A Trip to Topsail

So, I may not have mentioned it, but last week, Doc and I went on vacation!  And what a glorious, lazy vacation it was (lazy vacations are my absolute favorite!).  Doc's parents actually planned their vacation first, and part of it included a week stay in Topsail Beach, NC.  They had a 3-bedroom house all to themselves, and extended an invitation to us to join them.  Did I mention that the house was right on the beach?  Um, yes please!  It didn't hurt that we also had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for a free plane ticket that was about to expire.  Dontcha just love it when everything aligns like that? I would say that 90% of my beach experiences have been on Florida's white sandy beaches.  Not having ever been to a beach in North Carolina, especially in October, I didn't really know what to expect.  The verdict?  I can't wait to go back.   Doc and I were only able to get away for an extended weekend, so we had just 3 full days of beach time at the end of the week's rental.  Bill and Pat relayed the weatherman's message that cooler weather was a'comin, so we packed our warm clothes.  We lucked out, though, and our first beach day was in the 80s, nice and sunny with a good breeze.

This was the from right outside the living room doors.

Since it was October, there weren't many other beach-goers.  We didn't have it completely to ourselves, but we definitely didn't have to fight for a prime spot to put our chairs.

Did I mention that we packed our warm clothes?  Doc had thrown in some workout clothes but my bag was nothing but warm pants and fleece pullovers.  I may have had to borrow his shorts for the day so I didn't roast on the beach.  Real cute...  As keeper of the camera, I made sure there were no pictures of that.

Here's a view of the house from the beach.  Topsail Beach is on a small strip of an island in the Atlantic ocean.  You can't really tell from this picture but all the houses on the island are built up on stilts.  Several were still boarded up from Irene's visit a few weeks ago.  There were houses on both sides of us, but they're cropped out of this picture.

The crazy thing to me about this beach was the big difference between high tide and low tide.  One morning, when we woke up, the ocean was all the way up past where we'd been sitting the day before.

But then, by that afternoon, it was back down.

The differences in the tides made the sand on the beach a lot more packed down and firmer to walk on.

The high tide also washed up lots and lots of seashells.  When we arrived, Pat already had a great collection going, and she was nice enough to let me pick out some of my favorites to take home.

You know what else I thought was weird?  When the waves crashed onto the beach, they were really foamy.  Maybe it's like that everywhere and I've just never noticed, I don't know.

I could probably be ok spending everyday like this.

On the other side of the strip of island is the intercoastal waterway.  One evening we walked out on a long pier over the waterway so we could watch the sunset.

The Boy and The Dad.

We got there just in time to see the sun go down, and then we started losing light fast.

My lighting in this picture is not very good at all, but I kinda like it that way.  We were watching all the crabs in the water.

Speaking of the waterway, here's a fun fact for ya: one of the only two ways onto the island is over a swing bridge.  The other entrance has a draw bridge.  Instead of pulling up like a draw bridge, a swing bridge swings to the side.  This particular swing bridge swings every hour (I think) so that boats in the waterway can pass by.

This is a dry dock near the swing bridge.  I wonder how they get the boats up there and back down into the water.

One morning when we woke up, the fog was so bad we could barely see the ocean.  You can't even see it behind us in the picture below.

As predicted, the cold weather moved in.  We were still able to take walks on the beach each day, but it was a little too chilly to just sit out there.  That was ok, though, since we needed to be inside anyway to watch the ND/Navy game...

Now, I admit that I'm not the biggest football fanatic so maybe this make sense to die hard fans, but here's what I don't get...see this pile of players?

The ones in the navy uniforms aren't the Navy team.  What??  How am I suppose to even try to understand what's going on when the announcers keep talking about Navy and I automatically look at the guys in the navy uniform but that's not them?  Wouldn't it make more sense that way?  In stead, Navy is the team wearing a white jersey that says "Navy" on it.

It's like they're trying to convince you that their jersey is navy blue.  (Like all those Victoria Secret Pink clothes that say pink all over them when really you just want to say, "um no, that's blue.")  Clearly a female was not consulted when they were deciding who would wear what color jersey for this game.  (And don't even get me started on the fact that the Fighting Irish don't wear any green...)

So, since the Navy team wasn't actually the navy team and therefore I couldn't follow it, what did I do instead?  I finally finished this beast of a book.

Life by Keith Richards.  I say "beast" because it took me FOR-EH-VER (name that movie) to finish it.  I read it on my kindle so I didn't know how big it was when I started it.  It has to be a million pages long.  (Just looked it up and it says it has 564 pages.  Pretty sure there's a digit left off that number.)  Don't get me wrong - it's a fine book and I'm sure some people love it.  But for me?  Torture.  I was determined to finish it as part of my resolution but I wanted to quit so many times.  I guess I just don't have a lot of interest in guitars and drugs and rock and roll.  And I'm sure Keith Richards doesn't have any interest in woodworking, sock monsters, or fall decorations so he probably wouldn't like a book about me either.  Me and Keith?  We're just two totally different people.

On our last night of vacation, I snapped this shot as the sun was going down.  Can you see the moon?  It was so pretty that night!

Sunday morning we had to get up and hit the road early so we could make it home in time for Trunk or Treating.  That didn't stop me from setting up my camera and the timer so we could get one picture with all four of us in it.  Proof that were there together.

Thanks for inviting us, Bill and Pat!  We had a great time and can't wait to do it again.  :)