THE BEACH: Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Every beach has its own particular light. While the Greek Isles may be about vivid contrast, Bald Head Island's beaches shimmer with a soft golden glow. Uncrowded, unspoiled, with no cars, high rises or chains (in fact just a handful of restaurants, a golf and a beach club, a few perfect little shops and an excellent grocery/wine store) plus acres of maritime forests and marshes. A sense of calm begins the moment you step ashore--and lasts until the moment you step off.

THE BOOKS: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life In France by Julia Child
My sister, Denise, and I have always loved books, food and travel. Often we read about food while traveling--or in this case, while lounging beside each other on Bald Head Island's virtually deserted South Beach, with only our husbands and her daughters nearby. While Denise actually cooks dishes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I prefer just reading about how Julia Child wrote the famous cookbook and how Julie Powell transformed her life by writing about cooking through the famous cookbook. (Blogs to riches--gotta love that story!) Of course we both plan to see the movie inspired by the books about the cookbook--and if I'm lucky Denise Marie Julia (!) will cook one of the dishes for me afterward.

ABOUT THE PHOTO: Taken with my camera ... by a friendly stranger who snapped a pic of the group of us ... which I cropped out for this post. Blown up like this, the photo looks more like a painting.

"Use the good china for breakfast."