On Emerald Shores
Zaphod's Heart of Gold last edited by
In May of 2017 I proposed to my now wife. She loves the beach so the location was easy, but timing ended up being a bit of a problem. During a work trip I started searching for a decent hotel on the NC coast but in my infinite wisdom was searching for Memorial day weekend, the semi-official start of beach season. This did not cross my mind and as I was looking only a few days out all beachfront properties were taken or a truly exorbitant price for a half crappy sand-filled room in a rundown highrise.
As luck would have it, though, there was a room available at a bed and breakfast on the soundside of the mainland at a reasonable rate. Reviews were good and the pics looked nice, house right by the water with a view of the island, so I booked it.
What we arrived to was almost unbelievable - an old 3 story house at the end of a long drive, completely away from roads bearing any traffic, the property lined with palm trees set on a gorgeous plot surrounded by the still waters of the sound. The sun reflected off everything in sight and clouds were sparse, only the random cirrus crossing lazily overhead. The owners of the B&B were a young couple, only a few years older than us, who recently purchased the business, lived on site, and were eager to make this place their own on top of being incredible hospitable for guests. The were laid back and kind and loved to talk about the work they put into the place after they got it.
The proposal went almost as I planned. Instead of being on the beach I did it in a hammock hung between two palms on the grounds, but she agreed.
We loved our stay and after a bit of discussion decided it would also be our wedding venue.
Just under a year later, on a day that was supposed to be a washout but ended up being a gorgeous, mild early summer afternoon, we were wed under those same palms in front of a small congregation of our closest friends and relatives.
We were the last wedding at the venue for the season, between memorial day and labor day they only rented as a normal B&B because 1. that's the majority of the beach season and high turnover leads to more monies and 2. it's hot as shit those months and the owners work as hard as anyone setting up and running events. So they went on their way and we vowed to return for another stay.
October of 2018 hurricane Florence blew across the NC coast and ravaged damn near everything east of I-95. This small B&B that had never been damaged by a storm was flooded with 5 feet of water, the ground floor ruined, the roof torn apart, and in need of many repairs. The owners shut down to do the needed work while we waited for the news that they would be open for business. Assuming this meant a basic remodel we expected to make plans for the spring, but October rolled into December which brought about the spring and the news got worse - the building was damaged beyond repair and would need to be rebuilt entirely.
The owners worked tirelessly to plan a new building and properly permit it, prep the site, demolish the remaining structure. Unfortunately while the town was supportive the community was not and they had to fight every step of the way. As we got through 2020, over 2 years after the storm, they finally decided to call it quits.
The site where I was engaged and married, the last wedding they hosted, is left with only a bare spot where the building once stood and no owners. Plans to return have been indefinitely slashed and who knows if will ever host another guest again.
The image below is one I took just after getting to our room on the third floor for our first stay. It does not capture the true beauty or serenity of the place in any meaningful way. But it takes me right back to our time there, and I am more grateful for the time I was able to spend knowing that even if I can return it will never be the same.
And if anyone has an extra $900k I know a gorgeous plot of land on the sound of Emerald Isle for sale
LimitedTimeOnly last edited by LimitedTimeOnly
@zaphod-s-heart-of-gold (Disclaimer: the following is my opinion, and does not represent that of any employer or client.)
Unfortunately, with climate change data and documented rising sea levels along with associated reasonable projections, we can safely predict that this location and so many others along the coast are only going to continue to experience more and more frequent extreme storm events and sustain damage. While existing investments may be able to be protected to an extent, I wouldn't make an investment along the coast if the plan is to hold it for more than five or ten years.
The planning and engineering community is striving to provide clients and communities with "resiliency" plans and the projections of what is required for longer term approaches are sobering.
BicycleBuck last edited by
This was the fate of many of the properties along the coast in and near Biloxi. NOBODY expected a 30' storm surge when Katrina came to visit.
benn454 last edited by
@limitedtimeonly And eventually, they'll be underwater literally, instead of just financially.
RamblinRover last edited by
@zaphod-s-heart-of-gold There was a beach house on Emerald Isle I went to once when I was a kid, but that must have been, wow, nearly 25 years ago.