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This guest post is written by fellow Northeast Ohio blogger, Allie of Couponing in Birdland. Allie has been vacationing with her family at Holden Beach for years. I guess you could say she’s kind of an expert when it comes to this family friendly beach location.
Some families never take big vacations. Some families take a different vacation every year. And then there are families like mine who take the same vacation to the same spot year after year. We have been visiting Holden Beach, North Carolina for most of my life (and before that we went to Myrtle Beach). In my 29 years I have been to the beach 34 times. I count my blessing every time we have the opportunity to visit Holden Beach. I know that a big beach vacation is out of the financial reach of many families.
How did this yearly tradition start you ask? (And how, if she says yearly has she been there 5 more times than years she has lived?) That is a great question! Well, long before I was born, my paternal grandparents starting taking my dad and my uncle to the beach every year. As the family grew, my dad and uncle got married and then four grandchildren were added and the tradition continued. When I was 14, my maternal grandparents decided to start the same tradition. For the next five years we went twice each summer, venturing south for a fun filled week at Holden Beach. Unfortunately, when I was 19, my paternal Grandma became unable to make the trip.
This year we had 24 family members in one big house! We stayed at 899 Ocean Boulevard on Holden Beach during the second week in June. To our knowledge, it is the only beach front house that will fit all of us! I really enjoyed watching my two kids (Kylie, 3 and Ray, 6) run around for a whole week with the four other great-grandchildren. My brother, his wife and son met us at the house from Virginia; one cousin came from Colorado and two from Georgia.
And new this year, my husband and I have decided to homeschool our kids. One method of homeschooling is unit studies and we decided to start our summer with a unit study of Loggerhead sea turtles. Before we left we watched several YouTube movies, and rented a bunch of books and movies from the library. We learned how momma sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach in the moonlight, and then about two months later the baby turtles crawl out of the nest and follow the moonlight back to the ocean.
Monday morning we got to meet the Holden Beach Turtle Patrol as they were moving a turtle nest. The momma turtle had laid it in an unsafe location and the Turtle Patrol moved it just two houses down from us. We watched them gently place the soft eggs in the new nest and cover it with a wire cage to keep foxes from making those eggs breakfast.
Then, on Wednesday morning we woke up to turtle tracks not far from our house! The Turtle Patrol was carefully digging around to find the nest, but they determined that the momma turtle must have been scared off and did not lay any eggs. Hopefully she will come back another night.
Wednesday night was Turtle Talk at the town hall. We got to see a real loggerhead turtle shell; it is taller than my daughter! They explained that the Turtle Patrol is responsible for finding nests, moving them if necessary, and helping the baby turtles down to the water. When a nest shows activity (the sand at the top moves a bit) they dig a trench down to the water for the babies to follow. Also, they help any sick or injured turtles that arrive on the beach.
If you travel to Holden Beach in the early summer, you might see the new nests. But if you travel at the end of summer, you may see the babies hatch. When I was a teenager we were there later in the season and were able to help lead the babies down to the water with flashlights.
Holden Beach has several restaurants, two nice putt-putt courses, a waterslide park and go-carts. There is a small grocery store right off the island and a big-box store about 20 minutes away. If you are looking for a family friendly beach location away from the eight-lane-highway commotion of Myrtle Beach this is your place!
I am counting down the days until we return to our beloved 899 Ocean Boulevard next year!
Have you visited Holden Beach? What do you love most about beach vacations?
Interested in planning your own Holden Beach vacation? You’ll find these links helpful:
Thanks to Northeast Ohio blogger, Allie of Couponing In Birdland, for sharing her experience to Holden Beach, North Carolina. Allie’s website is dedicated to couponing at Giant Eagle. Each week she offers a coupon match up, by taking available coupons and matching them up with current sales. You can find her at the bird!
Stop by and visit Allie at www.couponinginbirdland.com, as well as Facebook and Twitter.