Ever since my kids first watched the movie Barbie in a Mermaid Tale, they’ve thought that surfing was the coolest thing ever. From Hannah pretending to surf down the hill in the backyard on snow sleds in the winter to Becca calling one of her small blankets her ‘surfboard’ and spreading it out on the living room floor ‘ocean’ to show off her moves… But it was Abbi who was old enough to actually take a 2-hour surfing lesson yesterday at Wrightsville Beach here in North Carolina, from the Wrightsville Beach Surf Camp.
I was originally scheduled to take a group lesson with Abbi, but Ron wasn’t able to watch the other two girls, so Abbi had the instructor to herself while Hannah, Becca and I hung out on the beach. Wrightsville Beach was so much fun – it helped that it was a lot less windy so we could relax and not having to worry about all of our stuff blowing away. It was also nice that this beach had a sandbar that kept the bigger waves out further so Becca could splash around and collect shells without having to worry about being knocked over all the time. Once the tide started coming in though, the sandbar disappeared and the wind picked up a bit. But we still had a great time!
I’ll post more about Abbi’s lesson over on TMOM, but she did great and got up on her knees on the board a couple of times. The instructor said she could have stood up – she had the skills, just not the confidence yet. But she had a blast riding the waves in on her knees or her stomach. Hannah, on the other hand, had a life lesson opportunity – she was so jealous that Abbi got to have the surfing lesson and she couldn’t… I felt badly for her, but there are plenty of things that Hannah gets or has gotten to do, so it was good for her to have to watch Abbi this time.
We were at the beach for about 3 hours – the girls collected a bunch of shells on the beach, and Hannah rode in plenty of waves on her own with her little kickboard. We had to relocate further back on the beach a couple of times due to the tide coming in, and ended up with several sopping wet towels – next time I’ll have to remember to watch the tide more closely. We finally headed back to the hotel for lunch, showers and some down time before dinner, with a quick stop at SurfBerry for shaved ice – it’s owned by the same people who own the surf camp and Abbi’s instructor had given us a coupon. Shaved ice was a great way to cool down after a hot morning at the beach!
Dinner was at a beautiful restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, the Bluewater Grill. My picky family was happy to see some non-seafood on the menu, while I was thrilled to try the Fresh Catch – grouper. I’d never had grouper before but it was absolutely delicious. It was a very hot day so we sat inside, but they have beautiful porches on the rear overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway where you can sit and watch the boats go by. Which is something we did a little later on ourselves.
After dinner, we headed over to the dock where our sunset cruise was leaving from – courtesy of Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours. Captain Jack and First Mate/Narrator James took us on an educational cruise around the beautiful scenery of the islands and salt marshes of the area and we learned a lot about the history and geography of the area and why there’s a parking meter on an island that disappears and re-appears daily. And… we even spotted a dolphin! We followed it for a ways and the girls had a blast watching for the fin to re-appear every few minutes. We didn’t see anything more than the fin, but for a dolphin-loving girl like Hannah, seeing one in person, in the wild like this was a dream come true.
The girls had so much fun on the cruise that they were begging to go back out after it was over. But it was getting late, so we headed back. Busy beach days really take a lot out of you! We relaxed and watched the Opening Ceremonies on television (Go Team USA!) and I fell asleep before getting a chance to blog about our day, which is why you’re getting this summary today instead.
So on today’s agenda… The Wilmington Railroad Museum, another seafood restaurant that I’m really looking forward to, possibly a carriage ride through downtown Wilmington (weather permitting) and a spooky ghost tour. We’re loving it here – everyone is so friendly and the girls love hearing the southern accents.