We are spending most of the month of December at Ocean Isle Beach, NC -- and it appears we escaped the Kansas City area in the nick of time. We had already had some seriously nippy weather in the second half of November, with nights dipping into the low teens and a few days with highs that didn't reach freezing. After spending the past two winters in Belize, this was a real shock to our systems. We'd never liked cold weather before, and we find we tolerate it even less now. It was too cold to ride our bikes, and even walking, especially when the wind was blowing, was not pleasant. Time to get the heck out of dodge! It's only gotten colder (and whiter!) in the nation's mid-section since we made our escape, so we couldn't have left at a better time. As I write this, it is 5F in KC with a windchill of -6F. Brrrrr!
But first ya gotta get there...
We left on Thanksgiving Day, car packed to the max. We had already made our own Thanksgiving meal and eaten it several times in the previous week, so we didn't feel too deprived. We ate a Subway sandwich in Cadiz, Kentucky on Thanksgiving! We then made our way to my mother and step-dad's home in Hickory, NC for a couple of days. When we crossed over into North Carolina in the Appalachians, we were greeted by some very beautiful scenery at the NC welcome center near Asheville. The skies were blue, the snow was melting, and the temperature was quite balmy (40s) compared to what we were used to by this time.
Our next stop was another very brief one in Chapel Hill for a few appointments. Since we were there for such a short time, we were only able to see a couple of friends, but we did have very nice visits at Eileen and Dan's lovely home in Chapel Hill and an impromptu lunch with David S. in Durham. We splurged and stayed at the very Euro-chic Aloft Hotel, which we'd always admired while living in Meadowmont Apartments down the road, and it was very nice indeed. Pet-friendly and no pet fee also!
We had fun walking around Meadowmont at night and seeing a house that always decorates very nicely for the Christmas season. On a daytime walk, we visited our apartment parking lot, and Paisley tried to lead us right up to our old unit -- dogs have long memories for places!
Arrival and a birthday...
Next we made our way down to the coast. It just so happened to be Barry's birthday, so after checking into our rental condo right on the beach, unloading the car, and enjoying a beautiful sunset, we went out for dinner. Naturally the birthday boy's choice was Mexican, and who was I to deny him his choice on his birthday!?
We've had a great first few days at the beach with some lovely weather -- and some pea-soup fog. Although it's a little warmer inland than here on the coast, we can't complain at all. As most of the nation has suffered with arctic blasts, snow, and ice storms, we've enjoyed highs close to 70F and enjoyed some fine beach walks. We've also been able to ride our road bikes three days in a row -- something we definitely could not be doing in KC. This is the time to be here, with beaches practically empty and very little traffic on the roads.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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