Pick Up Where I Left Off?

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Life on the Bike and getting back into my blogging groove.  I’m 6 months behind on posting photos from various adventures.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Cape Charles, Virginia

Tallahassee, Florida

Knoxville, Tennessee

various Virginia State Parks

and Cincinnati, Ohio

I’ve worked alot, and volunteered alot.

Thankfully, I’ve played, alot, too.  I’ve traveled for fun and I’ve traveled for work.

I’ve worked on political campaigns and hosted non-political fundraisers.

I’ve riden the bike (not enough!) and managed to keep up with photography (again, not enough!).

And finally, I’ve missed WP and my blogging friends.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my way back to my WordPress home!

Dunedin: Rest, Recovery, and Pauline’s World

When we finally went to bed, I can honestly say that I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow.   Eight solid hours of sleep later, I was wide awake and feeling pretty good.  Even still, it takes more than 8 hours to recover from that long day of travel, and I was glad that we had a low key day spent exploring Pauline’s world, including her family.

We awoke to see Danella’s patio garden.  Even though the day was overcast, the flowers beckoned and my camera was soon put into action.  I’ve never taken my laptop on a trip before but I knew that I would want to share photos from the camera, not just the phone.

Danella provided coffee and toast (perfect with fresh tomotoes!) and soon Pauline and Siddy joined us.  That Siddy! He is adored by everyone that he meets.  What a sweet puppy!

After a quick nap, we took the short ride to Pauline’s home.  After a lifetime of seeing the driver in the front left seat, it was odd to see just the opposite.  Siddy, on Alys’s lap, enjoyed the fresh air!

Fans of Pauline already know what a talented artist she is.  It was wonderful to see her space and all her creations, and of course, the illusive Orlando!

 

We enjoyed an assortment of snacks accompanied by New Zealand wine, and after being joined by Joanna and Steven, a delicious dinner.

Dessert was the traditional Pavlova, prepared by Pauline and served by Joanna.  Evidently, New Zealanders and Australians disagree over who created this yummy dessert.

Before heading back to Danella’s for the night, we took a drive to see the ocean.  See the next post!

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It All Adds Up

Beach

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  Family

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 Storms

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 Food

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  Drink

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 Exercise

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 Photography

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Fun

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It all adds up to a fantastic family vacation at the beach, one where I used the cell phone more than the camera (but you already picked up on that, huh).  Blessed beyond measure!

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I spent a total of two non-consective weeks in North Carolina, a state I have boycotted since the passage of HB2.  What do you do when plans have been made for over a year, and deposits were paid before North Carolina decided to pass such a controversial law?  You keep your plans and contribute to Equality NC.  From here on out, like the NBA, lots of musicians and corporations, I will continue to avoid spending money in NC.

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And now, I’m off to visit all of you!

Jennette’s Pier

Originally built in 1939, and rebuilt several times after being battered by various hurricanes and nor’easters, Jennette’s Pier is a popular destination for visitors to Nags Head, NC.  Known for it’s excellent fishing, locals are also drawn to the pier.

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The current structure opened to the public in 2011 after a $25 million dollar restoration.

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Expanded to 1000ft, the pier is now hurricane-resistant with solid concrete pilings that will stay put regardless of the wind speed. In addition to offering world class fishing, the pier is an outpost of the North Carolina Aquariums network, and includes science exhibits, educational programs, and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about renewable energy.

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In addition, the pier is also LEED Certified, which is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.

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The views from the pier were stunning, and as you might imagine, it was hard to put the camera down.

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We strolled the length of the pier and enjoyed watching the men and women who were fishing.

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Evidently folks get out there pretty early, requiring some to take a late morning nap.

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We were so excited to see this sea turtle, dinner clasped in his (her?) jaws.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Jennette’s Pier.  Be sure to check it out if you’ll be visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

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Please visit my previous post for stormy weather images from the Outer Banks.

Stormy Weather

When I pulled out of the driveway that Saturday morning almost two weeks ago, the skies were slightly overcast and the temperature was 70 degrees F.  It was a lovely day to ride.

As I rode down through the mountains, heading towards the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was filled with excitement about a week at the beach with the GOAs.  The Girls Of August have been taking a vacation together for over 20 years, and it is one of the highlights of the year for all of us.

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After riding 200 miles, I met up with Jan and we began the second half of the trip.  WIth 180 miles to go, and the skies beginning to darken, I was glad to have a friend to share the journey with.  As it became clear that rain was in our path, we transferred my gear from bike to car.

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It was such a relief to know that all my gear, including my camera, would stay dry in the car because before we knew it, the skies opened up.  It was a deluge!

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For over 100 miles we rode in driving wind and rain, and thunder and lightning.  Headed toward the coast, the road was flat with few opportunities for shelter in this rural part of the state.  At one point, we pulled off the road to seek shelter under an overpass.  I put my feet down at the stop sign, and the water was over the top of my boots!

Several cars and trucks were already idling under the overpass, and I had to laugh at the fact that I had stayed on the road longer than they had.  By the time Jan took these photos, the rain had calmed down a bit and most of the cars had continued on.

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You just have to keep smiling and ride safe.

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From this point onward, the weather became even worse.  It took all my energy to stay focused on the road, and I’m thankful that I wasn’t a newbie rider.  Imagine going up and over the bridge across the Pamlico Sound. In the dark. In the rain.  When we finally arrived, the only part of me that was dry was my head, thankfully protected by the helmet.  I’m so grateful that Jan had been with me.

How wonderful to have friends to greet us, drinks in hand.

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Our time in Nags Head was incredible, and we could not have asked for a better vacation.  We did however, experience one more huge storm.  While enjoying the beach one day, we watched the clouds roll in.

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The GOAs started to pack up beach bags and chairs, but being the lover of storms that I am, I decided that I’d stick it out on the beach.  Janet, too, decided to ride it out, and oh what a wild ride it was!

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Rain, thunder, lightning, hail.  Our beach towels offered meager protection! I kept my camera covered up inside a bag, and these cell phone images do not do justice to the weather that Mother Nature treated us to that day.  I’m so glad that Janet was there to witness it with me.

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When the storm finally settled down, we sent a text up to the house that all was well, and Jan and Becky sooned rejoined us on the beach.  Later that evening, we enjoyed the post storm beauty.

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What a gift.

Jennette’s Pier

I’m out on my morning power walk here on the Outer Banks of NC. What an amazing week: time with friends, delicious food, and gorgeous weather (and the power of Mother Nature during two wicked and wild storms, one while riding the motorcycle  – details later).

I’ll share more photos and stories when I get home, but for now am posting this cell phone / straight out of the camera image from inside Jennette’s Pier. First built in 1936, and rebuilt many times after being destroyed by hurricanes and nor’ easters, the pier is a stunning structure, loaded with history, and with educational displays focused on the ocean and all it’s creatures.

Can’t wait to tell you more about it! Hope you all are well, and I’ll look forward to visiting you soon.

** Please visit this link to learn more (and see much better images) of Jennette’s Pier **

Dems Da Rules

So many things at the beach are camera worthy, and let me tell you, I sure do have a lot of  photos to work through!

The water!  The sunsets! The wildlife!

and yes, the signage!

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No Pets, No Fires, No Parking

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So many places you can’t go …

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and things you can’t do.

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Don’t litter,

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pick up after your furry friends,

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and be sure to call 473-5252 if your vehicle is gone.

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But you know what?  It’s all worth it!

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More photos from Nags Head soon!