oh beach.  I do love you.

I mean look at this.

I could just do this every day. 

we didn’t spend all day every day at the beach.  but oh was it lovely.

it was so wonderful to have the waves at my feet. 

and to have some time to just sit and read.  this was my beach reading.  I do love donald miller.  (ps, I got to see him speak last year.  he was the greatest.)

and it was all the better to get to spend it with this girl.  she is my very bff.

nothing is really greater than this.

and we rented a surrey!

it’s like a golf cart that you power with your feet, fred flintstone style. 

it can be pretty dangerous.

we both got to drive it. (and by drive I mean steer).  it was pretty much my favorite thing.

we were supposed to beware of alligators, but sadly, there were none.  almost as disappointing as seeing no bears in kodiak.

this doesn’t exactly count, but we did see an albino one at the aquarium (along with 100 8th graders, with 5 chaperones).

these fish were pretty.

and eels are FREAKY.  we saw one that looked like this, and I swear, it was like a foot tall and probably 10 feet long.  it was CRAZY.

and this is so fascinating to me–did you know that eels have bones up in there?  like in the fins stuff?  it’s not just like a spine with fringe, it’s bones.  what?!?  this is nuts.

I think jellyfish are cool, but they are hard to take pictures of.

the only thing with any structure we did was go kayaking.  and really that was super chill too.  it was just us and our (extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic) guide.   we didn’t see too much wildlife since it was pretty hot, just some birds and a crap ton of turtles.  once when our guide was up ahead of us he saw a little alligator jumping into the water, but we weren’t close enough to see.

see what I mean by chill?  this was pretty much what I did for six miles.  BUT, it was six miles with no current, so we got a good workout in.

after six days of sitting around, eating, watching movies (we might have watched all six JA movies…), walking on the beach, drinking tea (here, SUPER. CUTE.) we had to head home.  sniff.  we had a nice little drive through the smoky mountains.

and some pretty skies through tennessee and illinois.  ann says they never have colors like this in kodiak.

so it was a good trip.  carolina beach was very much my speed.  we stayed here, and it was nice and cozy, a great place to stay.  it was pretty reasonably priced (very, actually) and they let us stay whatever days we wanted (not just saturday-saturday like EVERYWHERE ELSE.)  it was right on the beach.  we ran most days, and most days after we ran, we walked down to the boardwalk to undo our running @ britt’s donuts.  YUM.  so. good.  and it wasn’t a crazy busy town either.  it was kind of dinky, and the beach wasn’t crowded at all (during the week.  we didn’t venture down there during the weekend).  and the water was nice, the beach was nice and sandy and not rocky, and it was hot but not ridiculous.  a good place to be.  I’m sad I’m not there anymore.