Topsail Beach, NC
The unusually warm October sun baked into our sunscreen-slathered skin. We parked our bright blue plastic chairs in the sand along a mostly deserted beach.
It was late October; not an optimal touristy time of year, which we loved.
The only sounds floating by were the rippling of waves and the flipping of pages as we spent our afternoon indulging in good books a few meters from the ocean.
I laughed as I looked over at the tent on Niko’s head that he had created to block the sun from his white skin. He had wrapped a shirt around his head and topped it off with a hat and sunglasses. He reminded me of Goofy, with two large floppy shirt-ears dangling from his hat.
I, on the other hand, was happy to get a pink flush back in my skin. I sprawled out in my chair, letting the sun melt into me.
I kissed his warm skin and tucked my nose back in my book.
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I twisted the lid of my latest concoction shut.
Elderflower – a nectar of the gods and my latest obsession.
Two shots of elderflower liquor (I used the less expensive brand – St. Elder. The more expensive brand is St. Germain), a full can of seltzer water, a sprinkling of hand-squeezed mandarin oranges and a dash of fresh lemon juice. Simple and delectable, with a slight twist on the typical elderflower cocktails that consist of elderflower, prosecco, grapefruit juice and honey.
I grabbed the mug of sweet juice and ventured to the beach with Niko. Our bellies were full of shrimp, rice and salad from dinner.
The sun had entered a slumber several hours ago, so we were guided by twinkling stars and a small flashlight.
We plopped in the sand, far enough so the tide couldn’t touch us but close enough that we could sink our toes into cool, moist sand.
We talked for what felt like hours; my head nestled into his shoulder, passing the elderflower concoction between us as we discussed life, friends, family, travels, dreams, goals and our future. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to plan and envision a future with someone who will be by your side through everything.
We slipped into a nighttime trance of chatter and laughter without realizing that the contents of our sweet drink had long since disappeared.
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