Saturday, August 25, 2012

A week at the beach, 7/21-7/28/12

When I retired nearly 2 years ago, I told Tony I would love a trip to one of the Wilmington, NC beaches as a retirement present.  Since my best friend since 3rd grade, Jan Brown, lives in Hampstead, we decided North Topsail Island would be the perfect destination.  Jan's husband Bob and Tony were both retired as well, so we decided to wait until Jan retired so we could all be free of employment bondage.  The last day of her stellar teaching career was in June, and on July 21 Tony and I met up with Jan and Bob for a week of fun in the sun.
Here are a couple of bathing beauties who still enjoy spending as much time as possible together after 54 years of friendship.  If you keep reading til the end, there will be a blast from the past for your enjoyment!
Our condo was on the ground floor of Topsail Dunes, just steps from the surf.  We spent hours reading on our balcony and enjoying the lovely ocean breezes.
View of Topsail Dunes from the ocean
Lucky Jan and Bob, living so close to the beach all the time!
A sea turtle nest, protected and monitored until the babies hatch and head to the sea.
We saw some pretty creative sand sculptures and castles.
We wouldn't mind waking up to this view every morning and taking  relaxing walks with a cup of coffee, feet in the surf, searching for perfect shells.
After sitting on the beach and playing in the surf, we cooled off in the lovely Topsail Dunes pool.
I took about 50 pictures of seagulls to try to capture one in flight with wings spread.  This is the best of the bunch.
Tony and me, having drinks and dinner with Jan and Bob at an outdoor beachfront seafood shack. Yum!!
The view from our table at the shack.  It was fun watching the surfers during dinner.
Jan and Bob had us over for spiedies one night, along with some of their wonderful friends plus Jan's daughter Erin and her family.  Here's Jan whipping up a batch of her delicious frozen strawberry drinks.
Jan's oldest grandchild, Sarah, who turns 6 on September 11.  She's a very sweet, very motherly sister to 3 younger brothers.
Jan with her daughter Erin Keech and the most recent addition to the family, Samuel Hunter Keech--2 weeks old in this photo.
Erin's second child, Joseph.  He entertained us with his serious but adorable personality and enthusiastic stories.
Erin's 3rd child, Benjamin.  Ben isn't talking a lot yet, but he made up for lack of speech with total cuteness.  Tony really bonded with this little guy, who kept putting his toy soldiers in Tony's pockets.
The heavenly view from our balcony.  I never get tired of this scenery.
Marine helicopters from nearby Camp Lejeune on training exercises.
Amazing how such pretty flowers can grow in dry beach sand!!
We stopped at a gift shop to pick up some homemade fudge to bring home for our kids.
The George Clooney look-alike fudgemaster, flawlessly executing his craft
Now, for the piece de resistance I promised earlier.  Jan found some old photos from our senior year in high school that I hadn't seen since 1968.  She let me borrow them to bring home and scan.
This picture of Jan and me with our Maine-Endwell High School Christmas dance dates was taken in her living room, December 1967.  Jan and I made our gowns!!  I remember how much I loved mine and how proud I was of it because sewing was never my gift.  It was made from a really pretty iridescent soft aqua brocade.  The gown disappeared somehow during my family's move to Florida in 1972, doggone it!
Here we are in Jan's house again, this time for senior prom, June 1968.  I loved this gown so much!  It was really floaty and feminine, and it cost a lot more than I could afford.  Fortunately, the gown shop had a layaway plan, and I worked after school to pay for it.  It turned out to be a good investment.  Years later my youngest sister Alix wore it in several teenage beauty pageants in Florida, and I ultimately cut off the bottom and let my daughters play dress up with it when they were little.  We definitely got our money's worth!  Ah, memories.  I can't believe I was ever that thin!!

Stay tuned for new blog posts on Leo's 4th birthday and Zoey's first day of kindergarten, coming soon!!