So I’m just now posting an update from the beach last week. It was a good week; had lots of fun with Allie, Jen, and her family. The weather was insanely hot, and the smoke from the nearby Hyde County wildfire was ridiculously thick, depending on which way the wind was blowing (either bringing it towards us or pushing it away), but overall it was a great week.
One interesting thing that happened was a huge basking shark washing up on shore the night we got there. It was hundreds of pounds, but apparently only a baby, because the adults can get upwards of thirty feet long. This one was only eight or nine. It was still alive as it came ashore and drew quite a crowd on the beach.
The basking shark is apparently an extremely endangered species and efforts were going to be made to save it. However, a man on the beach, meaning only to end its suffering, slit the shark’s throat with his pocket knife. The Nags Head Beach Patrol and a nearby marine biologist were infuriated, but, unforunately, it was dying anyway. A huge backhoe came the next morning and buried it deep in the sand. Here’s a picture below; more will be uploaded to Flickr later. And, in less than two weeks, I’m headed back for another week!
I’m about to head out to the Outer Banks tomorrow with my best friend Jen and her family, plus another one of my best friends, Allie. They rent a place every year down at milepost 18 on the Beach Road. I went last year and it was a lot of fun. Anywhere on the Outer Banks is great if you ask me. The area is basically my second home. The best part is I get to go back with my family two weeks after I get back with Jen’s family!
I’ve been working every day for most of the day, and it will be great to get some time to relax (I know, I know, some of you who are reading this are saying, “Yeah, so? I work 9-5 every day!” Well, I’m new at this whole adult work week thing). Anyway, I’m trying to get a break from technology for a bit and will not be blogging (I’ve post-dated entries for the coming week, and they’re really going to be insightful). They’re gonna be all about my life goals.
Leave your comments and encouragement for me to come home to! Everyone have a great week, and I’ll be posting live again next Friday (June 13th).
Plain and simple, here’s what the summer has in store for me, if all goes as planned. By the time I head back to school in late August, here’s what I wanna do to change myself and enrich my life (in no particular sequence or order).
I’ll be on vacation this coming Thursday through the Thursday after in the Outer Banks. While I will have wi-fi, I’m gonna try not to spend much of any time with technology because, quite frankly, I need a break from it. I’m going to write myself silly in the next few days and post-date more in-depth entries on the topics below, to show up while I’m gone, one for each goal below, and for each day I’m gone.
Lose ten pounds (This is roughly what I’ve gained over the past year; probably more, but it’s a start)
Get out of my comfort zone (This may mean selling ads for my web business, public speaking, or doing some acting at church in video productions)
Read two books (Hey, I got my library card renewed; that’s a start, right?)
Be more authentic (We all have room to improve on this one)
Stop trying to please everybody and just live my life (I take on way too many projects and consequently never finish any of them)
It’s going to be an interesting eight days of reading. I’m on the verge of transforming my life into what I’ve always wanted it to be. I’ve felt it for a while, and now I have a plan of action. Sure, it says “Summer Goals,” but really this is what I want to accomplish by year’s end. You could say that 2008 is my year of self-improvement, and 2009 will be the result of this year’s work and reap the benefits.
I took this picture down in the Outer Banks the other day. Would you normally want someone who had been “blacklisted” to work for you? I don’t think so. But yet some company down there named their business “Blacklist Painting.” Check it out.
Life is short. It’s the little things, the random things, the crazy things, and the fun things you remember the most. I had planned on going to Virginia Beach for the day with Allie, but we decided to veer off Interstate 64 and go down Highway 168 all the way to the Outer Banks. I know, we thought this was crazy at first just to go for the day, but let me tell you, it was well worth the drive (by the way, I clocked 526 miles total in my car today!).First we stopped in one of my all-time favorite restaurants for lunch in Kitty Hawk, The Black Pelican, a few mileposts south of the junction on Route 12 (the beach road). The food was excellent as usual. Afterwards, we headed south on 168 and stopped in Kill Devil Hills to climb Jockey’s Ridge. It’s the largest set of sand dunes anywhere on the eastern seaboard, and I’ve climbed them dozens of times, but I never get tired of it. Next, we grabbed a few things to take home from Kitty Hawk Kites across the street, then made our way north on 12 all the way to Duck. After finding no ice cream places open because it’s the off-season, we settled for donuts and bagels from Harris Teeter and took them with us and walked down to the beach for a few minutes, but it was a bit nippy out, especially with a brisk wind coming off the Atlantic. So we decided to head back down south to Barefoot Bernie’s for dinner. We both love this place and had to go back. They have the best seared ahi (sushi-like) tuna I’ve had anywhere. It was absolutely delicious. After that we drove over the bridge to Roanoke Island and through the quaint town of Manteo. It’s so peaceful and serene, yet so close to the busyness and action of the Outer Banks. I’d love to live there.
So by this time it was 7:00 (we’d been there since 12:30 and packed a whole of stuff in!). It was time to head back home, but it was cool that we were able to go all the way to the Outer Banks and do so many fun (even though somewhat random) things in one day.
I’m so glad we went here on a whim instead of just Virginia Beach. I know we had so much more fun than we would have in the first location. It also felt good to do all of this without any kind of plan whatsoever. I’m sick and tired of planning and scheduling things all the time lately, so it was nice just to not worry about anything and go where ever we felt like going, do whatever we felt like doing, and not even worry about what time it was all day long.
I think life is way too short to live inside the constraints and boundaries other people set up for you, especially when they’re driving you a little nutty. I think I’m going to start being more spontaneous and doing whatever more often. It’s just part of who I am and I’ve suppressed it for way too long.
More pictures from the trip will be uploaded to Flickr soon!
Finally, after years and years of talk and no real solid plans, it looks as if the Outer Banks is finally going to get the long-debated Mid-Currituck Bridge! If you’ve ever been to the Outer Banks during the peak Summer season, you’ve no doubt been stuck in endless traffic coming over the Wright Memorial Bridge into Kitty Hawk. There has been much debate about whether to construct a second bridge farther north, or simply widen Route 12 (NC-12 is the road that stretches from north of Corolla southward to Cape Hatteras and is known as the Beach Road where it parallels Highway 158 in the more commercial stretch of the Outer Banks).
Those in support of the bridge opposed the only alternative, which would have been to widen NC-12 from two to four lanes from Kitty Hawk to Corolla, in turn destroying the character of the northern Outer Banks, especially in quaint villages such as Duck.
The Outer Banks is pretty much my second home. I go there all the time with family and friends. For the most part, I stay in either Corolla or Duck (or somewhere in between), both of which are a good 45 minutes north of the Wright Memorial Bridge, and that’s without traffic backups. The Mid-Currituck Bridge would not only alleviate congestion, but also shave a lot of time off travel for people like myself that stay on that stretch of beach. Think about it. If you’re driving from Richmond, you come in south down Highway 158 on the mainland, then go across the Wright Memorial Bridge, and drive north again, and by the time you reach your beach house you’re 7 miles from where you were two hours ago.
The new bridge has been approved (funding has been approved since 1989 but nothing has been done to start construction!) and construction will start in early 2009, opening tentatively in 2013! You’ll be able to fly on across the Currituck Sound once you reach Coinjock on the mainland and be right at the TimBuck II Shopping Complex near Corolla in 5 minutes! That knocks off nearly two hours from the 4 hour trip from Short Pump to Corolla! That’s pretty exciting, and makes it a lot more affordable to go down there gas-wise. There supposedly will be an $8 toll during the peak Summer season, but that’s far less than the money it would cost for gas to drive for two more hours, plus time is money. It’s estimated the project will cost between $340 and $745 million dollars. There are six current alignment proposals, which can be seen in the map graphic.