Sunday, October 19, 2008

Camo's Hoodie

C'est fini. I finished sewing it up today, and decided to go ahead and throw in the optional kangeroo pocket. He's cute, he loves me, and he makes the sun rise, so I think he's worth it.

As I mentioned before, the multi-colored yarn is my own handspun. It's some of the first stuff I did, and while it's thick/thin in areas, and overspun in others, I'm really delighted with how it knit up. The solid blue is actually more of a royal. To tie everything together, I did the two stripes of handspun on all the areas I needed to do in solid. Since I'm vertically challenged, I had to stand on a ladder to get the whole sweater in, and even then I missed the end of one sleeve. Oh well.
Camo's birthday is next month, and I think I'll find a little matching shirt for him to wear under this to keep him nice and warm this winter. I think it'll fit him next year, too. Just gotta remember to sew one of my "Made With Love" labels inside it, but not at the collar. I'll use the side seam, where it won't scratch him.
Next I finish my socks, then start the Fiesta Mittens. I SO need more knitting time!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It IS West By God Virginia, After All

Having had a week to recover, I just had to share my experience officiating a wedding last Saturday. The only person I'd met from this event prior to the date was the bride. She hired me on our first day in the new studio and was a very pleasant person with whom to deal. (man, proper grammar can be tortuous!) We met again a week before the service. She mentioned that she'd rather start about 15 minutes after the official start time, because she knew her guests, and there would be stragglers. Okay, said I.

On the day, all gussied up in an official but dressy-looking pantsuit, I arrive at the local hotel where the wedding is being held. Not one of our more up-market locations, I knew what to expect having done a wedding there before. I walk in, see a young man in fairly nice dress sitting near the ballroom, and ask him if he knows where the bride is. Sure, says he, and proceeds to take me to her.

To get to the room, you have to key in a code on the hall doorway. He keyed it over and over, and it didn't work. Finally one of the bridesmaids opens the door, telling him he transposed a number. He walks me to the bride's door, knocks, tells them the minister is here and walks away so as not to see the bride. I wait. And wait. Finally I knock again, explain that I am actually standing here, not just in the building, and would like a word with the bride. After ascertaining that I'm alone, they let me in.

I like to see the bride before the service for a couple reasons, especially when, as with this couple, there was no rehearsal. As an aside, unless your wedding is tiny and NO children under 12 are involved, have a rehearsal. Anyway, I like to let the bride see that I'm present and show an oasis of calm demeanor in the chaos that is typically surrounding her. I check for any last minute changes, remind her that no matter how people are pushing her, nothing starts without her, and re-establish how word will get to me that she is indeed ready to start. I get the license, which must be in my hands before the service can be done. All that done, I clear out of the way.

I headed to the ballroom to check out the arrangements in there. I walked in the door to be assailed by the strong smell of bacon, of all things. People are milling around in everything from formal wear to Nascar gear. The arch is nicely decorated, the cake is set up with a twirling cake topper, and the head table is pretty. Everyone else will be seated at tables to watch the service.

Looking around, I see one man the right age to be the groom that's in the right clothing. He's drinking a beer, from a can, in, heaven help us, a cooler-style cozy. It's very apparent that it's not his first. Not that he's incapacitated by any means (I wouldn't do a service if he were; it wouldn't be legally binding), but he's a bit lit. Clinging to his leg is the couple's small son, about age 2, the ringbearer. Said son is very fussy, although dad says he's had a long nap that day. I consolingly reply that it's a lot of strange goings-on for a little one, as I watch with a faintly horrified eye has Junior picks his nose and proceeds to have his own little feast for one. Dad scolds him, and tries to farm him out to a willing helper, but Junior is at that unlovely stage where kids discover the joy of screaming. We let him cling to Daddy.

Someone mentions how good the food smells. Yes, it's all being set up already, like a picnic brought inside. I make my bacon smell observation and am informed that that's because there's a roasted pig back there. I take their word for it. I also listen to remarks that the Mother of the Bride (MoB) is ticked off because the FoB (you work it out) has been drinking already. I get the sense that he shouldn't be drinking at all. But the groom says, "What's he supposed to do when everyone else is having beer?" I refrain from expressing my opinion. I'm feeling almost saintly in my restraint.

The saintliness continues through two more encounters. First, I'm told by the groom and some guests that there's another wedding going on in a different room...and the color scheme for everyone but the bride is camouflage. One guest says with an odd sense of pride, "I told everyone that they're the West Virginia wedding, and we're the Redneck wedding!" Oooookay. Then I'm flagged down by a faintly familiar looking woman. She reminds me that we've done photography for her family before...when we shot her daughter's FIRST wedding a couple of years ago. I wince a bit.

I busy myself filling out the license, and watch the flower girls racing around the room, almost toppling the arch. I help the 'videographers' set up camera angles. And as it gets to be time, one of the bridesmaids tells the groom and I to come out to the lobby, the bride is almost ready and we'll formally walk in. We get out there, and I send the bridesmaid in to ask if the bride is ready to start. She doesn't come back. As the groom wanders off, I send one of the older boys in the wedding party...he doesn't return. While I'm standing alone, I hear a loud noise outside the big entry windows. I turn my head, and am flabbergasted to see an ATV being driven past, beer cans and old boots tied on back. A man whom I assume to be the groom in full camo is driving, as the bride, all in a formal gown, clings to his back and grins like a loon. It's official. I've seen it all.

Finally the groom saunters back, and I send in the bride's dad, who backs out quickly, because she's about to walk out with her groom there! I put a halt to that, and get ready to walk in with the groom. The FoB, definitely a bit worse for that forbidden beer, makes to come with us. I remind him that his daughter might actually like his escort. As we go back in, I ask one of the women who've been arranging things to have everyone be seated, corral a groom who wants to socialize some more, and get things started. The mother of the groom is seated and loudly scolds her husband, the best man, for not having his collar buttoned and his tie at half mast. He answers equally loudly that he can't button it, and the groom backs him up. Then the bridesmaids come in an outside door...and the DJ has vanished. No music is playing, and these girls come down the aisle like they're getting ready to clear a ditch on all four hooves. I sigh, unnoticed.

The little ringbearer comes down, races to Daddy howling, and refuses to let go. I tell the groom to leave him, knowing it will be worse if we try to move him. Then the two flower girls, sisters and adorable. They have lovely silk fall leaves in their basket, and the younger, in front, is clueless. Everyone tries to coach her. Ringbearer sees the older girl dropping her leaves, thinks it's intriguing, and goes to help. Littlest girl drops one or two, and raises her hand to her hair in befuddlement, leaving one leaf as big as half her head stuck in her hair. I laugh, but so does everyone. As she looks around to figure out why we're all laughing, she sees Big Sis dropping leaves, and promptly starts to pick them back up and put them in her basket.

We finally get them down the aisle, and in comes the bride, looking lovely. Her Dad looks wasted. I start the service, and Junior begins wailing. I speak over him, pausing when his parents try to comfort him. This, folks, is the best argument for marriage before children. He continues to scream, and when one line in the service refers to future trials, I make an audible aside and say, "Or even present ones!" This has the effect of cracking everyone up, showing them I'm not upset, and calming the bride and groom. Someone sweeps the little guy away long enough for us to get through the ring portion, and he's back, holding on like a leech, as they share their first kiss as husband and wife. *shew*

I grab my stuff, give the bride her portion of the license and tell her I mail the court copy for her. I give her a hug, and she is profuse in her thanks, and then I dart out the side door to the parking lot. Thinking I've made my escape, I see one of the bridesmaids coming out the front, sobbing her heart out. She's in her late teens, and I'm at a loss as to what's wrong. Figuring that I'd better act my ministerial role, I ask if she needs some help. But the mother of the groom comes out and goes to her, and I'm off the hook. I duck into my car and bolt.

A few days later, I got an email from the bride. I quote (sic):

"I just wanted to thank you for performing our ceremony. We enjoyed everything. And despite the chaos surrounding the beginning, we still thought it went well. Thank you for waiting and being so patient while we straitened everything out. We had a wonderful day. We resolved a payment issue with our dj after a conversation about the ceremony music that didn't get played. He also didn't play anything for the bouquet and garter toss or the cake cutting. It was still nice. Oh, and our cake table caught on fire! But believe it or not, we took everything with a laugh and had such a good time. Thanks again for everything."

That was, if you'll pardon the pun, the icing on the cake.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Follow-ups & Birthday Knitting

We told the AD we'd settle for a written apology from the dorkbean coach. DH mentioned the pizza joke, and the AD countered with an invitation to a tailgate party...funny, because it's open to EVERYONE. So we'll see.

AND I finally got a response from the Holiday Inn on the bedbug incident, after writing to corporate again about receiving no answer from that hotel manager. They said they investigated the room and found no insects. Well, duh. Three weeks later one would hope that bedspread had been washed! That's the only thing that I laid upon that the DH didn't. Anyway, as a gesture of goodwill, they credited us back about 25% off the room fee. I can live with that. And you can bet I'll never lay down on a hotel bedspread again. When I told my MIL about this, she said the first thing the DH's dad did on entering a hotel room was to remove the bedspread and blankets. Wish I'd known that earlier, but what a dreadful commentary when rooms cost so darn much!

Oh, I found that pattern for the mittens I liked in the one shop (which they didn't have yarn for but left on display). They are called Fiesta Mittens by Lucy Neatby. Her kit pricing was kinda steep for a) something I'd never attempted before and b) a pair of mittens. So I bought the kit from Blackberry Ridge with their fingering weight. I think it's next on my list for a quick knit.

On the knitting front, I'm working feverishly and pretty well exclusively on a birthday gift for my adorable grandson Camo. I'm using my own handspun and Paton's Merino. I knew there wouldn't be enough handspun for the hoodie his mom selected, so I'm using the Paton's for the sleeves and hood, with two stripes of the handspun on those areas to tie it all together. I have a few more rows on the hood, finishing sewing, and ribbing around the hood edge to be done. I'm pleased it's going so well, since I have a month yet till his fifth birthday.

I did sweat a little, though, when I had to RIP OUT THE ENTIRE FRONT!!! Oh, the pain, and all of it my own fault. The pattern, a freebie from Lion Brand, has both kids and adults sizing. Being oh, so clever, I went through and marked the numbers pertaining to Camo's size. Folks, that only works if you mark the right number! On the cast on for the front (knit after the back), I unknowingly marked the adult large. And knit, and knit, all through the drive to OBX and back, wondering why it was taking so much longer to knit than the back had. Finally, just as I'm about to do the neckline shaping, I think to hold it up to the back. The curling of the stockinette had prevented me from realizing that the front was a third again bigger than the back! So I frogged the whole thing, and started over.

All's well now, though, and as soon as it's done, washed and blocked, I'll post you a picture.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Following Up

Quick update on the coach thingy...The AD called yesterday (Mon. was a holiday) and was adamant that he wants us to stay. We play no music we don’t want to play. He claims the disc we were given MAY have been a different one than the head coach listened to, which I’m fairly sure is a face-saving piece of BS. Supposedly the one we were given was a different color. The AD also says he was shown a CD that the person presenting it said would be okay to play except for three tracks, and oddly, they're the three we found objectionable. How coincidental!

Then he left it to us what we want done about the coach. Both of us have backed away from making the little twerp come grovel to could only be awkward. I think we’re going to go with him admitting he was over the line, and leave it there. I suggested slices of pizza from the concession stand might help, but the DH laughed at me. LOL

In the meantime, we heard through the booster-mom-grapevine that that same little twerp coach is the subject of DAILY phone calls to the AD or head coach by one mom. She apparently objects to him using foul language at the players. Go figure.

Now on to two amazing bits of entitled behavior. First, yesterday we have the mother of a senior arrive with no warning to pick up her daughter's pictures. That's okay; we don't require an appointment for that. But what made this particularly fun was that the mother went on to say that Daddy Dear had dropped the final payment check in the mail that very day, but since she was in the area so rarely and happened to be today, could she go ahead and pick up the pictures? ROFLMAO! Um...that would be a 'no.' She tried to debate that with the receptionist. "I don't know when I'll be back this way." Don't much care. I'm fairly sure your daughter will make sure you're back here pretty darn soon! As the DH aptly put it, why don't we go to the gas station, telling 'em we'll be sure to come back tomorrow and pay them for letting us fill up today? Unreal what people think they should be able to pull. To be fair, and I'm all about the fair, the check DID arrive today. So she can pick the pictures up anytime. Now. Although my deeply suspicious side makes me think I should call her bank and make sure it's good after this stunt.

The second bit was from an online order for some wedding pictures. The woman ordered one 8x10, one 5x7, and a few 4x6s. By no means a large order, especially for a wedding. We get to the end of the order, where there's a customer comments section, and she has written, "Can I get a discount because I'm the mother of the groom?" Are you nuts, lady? Who else but family is going to order? And a puny little order like that from your SON'S wedding? We offered advance sale packages that offer a discount, and she didn't avail herself of any of those, so that ship sailed.

I never cease to be amazed at the people who think they should be allowed to take money out of my pocket for the flimsiest of excuses. Like I care that she spawned the groom. He looks like a turtle anyway. Come to think of it, maybe that's why she didn't order any large pictures. Hmmm.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

No Good Deed

I'm sure most of you are finishing the phrase, "goes unpunished." Exactly. Let me tell you about our Friday night.

For many years, the DH was the announcer for the local high school softball teams. Our girls played, we were in the boosters, the whole schmear. The DH has a wonderful voice and being him, did it up right. He got a sports sounds program that is used professionally, at his own cost, and went to town. He became very popular, and I was proud.

So popular that the varsity football boosters came courting. Would DH do the home game announcing? Including pre-game show music, and all that jazz? Would he? You betcha. He asked me to be his spotter, and once I found out it didn't mean cleaning stains out of carpets, I said sure. What it does mean, for those of you as ignorant as I was, is the person who helps the announcer know who is in the middle of the play, running, tackling and the like. I get to use binoculars and feel important. :-)

Now, we've been doing these games for four years, and to be immodest, we rock. Okay, the DH rocks, but I sit beside him. He has pet phrases that are hugely popular, the crowd roars for them, and he really keeps them upbeat in spite of only one win this season. The music he plays is a good mix of classic rock and contemporary stuff, his sound effects are short, he does a great job, and all as a volunteer. We close the studio two hours early on game nights, and forfeit a fair chunk of potential income as a result, but it's our way of giving back.
One thing that has been a two-prong policy as long as we've been doing this for any sport. We are there for the fans, not the athletes whom we assume should be concentrating on the game, and we do not play music the kids bring us. The AD (Athletic Director) has always backed us on this, because we simply don't know what obscenity-laden piece of crap might be on that home-made CD. We don't chance it. So we've always told the kids, sorry, not without the AD's approval, and subject to our hearing it first. It's our reputation on the line; parents aren't going to be mad at the AD, or the music provider, but at us for playing it.

Last week we went through it again. Kids bring CD, we explain policy, kids leave. All's right with the world. Then last night, what looked to me to be the same kids and CD come up to the booth, and tell us that the CD has been approved by the head coach. We inform them it has to be approved by the AD, and then we'll listen to it.
A few minutes later, an older looking but still very young man comes up, and tells us that the coach cleared it with the AD, and we are to play the music. He has a serious attitude on from the first word. DH explains we need to hear that from the AD, that we'll begin ripping the music in so our program CAN play it, but we won't until we hear from him. Young man gets more testy. "The coach said to play it!" DH informed him we don't answer to the coach, and in a perfect snit (I know snits well, this one was lulu), YM says, "I'll tell him you said so!" We laughed and said go ahead, so he leaves, stompin' his widdle feet as he goes.

We got a literal thumbs-up from the AD on the field and started ripping in the CD accordingly. We still had no intentions of playing it without review for a couple of reasons. First, the football coach is a belligerent hothead and we had serious doubts that he'd listened to the CD. Second, as I stated before, it's our tails on the line, not his. BTW, and to give you an idea of the man's personality...colleges that want to recruit players send letters for the players to their coaches. It's protocol, then the coach passes them on. This one is so twisted that he KEEPS them and says nothing. One of the star players and a client of ours actually got wind of it, and snuck in and took them out of the coach's office. Which we heard about from his furious mother!

DH begins listening to the first few tracks as the rest rip in. Track one we already play, so duh. Track two is dull, but okay. The third is completely unacceptable. Called "I'm Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass" , it repeats that phrase over and over. Can you imagine that going out over a stadium sound system? With little kids there? As I said to the DH, if a kid said that in the hallway of the school, they'd be in trouble, and we're supposed to play it on the field? Nope.
As we make this judgment, YM returns, more pissy than ever. "Play the music, you got the okay!" DH explains that we're not done ripping it in, that we have the first three tracks done, and he's interrupted..."Then play them!" First, DH says, we don't play music as the band is coming into the stadium as they are now. Never. It's a courtesy, because, duh, the BAND is playing music. Then he adds that we won't play track 3, and why. YM gets ballistic. "Yes you will! You were told to!" Excuse me? DH reminds him that we are volunteers, we have a responsibility to not play objectionable material. "You're just volunteers, and you were told to by two officials!" he blusters. We reiterate we will play other tracks, but not that one, and as YM gets more aggressive, posturing WAY too closely into my personal space, DH tells him he wants him to leave. "I don't have to leave! I'm a COACH!!!"
WTF??? This is the first time he's identified himself as anything to us, and I swear to you, I would never have thought him to be a coach. We've never seen him before, and I'm still amazed he has the nerve to talk in this manner to people volunteering their time, let alone people old enough to be his parents, pretty sure. And honest to Pete, wouldn't you think coaches of a team that after last night is 1-5 would have better things to worry about before a game?

He finally did leave, realizing that with the band just below the press box there was no way we were going to start any music. He stomped back to the head coach and we saw him mouth something up at us. Luckily for him we have no idea what it was. Later we saw them all in confab with the AD, but we heard nothing more. And btw, after the band was quiet, we did play one of the tunes, but hey, the team wasn't on the field to hear it by then. Which is exactly why we play music FOR THE FANS, not them.

Today, my extremely easy-going husband wrote a strong letter to the AD, outlining what had happened. And you better believe he copied the booster's president on it. Did I mention that she's the quarterback's mom, and utterly loves both our work (we did his senior pics, including an awesome special effect shot) and what we do in the press box? He pointed out that we followed policy of years' standing, what we give up to be there, and that volunteers shouldn't have to put up with that kind of harrassment. He continued, stating that we felt abused, disrespected and that he expected a personal apology from that wet-behind-the-ears coach (alright, that's me, he didn't characterize him as such) to both himself and to me.

And I thought I was proud of him before. I'll let you know what happens. At least the three of you who may care.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You Know You Gotta Vote

This is wonderful. You have to watch. Really. Trust me.

If you aren't registered, DO IT NOW. If you are, VOTE. Because I'll tell you what. If you come to me to complain about any facet of our government, if you come to gripe, bitch, snipe, grouse...and you haven't voted? I'm gonna kick your ass right out my door.

Seriously. And don't even THINK of kvetching if you don't vote.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Yarn Overdose

As I mentioned in the prior post, I hit four yarn shops before I even saw the ocean on my trip to the Outer Banks. I even showed admirable restraint in not going to a fifth. But pretty much that was ALL the restraint I showed.

First, you have to understand, I have no local yarn shop (known in knitting parlance as LYS). The closest ones to me are close to an hour away, and for the most part, are closed when our studio is closed, and I am therefore free to visit them. So getting to actually go to a LYS and fondle the yarn, see the color without wondering if the monitor is changing it, contrast and compare and ask questions, is pure heaven. And so I did, DH frequently wandering to neighboring shops, but returning to act out his Sherpa duties. :::wink:::

I found the differences between the shops to be fascinating, because at two I felt right at home, and at two, while perfectly pleasant, I was not comfortable. And my purchases reflect that.

The first shop I visited was in Richmond, The Yarn Lounge. I had liked their website, an important necessity in this day and age. I walked into a shop that had yarn all around the walls, not tons, but a nice selection. A few needles and tools, and a huge central table. I felt welcomed, that they were interested in me, and not pushed. We talked about A Fine Fleece and one of the ladies showed me the front and back of a sweater from it that she was doing in a yarn called Imperial Stock Ranch. Amazingly, she'd only used two skeins for a 44" bust cabled sweater. This yarn says 200+ yards in a skein, but it has to be considerably more. It's from Oregon, made from Columbia sheep. I got four skeins of it in 2 ply in a shade called Canyon Shadow Blue. I also got two skeins of Malabrigo worsted in Tuareg, a color I also have already in their lace weight. Here's a shot of what I got. The colors are a bit washed out, so I encourage you to look at the website.

My next yarn shop didn't hit me nearly as well. It was Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg, which I found entirely by accident when we stopped for coffee. It's in a cluster of very artsy fartsy shops called Village Shops at Kingsmill. Although the help was quite polite, they weren't warm, you know? I'm always irked when a shop has a sample out that they don't have the yarn to make. I fell in love with a colorwork mitten that was solid with tiny insets of multicolored yarn. They had tons of the multi, almost none of the solid. But they tried to push a kit on me for another, totally different mitten. Nice, it's in Vogue and I liked it, but not what I wanted. When I asked about another yarn, they didn't have it and waved me toward another that wasn't really similar at all. The shop was busy, and the staff was helpful toward most everyone, but I just didn't feel the love. I cannot pin it down better than that, but I can show you that all I bought was two skeins of Noro that I think are destined for some mittens.
This is showing a bit brighter than actuality, but you get the idea.

The next shop was recommended to me by the ladies at the Yarn Lounge, and bless them for it. It was my favorite. Called Knitting Addiction, it's a wonderful, roomy shop, as the picture on their home page shows. They even kept their pretty cat away from me, since I'm allergic. I fell in love with the colorways of Ellyn Cooper, and found a shop pattern (free with the yarn) to make a vest with her Cotton Ripple in Blue Hydrangea plus some Mission Falls cotton. Here you see half what I bought to make it.

All the solid shades of Mission Falls appear in the Cooper yarn in the center. While I was picking them out, the shop owner had already wound the Cotton Ripple!

I saw another quickie pattern, a shrug, that looked perfect for keeping winter chill off in the office, and got it with some Plymouth Brushed Baby Alpaca. It's a lovely gray.

Last, I visited a shop on the Manteo waterfront called Fine Yarns at Kimbeeba. This was a smallish shop but with some nice yarns and another very good website. Again, I didn't feel as at home here, but I did get helpful service. She didn't have the Berroco yarn I wanted, but showed me a couple good substitutes, and even showed me one yarn, an Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, that would be about half the others, especially once I got her 15% off for ten skeins or more.Unfortunately, I felt pressured by the shop attendant (owner?) to purchase some very nice Noro sock yarn that I didn't want or need, and that was off-putting, but she did toss in an entralac pattern which was nice.

Thinking back, the thing my two preferred shops (and I emphasize, all four were nice and had helpful aspects) had over the less-preferred was that I didn't feel condescended to. I am pretty yarn-savvy. I run three knitting lists, but in the two shops where I was less comfortable, the staff ASSUMED a lack of knowledge on my part. It seems to me to be a healthier attitude to assume I have a yarn background, and if I have to ask more questions, then go more in-depth with explanations. Or simply ask how much help understanding various yarns I might need.

Assume I'm smart. I'll like you better. More important, I'll spend more. *sigh* Probably more than I should.


For the cognescenti, that stands for Outer Banks, and it will often be seen in stickers and magnets on including mine, since the DH and I got back late yesterday from our first vacation in seven years.

It was wonderful. Other than basic outlines, we made no plans. Considering how structured most of our life has to be, that was wonderful. We left after our last appointment on Thursday, and headed south, thinking we'd spend that night at about the halfway mark. We stopped for dinner, then found a hotel. A Holiday Inn; nothing fancy, but we were just going to sleep, get up, eat and go.

Well, it wasn't too fancy, for sure. When I awoke, my back was covered with some kind of bites. I can only assume from bed bugs, since they most certainly weren't there when I went to sleep. When the DH informed the front desk at checkout, their response was a cavalier, "Sorry about that!" Yes indeedy, a letter to corporate will be sent.

Before leaving the Richmond area, we went to one of the two yarn shops I had found on the 'Net. In fact, I ended up visiting FOUR yarn shops before I ever saw the ocean...I intend to blog on all that a bit later. Then we thought we'd head over to Williamsburg and have some lunch, maybe a bit of a walk around, before finishing our journey, since check-in was after four. I thought it would be nice to eat at the Kings Arms Tavern, because we'd eaten there on our first anniversary trip, thirteen years ago.

Yeah, well, it was a good plan. If we'd had a map so we knew how to park near there. We didn't, so we parked at the visitor's center, planning to walk over. It was hugely muggy out, and after picking up a map, we realized it was WAY more of a hike than we wanted to take, so the darling DH went back for the car, arranging to pick me up at an underpass just ahead. While I waited, I got this lovely shot with my tiny digital.

Don't you just love the play of light? And if we hadn't goofed, I never would have seen it. That became a recurring theme...we'd go off in a wrong direction, and end up with some beauty we never expected.
As we headed on down the road, it was raining on and off. We weren't worried; we knew it was due to clear, and basically, we weren't going to melt. But then we got quite a sign. If you were going on vacation and saw this over the direction you were heading, wouldn't you feel pretty confident?

It was a full rainbow, both left and right, and including the slight ghosting of a second one. Just lovely!

Unfortunately, our gaffe at Williamsburg meant we were caught in rush hour heading around Norfolk and into the Chesapeake tunnel. We got into the Outer Banks after dark, and checked in, having dinner in the Ramada restaurant. Next morning, we got up and headed out for decent coffee (the room provided Maxwell House. We shuddered.) Did a little shopping, including two more yarn shops! - and then drove around a wildlife refuge. It was too late in the day to see much activity, but we did see some snowy egrets. My little camera couldn't get them, but the DH did get a few. I contented myself with a bit of scenery.
If you look beyond the reeds and to the left, you can see some white birdy blobs. :-)
We also went to Kitty Hawk and the Wright Memorial. I liked this view of the Memorial in the distance from the Visitor's Center.

We had a great meal at the Outer Banks Brewery that night. Scallops that were the tenderest I'd ever tasted, and a very good Porter for me. The DH, being a home-brewer, did a sampler of four of the other brews. Another notable meal was at Penguin Isle, a restaurant my cousin had recommended. We got up early enough to capture the sunrise over the ocean, and this place let us watch the sunset over Albemarle Sound. Utterly glorious, and the DH was in charge of capturing them.

One place we found with excellent, fresh roasted coffee was called The Front Porch. They had Kill Devil Hills roasted coffees, and this hysterical sticker on the toilet. Yes, I did go back out to grab my camera just to capture this.

We visited one of the Outer Banks lighthouses on Bodie Island. It's imaginatively called Bodie (pronounced body) Lighthouse. Did we climb it, you ask? Surely you jest.

We had a lot of fun, some romance, found some nice shells, even had a great round of miniature golf, at which, dear readers, I'm distressed to tell you, the love of my life cheated like mad. I still beat him. Life is good. It was even good when, sitting at the edge of the surf, I got a suit full of tiny pebbles. Some in places that I would have thought nothing could reach. :-X We watched plovers, and ghost crabs, and waves, and barely touched the books we'd taken.
Yesterday we had intended to spend a night on the road, but realized we'd rather be in our own bed. However, we had unfinished business. This time, address in hand, we found where we could park to eat at the King's Arms, and we did. Nice lunch, and a bit of a stroll around before a thunderstorm threatened. The DH was suitably punished for his cheating. His face is obscured to save my shame if he were identified in public. LOL
Coming up through VA yesterday evening we kept skirting what looked to be a nasty storm. I caught this shot through the windshield. But we got home safe and sound, much to the delight of the dogs.
The best thing is that we have very little post-vacation letdown. The DH's sweetie of a brother vacations at OBX and has invited us to join him for a few days next July. So we have THAT going for us!