Shinsei is our japanese inspired beachouse on Topsail Island in Surf City, NC. It is our getaway home from our residence in Chapel Hill (which is also available for exchange during your stay.) Shinsei is a classic style beach bungalow with 1200 sq ft and 3br/2ba. There's a master w/ Q and ensuite bath, the kid's room with 2 twins, and the guestroom with Queen futon. The house was renovated in 2010 with new paint in/out, porcelain tile floors thruout, 2 new spa-feel bathrooms w/ showers, and an updated kitchen with Bosch stove, dishwasher and microwave. The greatroom faces the ocean and spans the entire width of the house, providing fabulous ocean views from living room, dining room and kitchen. The home is equipped with central air/heat, home theater system and wireless internet. The oceanfront deck has plentiful sidetables, chairs and loungers with new, thick Sunbrella cushions. Deck has a partial roof and several market umbrellas for shade. There is a short walkway with outside shower, then about a dozen steps down to the dune. There is a covered parking place under house plus additional parking in driveway. Laundry is in the basement.
We have collected much japanese art and crafts through the years, so our beachouse displays collections of woodblock prints, screens, cloisonne, japanese pottery and lacquer pieces (but in a zen, non-cluttery way!) The word Shinsei means rebirth, renew, reinvigorate and that's indeed how it makes us feel when we're there!
Topsail Island is a barrier island located about 35 miles north of Wilmington (ILM is the airport there, plus another to the north called Ellis OAJ that's about the same distance.) It has a laid back, old time beach atmosphere but has enough well thought out development to make it easy to shop, eat out and explore the outdoors. Its a barrier island with the ocean on one side and the ICW on the other. It is connected to the mainland by a swing bridge in the middle and large expansion bridge to the north. There are a couple of commercial areas on-island with a fishing pier, marina, surf and gift shops, restaurants, seafood stores, and even a grocery store. There is a lovely soundside park and several playgrounds for kids. The ocean area in front of our house is a well known fishing hole on the island (so we are told by all the people who come in the fall to neighboring houses for fishing vacations.) Sidewalks along the main roads make for easy walking, biking, and running on the island. There is a Maritime museum, Turtle Hospital, old fashioned roller skating and putt-putt facility... that pretty much sums up the activities on-island. Its more a kick back and enjoy the ocean and beach kind of island (not the amusement park variety.)
We can only exchange during school breaks including summer (Mid-June to mid-August), springbreak (the 1st week April), Christmas/New Years (last 2 weeks of year), and the occasional long holiday weekend for nearer locations. Our exchanges need not be simultaneous (and are often not.) So, although we are limited to travel at these times, our beachouse is available year round when we are not in residence.
We're currently interested in an Atlanta exchange for Thanksgiving week, and a Washington DC intown exchange for Springbreak (the first week in April). Our beachouse is available in warmer months in return (late August/Sept, May/early June, or mid-July.)
Also interested in visiting Europe, major US cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC and Miami), mountain homes (Ashevillle, Boone, and Aspen), Mexico and the Caribbean in winter, and midtown Atlanta to visit extended family.
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We are a middle aged family of four, our daughter is 13 and our son is 8. We are an active family who enjoys tennis, biking, swimming, and running. We work for a national employee benefits consulting firm and telecommute from our Chapel Hill home office. We have lived in New York and San Francisco, but returned to the South to raise our kids. We love to go back and visit our former cities as well as our extended family in midtown Atlanta. Our kids have traveled extensively with us (Hawaii, Europe, Caribbean, Mexico) so know how to behave and be respectful while away. We've had three exchanges so far which were great, so looking forward to new adventures.