(238) North Carolina

I have written a lot about the family cabin we used to visit in the mountains of North Carolina. This is the story of my first trip to North Carolina and how it turned into a better trip than I ever imagined.

My cousin Doreen was getting married in Greensboro, and I desperately wanted to make the trip. At the time Jim and I were living together and he fully supported our making a trip down for Memorial Day weekend, 1983. We drove down on Friday, with the wedding being on Sunday.

I had told Jim that I had never seen the ocean, but he said we would be too far away to make a trip to the beach. I put it out of my head.

On Saturday morning we decided to drive over to the Raleigh/Durham area where there was a huge outlet mall. This was back when “outlet” meant a true outlet — you could get real deals.

We spent some time at the mall — I remember I bought a few pairs of earrings — and then Jim said, “Let’s drive to the beach.”

I was so excited! It was about a three hour drive from where we were, but would be longer to get back. We hit the road, driving a highway and then a back road to Carolina Beach. I got to see the Atlantic Ocean for the very first time, collected some shells, saw a live crab hiding in its hole, and enjoyed the sand and the waves. I had never been in anything called a beach town before, so was delighted with the surf shops and beachwear and hot dog stands. It was a long day of driving, but so worth it!

Jim at the tender age of 40, Carolina Beach
I wasn’t dressed for the beach!

We didn’t get back until well after dark, and the wedding was the next day.


We remain close to Doreen and David, even with the miles and the years between us. Seeing them during the summer is now a tradition, as they now live in Asheville, after years in Tennessee and Virginia. Next year they say they will come to Florida. I hope they do. I would love to show them the Gulf and all the beautiful nature we have here.

Doreen, me, Jim, David Asheville, 2013

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