As I eluded to yesterday, I flew up to North Carolina last weekend to visit my parents. Its kind of weird for me to say that since my parents live in Florida too; however, things are going to be changing with my family, so may as well share that before I jump into the fun weekend!
To make a long story short, my Dad works at a nuclear power plant in Florida. This power plant underwent some damage a few years back and as a result was not running. The decision as to whether to fix the damage (a very expensive fix with an uncertain outcome) or to close down the plant was looming and about 2 months ago the decision was made. The plant was closing. Now, I'm sure this is no big deal to a lot of different areas, but where I grew up there really wasn't much going on. To paint a better picture, the county I lived in only had a handful of high schools, everyone knew everyone, a department store in our "mall" was a K-Mart, we got our first Wal Mart about 8 years ago, and our first Olive Garden about 3 years ago. Basically what I'm saying is, we lived in a small, rural town (though it has GREATLY developed from when my family first moved there 23 years ago). If you lived where I lived you were either A. retired and relocated from the Northeast, B. owned your own business or private practice, or C. worked at the power plant. Literally, the main reason why the majority of people came to live in my hometown for the first place, was because of a job at the power plant. So the power plant closing was a big, BIG deal. My family is fortunate enough that my Dad works extremely hard and has built a name for himself over the years (thus the reason my dad is currently in North Carolina, helping out another plant and exploring his job options). However, there were many other families who were not as fortunate, and not really as able to just uproot their lives and move. A very sad situation.
So, my parents are moving. I never thought I would say those words. My parents love where they live; the community is quiet, there's lots of lakes, rivers, and the Gulf to take the boat out on, to go fishing. It was perfect for them. So to say that they're moving is still kind of rendering odd in my mind. Thankfully my parents are very close to paying off their mortgage on my childhood home, so that is not going anywhere. They're just going to look to buy a second (and much smaller) home in North Carolina, live and work there for the next 6-7 years when my Dad would retire, and they would then split their time between Florida and North Carolina. It's all very different, and is taking some getting used to, but my Mom and Dad are very excited. They love North Carolina, and this is kind of a little adventure for them, so while I am sad that my parents won't always be a hop, skip, and a jump away, I am also very excited for their new adventure.
Whoa! Sorry to get all serious on you guys! I normally like to keep it light around here, but wanted to share so this all made sense. :)
Back to the reason of this post, my trip up to North Carolina to check out the area they were looking at. :) I flew out Friday afternoon after a short day at work, and arrived late that evening. We had to drive about 45 minutes from the airport to get to the rental house my dad's company had him staying in while he was helping out this other plant. The rental house is on Oak Island and is literally steps from the beach!! Those lucky ducks!
The rental house.
View of the beach from the front balcony.
The beach was absolutely gorgeous! I loved all the houses right next to the dunes, the sand was soft, and the waves were a nice treat! We go to the beach all the time, but around here they're pretty crowded, a little touristy, and the water is quite flat. So it was nice to find a peaceful area, since it's currently the "off-season."We have found some fave spots though that are really nice & not touristy if you ever visit Florida and need some suggestions, holler at your girl!
I was only going to be in town for about a day and a half, so we spent all of our time exploring!
We visited downtown Southport, which is where they filmed the movie Safe Haven -- and if you didn't know that, you would quickly find out since literally every place I went into was selling something from the movie, cheesy t-shirts or mugs, or was the talk of the town, HA! We also went to lots of thrift shops and antique stores! I even bought a little something that I will share next week. :)
After exploring the cute little downtown area, my parents took me to see the rental house that they're interested in. It was in one of the nicest communities I have ever seen. It had a marina, lots of clubhouses, walking paths, etc. And all of the houses were GORGEOUS! They all were new but had such nice character, and weren't cookie cutter houses like you see a lot of the time in planned communities in Florida.
The inside of the house is really nice too, and my mom already has tons of ideas for furnishings and decorating! Maybe I'll have to share some photos once they get in and settled! :)
I had a great weekend with the old folks and can't wait to visit again when Aaron can come too! :)
I mean seriously, how could you not love them? Haha!!
I'll share some more next week. :) Anyone else been to Southport before? Or live in North Carolina? It's such a pretty state! Any fun plans for the weekend? I'll just be laying low at home, getting some work done!