// emerald isle travel diary | pt. one //

hello, my friends. i have just returned from vacation in emerald isle, nc. :) i did a travel diary, of course. they help me remember what i did and how i felt, and if i don’t write it down, it will start to fade from my memory in a matter of days.

i was there for nearly a week, and if i put all the days in one post, it would be 3k+ words long. i don’t want to do that to you, so i’ve split it up into two parts. enjoy reading about the first three days of my trip.

« day one »

i have this bad habit of waiting until the last minute to begin packing for a trip. i usually start an hour before we go, maybe less if it’s a weekend trip. but this time, i actually started the night before we left. *appluause* granted, i finished packing a few minutes before we needed to leave, but it’s still improvement, i guess?

it was a six hour drive, stuck in our tiny car with three other people. bags were piled on the half-sized seat between me and my brother, and crammed onto the shelf below the back window. we didn’t have much room, is what i’m trying to say. to entertain myself, i read the tail of emily windsnap by liz kessler, played mario kart 7 with my brother (we’ll be calling him c), strummed on the ukulele at odd moments just to annoy him, stared at all the very interesting trees and rows of corn out the window, etc. we stopped twice, i think, one for food (it was supposed to be fast food, but it really truly was not) and one for gas.

i realized we were getting close when i started seeing all the pine trees with the really tall, bare trunks. the trees we have at home are mostly maples and oaks, and the pines don’t look like the ones in north carolina.

^^ the view from the bridge to the island.

the drive down here was really boring!! let’s leave it at that.

i love all the palm trees and pastel houses that you find at the beach, and i was hoping that ours would be a pretty color. but, no, it’s this weird teal color with sort of orange-y wood on the deck. it’s not awful to look at, but the pastel beach houses are so much lovelier. at least we’re really close to the ocean. there’s only one row of houses between us and the beach, and i can listen to the waves while i’m falling asleep.

after we dragged all our bags inside and claimed rooms (i called the one with the light blue walls and a balcony that faces the ocean, but my parents overruled me, so i got the tiniest one, with a very green bedspread), i convinced my mom and brother to go to the beach with me for awhile. my mom has been freaking out about the riptides here, so she didn’t let us swim out very far. that outing will be remembered as “loren and c drink saltwater for twenty minutes,” or “the sea hates loren’s bikini.”

once we came back and showered, we played “sorry” (spoiler alert: i won) and watched doctor who. originally, we were going to play something called “green eggs and ham,” based on the dr. seuss book, but apparently you needed to play with an adult, and both parents refused.

we basically had skittles and peanut butter m&ms for dinner. i unpacked and went to bed right after that, because i thought i would be tired, but my brain hates me and would not shut up. thanks, brain. :) i wrote poetry and listened to music until nearly two in the morning.

« day two »

guess who slept in until after ten and felt absolutely dead?? me!! i eventually got up and showered and went to the grocery store with my dad. i only volunteer to get groceries when i’m on vacation, because my mom always makes my dad do the shopping and it’s pretty easy to convince him to get unhealthy stuff. we got lemon bread, cinnamon rolls, mini donuts, three bottles of soda, ice cream, two kinds of ice cream sandwiches, two packages of cookie dough, pizzas and french fries and onion rings and other stuff my mom would not have gotten.

observation: time doesn’t exist in grocery stores.

we went to the beach after lunch. c and i swallowed lots of saltwater, got some of it in our eyes, insulted each other’s friends, and tried to ride the waves without bodyboards or surfboards. he was complaining about how pale he is, so i gestured at myself (i practically glow) and shouted, “the beacons are lit! gondor calls for aid!” he thought it was hilarious and accidentally got some of the water in his mouth while he was laughing.

we’ve been chilling back in our beach house for a few hours. c let me play a game called fantasy life on his ds, and i’ve been force feeding him my music while he plays breath of the wild. i made a playlist of some songs with summer vibes, and i’ll try to post that soon.

we have a vacation traditon where my dad buys refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough and makes it for us every night, so we can eat them while we watch a movie. we watched the lake house, this weird romance with a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey mailbox.

i sat on the floor for awhile after the movie finished and played the ukulele. i can play a few songs:

northern downpour // panic! at the disco

can’t help falling in love // twenty one pilots (cover)

march to the sea // twenty one pilots

stomach tied in knots // sleeping with sirens

house of gold // twenty one pilots

« day three »

i didn’t sleep well last night, either. i was awake until after 3 a.m, so i started reading all the bright places by jennifer niven, and listened to the atlas album by sleeping at last.

we went to play mini golf right after i woke up, at a place called lost treasure golf & raceway. it was really humid and kind of awful. i won, but only by one point, i believe.

i think the universe is tired of my existence, so it sent me on this trip to try and annihilate me.

i sat outside on the railing for a long time and played the ukulele. there was a lovely breeze, and i looked at the sea and pastel houses while i played whichever songs felt right. i would have liked to sit there forever and slip away into the music, not thinking about anything except for where to put my fingers next.

this is the dinner that my father and i made possible, having braved one of an introvert’s greatest fears: crowded public places. truly, we are the heroes of this family.

once i finished eating, i grabbed the camera and stole out of the house. i walked on the beach for a bit, then set off down the road and took in all the colors and plants and lights and music and laughter. i was gone for close to an hour, and it was quite serene. there were hints of orange and pink in the sky, it was warm without being suffocating, and i got to walk and walk and almost slip out of reality for a bit. all i had to do was keep breathing and thinking and moving forward and it was the most relaxed i’ve been in a very long time. and i got an idea for a story, which is exciting in itself, but even more so when you understand that i haven’t touched any of my stories since last autumn. it felt like the creative part of my mind, the i have so so so much to say about everything part, dug itself out from under the sand while i was out there in the twilight.

oh, yeah, so it’s independence day. i’m going to play fourth of july // fall out boy on repeat until it’s stuck in my family’s heads forever.

there were lots of fireworks going off on the beach. c and i watched them from the balcony for awhile, and then we headed to the ocean to get a better view. i tried to get pictures of the fireworks, and i think a few turned out ok.

i took a lot of pictures on this trip — like, a lot. i’m trying to sprinkle them into the travel diary, but there are going to be lots that don’t fit anywhere. so you can expect a photo dump soon. :)

also. 650 followers. i had 600 at the beginning of june, so that means fifty lovely humans found my blog and decided to stay in just a month. that blows my mind. thanks, kiddos. love you.



64 thoughts on “// emerald isle travel diary | pt. one //

  1. Ellie @ On the Other Side of Reality says:

    OMG DUDE I PACK LATE TOO. Which is weird, because I’m usually super organized??

    Haha, my dad is the exact same way!! He always lets me get puppy chow or doughnuts, which my mom would never approve of XD

    Yess, I LOVE House of Gold. Have you ever posted a video/audio of you playing the ukulele? If not, you totally should :)

    HECKIDY YEAH MINI GOLF. Omg, your dinner looks super yummy! And I adore those ocean + firework pics.

    Can’t wait for part two! <3

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality


    • loren ☾ litost says:

      packing just takes too much time. XD

      it’s really easy to play. i haven’t posted anything like that, i’m not confident enough in my abilities yet. but maybe someday. :)

      dude, i thought i was the only person who says heckidy! and thank you.

      xo loren


  2. Allison says:

    This was so fun to read! Also your pictures are lovely (as always), especially the one of the fence on the beach and the last firework picture. :) I’m glad you had a relaxing hour at least, on the third day of vacation. ;) Looking forward to the next parts and the photo dump!


  3. olivehiddenhollow says:

    you don’t have that kind of pine trees? They’re everywhere in NC, I can assure you. XD
    “the beacons are lit! gondor calls for aid!” LOL, I literally cracked up when I read that. XD and the picture above it was really pretty! <3
    Most crazily, ~Olive


  4. Rutvi says:

    Sounds like you had a really fun trip! :) I LOVE YOUR PINEAPPLE VANS. ALSO, YOU CAN PLAY NORTHERN DOWNPOUR???? PRETTY SICK.

    *stops screaming*

    Okay, bye.



  5. Cherry Cola22 says:

    I love your pictures! I have a hard time falling asleep too. But I take melatonin(it’s a pill) and it’s a miracle! Or I drink caffeine since it gives me the opposite effect😉 Your pineapple vans😍


  6. Evy says:

    This sounds like a fun trip! All your pictures are very nice.
    My sister greeted me Independence day morning hy singing fourth of July by Fall out boy. I, on the other hand, got Rockin Around The Christmas Tree stuck in my head for half the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Megan (A Barefoot Gal) says:

    That was so great! I really liked reading it and can’t wait for pt 2! (And a Loren post that’s 3k words long sounds awesome. :P)
    I like those shoes.
    P.S. I was going to say something else but now I’ve forgotten… Oh yes. My friends obligingly got the Curious George theme song stuck in my head for the Fourth of July.


  8. Clara says:

    Wow, congrats on 650 followers!! That’s amazing. :)
    Do you prefer to drive or fly? Driving can be nice, but I flew to Texas last week and it was really fun. I think I prefer it to driving. (By the way, I am also a very last minute packer. I would have forgotten pretty much everything for the Texas trip if it wasn’t for my very detail-oriented sister.) XD
    Your pictures are beautiful! I love the last fireworks one and the fourth one from the top. :D Can’t wait for Part 2!

    -Clara <3

    Liked by 1 person

  9. mckenna says:

    those shoes are so fabulous. i want themm.

    breath of the wild. gosh that game is so amazing.

    Loren, my gosh all these pictures are amazing. your trip looked like so much fun. i hope you had a great time. i can’t wait to see more pictures ;)




  10. Kathleen @dollsanddance says:

    That looks like so much fun! At first when I saw the title I thought you meant The Emerald Isle as in Ireland, and may or may not have slightly freaked. But the beach pictures are lovely too. :) How is All The Bright Places? I’ve been meaning to read that for years. Congratulations on another story idea, Loren. :)



    • loren ☾ litost says:

      when my mom told us where we were going, i thought for a second that she meant ireland. i was slightly disappointed when i realized she was talking about north carolina. XD

      i really like all the bright places, and it’s definitely one of my favorite books. the characters were really unique and had a lot of depth, and i thought the way depression and suicidal thoughts were portrayed was well done. so i definitely recommend it. :)

      xo loren

      Liked by 1 person

  11. April McLauren says:

    congrats on 600 followers!!
    -pineapple shoes= AMAZING. they’re awesome!!! like honestly, genius. [sorry, i really love pineapples]
    -your photos are amazing. like theyre just so aesthetic and beautiful and words cant desribe— WOW.


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