This year, we got to go to the beach an unheard of 3 times, and it was pretty amazing. We hadn't been to the beach in two years, so going even once would have felt like a treat. We had no plans to go to the beach at all this year, but things just fell into place, and we loved every minute.
Our last trip was to Atlantic Beach, NC, which is the sweetest little town in the Southern Outer Banks. It is quiet, but still has good restaurants and all sorts of things that we love. We have been going there since I was a kid, and we still go eat at the same places (Roma Pizza, Clawson's in Beaufort, the best Chinese take out, and of course, Dairy Queen for ice cream). We spent mornings on the deck with coffee and Bibles and dinosaurs, and the rest of the day doing all the fun things...going to the aquarium, the pool (the beach was a little too rough when we were there), the maritime museum, and Fort Macon. It's just a quick drive to the dockside town of Beaufort, and we have a tendency to drive there several evenings while we are in town because it is just so pretty.
We came back refreshed and ready to start fall with school starting a few days later. It was exactly what I didn't know we needed.