It All Adds Up





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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!


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.


And now, I’m off to visit all of you!

There and Back


The five days spent on the Outer Banks was, as you might expect, perfectly wonderful!  For those not familiar, the Outer Banks is a 200-mile (320-km) long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina.

Outer Banks

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Each year, the GOAs (Girls of August) reunite for food, fun, and fabulous times, and this year our destination was Nags Head.

The 420 mile ride to the beach took me through the small town of Warrenton, NC, where, once they recovered from the shock of “it’s a girl under that helmet”, they pumped my gas for me.



I rode through rain for some of the trip (check out this blog post to read about riding in the dark), but it felt so good to be on the bike for a good, long ride that I didn’t even care.  It also felt great to be able to have time to use my camera once I arrived.

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One of the reasons that I have always loved the Outer Banks is because it is a more low key, less developed beach community.  It is more about the ocean, the wildlife, and nature, and less about shopping and dining out (although you can find that, too, no doubt!)


Clearly, I need to purchase another lens (AFTER the election), but I very much enjoyed seeing this pod of dophins.


Each morning, after coffee and breakfast, we’d load up the cooler and head to the beach.  What a treat to put my chair right in the surf, and read my book (the first since starting the campaign!) with cold beverage in hand.

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It wasn’t until the last day that we saw a few drops of rain, which of course allowed us to have fun playing Rummy and Charades.


The view of the sunset over the Roanoke Sound was pretty even with the power line.


Despite starting for home in the rain, once the sun came out I enjoyed the colors along the way.

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After 30 weeks on the campaign trail, this short visit with dear friends was just the breather that I needed.

I’m so glad that I was able to find a moment to write a post.  With any spare time that I have this week, my goal is to visit all of you!

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!


No Pets, No Fires, No Parking




So many places you can’t go …


and things you can’t do.


Don’t litter,


pick up after your furry friends,


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


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


More photos from Nags Head soon!


Nags Head, NC

This woman is on vacation!  Woop Woop!!


The 420 mile ride to Nags Head, NC included

*wonderful views and roads,

*a downpour that thankfully lasted only 15 minutes,

* riding in the dark with my way illuminated by lightning (which also illuminated the “Bear Crossing” signs –  I SO want to see a bear!),

and as always, a cold beer at the end of the ride.

I wish I was better able to express myself with words so that you would understand what it felt like to ride across the Intracoastal Waterway in the dark, to smell the water, and to see the lights in the distance, but not see the water.  To see the huge orange moon and not be able to stop and capture it with my camera.  To know that somehow I had to share the glory of that ride in words instead of photographs.

You’ll just have to trust me.

Purple Rain


Despite the rain on the Middle Peninsula last week, each morning I woke to the sounds of the Chesapeake Bay and the beauty of nature.  As you read this post, which I wrote and scheduled before I hit the road, I’ll be riding through southeastern Kentucky.

Cross your fingers and hope that it’s not raining where I am, and I’ll hope the same for you (unless you are in draught conditions, of course!)

Fresh from the Bay

The first half of my vacation is over but the memories of the Middle Peninsula on the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and the beaches of Delaware keep me smiling.  There is much I want to share with you but since I leave for Kentucky in the morning, I thought I would share just a few photos from our fresh crab and tuna steak shopping trip.


Aren’t the colors of those crabs vibrant?  These photos are unedited; the color is true.




The fisherman working that day, saw my camera and offered to let me walk out onto this fairly rickety dock.  From that vantage point I was able to photograph some of the surrounding docks.


The weather those first three days was what some might consider less than “beachy”, but for me and my friends, it did not matter.


We were happy just to be together and to explore the culture, marine life, and food that the Middle Peninsula of Virginia offers.


What an incredible place!


More photos from the coastline of Virginia and Delaware after I get back from my time on the bike!  Next stop … Kentucky!


You all understand the thrill of vacation.  The planning and preparation are over and the travel is about to begin!  I’ll be heading out to the Chesapeake Bay and then Bethany Beach, DE (by truck) and then back home to switch vehicles and head out on the bike to Kentucky.  Needless to say, I am excited!


This photo is from my annual gathering with the GOAs.  We’ll be returning to this same island and I cannot wait to get to the Bay and bring out the camera.

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Gwynn Island is quite remote and I’m not even sure there is cell coverage. I do that know there is no internet, which means that I’ll be missing out on all of your gorgeous photos, captivating stories, and interesting updates.  Please let me know of any particularly important ones that I’ll miss while gone.

See ya soon!!

Southwest Virginia!!

If you’ve read even a couple of my posts, you know that I frequently tout SWVA as a beautiful and fun place to live.  Now, it’s not just me who is spreading the word!  Thanks to my friend Brandon for sharing this article from Mens Health Magazine entitled 13 Places to Visit in 2013.

The world’s an endlessly vast place for exploration. And the more you travel, the more ground you realize you have yet to cover. With that in mind, here are a baker’s dozen of places—close, far, known, and relatively obscure—that you should visit in the coming year.

Guess what #12 is?

12. Southwest Virginia (woo hoo!)
It’s hard to beat the Blue Ridge mountains for watching the leaves change in the fall. The 12,000 acre Primland resort offers postcard views along with a wide range of activities, like tree climbing, geocaching, clay shooting hunting, and mountain biking. Drive south along to the crooked road music trail (stops include the Carter Family Fold, the home of Johnny Cash’s in-laws) to Abingdon, a scenic town with vineyards, breweries, theaters, and the 34-mile Virginia Creeper Trail. Also of note, the Star Museum, which showcases an extensive rotating collection of movie memorabilia including a smoking jacket worn by Clark Gable.

When to go: October, to watch the leaves change.

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As you can see by the pictures, you don’t have to wait until October!  It’s beautiful all year long.

Be sure to let me know when you’ll be visiting!!