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...to (the East) Coast

When I hear the words Atlantic Ocean, I always thing of Nor'Easter's off of Nova Scotia and see yellow slickers and cold salty spray. Even when I'd repeatedly been told that the coast of North Carolina is lovely and sandy and the water is warm enough to swim in, I held on to my doubts. After all, I've lived near the tropical sounding Pacific for much of my life and though it can be lovely and sandy, where I've lived it has almost never been warm enough to swim in. I secretly thought the East Coasters were trying to make themselves feel better for being stuck with storms and hurricanes and probably way over-developed beaches. As we headed out to explore the beach , only at the last minute did we (doubtfully) pack swimsuits and towels. To be safe, I also packed a heavy zip-up sweater. After all, it was mid-September. How warm could it be on the beach?
Whoops. Not only was it in the high 80's, right on shore, but take a look at that beach! Miles of white sand, no rocks or weird seaweed or jellyfish - just seashells and clear blue water. We swam for hours in the waves with the surfers and the families. It was absolutely beautiful. I humbly apologize to the Atlantic. And I can't wait to go back.

After swimming at the Wrightsville Beaches all day, we headed into Wilmington for dinner. Again, I benefited from my non-existent expectations. Wilmington had beautiful homes, a sweet old downtown and had a nice old boardwalk that rambled by the river. There were palm trees
and hibiscus - see pictorial evidence to the left - and wrought iron balconies. We had an excellent meal in old wooden brewery. It was lovely. Family who visit be warned - we'll likely be dragging you to see these sights yourself. Getting out of the heartland of North Carolina changed my view of the state and I want to show it to you. Bring your bathing suits. Honest.

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