Stand in the Sand.

Last week, I escaped the population density of NYC and flew south, landing in the small seaside town of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. My family has been checking out the island for a while now, and it’s very possible that it will become a semi-permanent destination.

I prefer the canal side. Or any house with a hammock.

Ocean Isle Beach boasted a whopping population of 426 at the 2000 census. I think it’s been steadily growing since then, but there exists a calm sense of anti-development on the island. The canal side (see above picture) stretches out blue and green and tangoes with the Intracoastal Waterway, while the Atlantic Ocean laps at the sand on the other side. My favorite time of a beach day anywhere is low tide, when the sand takes a stand against the ocean, and low tide here created a city avenue-wide expanse of shore.

I came to North Carolina beaches almost every summer as a kid, and being there last week tugged at an old part of me. Now one of the adults with a beer in a koozie, hiding from the sun under an umbrella (melanoma is not for winners), I looked out at the Atlantic Ocean and remembered boogie boarding in waves I once thought were 10 feet tall, fishing with my dad and cousins, taking freckled pictures with my sister in coordinating summer outfits, and eating shrimp in restaurants built on top of piers.

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Walking on the beach my last day in town, The Black Keys doing their thing inside my ears, I (gracefully) clomped and (inadvertently) splashed in low-tide puddles scattered across the beach, happy to be barefoot and on vacation, if only for a little while.

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