Sunday, March 29, 2009

Broken glass and wind

Well today was a great day - we took the ferry over to Southport which has charming houses from the turn of the century (20th that is) and older. We visited a Christmas shop in a wonderful old house complete with a pirate Santa! Walked along the pier and then we drove on to Oak Island which was lovely. Saw the lighthouse and drove to the other end of the island looking at all the beach houses, stopping for ice cream on the way back. It was very windy though and so we didn't walk on the beach like we had planned to.

Yesterday we went to Carolina Beach. I had a catastrophe. As I was getting out of the van my camera slipped out of my hand and crashed to the ground - as in cement parking lot. With heart in mouth I surveyed the damage and what I thought was my lens was shattered. However it turned out to be only my UV filter - whew!! I am so glad I listened to a friend (you know who you are..) and got myself one as it saved me getting a new lens. It took me a while to quit shaking however and even having hot delicious donuts from a local joint that's been around since 1939 didn't calm me down. I was so upset with myself for being so careless - I had too many things in my hand and didn't have it in the case as I had just been photographing the lake. Anyway the camera seems to be working fine but to be on the safe side I have uploaded all my photos to my friend's computer. It is a hard lesson to learn but I will be much more careful in future and when I get home the first thing I will do is go to buy another UV filter. Well worth every penny!!! However I don't intend to ever drop it again - I have learned my lesson and I don't think my camera could stand another drop like that.

One more full day here and then I head back to snowy icy Saskatchewan Oh well - New York awaits.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pier to Pier

Well Sarah and I walked from the pier at Carolina Beach to the pier at Kure Beach this morning. It was about 7 km and took us 88 minutes. (93 if you count me stopping for a potty break half way) It was awesome. The wind was blowing (luckily at our backs) and the waves were fantastic with bits of foam blowing around at our feet and sandpipers dashing along the sand. It was exhilarating. I am so glad we did it.

After a great lunch the rest have gone off to look at a house and I am staying in to relax a bit.

By the way I saw Linda and Doug's friend Al yesterday from a distance but I can already tell he's not my type. Only five feet (I like my males tall), a bit on the lazy side (doesn't seem to have a job), a real loner and he looks like he could snap your head (or at least your hand) off if he felt like it.

The weather has been great but showers are predicted for the rest of my stay here - oh well better than the snow (shudder) that is happening at home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Howdy from North Carolina

l - Chimney Rock
r -Beautiful Biltmore Estate, Asheville

Well I've been here since last Tuesday but it's been a whirlwind of activity. Flew into Raleigh Tuesday night and stayed at an airport hotel. Took a city bus into Raleigh (because I'm cheap) which was fast and painless. Had a ham biscuit for late second breakfast/early lunch at Ed's in City Market (brains and eggs were on the menu but I resisted) - dragging my suitcase behind me. Greyhound charges $3 per bag per hour - forget that. Anyway went to the North Carolina History museum - I had visited there last time but there was a pirate exhibition on which was fantastic. Despite being immune to Johnny Depps' charms as a pirate I really do have this thing about pirates and vikings. Hmm.... Afterwards I sat in the sun for a while - it was mid 60's. Much different then Saskatchewan! Then I headed off to the bus depot. The bus depot was much calmer this time and bonus - the driver didn't get lost this time and Linda and family were there to greet me at Wilmington bus station. I announced to Linda that the driver didn't get lost and he was a comedian and he yelled "I heard that" :)

The next morning we headed for Asheville which is near the Blue Ridge mountains. Beautiful country!!! We stayed with Linda's son and family for three nights. Then Wii trivial pursuit - Linda and I got slaughtered but we got horrid questions. And that's the truth!

Friday afternoon we attended Adam's graduation - he is now a member of the Asheville Police department. It was very nice. That evening we went out for dinner to Chilis - yum. Afterwards we picked up coolers and went back to the house to play Wii Trivial Pursuit again. Doug and I kicked some serious butt - everyone said our questions were too easy. Sore losers! :)

Saturday Doug and Linda dropped me off at the Biltmore Estate and I had a fabulous time. It was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1800's and is amazing. They had been there last year and said I must see it. Wow what a place and the landscaping was fantastic. Not at it's best in March but hey I still loved it. Daffodils of course and some azalea were coming up but in another couple of weeks it would be breathtaking. I did a 5 km walk in the gardens and really enjoyed myself. Even better - he treated his staff very well and even built a village outside the estate for them to live in. I had a fabulous peach ice cream cone to finish off my visit and Linda and Doug picked me up. Such service! :) That evening we went out to Red Lobster for a nice dinner.

This morning we headed back here via Chimney Rock State Park. We drove through some real hillbilly type places (some shops were called "Moonshine Place") and some gorgeous scenery. I even got to see Bat Cave - yep that's the name of the town. No sign of Batman or Robin though. Chimney Rock was beautiful - we took the elevator up as the stairs would have done my knees (and everyone else's) in. What a view! Then back here five hours later with a quick stop for lunch at the Atlanta Bread Company.

What a few days it's been - have enjoyed myself immensely. I hope to see the ocean tomorrow as they live just five minutes from Carolina Beach. Woo hoo!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

One more sleep and it's another adventure

Well tomorrow I start my "Spring Fling" - three almost back to back trips. Then I will lay low for a while....I promise!

Tomorrow afternoon I am off to North Carolina for two weeks to visit my oldest and dearest friend Linda. We have been best buddies since we were toddlers - yep since I was two and she was three. Yes, she is a year older than me and let me tell you I never let her forget it. :)

Should be fun anyway - they are going to introduce me to their friend Al. Linda says he is about six feet tall plus with a strong jaw line and impressive teeth. I'm told he'd love to have me come to his place for dinner some evening. Stay tuned!!

Anyway I fly into Raleigh via Minneapolis and arrive at 10 p.m. I have a room booked at an airport hotel. Wed. morning I will make my way into Raleigh via public bus as there is no proper airport transit and I am too damn cheap to pay for a taxi. I'd rather use the money and have lunch at Clyde Cooper's Barbeque. I had lunch there last year while on my trip on the hound and enjoyed it. My bus to Wilmington doesn't leave until 3 p.m. Here's hoping the bus driver doesn't get lost trying to get there like the one last year did. Greyhound employees are so darn intelligent...NOT.

Anyway should be fun. This weekend we will be going to Ashville for their son Adam's graduation from police college. So not sure when I will get a chance to update my blog but rest assured I will be having me a good old time in the south. I am salivating at the thought of going back to the Golden Corral buffet - I ate so much last time I was in pain.

As long as I get to be by the ocean and get me some collard greens, sweet potatoe fries and peach cobbler I will be happy!

Gallivanting around Guernsey - part 3 - a beach, a tower or two and a cream tea

Day three (Monday, March 26th) arrived and the weather was pretty darn good so once again I took my local bus into town and hopped the #91...