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Friday, October 31, 2008

Holidays at the Beach

While most people might not thing of coming to the beach for Halloween, it is an idea that bears some consideration even if Halloween is not the holiday you really need to escape. Getting away from home on a holiday can end up being a great way to break up the routine. Halloween is one of the simpler holidays and does not involve lots of cooking. However, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Perhaps a trip to the beach would be a good way to get mom out of the kitchen, and let everyone relax while charging their batteries for the upcoming holiday season. One of the great things about coming to the beach during the off season is that we move to a different pace.
We all have things that wear us out during our day to day lives. Many of us who are living along the Crystal Coast have come here because some of those modern day stresses are absent here along the shore.

If you are coming from a major metropolitan area, the first thing you will notice is that the speed of life is a little slower here. It may take a little time to adjust, but it is a heart healthy adjustment. Time has a little more stretch to it here. Lines at the grocery store are a lot more casual. Even the restaurants are easier to get into during the off season. We also do not do traffic jams this time of year.

Most days in the fall, our beaches are absolutely fantastic for walking. The air is clear, the sun is bright, and the skies are blue.

If your fall has been stressful, a trip to the coast can be a good tonic for everyone. Sometimes taking people to a new place lets people assume new roles. You might even be able to cook a Thanksgiving dinner and get some people involved that might not have a history of helping at home.

Many of our rental homes have kitchens with views that inspire the soul. We also have some fantastic trails like the Tideland one off of old VFW road in Cedar Point. It is a great place to walk off a holiday dinner.

Of course there are those wonderful Emerald Isle bicycle trails that are great for bike riding or just walking. It is also a perfect time of year to explore Fort Macon Park or hit the Maritime Museum in Beaufort. The heat is gone. The fall is the time when it is fun to stroll down Front Street in Beaufort or Swansboro and take in all the shops.

Not surprisingly we have some unique things along the coast during the holidays. One set of events which we enjoy a lot are the annual Flotillas. This year Swansboro's is November 28 and the Beaufort-Morehead City one is December 6. The Flotillas are when boats are decorated with holiday lights and have a parade.

My favorite event is the annual Emerald Isle Christmas parade. It is a great old fashioned parade which children of all ages enjoy.

Down here on the coast we even make decorating for the holidays easy. You can buy a crab pot Christmas tree at many locations. It is already wired with lights and sets up in less than a minute. When you are done with it, you can fold it up and take it home for use in your yard or home. I can guarantee people will start asking you where you got it.

Last year was our first year to do Christmas on the coast. We started some new traditions like a Christmas eve boat ride and the crab pot tree on the second floor deck.

Another great reason to spend some holiday time on the coast is that if you are considering retiring to the area, it gives you a great chance to see what life is like outside our busy vacation season.

Those of us who are locals live for this time of year. The fishing is great, the beaches nearly empty unless the fish are biting, and the weather is perfect for being outside.

So when you start to get stressed about the holidays, think about coming to the beach. It just might be something that makes the holiday season a lot more pleasant and a lot less stressful.

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