Friday, September 4, 2009
Triple-S: Sand, Sun, and Surf! Yes, I'm officially on vacation!
By the time you read this, I should be soaking up the sun's rays at beautiful Oak Island, North Carolina! Situated between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, Oak Island is a small family beach...a place you can relax and have fun without the crowds, but you're close enough to go hang out in Myrtle Beach or Wilmington (both about 45-minutes away) and then go back to your own world of peace and quiet. My parents bought their first piece of property there when I was three years old, so needless to say, its like my second home. Maybe one of these days I'll end up living there for good and tending my bees.
Last year while on vacation there, the island took a hit from tropical storm Hanna (downgraded from a hurricane by that time). We didn't evacuate because they didn't make us...it was just a tropical storm, but if they had forced an evacuation because of a hurricane, I would have gladly packed up and left. The maximum winds were 60-70 miles per hour, and we did lose the lights for about an hour. Other than some rocking of the house, a few shingles blowing off a house across the street, and sand washing over the street, it did very little damage to the island. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we won't have to face that again this year.
The picture to the left was made by me at 6:00am the morning Hanna hit. The heavy winds had died down to just heavy gusts, but you can see that the water was extremely rough. Besides three television stations broadcasting live, and a police cruiser in the area, I was the only person out on the beach. I was soaking wet because of the ocean spray, and I also got sand blasted near the dunes. But it was amazing to me that there was no major damage to the land or to houses around us. As you can see, the Ocean Crest Pier survived without a board out of place.
Take a look beyond the pier at the clearing in the clouds. Just six hours beyond this -- at noon -- there wasn't a cloud in the sky and a group of young guys were out "hanging ten" on their surf and boogie boards. It was almost like the storm never happened. The worst part about it was that we lost cellular service, AT&T was out, and my folks went into a tailspin. But I finally got through to let them know that everything was fine and that my vacation would continue along. And it did -- drama free -- the rest of that week.
And here I am -- doing what I said I was going to do -- finishing out my 2008 vacation. This was made the day before it ended. Yeah, I'm smiling, but I knew I would miss the beach like always.
But you know, there's something about coming back home too. Once I see my house, I'm always glad to be back. And I'm sure that as much as I love the coast, I'll get that feeling when I see my house on September 13th. Old habits die hard.
By the way, I will have my laptop with me and I'll be check my email and blog so I'll be in touch while I'm vacationing. Thank goodness for WiFi!
Take care and have a fun and safe Labor Day holiday weekend (to the American readers of my blog).