As this blog posts, I’m scheduled to pick up my oldest/best friend at a nearby airport for the start of our second-annual Ladies’ Week Off vacation. We’ve been planning for weeks, trying to decide where to go that would provide enough beach time for my ocean-deprived buddy, and enough things to do in the event of rain. (Of course I’m always storing away locale information for future stories, so something new is always nice.)
Last year we took a few days following my son’s wedding and headed to Virginia Beach, 50-ish miles from where I live on the Virginia Peninsula. It was wonderful—days lounging at the beach, perfect weather, good food, wonderful conversations. We even had an oceanfront room with a balcony where I settled myself in the early morning to write while she slept in like normal people.
I knew it would be hard to beat.
We discussed heading east to Virginia’s Eastern Shore—a wildly beautiful and intriguing body of land that separates the Atlantic from the Chesapeake Bay. I’ve traveled up and down the area many times by car while trekking to New Jersey, but I’ve never stayed there.
We could sun ourselves at the bay one day, the ocean another, and take day trips to Assateague and Chincoteague to see the wild ponies a' la Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.
I’d always wanted to explore the shores along the Carolinas, however, and vacationing with my oldest/best friend provided the perfect opportunity. Unlike some husbands I know, she loves exploring and doesn’t complain about leisurely and impromptu side trips. I have a good friend from Jersey who settled there a few years back, and my friend discovered a mutual high school friend on Facebook who lives there. We’d have the beach, sunshine if all went well, good food, wonderful conversation with friends...perfection.
Our destination? (You've probably already somewhat guessed.) Wrightsville Beach outside Wilmington on North Carolina’s Atlantic coast. If that sounds familiar to you, it’s because that’s where Hurricane Florence landed a few weeks back.
As the storm predictions zeroed in on that exact town, I contacted my friend and said, “We need to come up with a Plan B, quickly.”
After tossing out a couple inland suggestions (rivers and cities are nice, but not the same as the ocean!), we decided on North Carolina’s Outer Banks where so many books and movies have been set.
One of my favorites is BEACH RENTAL by Grace Greene (a fabulous writer and friend from Virginia Romance Writers).
Another is MEANT TO BE by another friend and fabulous writer Terri Osburn.
That wasn’t a deciding factor in our vacation discussions. I just thought it would be fun to throw in a few book plugs while I was at it. :-)
Anyway, we were lucky to get last-minute reservations. While we don’t have an oceanfront room (woe is us), we’ll have the beach, good weather (if predictions are correct), great food that we don’t have to prepare and clean up, and wonderful conversation. What more could we ask for?
We’re so blessed we only had to make a slight change in our plans. But as I write this, many thousands of people are still out of power and in harm’s way of floods across the Carolinas, and lives have been lost. I’m thankful my friend from Jersey is well and has power back. We haven’t heard from our mutual high school friend so hope she is also well and will be in touch soon. And I have a feeling we’ll be making Wrightsville Beach our destination for next year’s Ladies’ Week Off .
Stay tuned for my vacation report next month!
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. The beach is one of her favorite places to be and to write about. To learn more, go to her website, or visit her on Facebook or Pinterest where she will probably pin some vacation photos when she gets around to it.
(For any who’d like to help the people of North and South Carolina, there are many nonprofit organizations providing support to the area. I Googled Relief for Hurricane Florence and found a bunch of them.)