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Sand, Salt Water & Stress-free

(pardon my middle-agedness as I thought I posted this 2 weeks ago!!) but…better late than never I guess!!

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Can you hear that? Do you smell it? Can you see it? I’m talking about the ocean. The sound of the waves, the smell of the salt air, the brilliant blue color….it seems like it’s been forever since I’ve been there and yet it was just last week!! But oh what a WONDERFUL week it was!!

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We packed up as much stuff as the car would hold including all 3 dogs and off we went! We arrived in the Outer Banks on Sunday and as always, our first stop was at the Life is Good store(right next to Kitty Hawk Kites) obx18 in Nags Head! I mean, a girl (and her husband!) can NEVER have too many Life is Good shirts and hoodies! Especially those that are made just for the Outer Banks!! I did manage to only purchase 3 for myself during my week long stay but Mark ended up with 4, we bought 3 as gifts, I bought a wristlet to carry my phone and money in, plus the small miscellaneous items like stickers and décor. We also visited the stores in Avon, Rodanthe & Duck. Kitty Hawk Kites & the Life is Good store is where most of the vacation budget is spent! LOL
We checked into our house that we rented thru Midgett Realty (who I think is one of the best!) This is the 2nd year we have rented “1 Particular Harbor” and we absolutely love it! 5 bedrooms, 3 ½ baths, a pool, a hot tub, unobstructed ocean views, and only a couple hundred yards to the beach! A bargain!

DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO The weather this year was absolutely stunning! Sunshine and warm temps each and every day! Evenings were perfect and only once or twice did I need a hoodie at night on the beach. We spent several hours walking the beach with the dogs, fishing, lounging on the sand, swimming in the ocean, lounging at the pool, soaking in the hot tub and just simply relaxing! It was one of the best vacations ever—mainly because we did NOTHING most of the time but enjoy it!

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We did leave the house Tuesday to make a trip to the grocery store and decided to find a place to have some lunch. We stopped at The Fish House Restaurant in Buxton and enjoyed a view of the harbor while dining on Fried Pickles for an appetizer. I then enjoyed a crab cake sandwich while Mark had a basket of fried BlueFish and fries. Both were delicious and the quaint building with slanted floors and walk in cooler right in the entryway made for a unique lunch!

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We were joined on Wednesday by our good friends for the last half of the week. Being 1st timers to Hatteras Island, we did take them to see the Hatteras Light Station on Friday morning.

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We made the climb up 257 steps to the top of the 187’ tallest brick lighthouse in North America. (That’s equivalent to 12 stories if you’re wondering!) Luckily, it’s a set-your-own-pace climb, so old folks like me can stop and take a break on one of the 8 landings between the flights of stairs! The views from the top are breathtaking and a must see for anyone who makes it to the Outer Banks.

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Friday evening we went to dinner at Good Winds Seafood and Wine Bar.

Having dined there in 2013 we knew the seafood was worth going back for and we were not disappointed! Scallops, blackened mahi-mahi, fried flounder baskets, and so much more!! I even enjoyed the succotash that was the side dish with my mahi-mahi and let me tell you that as a kid, I would rather skip a meal all together than ever eat succotash!!

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After dinner, we sat on the outside patio sipping a glass of wine and watched a simply stunning sunset over the sound. It seriously was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen!obx14
Saturday evening we decided to not cook seafood and went to a local place-StingWray’s Bar & Grille-and dined.  IMG_3873Although the service was slow, the food was good. I had a tuna burrito that was outstanding! For an appetizer we had bacon wrapped cream cheese stuffed shrimp—yeah—it was delicious!!!
We packed up Sunday morning and headed out with the intention of visiting Corolla on our way out but the traffic was horrid so we stopped in Duck and visited Salty Paws & The Outer Barks to get the boys some treats and then we were on our way home.

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After a short detour thru Washington D.C. (in the middle of Memorial Day weekend and 1000’s of bikers!) due to an outdated Garmin, we finally made it home late Sunday night.

This was absolutely one of the best vacations ever. Laid back, relaxing, warm, sunny and peaceful. I could use one of these weeks once a month! Couldn’t we all?!

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There’s a hint of summer in the air…..

Ahhh…yes, it was another cold afternoon at the ballpark on Sunday and somehow the Tribe lost. We had a terrific time anyhow but a victory would’ve been soooo much better after record setting pitching! Ugh!

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My parents took off today for Guam. They arrive tomorrow. Long flights but a joyous reunion with my brother and family will soon be taking place! I’m kind of envious!
10 days until I arrive in the Outer Banks! Me n all my boys! Lots to pack, dogs to groom, and more! Tonight was a sweet reminder that warm weather is coming!! Sitting outside watching my dogs play I the sunshine renewed my faith that summer is actually coming…not soon enough, but it is!

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Will it ever end?

I know sooooo many people across the country have been talking about the weather….it’s been absolutely unbelievably unbearably cold and miserable this winter! Once again it’s snowing, cold and nasty. My golden boys have cabin fever. We got a short glimpse of spring 24 hours ago and enjoyed 60 degrees! Now it’s windy, snowing, icy and downright sucky outside! Where is the sunshine?! We got to walk for the last 5 days so nicely but alas winter has returned to NE Ohio! Just GO AWAY!!

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But the IndiansIndians
Are dominating spring training so I KNOW that warm temps are coming….SOON!! I also know in less than 70 days I’ll be looking at the lovely beautiful beaches in Rodanthe in the Outer Banks! Yes, I’m already looking forward to it…bad as that is! Hang in there, it’s almost over! I think!

Yep, I’m kind of hibernating…….

ImageWow, I’m still here-just been hibernating for the winter.  All of us here in NE Ohio are pretty much done with this crazy winter!  I mean really, it gets cold, it snows, it gets cold some more, it snows some more….then you can throw in some thunder snow, lightning, ice storms, power outages, wind chills that make even a polar bear shiver, and it’s just been insane!  That stinkin’ groundhog needs to be found and strung up!  Well, maybe that’s a little harsh but it might make us feel better for a little while!

But now that it’s almost March, the days are getting longer, spring REALLY is just around the corner, summer plans are already being made (can you say VACATION!) so it’s getting better all the time.  Lots of things happening in our family the past few months and months to come.  My older brother and family will be moving back to the states (from GUAM!) in June!!!  It’s been 20 years since we lived on the same continent so, yes I’m EXCITED!!!!  They may end up in another state but at least I know they will be within traveling distance!  I am especially looking forward to seeing some Tribe baseball with him!  It’s been 6 long years since we were able to attend a game TOGETHER so that is definitely on the agenda!  Maybe, just maybe, we will actually get to spend some holidays together!!  What a dream come true that would be!

ImageA week in May in the Outer Banks is also planned for my husband and I and our 3 “boys”.  The perfect place to relax, kick back and soak up some sun.  After this winter, we are going to need all the sun we can get!

2013 in Rodanthe

2013 in Rodanthe

It’s time for NASCAR too!  Lots to see and watch and cheer for!  Go Jeff Gordon!

So everyone hang in there for just a little bit more and we will soon be basking in the air conditioning and humidity of summer!!  WootWoot!  See ya soon!

Summer finale weekend (Aka Labor Day weekend!)

It was a 4 day work free weekend for me! Kicking it off by heading to Cleveland for the Tribe Town Hall meeting at Progressive Field in the Terrace Club with the Indians was the perfect start!

Meeting Mark Shapiro

               

What other MLB team invites their fans to meet the President of the team, ask questions, enjoy a delicious lunch & have a chance to take home some sweet prizes (I REALLY wanted that Michael Brantley autographed bat!!)?!

Afterwards, I met up with my husband at The Winking Lizard in Peninsula.

My name is Heisman!

My name is Heisman!

His bike ride was shorter than expected but it all worked out and we enjoyed our afternoon together.

Saturday & Sunday were uneventful.  Watched Indians baseball, NASCAR racing and a little golf on TV.  I took Rocket to the vet for his follow-up x-rays on Saturday (he got a GOOD report card!) and lunch with family on Sunday to celebrate my Aunt’s birthday.  The typical ho-hum everyday stuff for a middle-aged girl.  Labor Day was spent planting some fall mums, grilling hot dogs and playing with my boys.  They can never have too much attention (at least in their opinion!)

Rocket patiently waiting for the vet.  This was his one calm moment!

Rocket patiently waiting for the vet. This was his one calm moment!

Tomorrow, I must return to work.  It’s been kind of quiet around here since Mark has worked all weekend.  When your spouse is in retail management, you tend to spend a lot of the weekend without them!  Soon, he will be working a little further from home (he currently has a 3, yes THREE! minute drive!) but will soon have a 30-minute drive.  Same company, same position, same pay.  You are probably wondering why he’s changing locations, huh? Well, it’s for the future opportunity.  Sometimes, you have to give up a little now to gain a lot later.  The experience, learning opportunity, atmosphere and future growth is HUGE if he moves.  So, he took it!  It’s the long-term outcome that will matter.  Will it lead to a promotion, a transfer, who knows?  But the door was opened and through it he went!  Small sacrifices now could lead to huge gains in the future.

That’s kind of how it goes with life.  We usually have to be willing to sacrifice something now (no matter how small it is) to gain for the future.  And man is that hard to do!  We’re human.  We live in the here and now most of the time.  So if you ask me to give up something and tell me it is for my own good, you better have some evidence to prove it!  Just don’t ask me to give up Starbuck’s, OK?! Now of course you don’t go chasing every opportunity that comes along just for the sake of trying.  That’s not going to work for very long.  I do think this is the right choice for us.  I see good things happening in the future for Mark (I’ve looked into my crystal ball!) and I have complete faith & trust in my husband.  That’s why I love him!

Life has thrown us many of curve balls.  There have been changes in employment, addresses, income, friendships, family and more during our 10 years of marriage, and you think we’d be used to it by now.  Of course, just when you think everything is rolling along smoothly, a new road block pops up and you have to figure out a different route to take.  So, check back later and I’ll let you know how this change goes.  You never know, someday I may be writing this blog from our ocean front property when he gets transferred to the coast!  (a middle-aged girl can dream can’t she?!)