Category Archives: Traveling Days

Here A Horse, There A Horse

It’s been a while since I’ve shared wild horse photos with you, so today’s the day.

When Motor Man and I spot the first horse on one of our beach trips, one of us will usually say: “Well, it won’t be a zero day”. Thankfully, we’ve only had a few of those over the years we’ve been going to see the horses.

On our most recent trip, we set a personal record: the highest number of wild horses we’ve ever seen.  We counted 92….ninety-two.  That’s just about the entire herd. Our beach day started with this gorgeous line-up. There were horses standing by the ocean:

There were horses resting by the ocean:

There were horses by the dunes:

There were horses ON the dunes:

And horses running OFF the dunes:

There were horses in front of sand fences:

And horses by the sound:

There were horses everywhere!

 

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Love

There are probably very few of you who aren’t familiar with April, the giraffe. For those of you who may not know her story, here it is in a nutshell:

April and her mate, Oliver, live at the Animal Adventure Park in New York state.  The local residents knew that April was expecting a little one, and last winter, they began calling the park (during its off season) to inquire about her condition.  The park’s owner, Jordan Patch, decided to install a simple web cam to allow her nearby fans to keep check on April.  The media caught wind of this and announced that April was due to give birth “any day”. Giraffes are pregnant for around 15 months, and the park staff didn’t know exactly when April was due.  So it seemed that the entire world waited forever for her to give birth.

A Facebook friend of mine posted the link to April’s web cam in late February, and I became a follower.  I wasn’t glued to the computer, but I did check in frequently, and happened to be at home that Saturday morning, April 15, when April gave birthday to her baby boy, later named Tajiri.

A few weeks ago, Motor Man and I began entertaining the idea of traveling to the park (as part of my birthday celebration), so I could meet April, her family and the staff.

The morning of our visit, I awoke very early and was so excited, Motor Man said to me: “Little girl, is this your first Christmas?”

We have seen several interviews with Jordan, and we are impressed with how at ease he is speaking publicly.  We also admire him for what he’s doing to spread knowledge about different species of animals, not just giraffes. I was thrilled to meet him; he’s so personable and willing to have his picture taken with any guest who asks. (You just have to catch up to him: such a busy guy!)

Soon it was time to head to the giraffe exhibit and meet April.

Is my excitement showing?

Our friends that have seen this next picture are surprised when I tell them that she never touched my face…she just curled her tongue around that carrot stick, and it disappeared.

Check out that tongue!

Motor Man was ready with the camera when April agreed to pose with me.

And then, there was adorable Tajiri (“Taj” for short).  He was running around the giraffe yard to the delight of all his fans. Notice the windows in the barn: those are in the space that April and Tajiri share.  April looks out of those when she’s inside; Taj has some growing to do before he’s able to do that, although he’s already 7 feet tall.

April and Taj are out in the yard during the morning, then they’re coaxed back into the barn, so “dad”, Oliver, can enjoy some outdoor time. In this picture, Oliver is on the left, peering around the corner from the stall. Since Oliver is a bull and Taj is still young and small, they aren’t allowed to be in the same area. They do, however, touch noses through the wire separating their spaces in the barn.

Here’s Oliver, making his appearance in the yard. That’s Corey, another of the keepers that we came to know through the web cam.  Corey juggled the giraffe family from barn to yard, etc. Notice that the staff members don’t get too close to Oliver.

Motor Man didn’t rush me at all, so we spent about four hours at the park, and although we saw some of the other animals, most of my time was spent at the giraffe exhibit. I couldn’t seem to drag myself away…

AAP is such a nice place,  special people, special animals. I’m so grateful to Motor Man for making our visit happen.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnstorming

Last summer, when Motor Man and I took the helicopter tour of the Outer Banks, we noticed that they also offered bi-plane rides. (I must admit that this was higher up on Motor Man’s list of adventures than mine.) But for various reasons, we didn’t get to have that experience last summer.

Recently, on a gorgeous day, we called and arranged a flight. If you’re ever in the Outer Banks and want an air tour, we can definitely recommend these folks: Coastal Helicopter or OBX Bi-planes.

Before the flight, our pilot, Larry, took a picture of Motor Man and me.

He helped us with our “soft helmets” and seat belts, and it was time for another pic just before take-off.

We saw shipwrecks, dolphins and fishing boats. We flew over the little fishing village of Wanchese.

Then on to Rodanthe and by Bodie Lighthouse.

Although we’ve taken several helicopter tours and been on both commercial airliners as well as smaller planes, this was our first time in an open cock-pit. It wasn’t nearly as scary as I had thought it might be.  Windy, yes. Loud, yes. But not scary.

The folks at OBX Bi-planes condensed our trip into a little you-tube video.  If you’re interested, here’s the link. If you have the option, clicking on full-screen gives you a better view.

Motor Man has definitely brought out the adventurer in me.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Gypsy Queen, Sasquatch And A Home Inspection

Motor Man and I threw caution to the wind and made a trip to the Outer Banks over the holiday weekend. Although there were LOTS of folks on the beach, traffic was surprisingly not horrendous on our trip there or back home.

It was a most interesting day.  At one point, as we were driving along the beach, Motor Man spotted something tall up ahead and wondered what it could be.  A little later, we discovered what he’d seen.  Quite an unusual sight, indeed.

May I present, The Gypsy Queen:

We were told that The Gypsy Queen is a blending of two different boats, placed on a bus chassis.

Of course, we just had to have our picture taken with “the queen”.

As you can see, an impromptu painting party was taking place when we stopped. We met the owners, local residents, Mark and Kelly, and Motor Man took this picture of me with Mark.

Meanwhile, further up the beach, a fundraiser was taking place for the Carova Fire Department. One way to donate was to purchase a ride on the beach on the Monster Truck, Sasquatch. Motor Man and I thought that would be fun, so we paid our money and climbed aboard.

There were times, however, that we questioned our decision to ride.  “Doughnuts” in a Monster truck on the sand were more than a little scary. Warning: watching this video may cause vertigo! (And no, the police weren’t trying to make a traffic stop; the siren was an option on the megaphone being used to let everyone know about the fundraiser.)

 

But we were happy to contribute to a worthy cause.

We also saw 26 horses, including this beauty, checking out some new construction in the area.

What do you think, Buddy?  Does it pass muster?

A boat on wheels, a Monster truck on the beach, and a horse doing a home inspection……I don’t know that we’ve ever had that much excitement on a day trip to the beach.

~These Days Of Mine~

That Westerly Wind

In previous posts about the Corolla wild horses on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I’ve mentioned that our favorite place to see the horses is down by the ocean.

We travel the “back roads” and often see them there, but there’s just something about wild horses by the water.

We’ve learned that you see the most horses on the beach on days when the wind is from the west.  This isn’t good for the horses, however, because it brings biting flies from inland.  The horses retreat to the water’s edge for relief.

Plus the wind just feels good in their hair manes.

But not all the horses were up for a beach day.  Some were just hanging out back at the cottage.

And it IS spring, so a young man’s fancy is turning to love… and sometimes that means a disagreement among the guys. A couple of notes before you watch the video: my editing skills leave much to be desired.  Also, I love how sleek and gorgeous these stallions are.  Just a few seconds into the clip,the lighter colored horse starts to run. The darker horse rears his head back as if to say: “Oh, heck, yeah. It’s ON!”.  Also, although it looks like I’m really close, my camera lens was zoomed as much as possible, and I was standing in the doorway of our vehicle, so I was safe.

(Sound on)

I’m glad the gal driving that big truck was “heads up”, since one of the horses ran right in front of her vehicle.

Yesterday, it was posted on the Corolla Wild Horse Fund page that the first new foal of the season has been spotted. It’s a colt, and they’re going to have a contest to name him. You know that we’ll be keeping an eye out for him on our future trips to the beach.

~These Days Of Mine~

The Mystique Of Rosewell

About an hour east of us, near Gloucester, Virginia, are the ruins of Rosewell, which was once considered “the best house in Virginia”.

(Now, those of you who know me know that ANY house takes second place in my heart to Bacon’s Castle, but on with this post.)

I had visited Rosewell twice in the past with  Marshall and my sister, June. And, once, when Motor Man and I were in the area, we had seen it from our vehicle. But my friend, Donna, had never been. So last Friday, we made the trip.  It’s important to visit well before warm weather and the accompanying mosquitoes.

Just a brief history: Rosewell was built in 1725 by the Page family. When complete, it was 12,500 square feet on three levels, and had 33 rooms and 17 fireplaces. Sadly, it was destroyed by fire in 1916. Through the years, time, the elements, vines and vandals took their toll on Rosewell.  In 1979, the site was donated to the Gloucester Historical Society by the last family to own it. Now, all that remains are four chimneys, a few walls and the wine cellar. In 1995, the Rosewell Foundation was formed, and since that time, it has worked to prevent further deterioration of the ruins.

This would have been the front of the house. During the 1700’s, visitors arrived by boat by way of the York River and then Carters Creek and were taken by carriage to the front entrance.

 There’s just something about the ruins of an old structure that allows your imagination to run wild.

Donna was feeling a bit Harrison Ford-ish.

There was another family visiting Rosewell that day, so Donna asked if they’d like their picture taken together.  We soon learned that they’re descendants of the Page family.  Meet Jennifer, Gary, Ashley and Kelly.  (And I sincerely hope I have those girls’ names correct!) They were a delightful family, and we were honored to meet them and enjoyed chatting with them.

This may have been my third time at Rosewell,

But it was no less fascinating than the first.

If you’re interested in learning more about Rosewell, click here.

~These Days Of Mine~

Sometimes We Just Need A Little Reminder

Earlier this week, Motor Man had to go out of town for the day on business. And, as I often do, I rode along with him.

Time allowed us a stop at an antique mall, and although I didn’t buy anything, one item caught my eye.

A very old, very worn pair of shoes.

But I don’t think I really “saw” the shoes until I read the attached note:

Now. Don’t we feel fortunate? Blessed? Spoiled?

~These Days Of  Mine~