When planning this year's beach week, I was a little worried about my daughters. See, they're 12 and 15. Barbies and buckets just don't cut it anymore, status updates trump story time and iPods have all but replaced juice boxes. In other words, my girls are growing up. This pains me greatly and not because I now live in a house full of women. Understand I grew up almost exclusively with boys; I had but one female cousin and she was smart enough to stay away from my brother and me. No, what little I know about the female adolescent I've learned the hard way; by going back through elementary, middle and now high school while wearing a dress - or more accurately, a Hollister fitted tee. Which is why I was just a wee bit jumpy about taking them back to Sunset.
Sunset Beach, that is. Located between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, this innocuous spit of land is but one of many Carolina ocean towns worth your time, but it just so happens to be my happy place. For almost a decade I've spent the closing days of every June pretending to be a local there. With its (soon to be closed) floating bridge and pristine sand dunes, it's a fantastic place to absorb the shore - unless you're looking for something to do. If so, you'd be better off moseying up or down the coast, for you won't find much miniature golf, dinner theater or museums of the weird around here. There is however, respite for the taking, be it in the form of a surf-side book or a drive to nearby Calabash for seafood so good you'll start talking like there's a parrot on yer shoulder. ARRGH!
A-hem. Sorry, I promised my daughters I wouldn't use my pirate voice outside and since they were so good last week, I feel obliged to at least keep my eye-patch in my pocket. And by good I mean complacent, for we did little we haven't already done a dozen times. Grill out, sleep in, boogie board and Bocce ball. Ride bikes around the island, shop for trinkets, stare at the horizon and hurl Frisbees back and forth. But no matter how we spent our days, we took in each dusk like it was a Broadway show. My kids used to roll their eyes when I marched them back to the beach for 'the golden hour'. But now I've taken enough pretty pictures of them to make 'em appreciate that dying light and while they'd be reluctant to admit it, I think they dig this quiet island just as much as dear old Dad. Who knows, maybe next year I'll take them to that glittering scab down the road named Myrtle.