Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vacation 2009: Fort Macon

Today was our trip to Fort Macon. Here there is a ton of history, on 389 acres, which has been standing since 1834 as a barrier to naval attack. To get a full history of Fort Macon I have supplied a link which covers the years the site was a military installation.

Fort Macon: History

We arrived in late morning and it was already well over 90 degrees and a bit humid. But after arriving there we didn’t notice the heat much as the structure was an impressive site.DSC03824 Here is a shot taken from the inner wall which encircled the inner courtyard. The masonry was impressive and you will be informed of how they built the fort in its entirety. You also have the opportunity to walk through the different segments of the structure so you get the true feel of what it must of been like to be stationed there.

Another shot I took was in one of the vaulted rooms which were used for different purposes but they had some potential for some great shots. Here MDSC03848eg hides in one room which was taken with night vision photography. Each of the 26 casemates surely had some story to tell. And even though it was day time you had to wonder if anyone from the past still walked these rooms.

It was great to take pictures in using different lighting, angles and anything else your imagination could come up with.

Once the crowd was out of the way I was able to get this shot which captured the doorways that enabled you to get to any one of the rooms in that section. The small barred DSC03852 window at the end of the walkway gave the shot an eerie T.A.P.S. kind of feel. Here and there someone would walk passed the window and gave it even more of the ghostly appearance.

We continued on throughout the rooms learning about life at the fort and was instructed on how the men ate and slept, carrying on their daily routines as enlisted men protecting the coast from pirates and the threat of the English invasion. One can only wonder how they endured the heat and humidity in these damp dark rooms waiting for something to happen.

In one room there was an oven which I had Meg open on a video clip because it was in night vision and the sound of the squeaky hinges was too good not to record. Below is the clip (sorry it is sideways…I will fix it later:

Here I added a few more shots of the fort:

The MOney Shot 
The Money Shot”

Remnant of Confederate Flag”

After our tour of historic Fort Macon we drove over to Beaufort and walked through the various shops looking for a souvenir to keep the day in our memories. After an hour or so we realized we left our precious daughter at the fort…lol.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vacation 2009: The Beach


When you wake up with the sound of the waves hitting the shore you know it is going to be a good day. It is Monday morning, and after a small breakfast and a few cups of coffee on the deck overlooking this scene of a single beach chair waiting for its owner to again claim it for a day of sun worshiping, I was ready to start the day.

It took a few trips to set up our “base camp” of two umbrellas, four beach chairs, a cooler full of beer, a few books, a number of MP3 players, towels, boogie boards and some writing material (for me). But it didn’t take long before we all wanted to jump in the salty ocean and ride the waves.

I took a number of pictures showing what we all do here on the beach. This obviously doesn’t exclude anyone here. The number one activity if you haven’t already guessed it is being in the water. OnceThe Beach2 you get used to the salty taste and the burning sensation when the water goes up your nose, it is all good.

The waves today were big enough to body surf and the ocean floor was all sand which most times you are walking through a patch of seashells of all sorts.

Here I am after a body surf attempt getting back out to where the waves come crashing down. It is a blast and when it is really hot out you keep to the water as long as possible. Today it was in the upper 90’s, but with the cool sea water and a refreshing breeze coming from the east off the ocean it was great weather.

The second most popular activity is reading that novel you bought specially for the trip.Day2 095 And it is totally a given that at some point you do this because with the sound of the waves in the foreground you can so concentrate on the book.

This is a random shot of one of our condo neighbors relaxing and enjoying a book. And yes it is a girl as I am not too keen on taking photographs of guys. What would you think of me? Does it look relaxing? Feet buried in the sand and the waves flowing through your toes and a good book makes for a day of total downtime.

I also wanted to post a shot of the condo we are staying at. Not the fanciest or the most extravagant on the island but I love it here. It is a perfect setup for what we plan to do here at Emerald Isle.Day2 083 We chose the top floor for a number of reasons. The number one is the view. You get a great look up and down the coast. At night it is easy to view the stars and if your lucky, as we have been, you find yourself witnessing a meteor shower over the ocean which is a memory to cherish.

I could post a hundred pictures for the first day on the beach as I do literally have that many, but it is time to wrap this up. Tomorrow we plan to visit Fort Macon and do some souvenir shopping to get that out of the way before we dedicate the rest of the week to resting here right on the beach.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Vacation 2009: The Arrival

We made it to the east coast!

The remainder of the drive was good, with minimal traffic and great sunny weather. The morning portion of the drive was again very cool going through the mountains of Virginia in the early morning, witnessing the morning fog being burned off the trees.

It was a quick move into the condo (though everything needed to be carried up five flights of stairs) and all the provisions were put in their place. THEN it was time to relax on the deck, listen to the waves and enjoy the scene. Here is what I see from our deck:


After the first beer it was like being at home, enjoying the ocean breeze on my body as I sat on our deck. Love the smell of the ocean! It was like being at a new place but not as we have rented this particular condo a year ago and fell in love with the whole set up and the location. It didn’t take long before I spotted one of my favorite reasons for being here on the beach:

Arrival girl

What? I’m a guy all right! And for you guys reading this, I can’t stress the fact enough that this is a place where the girls are really HOT! Not that they are all from NC but they come in with their families and enjoy the same things I do…sun, waves and a chance to get away from the everyday life we all lead.

After a few cocktails, we ordered a pie from the Pizza Inn, and I recommend them because their pizza is very, very good. Especially after six or seven Miller Lites.

Our group enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on the deck and a walk on the shore at dusk. If you’ve never had a chance to walk the beach at dust in August, with the ocean breeze gently caressing your body and the warm waves at your feet you haven’t lived life to its fullest. My opinion, but I highly recommend it.

Meg (my official photographer) took this shot of me coming from my first walk off the beach:


All in all it was a good arrival day. I can expect now a week of relaxation and with a little luck some words to pop in my noodle to write about.

Oh, I almost forgot! The sunset was brilliant! Yes the advantage of the setup here is you get to witness the sunrise and the sunset from the same deck! Life is good…at the moment.


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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vacation 2009: The Drive (Revised)


Well today we left for our trip to Emerald Isle NC. And obviously driving the 16 hours today was filled with…well, nothing but looking at the scenery and watching the cars and trucks roll by. Yeah…pretty uneventful.

I am reporting from Huntington WV in one of my favorite hotels with a full stomach and a bottle of Miller Lite to help ease me to sleep.

Tomorrow will be a similar day but the drive will be reduced from 16 hours on the road to approximately 8hrs. and the anticipated arrival to the beach condo.

No more to be said.

Since I posted this i have to revise it because I did state that there was no more to be said…but there is:

At 1 am I was awaken in my plush hotel dreaming state by one of our group having a allergic reaction to something or another. This lead to a trip to the emergency room (not to mention the drive trying to find the hospital), the subsequent two hour wait to be seen and the drive back to the hotel. By 3:30 am I was back in bed trying to get the remaining 2 hours of sleep that I desperately needed. Who knew being a passenger for a 16 hour ride was so taxing.

This did make the “drive” eventful I guess, but obviously not something one would want to happen on the first day of vacation. The goal is to write about all the good/happy times in this east coast paradise, to memorialize the trip for when I am too old to make it even to the little boys room on my own.

I think that now our “one” incident allotted per trip is used up and the rest of the week will be another awesome experience.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Below The Surface

annes pic

Below The Surface

Below the surface
I fear things,
like,  who am I?
and the future, more than the past.
But I can hide here,
inside, below the surface
away from their words,
apart from their scandalous innuendos
trying to seep in as some sewage.
Footsteps above, creaking dead wood
reminding of old bones,
piles, hip deep in a dream
dead bones, of living hunger
possessing its sickly odor.
In summer, the sun creeps in
pushing away sleepy somber,
awakens lust, filthy desires painted black
an animalistic urge to peel back skin,
showing you the inside,
how I really feel, below the surface.

My first thought at the picture was to paste “The Dark Cage” there as it is such a fitting image for it. But I didn’t and came up with “Below The Surface” hoping to capture the same essence as “The Dark Cage” but with a 2009 look. Once it was finished, I realized nothing has changed…nothing.



This picture has always intrigue me just by the sheer power of the sea. A great image to use in our challenges. In getting the image I came across this clip on the same subject…very cool.



The desire overwhelms me
to welcome her touch,
though it is a dark, icy grip
giving cover to all she embraces.

Bless the keeper of the lighthouse
never failing to burn,
a wicked lantern, posed in death
to summon like moths of cloth.

I fear the bottom of the sea
a coffin of many voyages,
brave souls, called to duty again
pretending a purpose imaginable to God.

It calls me, her salty kiss
to play a game of chance,
beyond all that feeds me, the light
just to float, an embryo of nothingness.