I'm looking forward to my next chapter!
Read more about the park here: BAY MOUNTAIN PARK
This weekend proved to me once again why I am so very thankful when the sun shines. The weather of last week can get you down right depressed when the deficiency of the sun lasts that many days in a row. By Saturday morning I felt normal again, and was ready to get outside and enjoy the day. I couldn't stop smiling because I was so happy that the sun had returned. These pictures were actually taken yesterday when Cody and I took a walk around Bass Lake. I've had this idea of taking the throwing leaves pictures for a few weeks now but until yesterday we weren't able to do them. Although Cody was the one behind the camera I merely had the idea, set up the shot, and supplied the enthusiasm - not that Cody wasn't a willing subject or anything, he just didn't get into it at ALL. I fulfilled my picture taking goal this weekend and throughout the week I will be sharing some of those favorites with you, as usual.
Thank you for the wonderful postcard, I truly think the world of you and look forward to what will come.
HELP ME ADD TO MY COLLECTION: If anyone is interested in sending me a postcard from your hometown or travel destination please send me an email & I will gladly forward my mailing address.
My body has progressed to a state of deceleration that I have found to be unavoidable over the past few days, my brain says go but my body won't abide. I suppose that my sense of expression is due to be hindered for the time being, and I'm okay with that. I am perpetually behind in sorting my photos anyway so this has allowed me that extra time to sort through the endless files. I'm further in my 2007 picture album and am pretty happy with my results so far. It's also helping me with my idea to do a photography portfolio, narrowing down some of my most favorite pictures has proven to be more difficult than I imagined. I sat down to work on the Las Vegas book last night but didn't get very far since my computer runs like a loaded down mule. I mean it's only 8 years old with virtually no upgrades! I want a new one BAD........I really only us it for my photography purposes anymore anyhow but it's still slow as molasses, but that's another project for another day.
I left work early yesterday because I had the worst headache, it may have even been a migraine. I could not keep my eyes open because I was so sensitive to the lights in my office. My car has 4 new tires and it runs like a dream, I even got a free oil change out of the deal - how awesome is that! I'm happy that's it's no longer a worry in my mind and that we can safely share the roads.
*The above picture was taken on April 1, 2007*
But, I hate the pictures I took yesterday so instead I decided to post this one. After work we hesitantly went to the Parkway to shoot since it's my personal goal this week to get some parkway shots. We drove a ways down the parkway to try and dodge the very dense fog that blanketed the road. Tough luck, there wasn't one spot that wasn't covered with the thick haze. Determined to get the job done anyway we humored ourselves by stopping at a semi-clear overlook and proceeded to take some photos. It's getting dark earlier these days so we weren't able to linger for very long.
The weather isn't too much different today than it was yesterday and unfortunately a damper has been placed upon my plans as of this morning. My car has been driving a little rough lately and carelessly I have paid little attention to the cause knowing it was going to cost me some money. But here's an instance where whether you want to or not you MUST deal with the problem. On my way to work as I pulled out of the driveway I noticed that the car was driving even funnier that it had been yesterday, I stopped, got out and saw the tire was flat. Thankfully, I wasn't too far from the driveway, so, we pulled back in and Cody began changing the tire out for a donut tire. Well, it was way worse than both of us expected when he finally got the tire off - the tire was so worm that the wires in the tire were exposed. I know, I know, it's entirely my fault for letting it go for this long. Everyone knows better, right?! Well, it's getting fixed today! I'm getting 4 new tires and at a decent price too. I feel greatly blessed at the moment for the simple fact that the whole situation could have been a lot worse had there been a blow out while we were driving. That is so scary to think about - I don't recommend tempting fate in the way that I have. Man, I've never felt so awful about admitting something that seems as trivial as tires before but geez. I will now accept any and all reprimands you may have to offer since it was such an idiotic thing to have happened in the first place. Although, I'm not sure if anyone can make me feel worse than I already do.
*This picture was taken this morning while Cody was changing the tire, haha.
There are people that take the heart out of you, and there are people who put it back.
Last week while at the bank I noticed these little jars when I got to the teller that said "Take a thought of the day". So, feeling obliged to do so I took one and the above quotation is what was revealed when I unfolded the little piece of paper. For some reason it seemed appropriate at the time, although it wasn't until recently that I could actually relate to the message I chose. It's fairly difficult at times to detect the intentions of others and, we've all had those not so reputable people waltz in and out of our lives throughout the years. As for me things have gotten easier since I don't constantly have that turmoil in my everyday life, as it should be.
I was unbelievably productive last night, obviously trying to make up for the fact that we didn't go out shooting like I planned. I printed out some more pictures with my brand spanking new Epson printer, which I'm very happy with as far as quality goes. I have had this album where my plan was to have 2 of my favorite photos from every place we have been to this past year, but before I got my new printer I was still on Natural Tunnel State Park. So to give you an idea of how long ago that was - Natural Tunnel was a place we visited in the beginning of June! Needless to say I was pretty far behind, but I'm catching up. Now i'm up to Doughton Park which is where we took the Bambi picture (my favorite). Later this week I will work on it some more along with my various other ongoing projects.
This picture bellows that which is almost ineffable to me;
the sky, silhouettes, and gently rippling waters are all so calming.
This week my personal goal is to get photos everyday of the brilliant fall colors, although today I fell short. It's been rainy all day today, thankfully because we needed it desperately. I knew I would have some sort of excuse not to fulfill my end of the bargain - even with Cody being a great motivator.
After a long weekend I think I can justify enjoying a nice relaxing evening with little to no excitement or obligation. If you didn't know already I was in Atlanta to attend a wedding that Cody was a participant in this past weekend. I have a few pictures I'll be posting which will give more detail at that time.
Just right around the corner is Thanksgiving. My plan this year is to spend Thanksgiving in Jacksonville since it's been since LAST Thanksgiving that I was there. I suppose that it would only be fair, huh?! Now that drive will add a few more hours than it took for us to get to and from Atlanta; meaning a little more strain on my delicate neck and shoulders. But I hope to begin Acupuncture sometime soon and I pray that it will offer some much needed relief.
My Happy Birthday message from Stephen:
We know ourselves to be made from this Earth. We know this Earth is made from our bodies. For we see ourselves and we are nature. We are nature seeing nature. We are nature with a concept of nature. Nature weeping. Nature speaking to nature. The Redwinged Blackbird flies within us, in our inner sight. We see the arc of her flight. We measure the ellipse. We predict its climax. We are amazed................We fly.
May you see the Redwinged Blackbird within you!
*This photo was taken last weekend when Cody and I went to Roan Mountain. This hike was to the top of Carver's Gap which happened to be extremely popular last weekend. I could definitely see why once we reached the top. We surely plan to go back and explore a little further sometime soon.
May you always find beauty in all that you are
May the wind always follow you
May the fire within always burn
May your heart always be pure
May you always grow
May you always seek the balance
and, may you always "Walk in Beauty"
*Now tell me how wonderful is that.
Overflowing with vintage charm the Fremont Street Experience was on happening place. Unfortunately for us we didn't end up there until our last night but we quickly realized that is was by far our most favorite scene as far as glitz and momentum were concerned. Where as with the strip things are a little more spread out even though every square inch of it is covered with buildings. The atmosphere was just so lively and comfortable you just assumed that you fit in. And truth be told we did! We hung out at the Fremont Casino for a couple hours and that is where I finally got up the nerve to play at a blackjack table. I kept getting in trouble for doing the wrong thing, haha. "Don't touch your cards with both hands!" and then I couldn't count fast enough when I was put on the spot, I was a real mess. I still had fun though either way - I lost $40.00 but at least I tried!Now this right here was absolutely insane. The world's largest big screen coined Viva Vision! We didn't catch this one show which involves jets but the show we did see was really big and really loud. I mean I don't exactly know what to think about something like that. It was massive!
So this is really the end of our Las Vegas trip and as you can see we did a whole lot of really neat things. I've caught myself wishing on more than one occasion this week that we were all back there. But it's on to the next adventure! I don' t know exactly what or where that will be but as soon as I figure it out I bet you'll know. Just in case you haven't noticed I have a new Flickr account which I have started filling with pictures from our most recent trip some that were not posted here so check it out when you get the opportunity.
I could go on and on about how lucky I am to have some of the most wonderful friends but the proof is in the pudding so here is a prime example:
This was a package of little tokens from my very dear friends Tawny and Stephen. Originally I met them both in Florida and we became somewhat close a few years ago. Not to long after I moved they uprooted themselves as well and also live in NC now as a result of Stephen joining the Army. We had some very wonderful times together in the few years that we lived in the same area. Namely the Hostel in the Forest which I know we all ache to return to at times. Through Tawny and Stephen I discovered many things about myself and others that no one else could have shown me in such the ways as they did. They are those friends that I know will always be there for me no matter what - they are two of the most special people you will ever meet! So, before this gets to mushy...............thank you, thank you so much for such a thoughtful birthday gift - it definitely made my day.
HELP ME ADD TO MY COLLECTION: If anyone is interested in sending me a postcard from your hometown or travel destination please send me an email & I will gladly forward my mailing address.Staying connected with you all is what I cherish the most especially since I don't have very many friends here in Boone. Which by the way is entirely my fault because I don't really make any effort to find any. But honestly I'm okay with that. I have really enjoyed reacquainting myself with friends that I believed to be long lost until Myspace came along. It's amazing how easy it is to keep contact with folks that way. And finding people you haven't seen or heard from in years is always the best surprise. Last night I spoke with an old friend named Kelly whom I went to school with parts of middle school (we just realized) and high school which is where we were really good friends. It was great reminiscing with her after almost 10 years, the constant "do you remember" him/her. Thinking about our dorky JROTC days and boot camp and all of the other people we came to know so well will forever stay ingrained in my memory. Thinking back I've had some really great friends along the way - it was hard growing up and moving back and forth all the time. My Mom kept us on the go when we were younger. I don't even know how many elementary schools I went to, middle schools I would say about 3 maybe 4, and High School I know I went to 3 total. So, that's just a lot of moving around - making friends all over again in each new place we went. It was hard leaving people behind especially when you are younger and can't quite understand why you have to go. But like I said I met some really influential people that I will not soon forget & I can only hope that those I have yet to make contact with again that we will somehow find one another down the road.
(Last) Friday mid-afternoon once we left The Venetian we dropped Sister off at the hotel and Jared, Cody & myself went to Red Rocks. It was another exceptionally windy day so what we did when we got to Red Rocks was drive the 13-mile one way loop. And we also went into the Visitor Center because of course I had to buy a postcard! Anyways, we did get out of the car a few times to take some photos but for most of the ride we stayed inside the vehicle to avoid
being wind-blown. It would have been great if we would have actually had time to explore and hike a trail at least but we got there too late. Despite that the scenery was unbelievable, what we were seeing seemed artificial almost. Like they were backdrops straight out of Hollywood and we were on a set or some sort.
It was extremely challenging to try and fit everything in, we were only there a short while. Not even long enough to get adjusted to the time change, really. We did as much as we could without overdoing it I think. Had we tried to do any more and I would have been an absolute wreck! But we knew our limits and that was a good thing. The pictures taken on the far side of the 13-mile loop didn't come out as well since there was an enormous cloud looming above the mountain range. It definitely rained on our try to catch the sunset parade. Man, you can't believe how windy it was out there! We basically just drove through but I'm still glad that I at least got to see it for myself even if it wasn't in the greatest of detail.
Where the streets are paved with water.............we decided to check out the VENETIAN on Friday morning. The moment you step through the door your senses are bombarded with the sheer grandeur of Venice brought to life right before your very eyes. From the hand-painted frescoed ceilings to the statuary placed throughout the hotel everything was marvelous. The Grand Canal Shoppes was were Cody and I took an authentic Gondola Ride complete with our own serenading Gondolier - and she had the most amazing voice. There were even performers in the square before, after and during our ride. The "living statutes" were kind of creepy but they will apparently do anything in Las Vegas to keep you entertained. The Venetian was definitely the most unique hotel we visited.
I hope that so far you have enjoyed hearing about our trip. I'm also in the process of uploading photos onto Flickr.
The most magical place by far during our trip was definitely Mt. Charleston. Far different from the desert that surrounds the larger part of Las Vegas which is exactly why I felt that we should go there. At over 1,100 feet the weather was a lot cooler in Kyle's Canyon and the wind was kicking just the same although it didn't stop us from taking a short hike in the canyon anyway. It was well worth the small amount of discomfort for the sake of nature. I realized while there that I was considerably happier being outdoors and that the most favorite part of my Las Vegas trip was the outdoorsy aspect I enjoyed overall. During this time Sister stayed behind to lay by the pool which at first didn't sit well with me but then I also understand to each his own. She likes shopping and laying by the pool while I like hiking and taking pictures! But boy am I glad I didn't miss the opportunity to witness Mt. Charleston with my own eyes. Another tidbit of "news" is in my opinion the most bona fide souvenir that anyone could ever come home with after a vacation. You would never believe me if I didn't have the proof but good thing I'm all about maintaining records! So, after our hike up the Cathedral Rock trail and returning to the car we are descending the mountain but decide to stop off on the side of the road to take some photos of the Aspen's which were absolutely magnificent by the way and upon our exit of the trees I walked up to these two women parked next to us also taking photos. They were trying to take photos of us! Cody came out soon after I did and was also subjected to the burst of the shutter by the photographer. After talking with them for a minute we discovered that they were actually with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. And that they were in Kyle's Canyon to do a story about the Cathedral Rock trail since it will soon be closed to undergo major renovations for the next two years or so. Guess we got lucky, huh!Well, they took our information and said that maybe they would use one of our photos in the newspaper. Crazy right, the next day we stopped at the grocery store and I remembered about the article and reminded Cody to grab a paper. When he got back in the car we hurriedly shuffled through the pages and low and behold, I screamed nearly shattering Cody & Jared's eardrums, there he was "Leaping into Fall" Cody was IN the Las Vegas newspaper!!! I mean who goes on their vacation and ends up in the newspaper?!?! hahaha, it was awesome! Didn't I tell you........best memento ever! So, yeah Mt. Charleston was definitely a highlight of the trip although they were all pretty much highlights now that I think about it................Wait till' you see what we did that night!!! I may not post it today but I will do it tomorrow. I can't take anymore of this computer business!
So, I lied. I'm sure that I would have liked you all to think that I am wild and crazy and that I got into all sorts of mischief on our most recent trip to Las Vegas but sorry to report that - no I did not! But we did have an awesome time. There were so many things to do and such a short amount of time to do it in. For the remainder of the week I will be posting pictures and details about what we did while in the city that never sleeps. I did my best not to drive everyone insane with an itinerary that outlined everything and everywhere I wanted to go. I soon realized that it was extremely impractical to try and do EVERYTHING on my list. I thought it best to take our time and not rush around so that it would actually feel like a vacation. Coordinating 4 people was a challenge since some were ready faster than others and ideals weren't always parallel when picking out things to do but it was okay anyway. Most of our downtime was spent at our hotel - THE TROPICANA. For the price we paid it proved to be more than what I initially expected. Their slogan is "The way Las Vegas was meant to be" because they are one of the oldest hotels still standing on the strip and from the outdated decor you can surely tell. But instead of that taking away it definitely added to the experience; I would highly recommend The Tropicana if any of you are thinking of heading to the Las Vegas Strip anytime soon. They didn't have a whole lot of gambling tables to offer but there were a butt load of slots to dump your money in. I'm sure you're all wondering whether I won or lost..............well, I pretty much just lost. What little bit I did actually gamble. It really just wasn't my thing I suppose but it was fun. I didn't get up the nerve to play blackjack until Friday night. As with Cody & Jared they preferred the blackjack tables to anything else. You do lose your money a lot slower that way as opposed to putting your money into the bottomless slots. Our hotel was really close to New York New York which was Sisters favorite place to hang out. She went there I can't even tell you how many times! It was a pretty neat place. I couldn't believe how massive these hotels were and how complicatedly decorated they all are I mean inside and out. I'm sure that I would be cringing for days had I actually known how much money all that stuff costs. You definitely feel pressure to buy, buy, buy but I resisted the temptation. Okay, I take that back - I bought more postcards than the average human being. And I would go so far as to say that I spent more money on postcards than I did on gambling, hahaha. I even thought at one point that maybe I should go to or start some sort of postcard anonymous. I did cut myself off and besides they aren't all for me. Maybe I'm going to send you one?!?!? Also across the street from our hotel was The Excalibur which was the most absurd thing you would ever lay your eyes on! We ventured there late Friday night in search of a $5 blackjack table but instead were left disappointed. So we only stayed there for a short amount of time before deciding that it was way past our bedtime. It was really hard to adjust to the time change in just four days so we would stay up late and wake up way too early which threw us way off! So to cover all four corners the other hotel across the way was the MGM Grand. Now this is one that for some reason we weren't all to interested to see what was inside so it went unexplored but here is a shot of it anyhow. And pretty much our first night was about feeling it all out, we walked as far as the Bellagio before turning back to head towards our end of the strip. We did however catch the fountain show in front of the Bellagio which was pretty cool. Let me tell you what the most exorbitant sight was ..........okay I know I should have taken a picture but I didn't............even the Walgreens and CVS had bright shining flashing showy Las Vegas lights! It was crazy! But we did finally get tired once the jet lag finally caught up to us and we went back to the hotel room for some shut eye. I know you can't wait to see what we did the next day can you, I can barely stand it myself. But bear with me - Cody and I both are experiencing some computer difficulties at the moment so I have faith that my computer can make it a little longer..............
VIVA LAS VEGAS!
Check out the links above to learn about Nuri's hometown Girona and the surrounding city I also received a postcard from.
HELP ME ADD TO MY COLLECTION: If anyone is interested in sending me a postcard from your hometown or travel destination please send me an email & I will gladly forward my mailing address.
And in other news: Yesterday I also received a very generous birthday card from Cody's mom & dad which was a complete shock to me when I opened it. I was just delighted that she thought of me enough to send me a birthday card and I certainly didn't expect anything other than that once I opened it but boy was it a grand surprise indeed. I just want to say again to Lee & Craig thank you, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness; it really means a lot to me!
I didn't get to bed until 2:30am last night because I decided to wait until the very last minute to get packed and ready to hit the road. I surely hope we are not forgetting anything important. I'm sure I'll be re-running the check list in my head for the majority of the day and living so close to work is a good thing just in case!! I am truly excited and extremely nervous about the whole ordeal - I hope that everything goes well.