Monday, July 31, 2006

Ahhhhh . . . isn't that nice??
Didn't discover the refrigerator message until after I had posted my messages last night! It takes some sort of creative genius to form "Happy BDay Dad Welcome Home" with the amount of letters we have to work with. I really should add to the refrigerator magnets - after all, you are never too old to be alphabetically creative on the front of the fridge!
Thanks, Natalie - I'm guessing it was you! :)
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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Welcome Home!Abby was so happy to see us, I couldn't get far enough away from her to get a good picture. Poor kitty had been here all week all by herself. BUT, she had good company since the kids came out to visit her and make sure she was well-fed. She hasn't moved two feet from me ever since we got home!
Gary took this because he thought it was funny. Unpacking is exhausting - and, as you can tell, there was a lot left to do! Oh well. Everyone has to have a little catnap! Actually, the cat was sleeping with me until she saw Gary with the camera.
It's good to be home. Thanks for enjoying my vacation with me. We will have to do this again sometime! Take care and count it all JOY!
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My Old KY Home
We sure hated leaving NC, but the closer we got to KY, the more ready we were to be home. I guess there really is no place like home. Although, to see the mess in here tonight, I might reconsider. Too bad you can't vacation, then have some magical genie unpack, do laundry and clean up the "coming home" mess.
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A few photos representative of the scenery north of Knoxville on I-75. Photographs do not do the mountains justice, though. It is such a pretty ride. The temperature was really pleasant in the morning, but as the day wore on, it did get warm - just ask Gary. He suffers with the heat as much as I suffer with the cold. Onward to Kentucky.
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Newport, TNWe stayed at the Comfort Inn in Newport, TN on the way home. Stopped before supper, then went out to Shoney's to eat. Got free salads - woo hoo! This Comfort Inn also had free high speed internet access! Wow - a person could get used to that. I had so much fun - but then I had to leave it behind and come home to dial-up. Oh well - better than no internet access at all, right??

In for the night . . . time to read and enjoy the evening. Have to get up early - the breakfast bar closes at 9:00 a.m.! Checkout time isn't until 11:00. Oh well. Turned out to be doughnuts, cereal, etc. - no eggs or sausage biscuits or anything like that. Gary was disappointed. :( Hit the road for KY about 9:30 a.m.
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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Back in the Mountains of NC Heading back through the tunnel toward Tennessee.
The tunnel and the light at the end of the tunnel. Kind of an ethereal shot, huh?
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The swing bridgeThe bridge over the river leading off the island.
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The obligatory farewell photos . . . taken on the balcony of our condo.
We will return . . . someday!
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Sharks teeth A lady on the beach this morning told us how to scout out shark's teeth. After all the years we have been going to the beach, we have just learned about collecting shark's teeth! Now we have to return to the beach so we can start looking! Topsail Beach has shells several inches deep in some spots and apparently if you pick through them carefully and find something black and shiny, chances are pretty good you have found a shark's tooth. If it remains shiny after it dries, it is either a shark's tooth or a stingray tooth. Never thought to look for stingray teeth (or shark's teeth, for that matter). Don't know if her information is entirely accurate, but Gary did find 2 teeth. Now we have something new to search for!
The proud owner of shark's teeth :D standing in front of our building.
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Good-bye to Topsail . . . Walked one more time to the end of the island before we had to return to the condo to finish packing. Found a few shells I couldn't live without. :)
Don't think we have a view of the beach from this angle. Good picture of Gary, too. :)
If you get your magnifying glass out, you can almost see the pelicans above the horizon! There were 9 of them - take my word for it!
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Eeeeewwww - Found this little guy on the ocean side of the inlet. Must have strayed too far from fresh water because you never see snakes in the ocean. And, it has a diamond pattern like a water snake. It was still alive, but barely. Can't decide how it got there since it was too far from any grassy areas and would have had to traveled a long way through the sand. Thought it was picture-worthy!
Low tide on the inlet. The tide was way out for this picture on Friday night. Notice the sand blowing across the beach, too. Friday was the windiest day we had on the beach.
The love of my life on the beach at sunset. Unfortunately, the sun does not set over the ocean there - it probably rises over the ocean, but I would have had to get up way too early to see for myself.
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Friday, July 28, 2006

Topsail Reef This is the front view of our condo. We have had a lovely week and are already dreaming about the next beach trip!
This is the view directly out our back door.
North Carolina has wonderful beaches because they never stop. The water never seems to slow down and there is always this wonderful surf noise. It is the best sound to sleep to and the best sound to think to and the best sound to accompany any activity (or lack thereof). I know there is a very logical scientific explanation, but you can't help but wonder how all that water just keeps moving, constantly, and still stays contained within its parameters. Frankly, I don't think I would appreciate the scientific explanation - I just know I love it! I will take a few parting photos tomorrow before we leave, but next week, it is back to work and back to "normal." (sigh)
BUT, we will be heading to Florida in October! It is always nice to have something to look forward to! Panama City Beach also has beautiful beaches - because of all the beaches we've visited, that is the only place where the water actually almost stops. There are times with no waves - just the gentle sound of water lapping up on the shore - more like a lake than what you'd expect from the Gulf of Mexico. What could be more serene than that??

Well, I'm rambling. I will write something profound when I post the "last" NC pictures. Thanks for enjoying my vacation with me.
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July 26, 1978 . . . NOT!
This is Gary in front of the motel where Bob and Janet spent their honeymoon - 28 years ago!

The Sea Vista at the far south end of the island - we are staying at the far north end. Business is still thriving - they appear to have a full house. There are very few motels on the island - and even fewer directly on the beach. Most of the motels are in Surf City and a block or more from the ocean. So, if you are looking for a motel, this is nearly your only option!
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Turns out the property across the inlet is part of Camp Lejeune. Yesterday, we watched helicopters take off and land repeatedly over there. Plus, there was a ship over there (too far away for a good photo) and helicopters flying around it. This morning, we heard artillery fire from that direction.
This is really a busy area. Helicopters of all sizes fly over frequently, as well as that funny-looking plane with the props on the wings. The picture above is deceiving. There is a lot going on there - we just can't see it!
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This vessel was dredging sand off the bottom of the inlet. We don't know exactly why they were doing that, but we guessed they were making the channel deeper. The inlet leads back into Camp Lejeune and there are quite a few boats that go back and forth through there.

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