Stop 17: Holden Beach, North Carolina

Holden Beach is one of our favorite places on earth. It is quiet, uncrowded, spacious, friendly, and slow. My family has been vacationing here since before I was born, and I spent two weeks here every summer for many years, from 1983-2007, only missing a handful of years when I was in college. Holden Beach never fails to bring me happiness. There is something fulfilling about being so near the sea.

I first brought Sarah here in 2005, while my grandparents, who “discovered” this place for our family many years ago, were taking their annual month-long vacation in the fall. And in 2012, we first came here as an annual destination with just my parents, sister, and her husband and kids. We’ve been back every year since (we were also here this past December and will be back this October).

L-R: Nathan, Pierce, Emily, Mom, Dad, Me, Sarah, Ford

This was a different kind of beach trip, though. Instead of being our only vacation this summer, it marked the end of our epic road trip—a week of staying in one place after three weeks of cross-country travel. We spent most of our time playing with our nephews, splashing around in the pool and the ocean, reading books, buying and eating fresh seafood, drinking beer, and fishing. Sarah even managed to reel in two spots (a type of croaker) at once— and on her first cast. And I even managed to squeeze in two rounds of golf with my dad and brother-in-law, using a new set of clubs, courtesy of my parents.

It was a beautiful week, but we are ready to get back home! Mostly to see our dog and cat, but it will also be nice to sleep in our own bed and be in our own home again. A month is a long time to be away, but it was worth every second. It’s hard to believe that this trip we had spent well over a year planning is finally coming to an end.

Next stop: Schnitzelburg – Louisville, Kentucky


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