Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Vacations - Then and Now

Summer vacations - we've always taken one whether we could afford it or not.  Holden Beach, North Carolina was our favorite family getaway and still is.   The mid 1970's was our first encounter with this family oriented beach that had no amusement activities for the kids other than a small miniature golf course at the pier.  We didn't have to constantly run the kids here and there for entertainment because there wasn't any - other than the beautiful Atlantic Ocean which is entertainment enough.  We always rented an oceanfront cottage with a boardwalk allowing us easy beach access by walking a mere thirty to fifty feet to the water.  The week would always fly by and we savored every minute of it by staying on the beach every possible minute of the day.  We only left the beach to take food and bathroom breaks by walking across the boardwalk that separated the sand from the cottage.   The kids could come in and out as they pleased because there was always at least one of us on the beach to watch them.

In 1989, we made the plunge and bought on the oceanfront and two weeks to the day after we signed the contract, hurricane Hugo came through taking our entire septic system out to sea.  Apparently that's one of the few things insurance doesn't pay for and it was rather costly.  We loved our "little place by the sea" - even though it became a money pit - and we had some wonderful times there.   When a strong Nor'easter came through in 1993 and took all the sand away and left us with a whole ocean at our back door, we decided to sell it before it washed away.  We actually made a small profit and counted ourselves lucky to be rid of it before it became floating timbers.  We kept watching it as we continued coming down for vacations and eventually the sand built back up and once again there was a nice sandy beach to play on.  It changed hands a few times over the years and about five years ago we noticed an open house sign and asked the agent what they expected to sell it for.  My mouth fell open when she told me it was about $300,000 more than we paid for it.  That was one of those "if only" moments that you sometimes have - we all have them from time to time.

We again have a tiny "home away from home" down here, but it's about a mile away from the beach.  Since we retired we started a little weekend "open air" bait and tackle shop so during the summer we burn up the roads on weekends back and forth from home to the sea.  It's a fun chapter in our lives and allows us the opportunity to be at our favorite getaway just about any time we want to go.

 Our children are grown now with children of their own and where do you think they take their summer vacations?  Yep - we must have made some good memories here because this is where they still come to bring their children.  And it's still the same after over a quarter of a century with a miniature golf coarse as the only entertainment.  There's nothing like a sweet breeze, sand between your toes, and the smell of suntan lotion mixed with salty air to slow you down to a less harried pace and get you into "summer vacation" mode.  Ya gotta love it!

I've included some family vacation photos of our children and grandchildren having fun at the beach over the last few years: 
Me with my "accidental" catch of the day.  I usually take a book to read while I'm fishing.  I'm not very serious about it, but somehow I manage to catch the biggest fish when they just happen to jump on my line.

My grandson doing some serious fishing. 

Granddaughters and daughter a few years past.

Grandchildren and their cousin being little monkeys.

Another daughter and grandchildren

Our sweet Gen dancing in the surf.

Henry with a fish - notice that it's not as big as mine :)

A storm brewing

Sunrise captured - red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.


  1. Look at all those lovely grandchildren! Blessings indeed. Gosh, it looks an amazing beach - no wonder your children still enjoy going there, now with their own children! I think that continuity is just wonderful! I love the beach and feeling the sand between your toes and paddling in the sea! We have lots of lovely beaches only 20 minutes from where we live.

  2. Twenty minutes to the beach would be wonderful. We're about three hours away. We don't mind the drive so bad, but the cost of filling up the car's gas tank is ridiculous.


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