Living in Oklahoma, one of the things I miss most is being near the ocean. It’s not like I went to the beach monthly from North Carolina, but just knowing it was close by, a few hours’ drive, made me happy. I spent every spring break there and at least snuck in a weekend every summer. My Hawaiian soul needs the waves.
So when I mentioned to my dad that I was trying to squeeze in a beach trip soon, even just to stick my toes in the water, he suggested we take a spur-of-the-moment day trip down to the closest ocean access!
Armed with coffee, we jumped in the car a few days later for a quick ocean adventure. It was one of those moments that I think I’ll always remember with my dad: top down in sweatshirts, yelling to be heard over the wind on the interstate, talking about anything and everything.
We lucked out with the weather. In spite of it being mid-February, we had sunshine and 70-degree warmth. Perfect for a walk in the sand!
In spite of it being February, there were still a decent number of people playing in the sand or sitting in the sun. Kids hung out in bathing suits, even if parents were in jeans. We did watch a couple of paddle boarders and their dog brave the water!
I love the dunes of East Coast beaches. There’s something captivating about crossing a miniature ecosystem where sand meets green for a few yards. And Wrightsville Beach is just over two hours from the Triangle. It’s so close! It makes me wish I’d taken better advantage when I lived here and gone all the time!
Some dear friends of mine got married in Wrightsville Beach a few years ago, and it was so much fun to recognize some photo spots from their big day. Doing their wedding in a small beach town gave the whole weekend a relaxed feel that was so fitting for who they are as a couple. The had the rehearsal dinner at a beach house that ended in the wedding party taking a midnight swim! We even had to convince the bride that even though we stayed 3 blocks from the church, she probably shouldn’t walk to the ceremony in a floor-length dress. But that’s what the atmosphere was: low-key and fun!
A few miles of walking had worked an appetite in us, so we headed north to the Oceanic Restaurant. It’s a big restaurant right off the pier with a great view of the water, and the walls are covered in local history – photographs and newspaper articles dating back over 100 years. I got the catch of the day and it was unbelievably tasty! Plus, the calamari appetizer is not to be missed.
Thankful to get to come back and see the ocean, even just for a quick trip!
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