For many people, a trip to the beach is nothing more than a fun summer vacation. But for 100-year-old Ruby Holt, it was the trip of a lifetime.
Holt, a Tennessee native who has only once left the state, saw the ocean for the very first time recently. Her assisted living facility took her on an expenses-paid trip after learning that she’d never been to a beach before.
"I've heard people talk about it and how wonderful it was and wanted to see it, but I never had the opportunity to do so," Holt told AP writer Jay Reeves.
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Holt has spent the majority of her century on Earth working on a farm and in a shirt factory. As a rural Tennessean just trying to make ends meet, Holt said money and time have always been tight. Workers at her assisted living facility learned this past summer that she’d never been able to take a trip to the ocean.
"They did a water gun fight out in the courtyard during the summer, and water got brought up, the beach, and that's what she told the girls, that she had never been," said Mark Davis, executive director of the Sterling House nursing home.
When Holt first caught a glimpse of the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, she was left at a loss for words.
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"When we got to the room yesterday, she was just pointing out the ocean and, you know, her facial expressions and ... she was just speechless," Davis said.
Video footage shows Holt strolling up to the beach on a scooter before stepping off and taking her first ever steps in the sand.
“We don’t have nothing like this in Giles County,” she said.
Here’s footage of Holt’s special trip:
Photo Credit: Associated Press