Friday, October 20, 2017

September 21st: Lazy Beach Day

I didn't sleep the best the first night in the house, thanks to some noisy doggies and trash pickup at 3am, but oh well...I wasn't about to let any of that mess with my vacation! I eventually got up, had some breakfast, then...

...finished my coffee out on the deck. Really, I wouldn't mind starting every day like that.

After breakfast, we took the dogs down to the beach for a walk.

There were a few of these birds running around right at the edge of the water.

The doggies seemed pretty happy to be back in the water.   :)

This pier was right near our little path onto the beach. The building on top was all boarded up, and parts of the pier had broken apart and fallen into the water.

The pelicans didn't seem to mind, though.

We hung out on the beach for a little while, then eventually wandered back to the house for some snacks. These flowers filled the front yard of the house; it was neat to see all of the butterflies floating around.

After lunch, we went back out to the beach again. I hung out under the umbrella and read a few flying magazines I brought from home.

I also watched a few little crabs digging out their holes. It was fun to watch them poke their heads out, then fling little piles of sand.

Mark decided to try out his fishing pole for a bit. It seemed a little tricky with the waves, but he tried a few different lures to see if he had any better luck.

I kept watching the little crab right in front of the towel.

Mark took a break from fishing after a little while and went back to the house to get the dogs. Wembles seemed to pick up in the whole beach bum thing pretty fast.

We took them for another walk after hanging out on the towels for a few minutes.

I especially like this picture of Bacon.   :)

Mark took each one of the dogs swimming, which was really funny; I wish I had taken pictures or video of it. He walked a few feet out into the water, held onto them while they figured out what was going on, then let go of them so they could swim back to shore. We had fun with that for a few minutes, then realized that a bunch of sandy wet doggies in a rental house maybe wasn't the greatest thing, so we took them back to the house and Mark gave them all a bath. Oh well...it was worth it to laugh at them swimming.   :)

After they were all clean, we hung out on the deck for a while.

We did take a break from all the hanging out to wander down to the beach near sunset.

Zach came, too. We were super classy and took our drinks with us.

We walked down to the pier, then walked out through the parking lot to the road. You can just see a little bit of the Pamlico Sound, though the view wasn't quite as open as I hoped.

There were a bunch of super serious photographers when we got back to the beach; they had big tripods and were all wearing khakis and polo shirts and seemed super serious. I thought they were a pretty funny contrast to me, walking around barefoot with a drink in my hand and carrying a giant camera on my shoulder.

We wandered back to the house and had some leftover pizza for dinner. The dogs were all still passed out; apparently all we have to do is take them on a bunch of walks and make them swim to finally wear them out!

We also taught Zach to play Yahtzee, and played a few rounds with some drinks and snacks.

That last one might have been my highest score ever!   :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Picture of the Day: October 2nd to October 8th

October 2nd: The weather lately has been fantastic, and that means more time hanging out on our front porch. The dogs have been enjoying it, too. 

October 3rd: We ran down to Culpeper to grab a few odds and ends...including dinner. Mmm...   :) 

October 4th: I needed to renew my passport and figured it would be faster and easier to take and print the new passport photo myself. Ha! A couple hours of printer hiccups and some pricey ink cartridges later, I finally got it fixed. I guess the silver lining to this is that the printer should be ready to go when it's time to print Christmas cards.

October 5th: Back to work. The sunset from the track was pretty cool.

October 6th: Another work day, another sunset from work. This was from one of the benches in front of the building. 

October 7th: I worked a longer day to build up some credit time, then stopped at the airport on the way home to leave my car in the hangar. It was so nice out that I was tempted to stay and go fly for a bit, but there wasn't quite enough time. 

October 8th: Mentally, I'm still back in July or so, and it's just started dawning on me that the leaves are starting to change. I'm not ready for fall...I'd rather just stay in summer!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September 20th: Off to the OBX!

Mark and I had a week off in September, and while most of our recent vacations have been overseas somewhere, this time we decided to slow down and stay a bit more local. We've wanted to take the dogs to a beach for a while, so we figured it would be fun to go spend some time in the Outer Banks. We booked rental houses in two different towns, packed our bags, and...had to wait to leave because Hurricane Jose was just offshore and the main road down the Outer Banks (NC 12) was flooded and closed. Oops.

The road did open up again a bit later that day, and Mark left just a few hours later than he had originally planned. I really wanted to fly down, so I decided to wait until the next day when the weather would be a bit better. I said goodbye to Mark and the dogs, and a little while later, Zach got to our house. He was going to be coming to NC with us, so we hung out for the rest of the day before heading to bed so we could get an early start the next morning.

The alarm went off fairly early the next day, I grabbed some breakfast, got Zach on his way (he was driving himself down), wrapped up the house, and headed over to the airport. Finally, time for vacation!

Maybe it's a good thing I was flying down by myself; with all of the random odds and ends I was bringing down in the plane, there was barely room for another person!

The weather was much better with the hurricane further offshore, and it was a nice smooth ride at 2500'.

Even better, I had a huge tailwind from the hurricane! I held a 20+ knot tailwind almost the entire time.

It didn't take very long to get down to NC with winds like that. This was right near the VA/NC border; there really isn't much down there when you're a little bit inland.

I made a quick stop at Currituck (ONX) to top off, since there isn't any fuel available at some of the smaller airports in the Outer Banks. I was in and out in less than half an hour, and aside from a random C182 that came in and made a VERY ugly landing, I was the only one flying around.

The flight gets a lot more scenic the further south you fly. I flew past First Flight (FFA), where the Wright Brothers first flew; I still need to actually land there someday.

I kept following the coast south; it was a really pretty flight. This is Oregon Inlet; some of the worst flooding on the road was just south of there. I looked down at one point and could see cars throwing up huge plumes of water as they drove along the parts of the road that were still a bit flooded.

It was neat to fly over the small towns along the way.

Ta da! On the ground at Billy Mitchell (HSE) on Hatteras Island, after a nice long straight in approach and a sweet landing. It only took 2.5 hours of flight time, even with the stop for fuel. I texted Mark to come pick me up, unpacked and tied down the plane, grabbed the stamp for my NC airport passport book (my first one for the state!), and waved goodbye to my plane for a couple days. It only took a few minutes to drive to the rental house, which was less than a mile from the airport. Not bad for only being 1pm; there was still plenty of day left!

After the crazy morning of organizing and packing and flying, this sandwich hit the spot. It was nice to just sit for a few minutes.

I made sure to say hi to the doggies, too; they seemed right at home. Zach got to the house a little while after I got settled in, so we showed him around and got him all set up, then...

...took the doggies for a walk on the beach.  :)

It was pretty funny to see them walking along and getting splashed by some of the smaller waves. We took them pretty far down the beach; they were pretty popular with some of the other people. (There was only a little barking.)

We eventually wandered back to the house. Turns out wandering all over the beach is a really good way to tire out the doggies. We hung out at the house for a while, then drove down to the store to pick up some random stuff and grabbed a couple pizzas on the way back.

The sunset was pretty; you can see a little bit of the Pamlico Sound on the far right side of the picture.

It was pretty nice to have a lazy day to just hang out. Wembles was STILL tired out, which was pretty impressive since she usually takes a quick nap and is instantly fully charged.

Mark and I ended the night with a little Yahtzee. Not a bad roll!   :)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Picture of the Day: September 25th to October 1st

September 25th: As much as I would have liked to stay in NC longer, I had to leave on Monday to beat the weather. It only took a few minutes to pick my way through some gaps in the clouds after I left, and I spent a good part of the flight cruising on top of the clouds with a nice tailwind. 

September 26th: Mark and Zach and the dogs got back from NC in the afternoon. Wembles looked like she could use a nap after the drive. 

September 27th: We had today off, too; it was nice to have the extra time to unpack and clean and decompress after the trip. I spent part of the afternoon watching some Hints for Homebuilders videos and drinking tea. 

September 28th: The light shining through the plant in my office looked really neat.

September 29th: More gorgeous weather; I spent part of the morning hanging out on the porch with the doggies. 

September 30th: This might not be the best picture, but Mark doctored up some apple cider and it was delicious. 

October 1st: I have no idea how we're in October already; my brain is apparently stuck back in August and I keep wondering where my summer went. At any rate, we're getting toward the end of our garden for the year, but we did at least get some nice little pumpkins.