On our Second Van Adventure, we decided to make out way to the beach. We were just going to do a quick overnight once again and since we were still in the middle of corona virus times we thought we would go down to The southern NC beaches thinking they would be a little less populated the the mainstream OBX beaches - but we were Wrong ish. (In reality they weren't that bad - but you did have to take precautions going to the store. We didn't eat in any restaurants).
![blogPics](/static/img/166/van.jpg "The van at the beach!")
Our original goal was to hit Caswell beach and then make our way south to Oak island, then Holden Beach, Ocean Isle and then Sunset Beach but we ended up missing out on Caswell due to no parking and sticking with Oak Island and Holden beach. This way we could spend more time by the ocean at least.
We were lucky to find some parking on the side of road at long beach so we got our beach gear and end enjoyed a few hours here playing in the water and enjoying the beautiful day. I should note parking is tough here. There were lots of places to park it but the single lane roads did make it difficult. There also seems to be an ordinance that says if you block two way traffic by parking on the side of the road you will get a ticket - so if you do this make sure to get all the way off the road!
![blogPics](/static/img/166/beach.jpg "The beach and sunshine")
After the beach we found a spot to grab some dinner at swain seafood shack where we got the catch of the day, shrimp and scallops to go. We then took our food back to the beach and enjoyed the setting sun while eating some blackened seafood (that we hope was local but who knows?).
![blogPics](/static/img/166/dinner.jpg "The van at the beach!")
After dinner we headed to where we were going to park for the evening which ended up beach a local Walmart. We ran in to some van complications which meant the van didn't cool off as much as I had hoped so we didn't sleep as good as we could have. ( the roof vent wouldn't open so when I woke up at 2:30 am i spent some time messing with it because it was just too hot in the van for me to be comfortable. Once I got the fan going though ( which i wish I had done from the beginning) it cooled off immensely - we almost needed a blanket!)
The next morning we headed down to Holden Beach where we went for a morning run after watching the sunrise.
![blogPics](/static/img/166/sunset.jpg "Sunrise at Holden Beach!")After the run we took a quick shower where the public showers were (where you wash the sand off you) and we headed to the Purple Onion to get some breakfast to go. I had some crab cake eggs Benedict and Kristen had an omelet ( i was surprised with how good the prices were, it was REALLY reasonable). After breakfast we spent a bit more time out on holden beach enjoying the ocean before hitting the road to come back home. (Where Kristen drove the van for the very first time - Cap'n Kristen!)
![blogPics](/static/img/166/kristendrives.jpg "Cap'n Kristen")
### A few Tips
- We had a blast but you need to take care of yourself. There were a lot of people here and even though we were trying our best to social distance - others weren't. You need to be cautious.
- Oak Island had small parking areas at the end of each street. It may take trying a few different dead ends, but hopefully you'll find a spot!
- Holden beach has one main parking area which was super helpful for us since it is a beach house only type of beach. It pretty much became our home base but you cant park there overnight. And they had some decent outdoor showers which was super nice after the run or swim in the ocean!
_ During Corona times - don't eat in the restaurants. Get the food to go if you can.