There are a lot of things I miss about home and about America, but one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is the beach.  After seeing this post on Lynna’s blog, I decided it was time to write about it.

I spent two summers working as an intern in Wilmington, NC, and the second summer I was there, I truly learned to LOVE living at the beach.  I would head back to the apartment after coding all day at work, change into beach clothes and flip-flops, grab a snack and a book and head for my car.  I would drive the 20 minutes to Wrightsville Beach, park my car, grab my purse, and go relax.

I enjoyed walking through the sand and the shallows and watching seagulls fly by.  Eventually, I’d find a good spot to read and delve into my book, occasionally looking up to appreciate the quiet and the scenery.

view of figure eight island in wrightsville beach, nc


And I discovered beach sunrises.  One day, I decided that it might be one of the few times I could go to the beach and watch the sunrise without having to go on vacation to actually get to the beach, so I woke up early and watched the sun rise over Wrightsville Beach.  From that day, I was hooked.  Waking up to a quiet neighborhood at 4:30 AM, driving to the nearly-deserted beach while singing along with the radio, and then arriving and spending some time watching the majesty unfold.  Just God, the beach, the sunrise, and me.

sunrise at topsail island.  one of my favorite pictures from my time at the beaches in the wilmington area.I know I’ve posted this picture of the sunrise at Topsail Island before, but it’s one of my favorites, so you get to look at it again.  🙂

For the next ten months or so, I’m going to be living where the nearest beach is a long train ride away and is probably too cold to enjoy except during the summer.  But I’m so thankful for the memories of living in Wilmington.  And when I get back to the USA, I gotta plan a vacation.


sunrise at topsail

To continue with the Laura-doing-things-really-early-in-the-morning theme, I watched a beautiful sunrise at Topsail Island in Surf City, NC yesterday.  Makes me wish I had been to Topsail Island’s beach sooner.  So pretty!

jimmy with the sunrise in the background being dramaticJimmy liked Topsail too.

my red scion xb parked at topsail island. i love that car.

The parking at Topsail is free. Which is an excuse to post a picture of my car.  🙂

But you’re reading this with the intent of looking at beach pictures.  I have plenty of those. 186 of them.  (I’m not posting all of them, though.)

picture of beach taken a few minutes before the sun roseAnyone familiar with Topsail Island beach enough to know why those two poles are there?  Never did figure that out.

sun reflecting off the water, partially obscured by cloudsWilmington has had thunderstorms recently, so there were a few clouds.  Which made it prettier, IMO.  Love the colors!

waves coming in after sun has risenMore pretty colors.

sun reflecting off of water and seafoamThis is possibly my favorite picture out of the ones I took.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!

natural fireworks, sort of

I did something fun on my day off of work for July 4th. Though it was a day off from work, I decided to not sleep in. Instead, I drove to the beach in the dark to watch the sun rise. It wasn’t quite the National Geographic-esque show I expected, but it was pretty. Here are some pictures I took (no, I’m not posting all 160 of them. Yes, I took that many pictures. The beach was pretty photogenic.)

Guy with a metal detector looking for tin cans and metal stuff at the beach at sunrise

A dude looking for buried treasure or tin cans. The sun had only just become visible; before this, it was hidden behind ocean haze.

Overturned beach chair at beach with pier in the background

Sad-looking abandoned beach chair.  Aww.

Seagull being pretty and looking at the camera so I could take a picture of it in front of the sunrise

Silhouetted seagull standing in the sunrise.  Say that five times fast.

Seagull flying away from the camera, with seafoam in the background

I took a lot of seagull pictures.  This gull was tired of my one-woman Paparazzi act.

Sun rising behind pier at Wrightsville Beach

This pier is actually attached to a building housing a swanky restaurant. I haven’t eaten there, though.  Not yet.

Sun rising over the water at the beach

Picture of the sun rising, with someone boating in the background.

I hope to do this at another beach or two before I leave Wilmington.  With my sleep schedule, I’m not sure that will happen, but we’ll see.  This beach trip, at least, was definitely worth waking up at 5.