When Daniel and I decided to get married we didn’t tell anyone except immediate family and a pastor a few days before our desired wedding day asking if he was available. Frugal with vacation days and time off work, we crammed a lot into this one day like Daniels Lasik eye surgery. My dress wasn’t hemmed. I wore my hair down like I did any other day. My makeup was sub par I’m sure, as I did it myself. But it was perfect. I often think of how I wish we had of done things but in the end, things would be the same. We are married and that’s all we wanted. Just each other.
Things didn’t line up exactly like we wanted for a honeymoon. Being close to Mother’s Day, we decided to take a short local honeymoon (we camped, took our dog and paddled) and we would take our explorative trip to Mexico later that year. Each year there after, we have went on two “anniversary trips” one in May and one in the fall.
We haven’t had an anniversary trip without children. Our first anniversary trip we found out we were pregnant with Oaklee. Each one after I was either nursing or pregnant again and then nursing again. This is why our 6 year anniversary trip means so much to us. This much-needed alone time. Knowing all of the trials we will go through on the 7-8 day trip, the hardest will be having to go without seeing our children. That will be the hardest thing we will have to do. We are already trying to find ways to see them along the way. So don’t take me wrong and think that I’m asking or desiring a break from my kids because that is far from what I’m saying. I’m wanting alone time with my husband.
Our paddle itinerary is written out and ready to be printed and laminated. Broken down by each day and river miles to be paddled. Thankfully, it’s following the Mountains to Sea trail that’s being built throughout our state so planning was a lot easier going from this map. They have done an elaborate job on getting almost all of the information that one would need. I still need mileage from each camp to the towns. We plan to walk into each town and fill up on supplies, water and grab some grub. Hoping to meet new people, hear a story and maybe tell ours too.
Not including our last day (because we are only having to paddle 10 miles), we will be paddling anywhere from 23.4 to 33.2 miles each day. It’s surreal thinking of paddling that much at one time. The longest paddle we have made so far has been 16.2 miles and it took us around 4 hours.
We have scheduled a paddle trip in September to get some training in. On our last two days in our 215 mile paddle we will be paddling rougher waters. The river will be widening and welcoming boats along with waves and wind. For this reason we decided to plan a trip to get water of that nature under our boards. We have paddled inter-coastal water, bays, and sounds plenty of times but how could one argue with getting more time under their belt?
In mid September we will be leaving out of Beaufort and paddling to Shackleford Banks to camp in solitude. Separating ourselves from the influential world for a few days makes for a good reset. We will paddle up the island to get an unparalleled view of Cape Lookout lighthouse. The island is just 9 miles long but full of wildlife and unscathed beaches. Waking up, making jet boiled coffee on the sand while watching the horses and water pull me into a daze seems like a day-dream. But I’m lucky enough to call this life. Just a few weeks and we will be doing just that. I can’t wait to share photos and stories from our trip.
Now, the real reason you clicked on this article.
Medjool Date Loaf. This is where it’s at in the sweet loaf department. I make this typically on a Sunday night for us to eat on for the week. It never makes it past a few days. Its amazing nonetheless. With it’s almond flour grit, sweet chewy candy like date bits, and creamy peanut butter pulling it all together makes this loaf a total hit in my house. My kids can’t get enough and I’m ecstatic to give them something that’s not so terrible for them.
Medjool Date Loaf
Makes 1 loaf
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (if you’re paleo use almond butter)
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
3 Tablespoons water
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vietnamese cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup medjool dates (I get mine at Trader Joes), pitted and chopped PLUS 2 dates pitted and cut in half
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees
2. Grease your loaf pan (I use coconut oil spray). I use a well seasoned stone pan and do not have to use parchment paper. Your welcome to line it with parchment to help get your loaf out of the pan.
3. In a medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, mash bananas. Stir in peanut butter, water, and eggs.
5. In increments, add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until well combined.
6. Fold in the chopped dates.
7. Pour batter into the pan.
8. Arrange your date halves onto the top of the loaf batter.
9. Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes OR until center is firm.