Thursday, August 14, 2008

my old stompin grounds..

let me start off by saying.. that obviously im a texan thru and thru. but if there's ever been a place that youve spent enough time in to be homesick for.. then theres a piece of you there. and visiting that place again will always feel a lot like going home. and for me.. that place is va beach. i have only been there to visit once in the last 4 years. so needless to say, i was very excited to be going back.. i can hardly believe that the whole trip is over already.

when we first got back last week, things were hectic and crazy around here. my parents brought the kids home with in an hour of our arrival. they had to attend the funeral of a very close personal friend the next morning. then i found out that my sweet sister in law had been very sick all weekend - which is so scary when theres a little life depending on you. not to mention the crazy story of kp's check card being stolen while we were away and the bank of america mess i had to work thru with the fruad dept that first morning back.. crazy stuff.

so during nap on wednesday.. i uploaded all 639 pics i took on our 5 day east coast adventure. and, honestly, they made me sad. not sad to be home. just little kid sad.. like when you look forward to something for a long time and it really stings when its over. and i miss my friends. even tho theres only a small group still there. most have moved away.. when youre there you feel like they are too. weird. anyway..a week and a half later - the pictures totally make me smile and im ready to relive our vacation to va beach and the outer banks!

here we go.. with the help of a few of these tastey margaritas -

kyle endured a 2.5 hour 'lunch' with a few of my closest friends at my FAVORITE mexican food restaurant in the whole world. it was SO great to see these guys. it has been WAY too long. dont wanna let that happen again. but the best part about awesome friends is that you can pick right up just like old times. we talked and laughed and cried and joked like not a minute had passed since our dillards days. definitely a high light of the trip for me! i love you guys!!!
after lunch..around 3pm. we found the mincheys hanging out in this applebees. and after a not so quick stop at the nearby hair cuttery and golf galaxy. i demanded we do a little local site seeing! we dropped our luggage and one of the fanciest rental cars ive ever seen off at the double tree near the beach.. and made our way to the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel.
kyle and his new sunglasses assured the mincheys that it was worth seeing. they would appreciate it someday..

we didnt actually go all the way across the 23 mi bridge-tunnel. we only stopped at the visitors center and took a few pictures. but they got the idea. its pretty amazing..
and look how pretty they were by the water!

kinda strange how we all sort of match.. not planned. i promise. too bad we didnt get a shot of all 4 of us. :(when we arrived back at the hotel.. kyle and i enjoyed the last few minutes of happy hour in the bar while derek and nicole got ready for dinner and a night on the town. nicole joined us after she had changed..and we asked a random to snap a shot of us. the hot cookies sign in the back ground of this pic cracks me up. :)
that night we had dinner at a local favorite, mahi mah's. and then walked along atlantic blvd seeing the sights and stopping in a few local watering holes. team minchey was in charge of all the photos that evening so that i didnt have to lug my camera around. ill share them when they do. hint hint!

the next morning we packed up and did a little more site seeing before hitting the road on our 'short' 90 miles trek down to the outer banks of north carolina. we visited the nauticus museum and toured the battleship wisconsin. it was kind of cloudy and gloomy on the harbor that day.. but it was a welcome change from the blistering texas heat.
ok.. FF about 9 hours. cause thats about how long it took us to drive the 90 miles to the OBX, which was our final destination. the craziest traffic of all times. it was bumper to bumper all the way down. honestly we left at 130 and arrived a little after 7. not the way everyone expected to spend their saturday afternoon. but what can i say. i do love a road trip.. :) we made the best of it. and along the way we saw the hottest toll booth girl ever.. and the hottest roadside fruit stand girl ever.. some of us napped {not i}.. some of us listened to a little nascar on the satellite radio {not derek:)}.. and kp, well.. he drove. and drove. and drove. by the time we arrived we were STARVING! and a little cranky. so the boys went to the closest grocery store while nicole and i unpacked and made this adorable house feel a little more like home. after derek prepared a delicious bass.. i mean steak.. for everyone and we had a few minutes to fill our bellies and catch our breaths we were feeling better. not long after that.. this guy. formally known as do-rag-aaron arrived. (if your not sure what t do-rag is.. wiki has a great definition.)
all i know is that that do-rag transformed these two guys..
into these silly boys...
and somehow.. vacation was right back on track! we spent quite a few hours talking and enjoying each others company. listening to good music and calling random old friends in the middle of the night. love ya bobby rose....and then we got some sleep.
well.. most of us got some sleep. do-rag aaron and party kp needed some quality bonding time. so they loaded up the essentials. hijacked my camera. and watched their first ever east coast sunrise at the beach. so romantic. i must admit that i was a little bitter about it.. but im over it now. mostly. ;) i can say that im glad they had a good time. and im glad they enjoyed an east coast sunrise. in my opinion theres nothing better. and they did take some good pics. {but dont tell them that...}
sunday morning.. {or was it afternoon?} we took a trolley ride to the beach. we needed to dig our toes into the sand. and it was great. we hung out in the water. relaxed on the beach. the whole afternoon is definitely a highlight of the trip for me.
kyle and i, with the help of master sand sculpter d-rock, even buried each other in the sand!
kyles turn!there were other people digging.. i know, i know. they are children. :) oh well. its fun to be silly once in a while!after all that digging.. and photo taking.. what could we possibly do next? rest? not so much! btw..the music in the slide show really has nothing to do with the post. but some how that song has become the theme song for the entire trip for me. thanks cole! :)

Click to play foot race

now.. lets rest.

and listen to an ipod of course.
and a few of my favorite shots of my friends on the beach.
before boarding the trolley to go 'home' for the evening.. where, btw, we encountered the hottest trolley bus driver of all times.. kyle and i found this little guy on the beach.
i wanted to be brave and pick him up so badly. but it was scary!
derek taught me a little trick. you just ram a koozie into his face and hold his pincher-thingys down. then he cant get you. genius. why didnt i think of that. ;)
he didnt like it very much. doesnt he look angry?
one of the things on my list of vacation wants was to ride a tandom bike. you know - so that i dont have to pedal. well.. kp had a better idea. so funny. i guess most of my desire was fulfilled. i didnt have to pedal. thank you, nicole, for capturing this moment. im sure the neighbors thought we were CRAZY. it was hilarious.
i was trying to check the results of the nascar race on my phone.. kyle bush did not win that day. but clint boyer didnt either. :)
that evening.. derek cooked dinner. his lovely wife assisted him.
kyle provided the tunes.
and mostly kelly and i watched shark week.
until the smoke detector went off. kelly was definitely a big help then!
sometime during the night or early morning the arnolds finally arrived. and our fun party of 6 became an awesome party of 8. we were lazy on monday morning! so while the guys played golf in the afternoon.. the girls had a little bonding time! we took our tootsies to a local salon..and made them beautiful! then did a little shopping..
and we ate chips. not just any chips but the best chips in the whole world. and sat by the pool relaxing! what an awesome group! i love these girls!!
when the boys made it home they joined us in the back yard. somehow this is the only picture i got. but its a good one.michelle prepared an amazing italian meal. i mean - A - mazing! then we showered and got out of the house! what didnt make it out of the house was my camera. hate that! altho..i did see kelly with hers. when she finishes her vacation post we will have to check out the monday night festivities on team cardwells blog. cant wait to see them! we stopped at a little bar with a deck on the sound. it was very nice and calm.. then we made one more stop at a karaoke bar a little furter down the beach road. we were all hoping, well i shouldnt say all, but most of us were hoping to see aaron sing his infamous version of elvis's suspicious minds. that did not happen. we had an awesome time just the same! when we got back to the house we played poker quite literally til the sun came up. with the best of intentions kyle went to the beach with me to see an east coast sunrise before we had to leave for texas the next morning. it was beautiful. even if he didnt see much of it. :) thank you sweetheart! i love you even more for trying..and there you have it.. our vacation relived. on tuesday we drove back to va beach and then we flew back to reality. traffic was a breeze. funny theres never as many people trying to get out of paradise as there is trying to get in. we had such a good time! i loved every minute. thanks for planning your vacation on my old stompin' ground mincheys and cardwells. it meant a lot to me! i hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! cant wait to do it again!!!


Anonymous said...

Looks like you guys had a great time. I'm so glad that we had the chance to get together. I stole a couple of pictures, especially the sunrises. Lots of love, Lita

Unknown said...

Great post, James...wish so much that we could have joined you. Promise me you'll take me with you next time?!?!