Last week we got a last minute opportunity to take our first family vacation since Della was born. We stayed at a beach near Southport, the town that we fell in love with during our sailing trip and where that adventure came to an end. Traveling with a dog and a baby certainly isn't the easiest or most relaxing way to vacation, and we were nearly ready to call it quits when we encountered a major flea infestation at the beach house on our first night. But as usual, the highs always outweigh the lows, and taking Della to the beach for the first time and getting to revisit Southport was worth the ongoing battle with fleas.
Della didn't seem all too impressed with the beach, but she indulged me in my picture taking and dipping her toes in the water. I'm not all that big on the beach myself, so my favorite part was showing her, as well as my mother and grandmother, around Southport. We ate a few meals at Provisions, the restaurant where we had docked our boat and eaten along our sailing journey, found some delicious ice cream at both Spike's Dairy Bar and Flava's (not on the same day, I swear.), and wandered down the pier and the streets lined with gorgeous historic homes. Part of me was afraid that I had romanticized the town in my memory since we had been there last, but I'm happy to say that it really is just as beautiful and charming as I remembered.
Our old sailboat still lives in Southport, and the man who bought her has kept in touch with Riley. I was excited about the prospect of possibly seeing her again and showing her to Della, even though it obviously wouldn't mean anything to her at such a young age. Riley went one afternoon by himself and came back with news that sort of broke my heart. Although she's being taken care of, her name is no longer Winbrandt and she looks completely different. Knowing how much time and care we had put into her, I just didn't think that I had the heart to see her after all. So even though we were right near the marina that is her new home, I decided that I'd rather keep my memories of her as they are. Change can be good, but sometimes memories are just too precious. So although I hope to return to Southport again and again as a family and reminisce about our sailing days, I know now that my last goodbye to Winbrandt was final.