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Family Traditions: Hill Family Vacations at Emerald Isle

Our love of the Crystal Coast began innocently enough, a family of three, transferred to Camp LeJeune, wanted a place close by for the rest of the family to join them for a week each summer. Little did they know that their first trip across the causeway bridge would begin a 21 year love affair with Emerald Isle.

The adventure began with a condo in Pebble Beach, the family of three (including a pre-schooler), a recent college graduate, two newly married couples and their mom and dad (on the pull out couch), and has grown to an island sand castle, Breezy Cottage, in Dolphin Ridge filled with grandchildren aged 9-24 and a second house filled with family friends. In the years between the sand and surf of E.I. brought a marriage proposal on the beach near Windsurfer (7/93), a pregnancy announcement in a duplex in Spinnakers Reach (7/98), a 50th anniversary party (6/06), celebrations of milestone birthdays and graduations, priceless family portraits and countless games of LRC. With the exception of a couple of years (what were we thinking?) Emerald Isle Realty has been the place we have turned to make those memories happen.

Each year we come from Virginia, Georgia, Connecticut, New York and once even England, to the Crystal Cost. We feel the rush of excitement as we top the causeway bridge to begin the week. Our children have tested their new found walking skills on the sand, overcome fears of big wave wipeouts, sand crabs and fireworks and formed bonds with each other, their aunts, uncles and grandparents that can never be broken.

In 2009 we celebrated our father’s 80th birthday with a celebration at E.I. In June 2010, he received a terminal cancer diagnosis. With less than a month to go before our annual E.I. trip; his first question to the doctor was whether he could go to the beach. He worked hard to regain his strength and was able to return to the beach he loved with the family he cherished for what we knew would be his last visit. It was a bittersweet week indeed. This month, we return to Breezy Cottage on what would have been his 82nd birthday to celebrate a life well lived and continue the tradition that was so important to him. As he is, Emerald Isle is always in our heart. Wherever we travel, wherever we roam we always think of Emerald Isle as a place we call home.

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