I love the beach. No, you don’t understand. I LOVE the beach. Some of you are identifying with me right now. Yeah–VIRTUAL FIST BUMP! Others of you are saying, “I like the beach, but I prefer the mountains.” Well, I blogged on the mountains last time; today I’m going with beach. (Ironically, today I am sitting at my home in the Sauratown Mountains area while dreaming of the beach.)
Yes, I’m dreaming of the beach–particularly the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, my very favorite area. You can have Myrtle Beach and the wall-to-wall people and amusements. Give me the much less crowded and wider beaches of the Crystal Coast.
For us, the problem is that now that I have given up my salary as a newspaper editor to be home with “da kids,” money can not be as freely spent as in days of yore. So renting the lush beach houses is a rarity these days. Thank God for my brother who “just happened” to mention a place I might want to check out at Atlantic Beach on the northern end of the Crystal Coast.
After checking them out online at http://seahawkinn-villas.com/, I decided to give them a try. After three trips there, I have never regretted it. It has the feel of a “Mom and Pop” place right on the beachfront in a great area. And I must admit that the color scheme grabs me–a vivid turquoise and glowing yellow that cheers the soul somehow.
My first trip was with some of my children, and we requested the first-floor room closest to the lobby due to my need for Wi-fi. (At that time, Wi-fi did not extend hotel-wide; today that is not an issue as it is accessible throughout the entire property.) How convenient it was to simply open my sliding glass door and walk straight out to the beach!
When my hubster and I went to the Seahawk for my second trip there, we also stayed on the first floor. Every room is oceanfront and has a little concrete patio with plastic table and chairs. I will forever treasure a memory of sitting with the man I love at the outdoor table in the noon sunshine, eating food from my favorite beach joint–Dairy Queen!
What my kids loved on their trip there was being so close to the pool which was right outside of our room. It wasn’t the typical small, cheapo-looking, rectangular motel pool. It is oddly-shaped (kidney-shaped maybe?) and pristine. (We moms like the fact that there are plentiful lounging chairs surrounding the pool–kids swim, moms tan!)
Just beyond the pool area–between it and the beach–there is a grilling/picnic area. Although I haven’t taken advantage of it yet (ME?! Cook at the BEACH?! Uh, no.), I have seen many guests availing themselves of it. And we’re not talking cheap grills from your local five-and-dime; we’re talking heavy-duty, high-dollar grills.
As for us, when we go to the beach, we frequent restaurants for supper and do snacks for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch. So it behooves us to have a refrigerator in the room–something that is standard at the Seahawk. What else would I do with my inevitable takeout boxes from every restaurant I visit?!
The location of the Seahawk is also very convenient when it comes to food. There is a DQ close by and then a larger one over the bridge to nearby Morehead City. A very well-stocked Food Lion grocery store is just down the road, too. On our third trip to the Seahawk this past May, the hubster and I tried out a little dive down toward the bridge to Morehead–4 Corner Diner. Incredible food and real local atmosphere.
There are many other great eating places within a mile or two. And if you want even more variety, the drive down to Emerald Isle is a pleasant one or you can go the couple of miles into Morehead City and find ANY type of food you can imagine!
While we’re out and about, we usually like to check out the typical beach shops of the “Wings” genre. Well, rest assured, there are PLENTY of such shops a short distance from the Seahawk. Your flip-flop/bathing suit/beach towel/hermit crab/salt-water taffy needs will be met. There’s even a movie theater nearby with the latest flicks showing.
But when I’m at the beach, I don’t like to do too much running around. I prefer to stay close to the shore at all times. Lazy? Perhaps, but isn’t that the point of a beach vacation? I don’t get these folks who go to the beach to spend the whole time shopping/golfing/visiting amusement areas. (No offense to you if you’re one of those people!) But I want to REST on vacation.
So the Seahawk appeals to my restful side, too. How? By the numerous hammocks and the swings on the edge of the dunes overlooking the ocean. Yes, folks, THIS is one of the big selling points for me–HAMMOCKS! I LOVE these things!
Already I have made lifelong memories there–gently swaying in the hammock with my little boy snuggled up next to me under my NY Yankees blanket (we were there in early October), watching the stars in the clear night sky. Or sitting in the swing with my little girl as the sun set in a gorgeous pink and orange evening sky. Or lying in the hammock late at night smooching (yes, smooching) with the hubster as the nearly full moon cast its ivory moon-trail across the calm seas.
My two adult daughters were so taken with my description of the Seahawk that they went down shortly after the hubster and I did. My Chelsea said that she spent much of her time in the hammocks, reading/writing/meditating. A girl after her mother’s own heart!
Another thing that means much to me on a beach trip is a good view of the ocean. As much as I enjoyed the convenience of the first-floor room, I must admit that I believe I liked the second-floor room best. Last month, I got to experience that for the first time and LOVED it! Each room has a private balcony with table and chairs and a TERRIFIC view of the mighty Atlantic rolling endlessly onshore.
Oh, the time I spent sitting/standing out on that balcony simply watching the ocean in its various hues of blue and green! It was worth having to walk down steps to access the beach just to have the constant view of the sea.
As much as I loved the balcony experience, I did occasionally come inside the room to watch TV with the hubster. (Yes, there is a nice flat-screen TV with many channels available–a crucial amenity for my hubster!) I like the bright and cheerful decor of the rooms–simple yet pleasing. And the beds and pillows are comfy, which is a crucial amenity for ME!
One day I’d like to check out the cottage in the front of the Seahawk and the two villas at either end. But for now, I’m content to go down a couple of times a year and simply get a room. The prices are very reasonable, especially when winter rates go into effect. And lest you think, “Brrr! Who wants to go in winter?”–remember that winter rates begin on Oct. 1 and run through March 31. We’re talking lots of warm weather at those times!
So if you’re looking for a place to take a great “staycation” this summer, consider my favorite beach retreat–Seahawk Inn and Villas. You’ll find the people who run it to be super in every way–professional, courteous, ever-ready to help. They even offer some pet-friendly rooms now for the pet-lovers!
On my first trip when I had just spent nearly three years as a divorced single mom trying to eke out a living on the tiny salary of a small-town newspaper editor, I was supremely upset when I got all the way to the beach and realized I had forgotten my beach chair. I happened to mention this in passing to Kim, the manager of the Seahawk. Before long, a nice beach chair showed up at my door, with a note telling me to enjoy it. Talk about touching my heart!
I still have that beach chair. It reminds me constantly of the kindness that still exists in this world, how God takes care of His people no matter what (no detail is too small!) and that there is a blue and gold retreat down on the Crystal Coast where the hammocks swing in the salty breeze, the sand is warm on the spacious beach and the white-capped waves continually caress the shore. Can’t you hear it calling my name? I do. . .