Heaven on Earth

Outer Banks, NC  8.21.10 - 8.28.10
Nights 61-67
I love the beach.
In particular, I love the Outer Banks in North Carolina, and I am fortunate enough to spend a week there every summer with my (awesome) family and friends.
The Outer Banks is my heaven on earth

feet in the sand
long walks
playing games
jumping waves
quality time
salt in the air
laughing all day
sweet sunrise
floating in the pool
wind in my face
roar of the ocean
whatever I want to do with my days

the last hoorah of my incredible summer vacation.
We had such an absolute blast that I felt close to nauseous leaving this morning. 
Every single day was perfectly spent, because we all spent each day doing whatever made us happy. 
That's part of the beauty of being with family and friends in a place like this. There is always someone to talk to, and enough people to not have to talk to anyone. 
We spent hours a day floating in the pool,
and by that I mean that at one point or another I lounged on every single one of our 10 noodles and rafts. When we weren't lazily floating around, we had cannonball contests, made up synchronized swimming routines, relaxed in the hot tub, and played pool games. It was beyond fun.
This kitchen table (complete with the biggest lazy susan you've ever laid eyes on) was home to fantastic themed dinners, game nights, and our annual wine tasting. This year's menu included Italian night, Mexican Night, Seafood Steamer buckets (Crab Legs!), and BBQ. We also had an awesome meal at our favorite local restaurant to celebrate my brother's 35th birthday.
And ohhhh the beach...
And the beautiful, ferocious, magnificent ocean
Relaxing, playing, diving, reading, napping, walking, laughing.
I am smitten.

I feel so very thankful to have ended my summer vacation staring at this...
"Happiness is a summer breeze, sand between your toes, and your best friends by your side."
Until next time, OBX!


Back At Ya...

I have a friend named Whitney
She's pretty, kind, and fun,
She lives south of me, in the cutest house
With three kids always on the run.

Two days ago I drove there,
To see her and her brood!
She has one sweet toddler, a baby girl,
And their brother- one cool dude.

We talked and played and giggled,
Picked up where we left off last,
We shopped and ate (it felt so great!)
and the time slipped by too fast.

Oh, Whitney, how I adore you,
Your friendship and your grace
You listen, share, give great advice
And you could never be replaced.  

Thank you for a great day, and I'll be back soon.
I love you. xo


*Photography Challenge!*

OH MY GOSH!!!!! So I follow a blog called Trendy Treehouse, and every week they have a different themed photo challenge. This week's theme was Vacations, and the photo of Moab, Utah that I entered WON FIRST PLACE! I can't believe it! Check it out by clicking here!

Thank you so much, Trendy Treehouse- you guys made my day!Photobucket


Ireland in HDR

I took some HDR shots while I was in Europe, and here are how the first 2 turned out! What do you think? I really like working on new techniques!



Across the Pond and Back!

Scotland and Ireland 7.27.10 - 8.11.10
Nights 46-60

Hi!!!!! I am BACK from my whirlwind, exciting, incredible 2 week adventure in Scotland and Ireland! It would be nearly impossible for me to write about everything we did, but I do want to record as many highlights as I can!

In Scotland and Ireland we stayed in...

Edinburgh, Scotland
Ennis, Ireland
Killarney, Ireland
Cork, Ireland
and Dublin, Ireland

In Scotland we explored... 
Loch Ness

Scotland highlights...

We toured Edinburgh castle
We awakened to the sound of bagpipes each morning

We had afternoon tea and explored the Royal Botanical Gardens
We met Hamish, the famous furry cow that lives in the Highlands

We saw Nessie!!

We walked around beautiful Edinburgh

In Ireland we explored...





and Howth

Ireland highlights...

We drove the Ring of Kerry
We toured the Muckross House

We took a horse and carriage ride

We kissed the Blarney Stone

We explored the ancient tombs of Newgrange and Knowth
We toured the Guiness brewery
We explored Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells

We took a boat ride around the Cliffs of Moher

We drove through the Burren, and down every other narrow, windy, death defying road in all of Ireland (and YES, Big Mama did squeeze her Holy Shoot handle bar for most of our journeys in "The Beast")

We saw Riverdance

We took beautiful walks

I took a bike ride through Killarney National Park

I took a train through the countryside and went hiking along Howth's coastal path

We fed sea lions
We relaxed at the spa and soaked in the sunshine at the park

We walked all around the city of Dublin (and never got hit by a car!)

We ate and drank, well, everything!


most importantly, we laughed Every Five Seconds. Literally.

Big Mama and Big Kat- thank you for making this trip possible. I could not have asked for a more incredible journey with 3 of my favorite people in the entire world. 

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