26 12 2010

Larry and I went out for a walk this afternoon to check out the snow covered neighborhood. It’s so pretty and quiet. We were the only ones out walking but there was a constant stream of vehicles moving on the main road. All in all, we received a couple of inches of snow.

My Burford Holly is loaded with red berries.

The bird feeders are full and open for business.


OBX Friday

26 11 2010

Today we did some sightseeing around the Outer Banks. We started at the Wright Brothers Memorial. When we arrived it was sunny and in the high 60’s maybe 70. By the time we left the museum, the clouds were moving in as the winds picked up. As we walked the path up Kill Devil Hill to the memorial, the rain let loose. We came prepared with rain coats so we continued the hike up the hill while everyone else ran for the parking lot.

After a quick stop for lunch, we headed south on Hwy 12 to drive the Bonner bridge over the Oregon Inlet. We were headed for the Bodie Island lighthouse. The lighthouse is under renovation so we were not able to take the spiral staircase to the top.

From the lighthouse, we continued south to the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge. The birds of winter are known to spend their winters here. We were not disappointed. We saw all kinds of birds. It was great! The North Pond trail at the refuge is a great place to birdwatch from many observation points.

We continued our southerly drive to Rodanthe where we caught a glimpse of the “Nights in Rodanthe” house. They’ve done a good job renovating the exterior of the house to match the movie. Look for the house with the blue storm shutters in the last picture.

It was there that we decided to turn around there and head back to Nags Head for a little Black Friday shopping at the Tanger Outlets.

Lots of fresh air and walking today. We should sleep good tonight.

Thanksgiving 2010

25 11 2010

We’re spending our Thanksgiving on the Outer Banks this year. We drove over today. On the way, we had hoped to see to see the snow geese and tundra swans that make NC their home during the winter but didn’t have much luck.

We tried driving to Lake Pungo but all the roads were dirt. Literally. There was no gravel; just dirt. The soft dirt was rubbing the underbelly of the rental car and there was no cell coverage! Yikes! We tried 3 different routes but they all turned into dirt.

We did make it to Phelps Lake. A paved road takes you right up to the boat ramp. Actually, the state has a little park there named Pettigrew State Park. Next to the park is a state historic site by the name of Somerset. I had never heard of it but since it was closed we didn’t get the opportunity to learn more about it.

We did see some of the birds on little ponds next to Hwy 64. We plan to drive by Lake Mattamuskeet on our way back so hopefully we’ll have better luck in seeing the birds.

Our Visit to Portland, Maine

18 10 2010

Our trip to Portland, Maine began at 4 AM September 23rd. For some reason, we thought the 6:50 AM flight out of RDU to LaGuardia was a good idea. When it’s 4 AM, it’s hard to come up with good reasons for flying so early. Especially when you’re on vacation.

Our flight brought us into New York City a little after 8 AM. Most folks at home were just arriving at work and we were already half way up the eastern seaboard. The sky was clear so the view coming into New York City was spectacular. You could see the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge.  During our trip, we stopped in NYC twice – coming and going. First by plane and second by train.

We arrived in Portland a little before noon. We were quite surprised to find warm sunny weather – 70 degrees. We had watched the temperature yo-yo up and down for weeks and were concerned we’d arrive when it was in the 50’s. We were surprised by the number of people running at lunch. It was a Thursday and you didn’t expect to see that many people out running or riding bikes. We assumed they were making the best of a nice fall day.

We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn. It’s located downtown on the waterfront. Our view was of the parking garage across the street but that’s OK. Behind the hotel, was a local brewery called the “Shipyard Brewery”. I wanted to get a picture of their flag staff but forgot. Instead of a flag, they flew a keg.

We ate lunch at “J’s Oyster Bar”. Like I said, the weather was so nice we ate outside on the water – Casco Bay. This is where I had that wonderful Lobster Roll.

After lunch, we jumped on the Portland Trolley Tour to see and learn about the area. We saw Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s house and learned why he wore a beard. His house had caught fire and his face was badly burned. He wore a beard to cover the scars. Sadly, his wife did not survive the fire.

During the trolley tour, we saw the USS Portland memorial, a cannon from the USS Maine, the Portland Head Light, the Portland Observatory, the narrow gauge railroad, and fantastic views across Casco Bay. We learned how indentured slaves were fed lobster. At the time, only poor folk ate lobster. How times have changed.

Our stay in Portland was wonderful but not long enough. Lucky for us, we took the early flight out of Raleigh. 🙂 The area is beautiful and the people are extremely friendly. The waterfront is lined with restaurants and shops. They have done a great job keeping chain restaurants out of the historic waterfront area.

I definitely want to come back and spend more time in Maine. I think a driving tour would be nice. Do some exploring of Acadia National Park. Take a cruise through the islands.

Visiting Portland was a nice start to our vacation.

Shingle Saturday

16 10 2010

Today we shingled the roof on the lean-to. I actually got up there and shingled the left side. The roof was a lot more stable this go around. The sheathing really solidified it.

The siding and vent are next.

Portland Head Light

15 10 2010

While we were in Portland, Maine, we took the Portland Trolley out to the Portland Head Light. The lighthouse was built during colonial times.

I love the rocky, jagged coastline. The view is stunning in person.

Forecast Says Rain

12 10 2010

There’s a chance of rain tomorrow and Thursday. The lean-to roof needed protection. Larry had to lay roofing felt and install the flashing. All of this took place in the few hours of daylight remaining after work.