Let me start off by saying I am a good son... It's not that I think I'm a good son, I know it. So, here's the story; My mom's best friend since college is named Sue, I have known Sue and her kids since I was a kid. I also haven't seen her kids since I was a teenager, you could say it's been a while.

Last year during the COVID shutdown my mom asked if we had the opportunity in September to go to their family beach house would I be willing to go? I said sure, as long as we could make the schedule work.

Guess what? We did.

So, a couple of weeks ago we set off on a very memorable journey to the great State of North Carolina to visit old friends, make new ones and hang out at a beach house for several days. Just me and mom.

Plane #1 of 4

There were four planes involved in the trip which was kinda awesome, I haven't flown anywhere in years and I love to fly. Of course, flying commercial these days is kind of a pain in the butt. Show up way early to get through security, mask up the whole time... my ears still hurt.

On plane number 1 - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

Check out the phone/tablet holder and the charging port built-in to the seats these days, pretty neeto.

phone and pad holder - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

That would be downtown Dallas out the window...

Over downtown Dallas - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

Hitting the Beach Road

After the big reunion and spending the night in Burlington, NC our first night, I was asked and gladly accepted, to be a driver for the convoy from Burlington to the beach community of Atlantic Beach, NC about 3.5 hours away. Three reasons I was glad to accept:

  1. I am a much better driver than a rider.
  2. I got to drive a really nice Cadillac.
  3. I also got to have a great conversation with Mr. Bob and Ms. D along the way.

Below is the pic I took of something they call Super Cruise on Cadillacs. You may have noticed my hands are not on the wheel, my feet are not on the pedals either. You hit that Super Cruise button and the car takes over and holds you perfectly in the middle of the lane you're in and the proper distance from the vehicle in front of you. Wowsers! That took some getting used to, but it worked great.

Super Cruise - Roadtrip to the Beach - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

They call me... Bob's Driver.

Bob's driver - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

Hello Atlantic Beach, NC!

It has been decades since I have been to a beach on the Atlantic side of the USA but guess what, they're still there and still gorgeous.

Atlantic Beach water tower - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

My morning coffee view.

Morning coffee view - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

The Gant house from the beach view.

The Gant House - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

Mom is probably not going to be happy with some of these pics but what the heck, we're on vacation.

That's mom below and her best friend Sue.


One day, John (Katie Lynn's husband) and I went on a little drive around the area to see a few places, experience some new things. We ended up in a little community called Beaufort, which has a pretty marina area downtown with restaurants and shopping. So, I grabbed a few shots there.

Marina in Beaufort NC - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021
Marina 2 in Beaufort NC - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021
Marina 3 in Beaufort NC - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

El's Drive-In: A Story With-In The Story

On the way back from our little drive-a-bout, John talked me into trying a little place called El's Drive-In, pictured below. El's has been around for...ever, but they do things a bit different at El's. It's a small place as you can see, there is no seating inside, outside, anywhere for that matter. You don't get out of the car walk up to the non-existent window to give them your order, instead, they come to you.

You'll notice below there is a car in front of us, and to the left of him a truck, over on the right you will see two vehicles parked in the shade tree area, what you can't see is the 25 or so other vehicles all over this parking area, all facing that little building and waiting their turn. The ladies working the cars magically seem to know which cars have been served and which ones have not, even when cars get their order and leave, you simply pull forward into that spot and continue to wait for your turn or your order to arrive. The word "cluster" instantly came to mind. Turns out it was pretty smooth and efficient, the order didn't take long at all, was reasonably priced, and kinda fun to watch. Noone came to blows in the parking lot, and the food was great! I had the shrimp burger in case you were wondering, which would be a shrimp po'boy here, except it was on a burger bun.

The Kids Shot

Joe Collins, Allison, me, and Katie Lynn... the "Kids".

The kids - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

Mr. Bob, Ms. D, Mom in the middle and Ms. Sue on the right.

Mr. Bob, Ms. D, Sue and Mom - Jim's Vacay with Mom 2021

Great sunrise shot on the last day.

When you fall in love with the waves and the sounds and smells of the beach, it sure is nice to get back to it every now and then. I have missed it.

Thanks to the Gant Family for allowing us to tag along for beach weekend 2021, Eddie and Allison, Katie Lynn and John, Ms. Sue and Mr. Bob and Ms D, Joe Collins and Sharon and Ms. Donna, and a ton of other folks that made it a terrific long weekend on the beach in North Carolina. If you're looking at planning a trip to an East Coast beach I would highly recommend Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, it was amazing.

Thanks for checking these out.

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.
Get our free mobile app