Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Vacation...OBX Style

I love the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I have been vacationing here with my family since the 70s. It is, quite possibly, my favorite place in the world. My happy place. My go to in moments of stress. I imagine the sand on my toes and can hear the waves in my mind. We try and go on a yearly basis, but that isnt always possible. SO...
Last week we headed that way and spent a glorious seven days in Nags Head. The group consisted of  Us (me, hubbs, and boys) , my parents and Two of my brothers and their families. Two houses were rented and the fun began!!
THE signs!! 
every morning at 545 we would walk over to the beach to catch the most amazing sunrises.  These are not edited in anyway. AT ALL.  These are taken with my canon sx50 on Manual mode. This looks almost exactly like what we saw with our own eyes. (hubbs says they look a little washed out compared to actual colors.) whatever.
Sun hadnt peeked up over the horizon yet, but was filling the sky with color already.

Kind of looks like Jupiter

Good Morning Sunshine!!
DISCLAIMER: These next two photos of the sun at 200 zoom were taken right at sunrise and I DID NOT use a solar filter like I should have.  The sun was low and dark red, so I just zoomed in and snapped.  had the sun been brighter or higher in the sky I would have used a filter. ALWAYS use a filter for solar photography .
Like I stated above, This was on 200x zoom.  i think I caught sunspots. I researched current sunspots and they seemed to match up as far as placement and numbers.

Gorgeous reflection of the sun on the rippling waves

I LOVE THIS PHOTO! Those pelicans swooped down at just the right moment!

The view from the top of our hill.

We spent every day at the beach! 

Just batman strolling on the beach at dawn, looking for shells.

One of the houses.
One of the things I LOVE about the outer banks are these sand crabs. these guys are hilarious. I LOVE watching them.  They spend all morning and afternoon skittering around the beach digging holes to chill out in during the high heat of the day.  At night they come out and we used to go to the beach at night with our flashlights and chase them around.   They come up out of their holes with claws of sand, throw it out  and do a little dance around the hole. Go back in and the cycle starts over again.

One day we had the annual FISH-O-RAMA.  We all met at the Bodie Lighthouse (pronounced Body...I have been wrong my entire life on how to pronounce this) and walked back to the sound and fished until noon.
Bodie Lighthouse at Dawn

My brother pat(blue) and nephew Matt (red)

Finn (left), Me and my nephew Zach (in blue) all fishing from the pier

Yay! Finny got one!

Hubbs got one!!

He also got a clump of oysters!

Finn caught himself...the elusive "crotch-fish".

I caught 10 fish that day, thus clinching my victory for MOST FISH!!  i also got smallest fish, but thats not the point.

Hubbs took this photo. It is a collection of lures, weights and other junk hanging on the wire across the sound. 

Finny fishing
One of my many catches.

I also like to go walking on the beach and  taking photos of cool things,.
This was a draining pier near our beach . I knew i would find some cool stuff on it.

These were the gorgeous mussels and barnacles attached to the drainage pier.

Chocolate Covered Bacon.  Yes. It was kind of gross, but kind of good at the same time.

No trip to Nags Head is complete without  a stop at PIGMANS BBQ!!!

Had a wonderful week. Hated to come back to real life and real world. Thats always the hardest part of going on vacation, is getting back to work!  cant wait until next year!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Went to a concert last night...and it was amazing!

 A little back history:  when i was about 7, the song "Maneater" came out.  It was a HUGE song , HUGE. You couldn't turn on a radio without hearing it. ( Kind of like that recent song Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye)
Well as a young girl this was my FAVORITE song.   However, in my little mind, it wasn't about a gold digger that went through men, using them left and right.  No, in my mind it was literally about a woman who went out after night and ate men.  Chewed them up. Kind of like a werewolf.   (So you can imagine my disappointment when i saw the video... Oh well).
But from that moment on my love of  HALL AND OATES was born. (yess Hall and Oates. 2014 rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Hall and Oats...and the #1 selling duo in music history!!!!)

Well last night they were in Charlotte at the Uptown Ampitheater at the NC Music Factory.  A cozy venue with reasonable prices and good seats all around.   The weather was PERFECT! Absolutely perfect. Meant to be,  in my opinion.  Clear skies, very slight breeze, 75 degrees. I could not have ordered a more perfect night. For those of you who have never experienced a perfect Carolina spring evening , put that on your bucket list.  find a way.

Concert was scheduled to start at 730. We dropped kids off at my parents for the night  (Thanks mom and dad!) and headed uptown . Got to the Ampitheater a few minutes after 7 and found our seats. We had never been there before so weren't sure what to expect.  But we both really liked the smaller, cozier venue. all around the left side of the ampitheater were restaurants and a courtyard that could pack extra people in. So not only were there seats and VIP boxes and a large lawn, but there was also that extra room that people could sit out and listen while they ate and drank at the various restaurants.
So here we are pre concert. Taking a selfie (Or an us-sie).

Here are our seats.  Left side row 14.

Quickly the seats started filling up,  and  in front of us we had a couple of middle aged groupie "Woooooo" girls in front of us.  DRUNK middle aged groupie whoooooo girls.  They claim they were 42, but if they were 42 then I am 29. The entire concert kept screaming "darryl!! Over here darryl!  We love you!! wooooooooooooo!!". Dancing the entire time like Bohemian gypsies and running their hands through their hair, like Hall or Oates could actually see them making fools of themselves. once you hit a certain age, it's embarrassing.  But I guess the saying about drinking is true. It makes you think you can dance and makes you think you are the life of the party. but you cant tell them they didnt have a good time!

"Ohhh here she comes, watch out boy she'll chew you up.."

These other band members were awesome.

Hall and Oates came out swinging with MANEATER!  got the crowd revved up. One african american guy, probably in his 40s, was about 3 rows ahead of us.  He was REALLY getting into it. he had it choreographed and everything.  had moves to match the words of the various songs.  I really got a kick out of watching him through the concert. especially when they sang I Cant Go For That (No can do).

M-E-T-H-O-D  O-F   L-O-V-E
They played through all their great songs.: Maneater, Out of Touch, Say It Isnt So, Method of Modern Love, Adult education, She's Gone, Sara smile,  I Cant Go For That (which had a crazy long saxophone/guitar riff that got a little long). They then encored with Rich girl and You Make My Dreams Come True.  They then Double encored with Your Kiss is On My List and Private Eyes.
I cant Go For That! (no Can Do)

Sara Smile.

About an hour and a half of music and these guys werent phoning it in either. They were really playing and singing ...hard. John Oates has a little more petite height, but he is built and he can STILL play crazy awesome on his guitar. It was impressive.  Super impressive.
and, he still has a great voice.
They just really seemed to enjoy playing and singing together and their songs were amazing.  It was one of those concerts where you know every song, and you realize just how BIG their career was and all years they've been together and all those hits! They really do have an impressive resume .

On a completely unrelated note...I think we may have been some of the youngest people there. I dont care.
I loved it, and it was well worth the money. I would go back and see them again.

Loved it. Best part...we were home by 1030!!  Who says you have to stay out all night like teenagers to have fun?? (I just sounded like my mother).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our very own ending to Charlottes Web...but kind of creepy.

About 2 weeks ago we had a spate of perfect weather. Friday night we built up the first firepit of the season, bought some jumbo marshmallows and sat around, listening to the cicadas, roasting our treats and enjoying the perfect spring climate.

We were all sitting around in camping chairs, my youngest son in the chair that was next to our swing. My dad had come over to join us and was sitting on the swing.  A little before 8 he asked the boys if they wanted to walk him back to his car (He had parked about a mile away and walked over to get some exercise), and that he would maybe take them out for a treat and then bring them home. Of course they heard the word "treat" and immediately said yes.  after all, what 11 and 14 year old kids want to hang out with their parents? (especially parents who told them to quit throwing stuff into the fire. awwww, we're no fun!)

So hubby and I stayed outside, enjoying each others company, when all of the sudden I see Charles look over at the chair and swing and exclaim "!"

I looked over and what we saw was amazing. creepy, definitely, but amazing.

Within 10 minutes of my dad and kids leaving, an unknown spider sac had hatched and all these little spiderlings were making their way into the world.  The chair that my son had been sitting in was a chair we had left outside on the back porch, and when we opened it up and cleaned off the sitting area, we completely overlooked the back. Apparently, a spider had helped herself to the canvas surface and made a large sac for her babies.

The Spider sac. How we missed that is beyond me.
These spiders started creating webs to climb from the sac to the large swing, which was about 2 -3 feet away.
Then then headed up the chain to the top of the swing frame.
Can you imagine how my son and dad would have freaked out if those spiders had done that while they were still sitting in their seats?? I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.

You can see all the silks they produced to start climbing up to the swing.

The spiders go marching one by one, hurrah! hurrah!

I had hubby hold up a trash bag to see the spiders a little better. 

Making their way up the swing to the top

Again, you can kind of see the strings and where they are headed to

Headed up the chain

Headed to the top of the swing set to fly away

At the top of the swing set. It was like they all knew to head up to fly away.

It was really kind of amazing watching these new spiders immediately kick into instinct mode and head onward and upward..

Timeline: Within a few minutes of my kids leaving they started hatching, and about an hour later when my dad and kids had come back they were all climbing up the swing chain to the top, most of them were out of the sac, just the stragglers emerging.
 We had tons of them.

They sat atop our swing set and released themselves into the wind.  It was like the ending of Charlottes Web...(Thanks E.B. White.).

["Goodbye! Goodbye!!"
Wilbur was frantic, where are you going children?
..."we are leaving here on the warm updraft, this is our moment for setting forth... we are going out into the world to make webs for ourselves...
but where?
wherever the wind takes us. high. low. near. far. east. west. north. south. we take the breeze, we go as we please...
cries of Goodbye! Goodbye! Goodbye! came weakly to Wilburs ears...]

It was kind of amazing, yet a little gross at the same time.   Goodbye our little spiders.