Tag Archive | summer

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!!


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!


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.


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.

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?!


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!

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!





The Roller Coaster weekend of Cleveland Sports Fans!

Well, it’s been a rough weekend for those of us Cleveland fans.  Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be picked as the winner of the Week 6 SummerinCLE contest from Positively Cleveland and was the happy recipient of 2 tickets to Friday nights Indians game against the Mets!  It also included a $50 gift card for Great Lakes Brewing Company!! We are saving that beauty for a little later this fall but the baseball game was rockin’!  I picked up a new Browns shirt from Fresh Brewed Tees before the game and settled into our spectacular seats behind home plate! The Tribe did not disappoint and with the help of a grand slam from Nick Swisher, had no trouble beating the Mets!  We got to enjoy dollar dogs, plenty of foul balls all around us, the chill in the fall air and the finale of the evening with fireworks over Progressive Field!  Pretty good start to the weekend, eh?!

Extending SummerinCLE one more weekend!

Extending SummerinCLE one more weekend!

Saturday was a day to sleep in (recover from being in Cleveland too late on Friday!) and do a few things around the house.  After a bit of middle aged duties that included cleaning, grocery shopping, a trip to Home Depot & laundry, we headed to BrainFreeze in Howland to enjoy some frozen yogurt & then spent the evening relaxing on the patio with a Wedgewood pizza & enjoying the company of some friends.  (Yes–we had dessert 1st, then dinner!  When you’re this age–that’s OK!)  The sports weekend was still on a high as the Tribe defeated the Mets AGAIN!! October is looking better & better!

Oh, but then Sunday arrived!  I woke up to find out that Jeff Gordon didn’t make the Chase, Clint Bowyer was the subject of controversy and the NASCAR world was all in a tizzy over it but hey, who cares….because it’s time for some FOOTBALL!  Hurry up—run to the store, brush the dogs, trim the dogs nails, make lunch, take Mark lunch and settle into the couch by 1 PM!  Here we go Brownies, here we go!  WOOF WOOF! and then………the game started.  It was dismal, depressing and downright pathetic at times.  Preseason was definitely a thing of the past as the Dawg Pound booed and the stadium was nearly empty by the end.  I know, it’s only week 1, but there wasn’t much evidence today that it’s going to get any better.  I’m hoping just to go 8-8 this year but……..

So, I switched to the Tribe game just in time to see Chris Perez give up what would be the winning run as the Indians were defeated by the Mets in the last game of the series.

So, the weekend had highs & lows but in the end, I consider myself a pretty lucky girl…I got to have fun at the game with the love of my life in the city that I love (for the 3rd weekend in a row!), relax with friends,  catch up on some housecleaning, play with the dogs and continue this middle-aged life I live.  So tomorrow it’s back to work, the Tribe will keeping fighting for that wild card spot and the Browns will –well– probably get another quarterback but that’s nothing new!

(and the one bright spot of Sunday? The Steelers LOST! so there WAS something good on Sunday!!)

Go Browns!  Go Tribe!

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?!)

What’s on your calendar?

It’s August. Normally I’d associate that with hot weather. This year has been a bit of a surprise though. Who would’ve thought we would need sweatshirts on an August evening? While driving to & from Cleveland yesterday I noticed the leaves are already showing some change in colors! Seriously?! How is that possible? It feels like summer just started and yet it’s actually winding down. Soon there will be leaves to rake, pumpkins & mums decorating yards and the hint of frost on the grass in the morning.
This got me to thinking………Did you ever realize that we seem to spend a lot of our time anticipating, planning & looking forward to (or possibly dreading!) the next thing or event? It’s something we do almost every day even if we don’t realize it. If you work Monday thru Friday, you’re always looking forward to the weekend. This year is my 10-year wedding anniversary so my husband & I are making plans to celebrate. It’s also my 25-year high school class reunion. Several former class mates are planning that. Just look at your calendar & how many things you have on it (there’s the proof!). We can’t stop the clocks from moving forward so we fill up our days with plans & activities.
What’s my point? Go look at that calendar. What’s next on the agenda? Are you waiting for something? Well it’s time to stop waiting & go! One of the songs “Chasing the Sun” from the most recent Sara Bareilles album states “Life is not meant to be wasted, we can always be chasing the sun. So fill up your lungs & just RUN!” So, take it from me, Middle Aged Mindy, don’t spend your days waiting for the next thing. Go get it! I’m not saying to drop everything in your life & go crazy! But it’s never too late to make a change or do something new! Don’t regret anything & spend time saying “what if……” You only get one ride on this planet so kick it in high gear, laugh, love & enjoy it!  PS…..I’m still looking forward to my 4 day weekend coming up! 😉