Some call it their normal summer getaway; I call it a once in a lifetime experience. It was the beginning of my ninth grade year when I found out that I would get to take my very first trip to the beach. After dreaming about this moment for so long, I couldn’t believe that it was finally coming true!
Mid September 2006, my parents and I set out for the four hour drive ahead of us. The three of us were headed to Emerald Isle, North Carolina for a weekend of “family fun in the sun,” as they say. We had high hopes of getting settled into our beach house before dinner, as we wanted to see what the entire island had to offer before we started out the next day.
Emerald Isle is a very beautiful island that is roughly 21 miles long, straight, and flat. Driving down the main road, you can see the ocean on one side just about the whole time. Multicolored pastel beach houses and warm, sparkling, sandy beaches adorned the coast, making the island seem like a very dreamy place to live.
During my short stay on the island, I got to enjoy a good amount of the local culture. Mixing a bit of history into our fun, we visited Fort Macon, which is a large war fort which has a beautiful surrounding public beach. The local aquarium was an obvious place to go, and we got the chance to experience an interactive tour, making it that much more fun. At last, I finally got to dip my feet into the magnificent Atlantic Ocean, a feeling that will live with me forever.
My family’s journey wasn’t the best planned trip and from this, I have learned valuable tips for future family vacations. The main thing is to actually take the time to sit down and learn about the local culture and know where you want to visit. Figure out the hours of business and the price of everything. Also, once you set out to explore and indulge, make sure you take maps and pamphlets with you! Too much time is wasted on the road if you don’t know where you are going or what you want to do, which takes away from fun you could otherwise be having.
My first and so far only trip to the beach has changed my outlook on life slightly. I now realize that being deprived of something for so long makes it even more memorable. Also, I now believe that if I wait long enough, I should be able to accomplish many things I want in my life. Scarring me for life, my trip to Emerald Isle will be one that I shall always remember.
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