N. and I just returned from our summer vacation in Wrightsville Beach / Wilmington, North Carolina. We've gone with my family for several summers now, and I've been going with the fam (when I could) since about sixth or seventh grade so maybe... since 1996 or 1997? I truly wish I could post photos dating back that far! Alas, they are at my parent's house. Anyway, we love it down there. In fact, we love it so so much that we opted to get our professional engagement photos taken in downtown, historic Wilmington by the wonderful husband-wife duo, Amanda and Brent, of Millie Holloman Photography. They were truly a joy to work with-- smart, funny, sweet, laid-back-- and I CANNOT WAIT to see the edited photos! They'll be ready in four to six weeks. No need to rush the summer, but seriously. Can. Not. Wait.
The group of people who we have vacationed with has waxed and waned over the years. We discovered Wrightsville through my mom's godparents. Originally from Michigan (where my mom is from as well), they retired in North Carolina, a few hours away from the beach and brought it to our attention. We vacationed there with them one summer, and never really looked back. Living in Maryland we have some wonderful beaches nearby, but nothing quite as picturesque or relaxing as we have come to find the Coastal Carolina and the Inner Banks area (not to be confused with the Outer Banks... also nice, but not the same thing). Since those first summers with my mom's godparents, who have since passed or become too elderly, we have hosted my grandpa and his girlfriend, my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and friends. My brother has since lost interest in the trip, my relatives live in Michigan and have made the trip inconsistently, so for the past two years it has just been me, N., and my parents. We're hoping that Summer 2013 ushers in a new Wrightsville Beach era... everyone seems to be on board for a melding of my parents, my fiance and his parents, and his sis and her hubby! SO looking forward to it!
The highlights of this year included:
- Officially closing the chapter on teenage / early twenties sleep habits. N. was up every day at 6:15am to join my father for tennis. I was up at the same time every day, with the exception of one (it was the day of the photo shoot... wanted to look as well-rested as possible in those evening photos!), and also joined in for (horribly inept) tennis-playing. It felt surprisingly good to rise with sun-- that way we felt like we weren't taking a single minute for granted. And watching the sunrise over the ocean is definitely an added bonus :)
- Okay, I've already mentioned it once, but-- the photo shoot. Before the shoot, I had an amazing experience at Salon Fringe, also in Wilmington. I was in the sweet, capable hands of Melissa Kinnamon, who coincidentally knows Amanda and Brent, our photographers. Her husband actually surprised her with an anniversary photo shoot last year. It was so cool talking to her about that shoot before I was about to have ours. I requested a cat eye, a bright red lip, and a side-swept curly-messy bun, which she was so into because... take a look at their retro-inspired shoot aboard the USS North Carolina! So beautiful, romantic, and cool. I wish I could (affordably) have her come up north to do my hair and makeup for the wedding. If only!
- As always, beach time with my baby. And we barely got burnt this year!