Forgive me for the lateness of this post, Grosser Bruder!
So, four weeks ago my incredibly kind and generous brother and sister-in-law flew Silver and me out to their home in North Carolina. They live in Graham, a lovely place, but they wanted to make the trip really special, so the morning after we arrived, we packed up again and headed to the beach! Wrightsville Beach, just outside of Wilmington, to be precise.
We stayed at the Silver Gull Motel, directly on the beach, and had a fabulous time.
You see that you can access the beach from the motel? So nice! I haven't gone barefoot or wandered around in public dressed only in a bathing suit since I was probably nine years old...but that wonderful feeling of freedom snuck up on me pretty quickly!
The motel is located right next to Johnny Mercer's Pier, a concrete fishing pier (with restaurant and shops), underneath which makes a perfect place to set up your "homestead" in the shade for a day at the beach, especially if you're as pale as we all are.
Here's a pic of the pier, taken from my brother and SIL's motel room balcony:
This little man is my older nephew, we'll call him Handsome Jack.
I think he's a mini-me version of my brother! He's almost five, and smart as a whip!
And energy! I wish I could borrow some from him...:)
Here is my beautiful sister-in-law with my younger, twenty two-month-old nephew, whom we'll call Curious George (not because he's a monkey in any way, but only because he IS very curious and loves to wander off by himself to explore, if he can get away with it...he's an escape artist!)
Here's a shot of the ocean and beach, looking northeast from underneath the pier.
And here's one looking southeast.
Absolutely fantastic, let me tell you! It was almost impossible to get Silver out of the water. She loves the ocean and swimming. The most remarkable thing about this trip was how I rediscovered my OWN love of the beach and especially the ocean. I lived in Florida for four years when I was little. We lived in Satellite Beach, while my Army Dad was stationed at Patrick AFB. The beach was almost undeveloped then (late 1974-early 1979), and we spent almost every weekend there. I was uninhibited and fearless.
I think having my own kids kind of killed that in me, not to mention self-consciousness about my body. It's hard to enjoy yourself when you have to chase after small children the whole time, and when you're worrying too much about what other people might be thinking about how you look in your bathing suit.
This trip really changed that all. I didn't give a crap what people thought and strutted all around in my bathing suit. Silver and I could go in the water together, and we swam out quite a far distance, almost to the end of the pier. The waves were great, and I'd float on my back and let them take me. It was like a giant roller coaster ride! With salt water. I wasn't afraid of sharks, and except for one encounter Silver had with a jellyfish, which stung her arm a little, the only critters we saw were tiny fish and a lone crab.
On our last morning, before we headed back to the airport, we had lunch at the top of the pier and headed out onto the pier itself for some more photos. It was very windy, and lots of stuff was blowing around, including everyone's hair!
Here's a wonderful picture of my SIL with Handsome Jack and Curious George:
And finally one of Silver:
This trip really changed me, in a very positive way, and it was incredible to finally spend some time with the only family members I have (besides my kids) whom I truly love and respect. Talking with my brother also gave me lots of food for thought about my future. He truly is an inspiration to me!
So thank you, Grosser Bruder!
Can you see the resemblance?