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Well, it was a lot of work, but we did it. A successful beach trip with the In-Laws. It was relaxing (as much as it can be with 2 young girls), fun and the food/dessert was amazing almost everywhere we went.
We used VRBO https://www.vrbo.com/ to book the Awake and Ready Oceanfront Condo http://www.a1propertyman.com/property/awake-and-ready?PageDataID=96574. This condo, besides being on the 3rd floor, was perfect for our stay. It was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo. So, our family could share a bath and my in-laws could share a bath.
I highly recommend the Fort Fisher Aquarium for a fun place to take the kids http://www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher. I even bought a purple stuffed animal sea turtle for my daughter.
We enjoyed everywhere we ate at. Michael's Seafood for lunch http://www.mikescfood.com/, the Deck House for dinner http://www.deckhousecasualdining.com/ and finally, our favorite, Jack Mackerel's for lunch http://www.jackmacksgrill.com on the way back home from the aquarium. Jack Mackerel's was recommend to us and boy, were they right. Their shrimp and grouper was so amazing that my wife wanted to go back their again for dinner the following night. I convinced her to try another restaurant instead, but can guarantee that we will make a return trip to Jack Mackerel's when we visit Carolina Beach again next summer.
Another awesome surprise was a bakery called Big Apple Bakery http://www.bigapplecafeandbakerync.com/. I initially went for just a buckeye, but I left after eating a cupcake, buying 6 buckeyes and some coffee. I could have bought much, much more. The best thing about this bakery is that they had no problem accommodating food allergies. Not only do they have gluten-free options, but they will also customize your order. My wife was able to get a custom order of macaroons. This is a picture of the cupcake I had to buy.
Of course, no beach trip is complete without ice cream and Squigley's is definitely worth a visit http://squigleysicecream.com/. Almost everyone in our family got "Squiggled." LOL! The gift gallery upstairs is also very cool. I easily bought $20 of items including 2 items for my office desk and something for both my father-in-law and my mother-in-law. We liked Squigley's so much we went as a couple and with kids.
I am so glad that I did all of the prep work for this trip that I did. It was well worth it.