In the morning, we hear that a storm is coming, but the beach is filling up with people enjoying the sun while it lasts.
We walk a few hours along the white quartz-sand beach, heading the other direction from yesterday, along the shores of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park.
Along the beach
We pass umbrellas and chairs set in the sand for a celebration: the sand castle built alongside says, "Happy Birthday."
Set up for birthday celebration
As we stroll along the state park beach, we pass a sign that says, "Alcohol, Fires, Fireworks, Flashlights, and Items Left on the Beach Are Prohibited." What an interesting collection of banned items! The sand dunes rise above the beach and the occasional stream winds its way through the sand to the water.
A river runs through
We continue over and along the beach until we turn around and head back as the storm starts to turn the sky cloudy, dark, and ominous and the occasional thunder can be heard in the distance.
Back at the hotel, the beach empties out and the colorful umbrellas go into storage as the rain starts. Soon, the sun sets and we are left with the lighting of the hotel.
Empty (mostly) beach in the rain
Hotel courtyard at night (also empty in the rain)
This has been a delightful few-day break. As travel slowly resumes, we'll find a few more of such destinations to describe as they happen.