A Winter Beach

Oh, what a difference a season makes. If you like solitude and serenity, visit Emerald Isle, NC, on a cold January weekend as I did recently. Of course, there’s no fun in the sun, but there are no crowds to contend with either.

Just a lot of lonely beach road.

solitary deer

And a deserted beach.

lonely walker me

That’s me in the beach picture. Photo credit shout-out to my husband, who takes much better pictures than I do.

What could look more abandoned than a winter pool at a North Carolina beach clubhouse? Was it really only five months ago that kids were hurling themselves into the water here, coming perilously close to landing on my head? The water still looks inviting; if only the temperature wasn’t something frigid.

deserted pool

Driving to the Food Lion for my weekend groceries, I noticed the almost-empty parking lot at the Emerald Isle location of Bert’s Surf Shop. I suspect the two cars belong to the employees holding down the fort. Does it pay to be open in winter, I wonder?


The most activity I saw all weekend was outside the entrance to the grocery store. One sign that life in a vacation town can sometimes be as normal as life anywhere: some local Girl Scouts were peddling Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties (my favorites), along with all the other varieties. They graciously posed for a picture. I thanked them with a purchase, although, as I explained, my Girl Scout granddaughter has forbidden me to buy from anyone else.

girl scouts

A hibernating winter beach can be the polar opposite of all the summer hoopla, but the ocean is always beautiful. The vacation advertisements call this area of North Carolina beaches “The Crystal Coast.” Look at the sparkle of the water. It’s worth a winter trip just to see that.

winter oceanAnother great photo by my husband, Al Pridgen Jr.

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