaningful for parents can be challenging. So my sister-in-law Sheryl and I hit upon the idea of gifting family photo shoot in the Outer Banks. It has been a few years since we did a family group pics and the family has grown (LOTS,) so the timing is perfect!

Thankfully, we also had a photographer recommended to us, Jenni Koontz from Epic Shutter. Jenni had recently done a family photo shoot for one of David’s best friends and the pictures were gorgeous!

I know many of you will be talking over summer vacation plans while you’re with family over the holidays. Perhaps this year, consider making a lasting impression of your OBX memories with a professional photo shoot. I’ll share our finished product with you, but in the meantime consider booking a session with Jenni for your family on your OBX getaway. You’ll want to reserve as soon as possible to be sure you get your desired dates. It does make a great stocking stuffer!

Wishing You Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

November 26, 2016
by ssp.obx@live.com
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Thankful.

Just stopping to count our blessings today. We have so much to be thankful for this year.

 

We’re thankful to our Father God, who has given us this opportunity. I pray we never take it for granted. We’re blessed to be Americans and live in a place that grants us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (my personal brand of happiness is spelled OBX!)We’re thankful for our wonderful guests that have allowed us be a part of their celebrations and memory making. We’re committed to your experience and count many of you among our friends and family. We’re grateful having been spared the worst of two named storms this season and we pray for those who are still rebuilding their lives. We are thankful for Mike and Lisa, our wonderful caretakers and their fabulous team. They love our guests and we love them for it! We’re thankful for our contractor Jimmy, his right hand, Jeremy who help us carry out our crazy ideas. Finally, I’m thankful for the “family” in “family business.” Couldn’t and wouldn’t want to do this on my own!

 

Wishing You Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

 

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

November 4, 2016
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It’s All Gravy: Great Italian in OBX

Our friends, Danny and Jane (fellow cottage court restorers) recommended us to a new favorite spot in Nags Head. It’s All Gravy opened up in 2014 and this place is for real! We went there last time we were in town.

The restaurant is clean, comfortable and the staff is very friendly. David ordered the Steak & Cheese, I got the Meatball Sub. DELICIOUS! Authentic is the word, made in house meatballs and sauce (gravy.) The bread is even locally sourced and the portions are HUGE! I was ravenous and only was able to finish half the sub. The other half made for great leftovers. We indulged a bit and got a piece of their (also made in-house) Tiramisu Cake. Five Stars.

If you’re in the mood for Italian, in the neighborhood, look no further! It’s All Gravy!
Wishing you Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

October 15, 2016
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Post Hurricane Matthew: Our Own October Surprise

First, it was Hermine that came through on the Friday before Labor Day. She tipped over a few AC units at the condos and we lost some shingles at The Little Cottages. And then, unpredictable Hurricane Matthew.

 

It was forecasted to hit us, then to miss us, and then it hit us. It was an on again, off again, on again routine. We prepared the best we could and then waited. Areas that typically stay tight and dry were flooded with feet of water. Some locals are saying there has not been flooding of this nature since Ash Wednesday, 1962. Matthew is being compared to Hurricane Emily, 1993 and Hurricane Floyd, 1999.

 

Mike and Lisa were absolute heroes before, during and after the storm. We leaned on their recommendations heavily as we made preparations and advised guests with the best information we had.  There wasn’t an evacuation, but access to the island was restricted on Sunday. Graduated access was permitted until restriction was lifted and visitors were welcomed back on Tuesday morning. Thankfully, none of our guests were in town for the storm. We did our best to be sure they experienced the least amount of inconvenience possible. Some guests chose to cancel, others have decided to reschedule, which is exactly how our hurricane cancellation policy works. We are just thrilled everyone is safe and feel blessed that as of tomorrow, we will be back to normal.

Thankfully, the cottages and condos all stayed tight and dry, no flooding whatsoever. Kemp & Olive lost a few shingles and an AC unit at the condos was leaning a little bit. Considering Jennette’s Pier clocked a 96 mph wind gust, we are incredibly thankful. Amazingly enough, we never even lost power or cable at the condos during the storm!

 

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for us and the community. So many of you have reached out and that means a great deal to us. Please continue to pray for the OBX community and our state. NC has suffered the highest death toll in the U.S. due to Hurricane Matthew and in some areas of the state, the waters have not yet receded. OBX residents are resilient and by the grace of God and help from a neighbor, the community will dry out, rebuild and continue to be the place where the best memories are made.

 

Wishing you Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

 

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

October 8, 2016
by ssp.obx@live.com
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Hurricane Matthew: Our Storm Policies

Here we go. It is hurricane season, after all, and this one is proving to be an active one. Hermine came through about a month ago and now, Matthew. The most recent projected models show OBX to be on the fringe of the storm. We’re still watchful and our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been and those that are now being impacted by the storm.

We were booked solid for this holiday weekend. Our guests have had some decisions to make. Some have opted to cancel or reschedule their trip, others are staying on, for now, experiencing what few people ever do, OBX bracing for a storm. Here’s a few things we’d like you to know about our storm policy:

  1. It’s about Safety: I’ve gotta tell ya, I’m curious about these storms. Perhaps that’s one motivation why folks stay in a questionable situation, but there isn’t any reason to put the lives of our first responders in jeopardy trying to get folks out of a spot that was easily avoidable. If there is a mandatory evac, we will not permit our guests to stay. Period.
  2. It’s about Accessibility: Once the winds are above 40mph, the bridges across the sound are closed. Translation: you couldn’t get here if you tried, unless you swim. (Not recommended.)
  3. It’s about the experience: Maybe the possibility of a loss of power, storm surge, no AC, a dinner of cold Pop Tarts and bottled water and 80mph wind gusts are your idea of a good time, maybe they aren’t. Just a  few things to consider when you’re thinking of riding out a storm.
  4. It’s NOT about the money: We make this part of the decision easy. When there is an event that is a safety concern for our guests or a mandatory evacuation, our policy is to offer a full (if the entire reservation is cancelled) or prorated refund or reschedule to another available date. Simple as that.
    It’s not a rainy day plan and you’re welcome to purchase trip insurance, but we don’t ever want finances to color your decision when your safety is at stake.

There you have it. The Outer Banks and our sister barrier islands are strong communities that have seen their share of storms. Storms become markers of time and measures of the resilience of the community. This is true of those who are still waiting for the storm to pass. They will come together, dry out, rebuild. It’s the nature of coastal communities. Salt water is in their veins and storms like this one are just part of the reality of these places we love.

Wishing you Fair Weather (NOT HURRICANES) and Fond Memories,

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

Gone Fishin’

September 29, 2016 by ssp.obx@live.com | 0 comments

Disclaimer: I’m not a fisher-girl. So I don’t know the lingo.

Back in April, David got to enjoy a classic OBX experience, Deep Sea Fishing. One of his best friends invited him to join a mid-week business perk fishing trip. The weather had been rough, so they were iffy as to whether or not they were even going to go out. As semi-experienced deep sea fisher-men, they took Dramamine the night before. Get it in the system.The seas were rough, 7-10 Ft swells, to be exact. They had booked The Trophy Hunter, a 54 Ft  B&B Works out of Oregon Inlet. The captain drove up to the top of the Bonner Bridge to ascertain the state of the inlet. He said, “Roger that,” they took more Dramamine and took off (shoved off, set sail, anchors away, etc.)

 

They went out about 25 miles, a three hour tour (actually, it took about 2 hours to get to the
gulf stream.) David has a set of very respectable sea legs. He says the key is to always look at the horizon, don’t look down. He fared very well, let’s just say one of his companions is a landlubber. Yikes, but to be fair, they had 7-10ft seas. Just look up at ceiling of the room you are sitting in right now. That’s likely 8ft.

 

As soon as they dropped the line in the water the reels went wild! Yellow fin and Mahi 552lbs in under two hours. At times there would be 5 fish on the line! Crazy! Captain Kenny on Trophy Hunter definitely put them on the fish! Around 11:30 the live wells were already full and the weather was turning for the worse, so they headed back to shore. At the end of the day, due to the very rough seas, they were the only boat that went out. Like I mentioned, 7-10 Ft swells. David said that when the boat would crest the top of a swell, they could see Mako and Hammerhead Sharks in the adjacent swell. Scary stuff.

 

When they pulled into Oregon Inlet, they had the fish cleaned and then took them back to the captain’s cottage and vacuum sealed it, all 256 lbs of it! The guys hosting the trip gifted us with 62lbs of Yellow Fin Tuna and we (and about a couple dozen of our friends and family) have THOROUGHLY enjoyed it! Of course, we had Seared Tuna for dinner. I don’t believe I have ever had fish that fresh before. It was DELICIOUS! We’re still enjoying the spoils of the day. There are still a couple tenderloins in the freezer, after this weekend, there will be one less.

These guys have great stories that go back three decades. This one has all the earmarks of a legend, an OBX fishing invite, rough seas, sharks, a ginormous haul and a great meal. I have no doubt this one will be added to the compilation. Particular thanks to Goodrich and our hosts.

As I stated in the beginning, I’m not a fisher-girl. Stories like this kinda make me want to be, kinda. David highly recommends Trophy Hunter for your next OBX Deep Sea Fishing Excursion!

 

Wishing you Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

 

Amy
Paisley & Pearl

September 1, 2016
by ssp.obx@live.com
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Hurricanes and OBX: What to Know

With the close of Peak Summer Season in OBX, another season opens. Hurricane Season.
“Tropical cyclones have affected North Carolina in every month between May and December; about 35 percent of the storms struck the state in September, and 80 percent affected the state between August and October, which coincides with the peak of the hurricane season.”
As I write this, I believe there are three named storms swirling around in the Atlantic now, Hurricane Hermine looks like she could be knocking on our back door in a few days.
Interestingly enough, our major hurricane last season came upon us July 4th weekend. Crazy stuff. Thankfully, it made landfall late in the week, on a Friday, as I recall. One of our families (with teen kids) decided to ride it out and had a fabulous adventure, made even better by Mike & Lisa’s Hurricane Care Packages. Our other family, with small children, decided they’d be more comfortable avoiding hurricane scenarios and hurricaned very happily in Williamsburg, VA. I believe both made the right call and both were happy with their decision.
True confessions, I haven’t ever ridden out a storm in OBX, but I’d really like to. For the most part, it seems, locals stay put. Even during Mandatory Evacuations, many folks stay. There’s even a group called the Ocracoke Crazies (so named by Jim Cantore) for their insistence on riding out even the fiercest storms. These folks are residents of Ocracoke, which is a tiny island due east of Hatteras and can only be reached by ferry. Translation: when a storm hits you’re on your own. So, Ocracoke Crazies, what was meant to be a bit of a derogatory term these folks turned into a badge of honor.
One of the great things about hurricanes (yep, you read that right, I said “great things about hurricanes,”) is that we know they are coming, usually several days prior to making landfall. This advance warning gives us plenty of time to prepare (to the best of our ability) and make decisions. Back in the day, the barometer began to drop and folks knew to batten down the hatches and get out of town.
So how does all of this affect you and your trip to The Outer Banks?
1. Still come. It’s one of the most beautiful, family-friendly, historically-rich, recreational yet relaxing, good-time-had-by-all, places on earth. They aren’t a weekly occurrence, don’t let the possibility of a storm keep you from booking a fall getaway.
2. You can purchase peace of mind. If you’re coming in peak hurricane season but would like to have some security, buy trip insurance. This can be purchased through HomeAway.com and can be used for family or medical emergencies.
3. We’re paying very close attention too. Once a storm is named, be assured our team is watching it like a hawk. Mike and Lisa, who are pros at this, give us their opinion of it’s course, local buzz and recommendations.
4. Our number one concern is your safety. If there is a mandatory evacuation, we’ll refund (prorated) your stay. If you read our VRA, you’ll see this policy listed as an “Event.”  If it’s questionable, you make the call and we’ll come up with a solution that fits your family. However, this isn’t a rainy day policy, it’s a safety thing.
5. The sky after a storm is one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see.
Wishing you Fair Weather and Fond Memories,
Amy
Paisley & Pearl

July 26, 2016
by ssp.obx@live.com
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The Spot: Smoothies, Acai Bowls and Ice Cream

As some of you know, David and I travel extensively with his work. We absolutely love it. He recently had work in Hawaii. It was fantastic and while we were there, I made it my business to find the best Acai Bowls on Oahu. I did a lot of  “research” and enjoyed every minute of it. Needless to say, I developed taste for them. So when we were working a long day in OBX a couple weeks ago and the mercury hit 95 degrees, checking out the only place in town (to my knowledge) that sells Acai Bowls was a logical choice to do some “research.”

The Spot. th

It’s located near MP 10.5 in Nags Head. If you’re an OBXpert, you’ll likely remember the building as Logan’s Ice Cream Cottage. The Secret Spot Surf Shop now owns and operates it, thus the stepping stone pathway through the corn hole setup, between the two buildings. This was my first visit and there were several things that I loved:

  • Convenient Location: It’s a great spot, convenient to everything. MP 11
  • Cute, clean interior with plenty of seating.
  • Great surfer garb and souvenir shop to appeal to the surfer dude or dudette in your family.
  • Nice Varieties of Sweets (w/ Health-Conscious Options): Acai and Pitaya Bowls, Smoothies and several flavors of Hershey’s Brand Ice Cream.
  • Fantastic service. The vibe is admittedly youthful and the folks that served us were very courteous and fun to interact with, like they were enjoying themselves or something. Shocker. Service: Two Thumbs Up.
  • Accessible Hours: In peak season, they’re open from 9am-11pm.

We ordered a Spot-tastic Smoothie, which is their strawberry, banana concoction. It was DELICIOUS! The only drawback, is that they stopped serving the Acai Bowls at 7pm. Which isn’t so bad, gives us a reason to go back – next time we’re in town.

Until then,

Wishing you Fair Weather and Fond Memories,

 

Amy
Paisley & Pearl