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Holden Beach on the Local TV News….

The local TV station out of Wilmington, NC called WWAY TV3, who travels around our part of the state during the summer months doing a series called “Cape Fear Pride”. It does a story on a town or island about once a week. This past week, we here at Holden Beach was chosen for this wonderful recognition. As most of you know, Holden Beach is known mostly for what we DON’T have. We do not have neon lights, high rise hotels, or any buidings over 35ft in height. The locals and town pride themselves as being known as “The Family Beach” due to our family atmosphere. Holden Beach has come a long way since it first got it’s name. The island use to be nothing but farm land basically for my great great grandparents. There was a small “creek” or very small river that ran just behind the island. The Intracoastal Waterway is man made and was built in the very early 1930’s. Before it was built, our family raised cows and goats and were allowed to roam the eastern part of the island. Then a few homes were built and sold. Holden Beach officially became a town on Feb. 14, 1969. Today Holden Beach is the permanent home to about 900 residents.

As for the story that was done by the local TV station, you can see the video here. At the 1 min. 16 second mark, you can get a quick glimpse of me talking with my father Alan Holden in the kitchen of our real estate office Alan Holden Vacations and RE/MAX at the Beach. The photos that were used in the story are from the book called “Holden Beach History”, which was written by my grandfather John F. Holden. You can buy this book and others from our office. Just give us a call at 800-720-2200 and tell us which one you want and we will be happy to mail it to you. You can see other books we have on this page.

If you are looking for more stories on the development of Holden Beach, be sure to read his second book called “The Beginning and Development of Holden Beach” that is on the same page as the other books. To get a sneak peak of what is inside please read this quick story…

I thought the news story was great and reflected our family values here on the island. For all of you who have visited here before, you do not need a news story to tell how great the island is…….you already know!

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Blah…. Blah…. Blog!

I am just going to hop right into it today. Summer is coming on strong! I can see people out mowing their yards and trimming the bushes. People are swimming in the warm ocean in regular bathing suits (no wet suits anymore!) The reservations are picking up slowly but surely, and soon the weekly mayhem will begin. This past week was a good warm up to the full rush.

I hope the gas prices decide to go on vacation too. They are working way to hard and have a lot of over time. Maybe the “gas fairies” need a 3 YEAR vacation….since they are way ahead of schedule. The cheapest gas within 10 miles of here is right around $3.77 a gallon for regular 87 octane gas. Did you know, back in 1999 gas was only $0.89 a gallon here at Holden Beach? Talk about a pain in the wallet! I just find it ironic, that the cost of fuel keeps going up, and up and up. Then we see on the Nightly News that oil companies are profiting BILLIONS a year. I am not the smartest fellow at math I must admit, but I do know it does not add up.

On to more positive things……in order to help you find a few deals, we have been keeping our “Special’s” page updated on our site. Some of our homeowner’s have decided to try to help their fellow renters out. Several are offering money off to help pay for gas. Stroll on over to that part of our site, and give them a look. Please keep in mind that rental prices are set back in August or September of the year before.

Come on down to the beach to help relax and shake off those winter blues. The water temps are in the mid-70’s and the air temps are averaging in the mid-80’s and sunny. You can also keep and eye on the waves and surf report with our beach webcam. We look forward to seeing you!

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Welcome to Holden Beach North Carolina

Funny Stories….

I was thinking about what to write about today. Who doesn’t like funny stories, right? As I was looking out the window thinking (I wish is was about 80 degrees and sunny). Well….we have the sunny part down to a science but the air temps just don’t cut it on the thermometer. The sun is shining and the air temp is hovering around 25 degrees. This got me thinking about the summer days and some of the funny things we have had happen in this business. I know that when a few of you read these things you will think “What is so funny about that?” And that is ok! But to people who have lived here our entire lives, it is really funny because these stories make us look at things with an entirely different viewpoint.

I promise not to use names (because honesty I don’t remember them).

Back in the mid-1980’s when Alan Holden Vacations was known as Alan Holden Realty, we had a lady come into our office that was highly upset about something. She came in and was telling us about how her North Carolina vacation was ruined and her views of the ocean were ruined etc. She never came out and said “My beach trip is ruined because…..” She just went on and one about how she has waited her entire life to come to the beach and now it is ruined. To make a long story very short, she finally said these exact words,”My first beach experience is ruined because those shrimp boats offshore are ruining my view!” We tried will all our power to explain to her that the shrimp boats are “the view”. She was not satisfied and wanted us to call them shrimpers and ask them to move out of the way.” How do you explain that is does not work that way…..???

Another funny story is about mosquitoes. Everyone knows that in the dead of summer mosquitoes are sometimes annoying right before dark. Especially if there has been a lot of rain two or three weeks before. If there is not a lot of wind at night, we humans are prime hunting material for mosquitoes. This story happened many years ago also. We had a phone call from a lady who had checked in several days earlier and was upset. We asked her what was wrong and she complained to us that the mosquitoes were eating her up while she sat on the porch watching the sunsets in the evenings. She asked us if we could do something about them? If we could not, she wanted all of her rental money back. We explained to the customer that we can’t control things such as mosquitoes. She told us to call someone to take care of the problem.

We had an instance of a renter who called before they came to the beach. He wanted to make sure that the house they had rented earlier in the year had “only low tide if front of it”. His children needed a place to play in front of the house. But…..again we explained to him that the tides are a result of the gravitational attraction between the earth, the sun, and the moon. We at AHV do not control the ocean tides. We jokingly told him that he would need to talk to the man upstairs about that (we were referring to God). But the renter said, “Well….put him on the phone”(He was referring to Mr. Holden). Finally we explained how the tides work, and he understood then he laughed about about it.

One last quick story, is the customer who called and told us she was upset with her house location. She explained to us that her grandchildren went and bought boogie boards to ride the waves. However, when they got to the beach, the waves in front of their home were really small and unrideable. But, she did tell us that she could see children riding waves just down the beach. She asked if we could move the family to a different house that had waves in front of it. Again, we can not control the waves nor Mother Nature.

I have been surfing for about 25 years. If I could control the waves, I would never be at work. ๐Ÿ™‚

These few stories are not to make fun of anyone. They just bring smiles to my face when I think about all of the funny ones over the years. It seems working in this business, the days are never the same…..or even close.

I am sure that if us locals went back to your home state, we would ask questions as to why things are the way they are there. Why do your schools not close when it snows a lot?

(Now to make fun of ourselves here in our area…to make things even). Yes! It is true about when it snows here…or should I say “when it thinks about snowing here”. In our area of the state, if the weather hints at a possible storm with freezing rain or sleet, the few salt trucks get on standby. To my knowledge, our county does not even have salt trucks. Anyway, if it flurries for a few hours in the early mornings, the school system either has a 2 hour delay or they shut the schools down all together. But if you look out the window that morning, it looks like just another day. Dore (my wife), who grew up is Utah laughs at the school system here. She told me that for schools to be canceled out there, it had to snow close to three or four feet in a day. Here……it seems like the weatherman says,” We have a very good chance of freezing rain and sleet late tonight and into the early morning hours.” Then the next thing we hear on the news is, “There will be a two hour delay for all area schools”. The reason being…………..us southerners CAN’T drive in the snow!” But….just to prove to everyone that the beach does get snow, just click on picture above and see for yourselves.

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The latest news on the island….

I just wanted to catch up on everything that has been happening here on the island in the last week or so.

The Town of Holden Beach signed a contract to tear down the Holden Beach Town Hall. It only took a matter of about 2 days and the destruction began on Monday December
10, 2007. The tractors and dump trucks moved in a steady line for a few hours. When it was all said and done…..the original building was gone. As I sit here and type this blog, I can hear another tractor leveling the dirt to make sure everything just right. It was really sad to see this building go since it has always been here my entire life of living on the beach. It was built in 1968 from old bricks that came from an old hosiery factory that was being town down in Wilmington, NC at the time. My grandfather and a few other men help clean up those old bricks to put the mortar right back on them to build our town hall. I went over there with my little truck and picked up about 200 of these old bricks to build a walkway at my house or a patio. I could just not let these bricks just go to the dump. They had so much history and meaning to me. I will surely miss seeing that building as I drive down the beach.

This past Tuesday was the induction of the new Town Commissioner’s and the new Mayor. At the town meeting, everyone was sworn into office and afterwards refreshments were served! The new incoming leaders are Mayor J. Alan Holden and the five commissioner’s are: Sandy Miller, Ray Lehr, Ken Kiser, Don Glander and returning commissioner Gary Staley.

Another talk of the town has been the GREAT weather we are having. Well……I guess it all depends on what your idea of what great is. For the last 4 days we have been setting heat records back to back. We had two days this week that we were hovering around the 80 degree mark. I know that it is Christmas, and I like it to be cold for the holiday’s. But it is nice for the kids to get all of there toys from Santa and can go out and play in the yard. After all….I could say we are lucky that we are not haveing that terrible snow storm that has been moving across the US. That snow would really be fun…for about a day and I would be over it. It is suppose to get into the 50’s on Monday and that should help cool things down.

We here at Alan Holden Vacation’s and RE/MAX at the Beach wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year! Have a safe holiday as well!!!

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It is that time of year again!

I know….I know…I have been really slack on the blog front. I have to apoligize now and say “sorry”. This time of year is REALLY busy for us. We have been working non-stop for the past few weeks trying to get our advertising and brochure stuff ready for the 2008 season. Also, in between those times, we have been doing a fairly good bit of fishing tournaments as well on the weekends. So, there is where I have been. ๐Ÿ™‚

It is now that great time of year that all the locals love so much. The air is warm in the afternoons, with a cool brisk whiff of fresh air in the mornings. The fish have been biting a good bit in the surf and the local beaches are empty.

I wanted to remind everyone that this coming up weekend (October 27th and 28th) is the annual Festival By The Sea. We have a parade, street vendors, kids games, a sand castle building contest for kids, lots and lots of great food to be eaten, a horseshoe contest and lots of other cool fun things to do. This festival has been around since the early 1980’s and gets bigger and better each and every year. Bring some shopping money becasue you can buy some really nice things while you browse around. Most of the artwork is hand made or hand painted. That is what makes it all so unique! If you are looking for a quick and fun weekend, come on down the Holden Beach, NC this weekend and help us celebrate the Festival By The Sea! You can find some nightly beach rentals through our company here at Alan Holden Vacations. we have some great deals going on so come visit us!

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Please remember 9/11 Victims and their Families

Of course I don’t want to keep drilling it into everyone’s head about the 9/11 anniversary since the media will never let us forget…….and we shouldn’t. Instead of remembering what happened that day, we should all remember the people that were involved and lost.

Think about it like this……If you read in the media the names of those that were lost it is sad no doubt. But if you read those same names and put it with a photo it strikes a different chord. It allows us to see that these people who died were just like us. They were husbands, mothers, father’s, uncles, children, brothers, sisters, and they were children themselves. It really makes you realize that these people were just doing what they did every day….. and that is going to work. It is really hard for me to comprehend still the magnitude of lives lost and how they were lost.

I think back to that day of what I was doing. I had gone surfing to get some waves from Hurricane Erin up at Carolina Beach, NC. My friend Dean and I left Holden Beach around 6am to catch the ferry ride from Southport, NC over to Ft. Fisher. The waves were REALLY good that morning and the ocean was nice and glassy. I would say the surf was around 4-6ft with great conditions. I had to surf early and get back home by 10am to go to work. So we got out of the water and put our boards in the car and started to leave. I was not in the car longer than a minute when my wife called on my cell phone and told me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in NY. At first I thought it was a small private prop plane….so I really did not think much of it. So I got off the phone with her and turned on the radio. The air waves were full of chatter as to what had happened. Still…..it was not known what kind of plane had hit the first tower. As we began to drive back home, out of nowhere a second plane hit the other tower. Now, I really became concerned. The radio began to start talking about a possible terrorist attack. After listening to this horrible story unfold, it became apparent that this was an attack. As these two buildings were burning, another plane crashes into the Pentagon. Reality had set in to me now…….when will it stop? Not after another plane gets downed in a field in Pennsylvania.

I got home after listening to this unfold on the radio and I ran into the house where my wife and my one year old son was waiting. I gave them a hug and turned on the television. It was worse than I had thought….if that is really possible. I watched it for several hours until I could not take anymore of it. I was mad, upset, and thankful that I still had my family and loved ones.

It still makes me stop and think about all of those lives that were lost and are still missing to this day. So please……say a prayer for those victims, the victims families and the survivors. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

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Roasting Oysters

During the winter months for those who have never had the chance to visit from Oct. 15th through March 15th there is something you need to do. My family tries to get together about once every week or two and roast oysters over an open fire outside over a drum or in an outdoor fireplace. We have some local connections to get them fresh by the bushel. I believe the cost last winter was about $33 a bushel. When I was a teenager, the cost was about $11 a bushel.

Some of you may say, “I have had them in the restaurants steamed.” When cooking and eating them over an open, it is a unique experience BIG difference in taste experience. Here are some tips if you ever want to try it:

Get a bushel of oysters and an old oil drum the with bottom cut out. Stick a few bricks under the bottom edges to raise the drum a few inches. Put small blocks of wood, a few broken sticks and some rolled up newspapers in the bottom of the drum. Next, you need to light the wood and newspapers and get the fire really hot and wait for it to settle down some. Take the fresh, shelled oysters out of the burlap bag and take a pressure washer or water hose and get all of the mud off to the best of your ability. After the fire backs down some and has burned for about 15 minutes or so, put about 35 clean oysters in a wire mesh rack to place on top of the drum with the oysters in it. As the oysters start cooking you will hear lots of popping, cracking and sizzling. This is the sounds of the oysters opening from the heat and the juices flowing out of them and falling onto the fire. About every three or four minutes you need to shake the rack to move the oysters around. Cook the oysters from about 10 minutes or so. Once the oyster shells turn an “ash” color they are likely done.

On the tables you have set up, you should have covered them with several layers of newspapers to absorb the juices. You then will have to pick though the oysters that have the shells open enough to stick an oyster knife in it to pry it open. Have a few different kinds of sauces ready to dip the oysters in. Things we like are vinegar, ketchup, horseradish sauce etc. Dip it in, and open wide!
Depending on how many people you have, depends on how many oysters you will need. Usually, we get a bushel and a half or so for about 6 or 8 people.

Due to the pollution in our rivers and waterways that have increased over the past few years, this practice of roasting oysters is slowly dying. Also, the over harvesting of oysters have really impacted the oyster population as well. Here is an interesting article that was in our local newspaper a few years ago. We all need to be aware that we do our best to help protect our water sources. The locals are all saying that in 10 years we will no longer be able to get fresh oysters out of our rivers. Let’s be able to pass the tradition on for our children to enjoy.

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Holden Beach Family Vacation

Family comes to visit Holden Beach!

Some of you have e-mailed me and asked where my family and I go for vacation since we live in paradise. Usually we do not go far from Holden Beach, but this year was a little different than usual. My wife’s brother, his wife and 2 kids came to stay 10 days with us at our house. Also, my wife’s nephew, niece and their mom came as well. That came to a total of of 12 people (5 adults and 7 kids under the age of 7).

They came out from Salt Lake City on the “big bird” and landed in Raleigh all full of great cheer and to have fun at the beach. We were really all anxious to see everyone since we have not seen them in about 2 1/2 years. My wife and I took our vacation time this year to hang out and entertain everyone. We really did a lot of things. One of the things we did for the kids was to take everyone to the Dixie Stampede in Myrtle Beach, SC. If you have never been there it is really a lot fo fun for everyone. They feed you great food and they have lots of horse riding, tricks, jokes and much more and they do it while you eat. It is inside and they have a large arena type seating. Go if you get the chance, but please call ahead to make sure your get a reservation first.

Anyway, back to the family fun! We spent most of the time at the beach since we could easily just walk down the street. The kids did not go everyday, but they did go a lot. Some days it was just so hot, you wanted to stay indoors. Other times we did some eating….and more eating….and a little more eating. I think I need to go on a diet now. While the kids were either playing with toys or at the beach, Hagoth (my wife’s brother) and I went and did our own things. One day we played 18-holes of golf at one of the local courses. We decided to play Lockwood Folly Golf Links. Now I will be the first to admit that he nor I are Tiger Woods….lol. I think we belong more on one of the local Putt-Putt courses. We did have a lot of fun making a few good drives and putts in between chasing and losing balls. I think I lost 5 balls on the first 7 holes or so. It is all about the fun (Insert sarcasm here)!

While we were out TRYING to play golf, the ladies took the kids to ride the Southport Ferry to Ft. Fisher to go visit the NC Aquarium at Ft. Fisher. My kids always love going! They got to see the sharks, turtles and pet the sting rays in the petting tank. If you have never been, please take some time to drop by one afternoon and see what wonderful things they have. When everyone got back from the aquarium and we got back from golf, we all were exhausted. Time to eat again!
The next day Hagoth and I had to pay the piper for our excellent golf game. We let all the mother’s go and get pedicure’s to help them relax for the long stressful day they had before. I think when they got back home with their lovely feet, we needed pedicure…..or something to help US relax…lol.

Well, the 10 days came and went fast and we did so much in so little time and we still never got close to doing it all. Hopefully they can come back to visit us very soon and stay with us again. We really enjoyed having everyone in our house and it is so quite now. If we could just get everyone in their family to move out here then that would be great!! By the way, after that long but fun 10 day break from work…….I think I need a vacation now to recoup ๐Ÿ™‚ So there you have it folks. We love Holden Beach so much that we stay home for vacation.

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Water Safety Reminder

It is that time of the year again when Mother Nature wakes up more and likes to flex her muscles to show us who is TRULY in charge..lol. Since the hurricane season is getting more in gear now I wanted to remind our visitors of a hidden and silent killer that is just a few steps off the beach. I am talking about Rip Currents. Most people can not spot them with unless you have a trained eye. I just wanted to touch on what causes the deadly currents to form and how to avoid getting in trouble if caught in one.

These currents usually form when there is a Tropical Storm or Hurricane a few hundred miles off the beach. As these storms blow they send out swells well ahead of the storm as the storm pushes forward. Think of it pushing your hand though the water slowly and you will notice the small wave in front of your hand. That is how a storm sends good surf to the beaches. The storm is “pushing” water to the beach.

Now……when these swells cross over the sandbars and reach the beach the water from the waves gets caught or trapped between the beach and sandbars without a way to get back to sea. When enough water gets built up, the water breaks a small channel in the sandbar that is underwater and the water rushes back out to sea very rapidly. The “break” in the sandbar is what causes Rip Currents to form.

Things to remember:
1) Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
2) Never fight the current.
3) Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, of which you need to step to the side.
4) Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle — away from the current — towards shore.
5) If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. 6)When out of the current, swim towards shore.
7) If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.

NOTE) Holden Beach does NOT have lifeguards on duty. Please be careful and swim at your own risk.

For a good demonstration of how a rip current works and how to get out of one, please visit this Water Safety site. Click on the “View Flash Presention” in the middle of the page and turn up your speakers.

Remember to come visit our website for information on Vacation Beach Rentals and our Beach Property for sale.

Thanks and please have a very safe vacation while visiting with us!!

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Memorial Day Weekend is coming…..

Well, it looks like another Memorial Day in Holden Beach NCย is coming around again. It is hard to believe that another rental season is just beginning. The winter months here at Holden Beach go by so fast. Most people think that since it is in our off season, that we get a chance to relax and rest before the summer jumps right on us. Actually, we are extremely busy during these months of September all the way through March or April.

We start off not long after Labor Day getting all of the updated house information from homeowner’s for the upcoming year. As these are coming in, we also must go out and retake new pictures of homes that have been painted, and had renovations. As this information is safely filed away into a brochure folder, we continue to help owner’s make repairs and upgrades to their homes. We really get a lot of pressure to get this updated information to the brochure printers just before Thanksgiving since it takes a few weeks to get them printed. Our goal is to have our vacation rental guide in the mail in early December. Right after Christmas we have about 3 days to make corrections in our database of all the changes that each home has had since the end of the last rental season. This is a very time consuming and strenuous.

It seems that right after New Years Day…….the phones start ringing. Everyone who received a brochure, went and shared it with their families over the holidays. Now they have their lists of homes they want to rent. The phones never really stop ring until around Memorial Day. There is a slight break but only for a very short time. Then before you know it, it is SUMMER! The summer months are extremely busy as always and we never really get a chance to breathe. So you see……living at the beach is not just all vacations. But we do love living here and helping people like you make memories here at Holden Beach.

Please don’t forget to remember what Memorial Day really means. Let’s remember all of those who have died while serving our wonderful country. If it were not for them, we would not have our freedom. Thanks to all our veterans out there….

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