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Behind closed doors....a world of Adventure:- Winter at the Atlantic Inn

Hello from the Atlantic Inn

When you've had less than several days off in 9 months, and suddenly you do have free-time because you've closed the inn for winter, you can sometimes go a little crazy with the plans....

So, how many adventures have we had so far?

Well let's see, there was:

  • John's trip to Nebraska to visit with his 94yr old Dad

  • A quick trip to Florida

  • Thanksgiving stay at Tryon Equestrian Center

  • Pam's trip to Scotland to visit with her parents

  • Pam discovers Iceland

    • Christmas concerts, a National Park, Cathedral/Churches, Geysers - Tectonic Plates - Frozen Waterfalls - Volcanic Craters - the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis, Exploring and Christmas shopping around Reykjavik

  • Christmas at home with a bad cold....not a great adventure 🤧

  • Cross country trip to Nebraska

    • Asheville(NC) - Knoxville(Tennessee) - Nashville - Memphis - Little Rock(Arkansas) - Tulsa(Oklahoma) - Kansas City(Kansas) - Hastings (Nebraska, to spend a couple of weeks with JB's awesome 94yr old Dad 💕) - and then all the way back the way we came (stopping at some really cool places)..Nebraska - Kansas - Oklahoma - Tennessee - North Carolina - Home to Hatteras 🥰

On arriving back home from our Nebraska trip two weeks ago, it was time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. This winter, while the inn might appear to rest, our dreams for its spring awakening are vividly alive and kicking! Behind the closed doors, a whirlwind of activity unfolds. New projects are underway, as well as some of the larger routine annual maintenance chores that need to be done when we have no guests, other activities include, shopping for new and replacement items for the inn (this one can be fun....but also time consuming, as a lot of this has to be done online - when you live on a sandbar 30 miles out in the Atlantic, you can't just nip out to the local linen store!), all our social media needs updating, new brochures designed, taxes need to be done (my particular favorite🤪), gift shop restocked, cleaning, cleaning and some more cleaning, breakfast menus created (John is busy trying new culinary ideas, which I get to test 😋).....I could go on, but I don't want to bore you. Needless to say, each of us is armed with a rather large "To Do" list to ensure that everything is ready for opening our doors again in March.

Deliveries from Kempsville Building Supplies, USPS dropping off Amazon boxes most days, and multiple trips to Nedo Hardware, ACE, Home Depot and Lowes store by John, can mean only one must be winter projects time!

And the work begins...

The "hidden" suite 😉

As you know, we generally like to have one larger inn project that involves making a lot of mess and noise (well John is the one that actually does that part, but all in the name of making our latest idea for the hotel come to life). All I can say for now is that....

Serenity is the vital keystone to the Atlantic Inn, and it was with this in mind, that I've been nurturing a dream that is now quietly unfolding within our walls. A hidden suite, long held back from the curious eyes of our guests (for good reason, John was using the space as a workshop!!!!), is currently undergoing a transformation, destined to become a haven of tranquility and serenity - a place we've fondly named the Sanctuary at the Atlantic Inn. While its full purpose remains a gentle whisper for now, know that this sanctuary is being created with the utmost care, love and intention, promising an escape not just from the outside world, but towards a deeper connection within. Stay tuned as we prepare to unveil this special haven, designed to enrich your stay with us.

Now back to those adventures...

John's trip to Nebraska to visit his Dad: 💕

One of the first things we did on closing the inn for the winter, was for John to fly out to Nebraska to see his Dad (whilst I stayed back home in Hatteras with Bailey, Bodie and Pumpkin). John's Dad is a phenomenal 94 years old and is quite incredible, one of the most intelligent, and well read people I know, and John hadn't had the opportunity to see him since the Spring, so a trip was well overdue!

Super Early Flight...

Next, was a quick trip to Florida: so, there I was catching a 5:30am flight from Norfolk to Tampa (via Atlanta) before being whisked off by an Uber to a location I'd never visited before. I was super excited about this particular adventure (as it brought the promise of lots and lots of new adventures 😉) Did I mention the plane ticket was one way???

Don't worry I wasn't running away to live in Florida, in fact I would be safely back home with JB, the pups and Pumpkin by the next evening!

Welcome to the first of our "Restless Adventures"...

"Ava" at the Inn

Introducing "Ava" (short for Avandra, a character from the game Dungeons and Dragons, also known as "She Who Makes the Path"; goddess of freedom, trade, travel, adventure, and luck ) - Our Cahaba 4x4 Sprinter RV/Van that I had flown to Florida to pick up and drive to her new home in Hatteras - now we can take the pups with us anywhere.

More pics of "Ava"

Bailey and Bodie love being able to travel with us 🥰

Thanksgiving Stay at Tryon Equestrian Center: This place is awesome, and you don't even have to be a horse person to enjoy this incredible space nestled at the foot of the NC mountains. Although primarily an equestrian center where horse competitions are held, the owners of this incredible place have created a forum for entertainment for the local community and visitors alike. We celebrated Thanksgiving over several days - Staying at their RV park, eating excellent food, meeting Santa Claus, watching a spectacular Christmas drone show over the arena (whilst eating dinner 😋), having fun in the "Winter Wonderland", seeing Tryon's holiday lights, taking a drive to Chimney Rock which is super close to Tryon and taking the dogs for long walks, before heading back home.

John relaxing with the pups at Tryon RV site

Dinner with Santa

Tryon's Winter Wonderland

The incredible drone show above the arena

A little Winter Drink 🍸

Drive thru Light Show

Fun in Tryon's Winter Wonderland...

It was a tad chilly that night.....but I was toasty warm

Exploring the area around Tryon

Chimney Rock Village

It was a bit tight on some of those corners...

Pam's trip to Scotland to visit her parents: 💕 Apart from the photos that I managed to take from the plane, as we were flying over the Hebridean Islands, I didn't take many pics of Scotland this year - opting instead to stay close to my parent's home, so I could make the most of my time just hanging out with them (you probably saw enough of my Scottish travels last year, if not you can see them again by clicking that blog: )

Pam's Mom and Dad

The Outer Hebrides of Scotland from my seat on the plane

The Inner Hebrides of Scotland

Pam discovers Iceland: This year when I planned my trip to Scotland, I chose a flight via Iceland, and had a 3-day stop-over on the way back to the US. Here are just a few pics, but you can read much more about this adventure on my personal blog website:

"Frostrosir" show at the Harpa Center in Reykjavik

Thingvellir National park (where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet or rather move away from each other)

The Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis

A bit of a hike, but well worth it to see this awesome frozen waterfall

Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavik

Flying over Greenland on my way home!

Christmas at home with bad colds: We had planned to spend Christmas in Nebraska, unfortunately our immune systems had a different idea - just a few days before we planned to leave on our 4-day drive across country, we both came down with terrible colds!! Even if we had felt better, we couldn't take the chance of passing on our awful colds to John's 94yr old Dad, or anyone else on our travels. So, it was a super quiet Christmas for us! One of the bonuses though was that because we felt much better on Christmas Eve, we were able to attend the Christmas Evening service at the little Methodist church in Hatteras, which was absolutely delightful, and I also got to watch the first sunrise of the new year on my Hatteras beach....perfect 💕

As we hadn't planned to be at home for Christmas (and the fact that I had eaten a couple of early Christmas turkey dinners) I opted to make a huge lasagna for Christmas dinner

And New Year's Day would not be the same for me without Steak pie - A traditional Scottish Hogmanay meal (New Year's Day meal)

New Years Sunrise on Hatteras Beach

Cross country trip to Nebraska

After our very quiet Christmas and New Year, we packed up Ava and set off for Nebraska, leaving the inn (and Pumpkin 😸) in very capable hands (Huge thanks to Gina!!!). Just like last year though, the weather was to throw us a few curveballs before we would finally reach our destination, Hastings, Nebraska. We left a day earlier than planned, as Hatteras was forecast to have over-wash on the roads, and we didn't want to have difficulties driving on Highway 12. By 6am we were on our way...heading first towards Asheville, unfortunately the further we drove across the state, the worse the weather got. At one point driving near Winston Salem, Interstate 40 was closed due to fallen power lines, we found 4 other roads blocked by trees and power lines before we managed to get back onto I 40 and moving again. What we didn't realize at the time was, that the area had a tornado touch down, we found out later on the news! By this time, we also knew that some super wintry weather was closing in on Kansas and Nebraska, so we pushed on, to make it to Tennessee for our first overnight. Next day after a great hearty breakfast at a local diner, we were on the road again, unlike the day before, the weather was beautiful - sunny and clear and made for some awesome driving/sightseeing.

From here, I think it would be easier to show you a little of our road trip in you know I love to write - but a picture can paint a thousand words, so this will be much quicker 😉If you do want to read and see more pictures of our road trip adventure, there will be a few upcoming blogs on all about our travels.

For now, I hope you enjoy the pics:

And we were off....

Tennessee, here we come!

"Ava" playing with the big boys

No road trip is complete without a stop at Buc-ees Gas Station

This little diner in Tennessee may not look much, but their breakfasts are incredible!!!!!

Back on the road and it looks like a storm's coming!

What else would we listen to when we travel through Tennessee....Tennessee Whiskey🎶

Thru Nashville and off to Memphis

Puppy play park at one of the gas stations

Another awesome breakfast on the road (we do have an induction stove and microwave in Ava, but we love to sample breakfast wherever we go.......all in the name of research of course 😋)

Next was Arkansas....

then Oklahoma, where the weather held up nicely

Things were going well until about halfway through Kansas....and the winter suddenly closed in!

The snow was definitely here.... and blowing horizontally!

Finally, we arrived in Hastings, Nebraska....and things just got snowier and colder☃️

John in his Dad's back yard the following day

And yes, it really did get down to -27 degrees, and that was before you factored in the wind chill, that made it even colder 🥶🥶🥶

Back door onto the deck!

But it sure was pretty when the sun came out...🌞

Being a surf pup, Bodie still gets confused as to why this "sand" is so white and so very cold!

All too soon it was time to say goodbye to Nebraska (the van was toasty warm, but our pups like to be tucked in with their blankies 💕)

Hello to Kansas!

Next stop was Oklahoma, and that night an ice storm hit!

This is how Ava looked in the morning....but thankfully we were all toasty warm in "Ava"😊

Poor "Ava" - I bet it wasn't as cold where she came from in Florida 🌴

And yes, it was time for another yummy breakfast!

The roads were pretty nasty!!!!!

By the time we hit Arkansas, thankfully it was just raining

Had to do a quick detour to see where Graceland was (although we didn't have time to do any tours)

Evening in Tennessee was much nicer, the sun was back out to see us

Next was a climb through some mountain passes from Tennessee into North Carolina

We spent the night in the van parked at this awesome place: The Station at 19E is on the state line....a pub/restaurant/hostel/music hall. The food and local company were superb. If you're ever up this way, check it out. Here's the link:

The owner of Station 19E "JD" was an awesome host!

Quick stop at Sugar Mountain next day

More breakfast research, this time in Boone 😋

The pups hoping we're bringing them snacks!!

Finally, there it was......the bridge to our Happy Place (there was an incredible fog just over the bridge)....home to the Outer Banks

By the time we were driving the final stretch into Hatteras, it was 75 degrees.....a tad warmer than the -27 degrees we had in Nebraska!

Since getting back I've started my daily pilgrimage to the beach to catch my absolutely favorite part of the day...that "magical time", when the sky meets the sea, just before the sun peeks up over the horizon..... and anything seems possible 🥰

First glimpse of Hatteras Beach in the morning

That "Magical Time" 💕

Hatteras Sunrise 🌞

Flambeau wreck at Sunrise

After all our travels, we are delighted to be back in Hatteras at the inn, which in the midst of winter, is our own private haven - the place where John, Bailey, Bodie, Pumpkin and I call "Home" 💕

John and I eagerly anticipate welcoming you to The Atlantic Inn, your soon-to-be haven in Hatteras—a place where you can truly feel at home, away from home. Whether you're a cherished friend planning another visit, or a prospective guest curious about what makes our inn so special, we encourage you to book your stay soon. Don't miss your chance to discover the magic of the Atlantic Inn, where every visit, whether filled with grand adventures or tranquil moments, turns into lasting memories.....your stories of summer!

Just before I go, I wanted to remind you that there are only 2 weeks left to take advantage of our early discount special - for summer season reservations (Jun 1st- Sept 30th), there is the 10% Early Discount rate, that will be available for bookings made until February 29th, 2024 (not a typo....2024 is a Leap Year🐸).

Just visit the inn website:                                                                                                       

and when making your reservation use the promo code "EARLY24"

Hope to see you soon!

Take Care,

Love and Hugs,

Pam & JB 💕

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