In Praise of Vacations and the Beach

Thanks to my loving sister, who let us use her beachfront cottage, I am staying at the beach at Emerald Isle this week with my family.  It is too cold to sunbathe.  Too cold to walk on the beach.  Way too cold to swim (although my youngest daughter insists on jumping in every afternoon).  So, it doesn’t sound like much of a vacation.

But it’s heaven.

Here’s my schedule: I wake up with the sunrise in the morning and go out and sit on the deck, watching the ocean, maybe sipping a cup of decaf coffee.  A little bit later, after the family wakes up, I have some breakfast, lovingly prepared by someone other than myself (beach vacations include freedom from cooking!).  Then, I take a morning walk on the beach, stopping every now and then to pick up a shell or pat a passing dog.  When I get back to the cottage, I might read a book for a while or do an acrostic puzzle from the book my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day.  Then, what do you know, it’s time for lunch!  One of the kids is on lunch duty, so I wait to eat what they prepare.  Later in the day, I might sit on the deck for a little longer–or take another walk–depending on my energy.

Josie in the Water


Sometimes, I take a nap in the afternoon, listening to the sounds of the waves breaking on the beach and the seagulls flying around, calling to each other.  I’m often hungry here–something about the ocean air!  So I have to be careful about not eating, eating, eating, every spare minute.  I’ve been good so far.

Double Rainbow at the Beach


Later in the afternoon, I read my book again–or write–or have another walk.  It’s difficult sometimes to choose!  There are no phones ringing.  No emails to be answered, since I don’t look at them.  No places to go or people to see.

Then, before you know it, it’s time for dinner, once again prepared by someone else, followed by a board game with everyone or, perhaps, a rented movie on the t.v., with popcorn.  Then, time to go out on the deck and look at the stars before climbing into bed.

There are ways to spend lots of money down here.  We could go go-carting or eat at fancy seafood restaurants or take a ferry over to Ocracoke Island for the day.  But why bother?  We’ve got the ocean out our front door, carrying away months and months of stress each morning and lulling us to sleep each night.  Oh, and did I mention the moon over the ocean at night?

I recommend it to all women over 50!

7 thoughts on “In Praise of Vacations and the Beach

  1. Love the photo of the double rainbow! We know this beach well. My partner’s brother has a beach-side condo at Ocean Reef. We only get to use it occasionally and only off-season, but actually that’s preferable – fewer people. And I have always liked the beach in the cooler winter months. I would rather walk the beach bundled up in a jacket than lie in the sun and try to not get burned. The “schedule” you described sounds very much like how we spend our days when we are there – drinking a great cup of coffee while watching the sunrise, going for a long walk on the beach, reading, napping, doing puzzles, eating, sitting on the deck and watching the ever changing colors of the sea and sky, eating again, taking another walk on the beach….. It’s heaven!

  2. Oh-h-h me–made me lust for those moments–what nice memories you brought up. I’m with Annice, next year take me with you–I’m a good cook too.

  3. Your article took me away with you and boy do I ever love the water. We live in Vegas and of course when we moved here we put a waterfall in our backyard just outside our bedroom. The sound of water is beautiful. Thanks for the walk with you – enjoy the moments.

  4. Hope you’ll be able to see the full moon over the water… that is absolutely mesmerizing. I enjoyed reading this post, and hearing how such peace can emanate into the words one chooses. Thank you.

  5. Sounds perfect! And do you ever deserve it. Bonnie and Carl will be here with the kids (and dog) this weekend and we plan to do lots of beach stuff. And that Tom–an acrostic puzzle book for Valentine’s Day. Who knew he was such a romantic! Tell Josie she’s beautiful for me.

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