Tag Archives: beach



holden beach 1

A warm, dense breeze caresses my face;
the taste of salt lingers in the air.

Light jumps and plays across the water;
waves rhythmically roll and crash on the shore.

My toes dig into soft, moist sand;
cool water laps at my feet.

Salty air fills my lungs;
bright, warm sun lulls my eyes closed.

My shoulders slide down from their hitched position;
the furrows in my brow relax.

My mind quiets.












Photos in Boxes



Does anyone else have a box like this? I have two. At one time, they were sort of organized, but after moving and being shuffled through numerous times, they are just a mix of my life from college through my early 30s – before everyone had a camera on their phone. I keep saying I need to go through them and throw some away. But that is so hard. I begin the sorting process then start reminiscing and laughing and sending them in text to people. I never get very far.

These days, with digital cameras and cameras on every phone, I rarely print pictures any more. It’s a shame really. When I was growing up, I remember sitting for hours going through old photo albums asking mom about this and that. I’m the youngest with an older sister and brother. I refer to myself as a “gift”, they refer to me as a “mistake”.  If nothing else, I was definitely a surprise to my parents. By the time I came along, they were busy with other things, and didn’t seem to take a lot of pictures. The photo albums where a way for me to connect with the past I didn’t share with them.

I did start printing pictures of my big vacation trips and putting them in photo albums. Now, when I start feeling down or thinking to myself, “I don’t go anywhere”, I pull them out and start flipping through them; reconnecting with the past and thinking, yes, I’ve done a lot of things. I may just now have ventured to Europe, but oh the adventures my friends and I have had, and still have, are priceless. I’ve done most of my traveling with the same group of friends from college. The stories we have are funny and bind us together.

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

We hit Vegas for a week (which is too long to be in Vegas I think) and took in the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. When one decided to move to Phoenix for a few years, well, that was just another excuse for a trip. We made our visit into a vacation, driving up to the Grand Canyon, staying in Sedona on the way back. It was beautiful. We hiked, laughed and explored a new place together.   There have been numerous beach trips, road trips to Charleston and even longer road trips to Florida, including Key West, and a most memorable excursion to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I’ve taken a cruise to Hawaii

Dallas TX

Dallas TX



and the Bahamas, trekked up to New York City in a van, sat on a long horn in Texas, ventured across the border into Mexico several times, watched the start of the Iditarod in Alaska, sat and had dinner at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle and sipped fruity drinks on a beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic.

Mostly though, the pictures jumbled in my boxes are snapshots of brief moments: quick trips, parties, evenings in, birthdays, holidays, nephews etc. Maybe they don’t seem as special as big planned vacations, but they evoke memories just the same. Life happens in between the big trips too; college, first true love (and broken hearts), nephews growing up, first houses, and of course memories of dad.

  college   me brian adam

dad and michael  fishing with dad  dad making gravy

jamie and santaSome photos just make me smile, reminding me of times we laughed so hard, we had tears in our eyes. There were the annual Memorial Day weekend beach trips, with margaritas to be consumed and mischief in the air.  Yes, I remember the firemen from Rockaway Beach, NJ.  Good Times…

jamie going away 2rjamie going away  doris wedding   beach 1  image   halloween

me and chris So many years and so many memories in these two boxes.   It is so hard to decide which ones are disposable. If I throw one away, will the memory be gone forever?  Regardless, they deserve a better home than a box. I suppose I will invest in several photo albums, and on a cold, yucky February weekend, I will begin the tedious process of culling through my past.  We’ve had a good time ladies!  Maybe I haven’t been everywhere I want to go, yet…. but I’ve certainly lived my life.  There’s little I would change… well, I maybe could have done without the short marriage stint, but even then, there were a few good times.  I think my photos are some of my most treasured items.

Was it a Dream?


Jet lag is a bummer. I’ve not been able to put two sentences together the past two days. I’m finally feeling like myself again.

I slept for 11 hours Sunday night. When I woke up Monday morning (thank goodness I had taken the day off), I felt like I was waking up from a dream. Had I really been in Croatia? Was my much-anticipated trip already over? Unfortunately, yes.

So, where did I leave off? Oh yes… so our last day in Dubrovnik, we caught a ferry out to Lopud Island, where we were promised some beach time. The ferry ride was about 45 minutes and we came into a quaint little port with shops. There was a beach there, but evidently there was a better beach on the other side… so just a short hike!

We made it. This beach on Lopud is special because it is a sandy beach. Most beaches in Croatia are pebbles and rocks in small coves. They don’t have the huge expanse of sand beaches like we do. It was a relaxing site with boats mooring in the cove; umbrellas and lounge chairs waiting for us. There was a café and bar on the beach too. That was very nice! It felt so good to just relax in the beautiful waters of the Adriatic Sea. We even got some napping in on the beach. Much needed after nonstop activity through the week. More importantly, I got to rest and soak my feet. When it was time to leave, some of us rebelled and caught one of the trams back to the port. Who wants to mess up a relaxing afternoon with another hike? We had time for gelato!

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During our last group dinner, there was a frenzy of Facebook and email exchanges. It was a terrific group to be with in Croatia. Many have done extensive traveling. Several of our traveling companions were teachers and took anywhere from 2-6 weeks at a time to travel!  Obviously they aren’t from the U.S., especially North Carolina. They’d never be able to afford to do that!  They have greatly inspired me to stop talking and start doing. It is true that people are what make a place special. I look forward to seeing pictures from their future travels.  Zivjeli to you all!

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To top of our trip, Linda and I had a night layover in Munich.  Trying to make sure we had the right train, Linda asked a man at the platform.  He spoke little English, asked if we spoke German or French…. Nope.  (It seems everyone in Europe speaks at least two languages, which is awesome.)  Come to find out, he was actually from Morocco. Once on the train, we met a father and son traveling from Texas. The dad was ex military and had been stationed in Germany at one time. Amazing the things you find out if you take time to talk to each other.

We made it to Marienplatz, a central square in the city center which is home to the Neus Rathaus (New City Hall). The atmosphere was so different from Croatia. We exited the train to boisterous crowds in the square. We had just missed the Glockenspiel show (located in the tower of the New City Hall, it chimes at 12:00 and 5:00 when life-size figures re-enact two stores from the 16th century), but still seeing the magnificent architecture in the area was wonderful.

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It was a must to have a beer at the famous Hofbrauhaus, which was founded in 1589. It is one of Munich’s oldest beer halls. It’s huge! And we only made it to the first floor where the Oompah Band was playing. It was just one big festive atmosphere. There was a constant stream of people in and out. We met a German couple whom we had our first beer with and proceeded to meet more people as the night went on. Our Texas friends from the train wandered in and we all shared some beers as we watched waiters carry 15 HUGE mugs of beer at a time, a table full of young guys swing them down and some German men in traditional attire singing and enjoying. Yes, had to have a picture with them. We just stayed. It was a blast and a perfect ending to our adventuresome vacation!

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The last picture definitely sums up our night in Munich.  Prost!

I know there is so much I’ve left out. Several people have asked me what my favorite thing was on the trip. I can’t name just one. It was all wonderful. Would I take another “active” itinerary trip again?? Not sure. My hiking shoes would definitely come along!  I enjoyed the biking and kayaking and we would not have seen some of the magnificent scenery had we not done some hiking however, it would be nice to slow down and explore the city a little more and take in the scenery instead of it zipping by or having my eyes focused on my feet so I wouldn’t fall while hiking. The scenery was beautiful. There were olive trees, pomegranate trees, fig trees and of course, grapes every where.  The food was fresh and full of flavor. It is a place steeped in history and beauty.  I would definitely go back to Croatia.imageI will post more pictures in the gallery, but truly, pictures do not do justice to Dubrovnik or Munich for that matter.

So now I need something else to countdown too …