Isle of Palms, SC 2016

I love the beach, so I always like to take one beach vacation every year. In other years I’ve tried out different beach locations often in places where there are other things to do in the area besides go to the beach since my husband is not a beach person. I also enjoy exploring new places and since my parents moved to Arizona and have now sold both their Florida houses I can no longer combine a trip to the beach with visiting my family most vacation time gets eaten up visiting our two families, going to the Newport Folk Festival every year, and getting my beach trip in. Thus I always liked going somewhere new for the beach.

This year though we wound up returning to Isle of Palms, South Carolina where we went to the beach last year. It had a lot going for it and given all the upheaval and stress between my job which has thrown one awful thing after another at me this semester and him changing jobs and breaking his hand I didn’t feel like spending a whole lot of time planning anything. Plus Isle of Palms was exactly what I was looking for in a beach vacation with added bonus that we could drive there and save money on not having to buy plane tickets or rent a car. We’ve done some Caribbean islands which are fine, but they don’t tend to have the long stretches of beach for walking that I enjoy and now with Zika (not that I’m trying to get pregnant) they don’t seem like the best option. We did Key West a few years ago and while I’m glad I went once I don’t ever feel the need to go back. It was too early in the season to go anywhere north of South Carolina, but I don’t care for the crazy boardwalk laden beaches that are the norm in the closest beaches to Maryland. I got spoiled with the relatively empty and long stretches of open beach on Amelia Island, Florida where my grandparents, then parents lived and thus where I vacationed for 25+ years of my life. Isle of Palms reminds me a lot of Amelia Island and since there’s no real reason for me to go back to Amelia Island now it makes more sense for us to go to Isle of Palms. So that’s how we wound up repeating our beach location this year.

I liked the condo we rented last year well enough so I looked into renting it again, but it wasn’t available. None of the other ones available in the same complex for the week we were looking at seemed as nice as the one we stayed in so I looked to see what else was available. I found one that was just down the beach from where we stayed last year that looked nice so we booked it. Comparing them there were pluses and minuses to both. This year’s kitchen and dining room table were better, but last year’s had a much nicer bathroom and better patio furniture. I’d stay in either one again though.

Paul actually had to work the whole week since he just started his new job a few weeks ago. Since he works from home that wasn’t a problem. He just brought four laptops (yes four!) with him to do his job while I went to the beach every day. That’s pretty much what I did. I got up every morning and went to the beach and took a walk and read my book until lunch. Then  I came back to the condo for lunch and spent a few hours out of the sun watching a couple of episodes of The Good Wife. After that I went back out to the beach for a few hours before coming in and getting ready for dinner. We went out to dinner every night and one afternoon Paul knocked off work early and we went to see Captain America: Civil War. For the most part though I spent a lot of time at the beach as one should on a beach vacation. Friday night we drove into Charleston for a nice dinner, but we didn’t do anything else in Charleston this year.

The weather this year was much better than last year. Last year there was a freak tropical storm that popped up before it was even hurricane season that rained out half of our vacation. Turns out it was the only storm to even make landfall in the U.S. last year too. No tropical storms this year. There were a couple hours of thunderstorms on Friday afternoon that rained out what would have been my last few hours on the beach, but most of the week the weather was great so I won’t complain. It was nice to get out of the cold, rainy weather pattern that Baltimore has been stuck in for weeks and apparently won’t be getting out of any time soon based on the forecast. The one thing I will say about Isle of Palms is that it seems to be a fairly windy beach. Last year I chalked it up to the impending tropical storm, but it was still fairly windy this year though there were only a couple of times where I felt like I was being sand blasted and had to leave the beach before I otherwise might have. My flimsy beach umbrella definitely couldn’t take it, though the much sturdier ones people rented seemed to fare okay, so I’ll have to invest in something better if we go back. I don’t know if the windiness was another fluke, it’s just something this time of year, or if it’s always that windy there but at least in the future I’ll be more prepared.

The only bad thing about the vacation other than the fact that it is now over was that I had a cold (and still do) the entire week. At first I thought it might be allergies because I first started feeling it when we got out of the car for lunch in North Carolina and it did feel more like allergies for the first few days. By Tuesday though I knew it was a full-blown cold. At least it wasn’t an illness so bad that I wasn’t able to still enjoy my beach time. There were a few days that I probably would have called out of work though had I been at home and not on vacation.

It was a lovely relaxing week and I’m not ready to go back to work yet. I’m also sad that my one beach vacation for the year is already over. I wish I could get to the beach more often, but it’s pretty much impossible to go to the beach anywhere around here for just a weekend during the summer because no one will rent you a place to stay for anything less than week during high season. Oh well, I’ll just start dreaming about next year.

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