While we always enjoy getting some sand between our toes as we walk down the area beaches, once in a while our walk "over on the beach" is actually down main street in Emerald Isle. That was the case this evening. We waited until 7:30 PM before we even left home. In just a few minutes we had parked at the empty parking lot of Mike's Restaurant and were marveling at the crowds at the Island's three ice cream shops. Dairy Queen, Sweet Spot, and Ben & Jerry's were all packed. As we walked east along Emerald Drive, we noticed Jordan's Seafood also had a very good crowd. Walking the streets of Emerald Isle brought back memories of beach trips many years ago. It was always in the evening when things really sprang to life. While much has changed since the days of Pavilions and teenagers dancing late into the night, a beach town like Emerald Isle is still magical in the evening.It is hard to say what sets the mood, the warm breezes, laughter in the air, or the colorful neon lights. There are a lot of things that combine to make a beach evening magical. Weather is a big part of it. There is nothing more fun than cruising the main drag in a convertible on a warm summer evening with sea breezes to keep you cool.
We had only been walking five minutes when we saw our first convertible. It was a red one, with a young couple up front, and three younger teenage girls riding in the back seat. My wife immediately wondered how long it had taken the three teenagers to get ready for their ride.My guess was that the back seat of the convertible represented at least a full day's work on hair and makeup. Based on the looks on their faces, they were definitely having fun.
On our walk I think we saw about every mode of land transportation that you could see but roller blades. We saw street legal golf carts, bikes, skate boards, strollers, and plenty of people just walking.
As we made our way east, we saw that Kathyrn's Martini Bar and Bistro had a big crowd. We also noticed that Circle Pizza would soon be in town. One of the new shops, in a strip of shops on the south side of Emerald Drive just before the town complex, will be their home.
We took some time to look at the plants down by the Emerald Isle government buildings. In doing that we managed to get out of the breeze, and the still warm eighty degrees was beginning to feel very warm.
We turned and headed west back towards town and the ocean breezes. We got to meet a dog on the way back. When we got to our car, we noticed the ice cream shops were still busy thirty five minutes after we had started.
Fortunately we had replenished our Jelly Belly supply the other day so we did not have to challenge the crowds at Sweet Spot. We needed to stop by Food Lion for some cream cheese to go with our bagels that we had gotten early in the day on our trip to Wilmington. Food Lion was hoping, but we sneaked in and managed to grab one of the automatic checkout machines for a quick getaway.
We then headed to the BP gas station just before the bridge. As I was fueling our vehicle, I could hear the go carts zooming around the track across the road. The sound was mixed with laughter. We had driven past a miniature golf course on our way to the gas station. It was also a beehive of activity.
It was great to see all of the activity in Emerald Isle. Out in the country over by the White Oak where we live, there are no neon lights to add color to the nights.
We are supposed to see lots of heat this weekend. I am glad we got our stroll on the pavement done before the heat. Very warm temperatures are supposed to blanket the area this weekend. That will require some beach walks with a bathing suit.
It will good be be wading along the shore this weekend. Lots of places in the US are wondering when they are going to see summer weather. Finding summer, warm water and warm temperatures has not been a problem along the Crystal Coast this summer.
Even the areas vegetables are at their summer peak. About the only things not in the stands would be Bogue Sound watermelons and new crop sweet potatoes. If you are over on the beach this weekend, do not forget that Winberry's has a fine vegetable stand in Cedar Point. If you are headed west, it is just after Redferns nursery. The local corn and tomatoes are pretty hard to beat. Also this weekend marks the annual Blueberry Festival in Burgaw.
Based on the heat forecasts, I think I will pass on heading inland to any festival. The interior of North Carolina is set to cook. Burgaw is supposed to be ninety-nine degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. I am guessing some places will hit one hundred. It will be a good time to be near the water.