Now where did I leave off? Oh, yes, Dan and I were just leaving the Assateague Lighthouse to find several cars parked on the side of the road. It's not until we park along with them that we realize what everyone's taking pictures of...
Dan let me take a quick shot from the window before he sped off to our final destination, Chincoteague! If you ask me, Chincoteague was the prettiest place we stopped, well, with the exception of the gross toilets we had to use! EEEEW!!
The gross toilets weren't enough to shoo us away though. We were still able to manage to enjoy what nature had to offer here... and goof off a little!
Button-Down: Wet Seal
Shirt: Victoria's Secret
Of course, as I took all kinds of silly shots, Dan worked on some real, artsy ones, like this:
This was my idea actually. Dan is always taking pictures on a long exposure- 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 10 minutes! He'd taken a few long exposures of the landscape already, but it was so windy I thought it'd be cool to see what it'd look like if I stood still and let the wind blow my hair around and my open shirt a little. Pretty cool result, I think!
Did you guys know I became a Ranger while we were there?!
Such a fun time! We managed to get ourselves back to the car eventually, and drove home. The end.
What? What do you mean I forgot something?? I did?!?! Ooooh yeeeah! I did promise Dan some ice cream, didn't I! Well don't you worry, I didn't forget!
And so. That's the end to our adventurous tale at the Eastern Shore! I had so much fun and can't wait to have many more adventurous tales with Dan!
Let me take a few minutes to give thanks to some bloggers out there. I'm talking in particular about Tieka from Selective Potential, Elizabeth from Delightfully Tacky, Lisa from Lisa's Likes, and Brittany from Finders Keepers. These ladies serve as tremendous inspiration to me, and while they all post their outfits and have a great sense of fashion, I find them more inspiring in their travels. It seems like every time I check my Google Reader, one of them is going on an exciting trip or going somewhere fun, even if they don't leave their own zip code! Goodness, Elizabeth just got her dream-Brave and is embarking on a journey from Alaska to the rest of the country! How exciting is that?! Anyway, over the last six months of reading these girls' blogs, I've learned to find the fun things nearby (and even keep dreaming of the places far away!) and enjoy them!
That being said, a few weeks ago, Brittany posted about a trip to the Eastern Shore with her boyfriend. Not long after I'd read her post, I picked up a Virginia travel magazine that Dan's mom had lying around, and lo and behold, the Eastern Shore was featured. I made the suggestion to Dan that morning and an hour later we were traveling across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, going on an adventure!
Our first stop was at the first island, where we watched an enormous aircraft carrier go by, complete with little Coast Guard boats tossing around in it's wake to be sure no pirates tried to take over the ship!
The next stop was lunch at Stingrays. It was raved about in the travel magazine I'd picked up, plus Dan's mom mentioned it, so how could we go wrong eating there?! Hm. I think we went on a bad day... we didn't find it all too great. Oh well, I promised Dan some ice cream to make up for the bad lunch!
After our not-so-special lunch, we kept heading north and stopped to take a short walk on the Cape Charles shore:
We continued North searching for all the antique shops my magazine had promised me. We found one or two, but after the first shop, we lost interest in seeking out antiques. Onward on our journey! The next pit stop was the Assateague Light House:
They'd already closed for the day, so we couldn't actually go up in it, which was a double bummer since we'd been attacked by masses of mosquitos on the short walk to the lighthouse from the car! I wonder what it looks like on the inside...
We had to fight our way through the mosquitos back to the car, which we practically ran to! Still further north we drove, and this time we saw several cars parked on the side of the road. "I wonder what's going on?" I said to Dan. The closer we got, the more I could see what the hullabaloo was about...
On one of Dan's first few days here in town, I took him on a bike ride through the gardens:
It's always nice to take a fresh stroll through the gardens as a visitor rather than as an employee. Instead of seeing all the weeds and pests and any other problems needing to be fixed, I see the plants!
I love all the different textures
(left: agave) (right: reflection of a eucalyptus)
And the lacecap Hydrangeas have just been stunning lately:
Well, I think I called it... I have been out having so much fun while Dan's been in town, that I really haven't had any time to post! I have so many great things to share, and I don't think the fun is going to stop!
Amidst all the excitement, I did remember to stop at the store and pick out a Father's Day gift and managed to return home for the special day. If only I could remember each year, that my dad's favorite thing to do on a day off is to work in the garage, fixing something! But while he's enjoying his handydad duties, I'm enjoying the time to relax and look forward to what's coming this summer. According to my calendar, now full with tentative summertime road trips and work parties and boat rides with friends, I will have one weekend a month of good old fashioned R&R for the rest of the summer! So far this has been one incredible summer... it seems to me that it's only going to get better!
The title of today's post is a product of a beautful shot Dan took a couple weeks ago:
I was thrilled to have Dan take a few outfit pictures for me before we attended a dance with his parents. The dress code for this event was said to be "beach casual", to which I decided this dress was so perfect for, and the best part? I got it from the thrift store for less than $5!! My favorite thing about this dress is the twirl factor. It swings, it swirls, it twirls, it flows. I love it!
(of Duck, NC)
The dance turned out to be a little less exciting than we'd hoped, but luckily it was right there at the oceanfront, so after the important speeches, we left and took a walk on the boardwalk. I hadn't realized how ritzy that area has become! Where I used to see people walking along the boardwalk in swimsuits and beach attire, I was now seeing a glitzy nightlife, when did this happen?! I suppose it was all just around the new Hilton and it's restaurant Catch 31, but still... quite fancy!
I leave you with the favorite of the set between Dan and I. After all the shots I insisted he take head-to-toe, I made him hang in there for just a few more pictures so I could feature some of the great details of my dress. The persistance paid off just as a goose family swam by:
Dan and I have been frequenting the beach since his return home. We figure we might as well go as often as we can now before our little piece of the sea turns black with oil. Before my family came to visit for Memorial Day, I worked hard to get my swimsuit finished. I was determined to have it ready before I went to the beach for the first time all summer…. aaaaand… I did it!
Introducing my first handmade swimsuit:
I apologize for not having multiple pictures, or even one that showed the whole thing. But the truth is, that being my first hand-sewn swimsuit, there are still a few kinks to work out, and getting a flattering picture in it wasn’t so easy! It definitely looks better when dry than it does fresh out of the ocean, I’ll say that! Perhaps I’ll try again though for some good pics, it really is a cute suit! As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I found the pattern on etsy. I wanted to make a swimsuit, but all the patterns in the store were so… blegh… I couldn’t stand to make one of those! So I ordered a pattern from the 1960s instead!
I definitely want to make another one, especially now that I know what I’m doing (so hopefully it won’t take so long to make it! I won’t be ripping out seams every time I sit down to work on it!!). I’m not sure which pattern to pick from the set though, should I go one-piece or two-piece? And I’m definitely going for a nice bold, bright fabric! I got my vintage, black and white thing out of the way, now it’s time to go totally retro and bring on the color!
There are lots of updates ahead. Dan and I have been taking pictures nonstop since he got here, and I’m having so much fun! What will I ever do when he goes back to Blacksburg?! Check back for some great outfit pictures (taken by Dan) and lots of mementos from our little weekend excursion!
At the end of this month, I'm taking a road trip with my sister and her two girls out to Tennessee. We'll be stopping at the Biltmore Estate to look at the beautiful gardens and home (and maybe pick out a few bottles of wine!):
Last time I was at the Biltmore, Spring hadn't quite fully sprung yet. This time I hope to find more color!
We'll try our hands at gem mining, and maybe even strike it rich! After we make our fortunes, we'll be amazed at the Ripley's Aquarium, where there are more fish than people living in Gatlinburg! At the end of our trip we'll head to the Luray Caverns, and then work our way back home.
But I really won't be going home yet... I'll be going only partway, and then hitching a ride with my parents up to Pennsylvania for our huge family reunion on the family farm! It's a fun time every year with fireworks and auctions and cows and FOOD! Yummy, I can't wait!
After all that, I'll need a little break from the road, I'm sure! Who knows what the month of July will bring though...
In August, I'll be going on a vacation with my family to Yellowstone National Park. We haven't quite figured out what we want to do once we get there yet, but I'm sure whatever it is, it'll be breath-taking!
Maybe next year I'll have enough money to take a trip to England! I would love to go see all the gardens over there! And ever since I saw this ensemble put together at ModCloth, I've been dreaming of wearing it to walk through quaint little towns all day! It's funny how an outfit can inspire different vacations...
For real or for imagination, where are you going this summer?
I feel like it's been forever since I've posted anything! It's likely due to the fact that the past week has been incredibly busy. My parents host a reunion for my dad's side of the family every Memorial Day weekend, so all last week I was running around trying to get things cleaned and cooked and prettified. Family started arriving around 9pm on Friday and by the time I woke up on Saturday, the house was full of aunts, uncles, cousins, and a proud grandmother! We hit the beach before lunchtime, and unfortunately didn't stay long because of the weather. Although, we did manage to pull out of the parking lot just as the rain fell out of the sky like a waterfall! The rest of the weekend was spent poolside, feasting on BBQ and potato salad. Before everyone hit the road again, we all went out to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens to take a family picture and enjoy the scenery:
I have to say, it's a little hectic getting this many people to all look at the same place and smile at the same time! But I think Dan did a good job setting the camera up, and his mom did a nice job making everyone smile for the picture!
Here's another of the family, set at a long exposure, while we all tried to figure our way through the Butterfly Maze:
I love that my grandpa is the only one who stood still and so it looks like time is speeding up around him!
Working at the gardens, I encounter snakes quite often. Most are just sunbathing on the hot pavement, some are hiding away in flower beds, and some are en route to new locations. This very day I was out with my family taking pictures, I encountered another snake - NOT sunbathing or hiding or slithering away. This snake was feasting! EEEEEWWWW!!! I even got the rattle-shake to warn me to get away from his dinner before he hobbled off into the meadow, rodent in mouth. Fresh from that scene, Dan took this photo:
It's so nice to have him in town again! And this time he's here for a month! I don't feel like I have to rush our time together like I usually do. I know he'll still be here next week to go out to the movies with or take bike rides through the gardens or go to the zoo or the aquarium or the beach. June is officially Date Month! Hopefully I'll have lots to document while he's here, and honestly, I hope I don't have enough time to post anything til he's gone - because that means we're actually out doing things! This next week is already mostly booked with fun things: drinks after work, a dance at the Hilton (we might have to brush up on our skills!), friends visiting from Blacksburg, bike night at the gardens... and that's all before my next weekend off!