Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fun At The Beach

I finally got a chance to get out of my uniform and into some swim trunks to play on the beach. As you might guess, I don't care for the water, but I do love the beach!
After building sandcastles it is time for some sunbathing. Sunscreen...$3.99, cool Frapachino....$1.89, the waves crashing nearby.... priceless!
Where did the dolphins go?

Calling All Visitors

I have met many wonderful people in my travels. I have invited many to share our adventures and I would like to know how many of you visit my blog. If you would please leave me a note on this posting to let me know you are there, I would greatly love to hear from you.

Some of you have inquired about my safety while traveling in the truck. I can assure you that I am secure in my very own car seat.

Monday, March 12, 2007

From Ocean to Ocean

My first look at the Atlantic Ocean.

Jan and I enjoying the beach.
Patty, Sue and Pamm
The dolphins were a little camera shy.
New friends.

Um! Helloooo. I am trapped in the claws of a giant crab and everybody just wants to take a picture!

Saturday the 3rd, we headed for Carolina Beach and our first view of the Atlantic Ocean. We have now made it from Sea to Shining Sea! Patty also drove down in her class-C motorhome with her dogs, and Sue and her dogs came in her car and stayed in a local hotel. It was so much fun to camp with Pamm’s sisters. Living on different coasts, we appreciate the chance to be together. We walked on the beach and collected sea shells. The beach is very different from the Northwest Coast beaches. The sand is much finer and lighter in color. There are few rocks, but many shells. We saw dolphins swimming just off shore. On Sunday we went to the Aquarium. I thought it would just be like the one we went to in Oregon, but it was very different. I think that the jellyfish were the only things we saw that were the same.

Swimmin' with the fishes!
Wow! This close and I don't have to get wet!

Wow! This close and I don't have to get eaten!

Can you spot the seahorse?

Birthday Sushi

Me with Amme, our waitress. She was very nice.
I can't decide.
Fish something. Bears like fish, so this should be good.
These chopsticks are tough. I like the wasabi.
Yikes! I hope someone else is planning to leave the tip!

February 26th- We have enjoyed staying in one place for the last two weeks, just visiting with family. We missed Scott and Debbie’s birthdays while in Raleigh, so Sue, Patty, Jan, Pamm and I went to a Sushi restaurant to celebrate “with” them. I had a lot of fun. Our waitress, Amme, was very nice. We sat on the floor ( I had to sit on a booster seat). Happy Birthday Scott and Debbie!

Raleigh, North Carolina- Sisters & Lots of Corgis

Wednesday we headed for Raleigh, North Carolina to see Pamm’s sisters Patty and Sue. Sue and Patty both have Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Patty has Maggie, Tucker, and Pete, and Sue has Morgan and Forrest. They are a lot of fun, but they like to chew stuffed toys, so I am very careful around them. Both Sue and Patty are very involved with agility with all of their dogs, so we have gotten to go to some agility practices and competitions.

Pamm's sister Sue and her dogs Morgan and Forrest.
Me with Morgan and Forrest. We are watching an agility competition.

Many days in Raleigh are filled with agility. This is a practice at Bon-Clyde Canine Professionals in Sanford, NC. That looks like a lot of fun. I think I would like to try it.
The view up here is great!

Teeter-Totter with Maggie.

Ahh! Finally a quiet place for a nap. That agility is hard work!

North Carolina and the Biltmore Estate

Here I am in front of the breathtaking Biltmore Estate. Even with a wide angle lens, it is difficult to get the whole building in one shot.

The architecture is so amazing. Everywhere you look is something beautiful.
This is a view from our Behind the Scenes tour. It is the back of the stable area and the area where the male servants were housed.
Stone carvings on the outside of the house are amazingly intricate.

I’m sure you have seen television commercials for LOWE’S featuring the Biltmore Estate. One is left with a picture of this beautiful estate as the commercial ends. I can assure you that the commercial does not do Biltmore justice. It is breathtaking. It is awesome. It is a majestic structure; it can be overwhelming is it so beautiful.

We visited Biltmore in winter. The trees were bare and the flowers non-existent. Even the grass was deep in slumber. It was a cold day with an off and on drizzle. We made our way to the estate via the guarded gate just off a main road in Asheville. This road would lead us to the ticket and reception center of the estate. The grounds are meticulously maintained and beautifully landscaped. After purchasing our tickets we drove to Biltmore. Through forested acres and by streams and ponds one is transported from the hustle and bustle of neighboring Asheville into a peaceful and special world.

We parked our truck in one of the parking lots located away from the residence. One may walk the rest of the way or wait for the shuttle. We chose to wait for the shuttle. A short drive on the road and we approached a wall with a large gate, which was open. The bus drove through the open gate and we caught our first glimpse of Biltmore Estate.

Across the large expanse of manicured lawn, with a large fountain centered in it, sits the imposing structure. It is not imposing in a frightening or threatening way; it is simply majestic. I cannot begin to describe how wonderful and beautiful this home is. You must experience it for yourself.

When we entered Biltmore we were greeted in such a manner that we feel truly welcomed. We weren’t a bother or a tourist; we were their guest. We enjoyed our surroundings and took in the precious artwork; rare books and furnishings. We took the “behind the scenes” tour and enjoyed every minute of it.

Every person associated with the Biltmore Estate was open, warm, friendly and sincerely wanted you to enjoy your time there. You cannot help but want to go back; one can “see” the mansion in one visit but to really “take in” the wonder of it all will take more than one visit. To not only walk through this home, but to be educated about the man who had it built, and what he was trying to accomplish enables one to appreciate the magnitude of his vision.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Biltmore Estate we urge you to do so. You will be enriched many times over.

At the front entrance.
The gardens were bare for the winter, but still beautiful. I would love to see them in full bloom.