It’s been almost three weeks since my last post, but I still don’t have a motorcycle. During the interim, Kristen and I have been stripping and repainting the interior of our home, I’ve been transitioning into a new job at The Sanford Herald and working with our downtown development director on a personal project to add some atmosphere to my neighborhood. It feels more like three months than three weeks, but I had a good energy boost that kicked it all off.
Back in May, Kristen and I took a day trip to Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. We had lunch on the waterfront in Wilmington, strolled through the historic district and then spent a good five hours wasting the day away on the sand at Wrightsville.
I’ve been to dozens of beaches along the Carolina coast, lived at a few of them, and seen more exotic shores in Asia, Florida and the Caribbean. The more beaches I visit though, the more I’m impressed by how unique each mile of sand really is — especially in Carolina. On this overcast Saturday, we found Wrightsville Beach covered in a powdery white sand that faded into the bluest water I’ve seen north of Cozumel. Typically the ocean in the mid-Atlantic holds a greenish-gray tint within 10 miles of the coast and then slowly starts to blend into the richer blues of the gulf stream 100 miles out. Not this day, though. I couldn’t take a picture that did the water justice, but standing their looking out, it just seemed to transition perfectly into the rich blue sky.
About 500 yards out, hundreds of sailing dinghies clustered together for a couple of hours, possibly waiting to see if the brooding clouds would dish out any rain, and then scattered off into the sea. Without any fanfare or warning, a wedding party complete with a steel-drum player, stormed the beach, each guest carrying his or her own folding chair, and held a short ceremony in the midst of the sunbathers and surfers.
Being at the beach really gives Kristen and I a great chance to catch up with each other and talk about where our life has brought us and what we plan to do next. We split most of the day between laying in the sand reading and walking for a few miles along the coast. I couldn’t resist the rush of racing into the cool water and fighting with the salty waves, though, and I was able to drag Kristen along a couple of times. The ocean offers a true feeling of renewal when I need it most.
At times I wish I could live in a real beach town again. Somewhere with real character and history like Wilmington, a peaceful fishing village like Beaufort or even my native Myrtle Beach. But I do love the town I’m in now, and Wrightsville Beach is just a little more than an hour’s drive from my door — not even twice my daily commute to work — so for the time being, it’s perfect. I hope to make many more day trips like this as the summer continues.