Brian and Austyn returned to Chicago on Thursday. We were to pick up the rental van Friday at noon, load and take off for what we had hoped was a 16 hour road trip to Holden Beach NC. The home we had rented were fully furnished but there was plenty of extra cooking equipment and supplies needed. There were a few things we felt we could leave to chance. In a small beach town where Walmart is the main means of supplies and the nearest Walmart is 20 minutes away, you do have to anticipate not being able to gather all your supplies in one place.
Adult beverages were another consideration. Brain and Austyn had chosen a wine called Fat Bastered as their wedding wine. They both claim that they love the taste, I think the name may have helped their decision making. As the mother of the bride I chose a Ginger Vodka as my beverage choice for the weekend. After searching most of the liquor stores in Chicago, we found my favorite band. The company had changed the bottling and in doing so raised the price about $10 per bottle. This particular store was selling through the old bottle at almost half the price. Needless to say the van was loaded with several cases of alcohol.
We were loaded and with very little room to spare. Our chief and close friend of the family was 5 months pregnant at the time. As Renee’ and I settled into our seat a few of those last minute items were loaded. When all was complete, Renee and I found ourself talking to each other through the Orchids which were purchased at the corner flower shop in our neighborhood. Wedding dress lay across the back of the van. We were on our way.
We had planned to meet up with two other parties in Indianapolis. Erin and Rachael, Austyn’s long time friends, were driving down to spend the week with us and Nikki and Matt were joining Brian and Austyn in the Jeep. We pulled into a Starbucks parking lot on the north side of Indianapolis around 11:15pm. In what should have been a “load um up and let’s get going” became a meet and greet time. Almost one hour later we were back on the road.
Breakfast was at McDonald’s in Charleston, West Virgina. Every stop seemed as if it took longer than the last. A quick bathroom break could turn into a 45min luncheon. Pam and Raun had flown into Charlotte the day before in order for Raun to show Pam some of his favorite childhood memories. They arrived to the island well before we did. Raun called me that morning. “I can see why Austyn wants to get married here. We just drove over the bridge, it’s beautiful.”
There is only one bridge that takes you to Holden Beach. As you approach the bridge you are in the midst of a typical small souther beach area. Little wooden shakes that are favorite hang outs, a few surf shops, a huge outdoor ice machine that appears to have sufficient ice supple to fill a dump truck. The bridge is a high, long winding bridge. It is not until you are at the half way point that you can see the island. A long narrow beach lined with large beach homes. There are just a few restaurants but very little commerce on the beach itself. We were still hours away from the bridge.
It was around 3:30pm when we arrived. Our over night trip had turned into an almost 24 hour trip. We were thrilled as we walked through our rental home, it was perfect. We unloaded, had a quick bit to eat and headed to the beach to look around.