Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Peek into Time

The McGee family cemetery dates back to mid to late 1800s. My grandparents,great-grandparents and great-great grandparents all rest here. Some markers trace the brief moment on earth of day old infants. Standing on history is an incredible feeling.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaf Peeping in the Carolinas

The colors are like a kaleidoscope in North Carolina at this time of year. I love the brilliance of red, yellow and orange all mixed together like a fiery tapestry of mother nature's finest. Enjoy leaf peeping at its finest in the Carolina's.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Last Hurrah at Wrightsville Beach

It's only the last hurrah for now. More beach will come but here I am and a favorite scene at Dockside Restaurant. Can I tell you how many times I could have sold this crazy hat? Oh, to have more summer..........

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day with the Kids

Me, Emma,Meggie and Alysia

Me and Angie

It was Labor Day in Mt. Airy and we all gathered at the McGee home place as they call it for BBQ,fireworks and reminiscing about the good old days. The best part of the day was seeing Angie McKew again after more years than I want to say!

Labor Day Reunion

Just us girls from way back when. Angie, our long-lost cousin is on the left, yours truly, Michelle and Jenni. A nice Labor Day reunion!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ode to the Good Times

I will forever remember the guy in Nevis who lifted my Carib to his forehead on that steamy day at the Culturama throw down to make sure it was cold enough. It was.

It was also a fine salute to solidarity, sisterhood, brotherhood and best of all, partyhood. Let's drink to world peace, shall we? Ice cold, or we will have to do the "forehead test."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mixing with the Nevisians

I love the care free spirit of the people of Nevis. That was the attitude on this day at the Culturama festival and the feeling is contagious. I really forgot myself because I didn't know this picture was taken. That is real living and a credit to the crafty photographer.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Captain Crabby

Crazy, profane, wide open and always entertaining. That's Captain Crabby, dive instructor at Bird Rock Beach Hotel. The former Californian, is in his element in the water, showing off the Caribbean to newbies and holding court at Rocky's Bar. He sure made my visit memorable. That's an understatement....

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ferry to Nevis

On the way to Nevis to check out their Culturama Day. It was worth the ride over to see the full on celebration in the streets. The Nevisians and Kittitians know how to party to island music, eat well and drink Caribbean beer. And, how to shut a country down.

You Put the Lime in the Coconut and ......

Here's the source for all of your favorite candies, pies and of course, Pina Colada's.

Black Rocks of Bird Rock Beach

I know you are wondering why I'm writing about rocks. Well, you need to see them for yourself to understand. Even rocks in the Caribbean look cool.

Black Cloud Over St. Kitts

An ominous, black cloud threatens to rain on our parade in St. Kitts but never made good on its promise.

Bird Rock Beach Hotel

Bird Rock Beach Hotel ushers in its guest in tropical style.

Loudmouth Pants Rock the Wyndham

You gotta love a guy who doesn't care about convention. This is the renegade of golf, John Daly, at the Wyndham PGA Tour in Greensboro. This zebra print is just one of many outrageous ensembles he steps out on the green wearing. Appropriately, his clothing sponsor is Loudmouth. Daly brings a whole new dimension to watching golf.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Eye on the World

Sometimes you just have to keep your eye on the world. Focus, or not. Or,sometimes you can hide behind shades and the view the world as you want. The choices are endless.........

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lisa and Arnold Palmer

Meet my new friend, Lisa Chandler (golfer extraordinaire), and her idol, Arnold Palmer. They were paired recently at a golf tournament (not Wyndham) for a few holes and Lisa was thrilled. Can you blame her?

Kyle Likes Tweeting

He's such a regular guy and even the great, Kyle Petty love to tweet. He was into his Blackberry and tweeting while chewing the fat with us who were waiting out the rain delay at Wyndham. Kyle thoroughly enjoys replying to his fans on Twitter. Check his page out. He has a great sense of humor; cute and wicked. Go, Kyle!

(Permission needed to reproduce image)

Hangin' out with Kyle Petty at Wyndham

I am convinced that Kyle Petty is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He has everyone reason to be conceited since he comes from the First Family of Racing and has had a successful racing career. He is also an ambassador to the wonderful children's camp, Victory Junction Gang. Kyle hung out today with all of us regular folks and fit right in. He was "tweeting" like mad while hanging out and having a mighty fine time of it. It doesn't get much better.

Friday, August 14, 2009

West Indies Cricket Mania

I was recently introduced to the exciting and unique game of cricket. Cricket, which most resembles American baseball, is fast, fun and confusing to beginners. A lot of head scratching is normal when first learning about this sport.

The rules (excuse me, they are called laws) are like none other I have seen and the terminology can be mind boggling. Some terms you might hear: Leg Before Wicket (LBW) which happens if the ball is bowled and it hits the batsman first without the bat hitting it, Maiden Over (you look it up), Spin Bowling and many others. Test matches are 5 day games that can go for up to 10 hours a day, can have 400 plus runs and still end in a tie. Shoot me, will ya.

Pitchers are called "bowlers" in cricket and they don't throw the ball, they "bowl" it. Americans would poke their eyes out in frustration but our international neighbors, love it. If you give it time, it grows on you.

This sport can be a "sticky wicket" but is well worth the time and effort. Oh, and they even take time out for tea. How cool is that? If you stick with the wicket watching, you will meet many interesting cricket fans along the way. I should know.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Do You Know How to Take a Walk?

Do you ever stop to think about how great it is to be able to walk from room to room, place to place and even, country to country? No, I'm not talking about a Forest Gump walk around the globe but the most, simplest of movement, just putting one foot in front of the other and moving. It is a privilege and the older you get, the more you appreciate the ability to be mobile. Along the way, you will encounter other walkers who throw up their hand to you in a greeting of solidarity. Here is a quote someone sent to me recently that reminded me how great it is to take a walk. Go and do it for yourself or with someone special. It is a beautiful thing to walk.

"Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An Island With a View

I still have to pinch myself to believe that I have seen the real, live beauty of the Eastern Caribbean. It was as breathtaking as I imagined and something that even the best picture or card can't truly capture. This view of the Caribbean is from the back of Bird Rock Beach Hotel. The water felt great and I forgot about the buoyancy of salt water, making floating effortless. I even had a conch shell waiting for me at the water's edge on my first day. It was and still is, truly unforgettable.

Coconut Milk Caribbean Style

This guy means business. I am not sure he was thrilled with me taking his picture without coughing up some currency to buy his coconut milk. I had some serious sight seeing on my agenda so I couldn't partake of his concoction. He was artfully delicate with his machete as he precisely drilled a hole into each coconut so the milk could flow out. I don't know what else he mixed it with to make coconut milk but his customers looked happy. Next time, I hope I'm one of them.

Slightly Obscene but Never Mundane

There's nothing mundane about the Caribbean or Bird Rock Hotel, but Rocky's (thanks to Captain Crabby) Bar could border on the slightly obscene. Not the bar itself, which serves great food and drinks made just to order, but the decor. By that I mean the myriad range of silly, sometimes lewd and hilarious sayings posted on plaques suspended from every vantage point in the bar. I guess the purpose is to amuse unsuspecting customers while waiting for their next beer.

I read some of the plaques more than once and sometimes it took a second reading like the sign here for the message to sink in. Get my drift? .........

Rocky's Bar

There's no better feeling than having a friendly bar waiting for your return after a long, hard day of sight seeing. And, one in a scenic setting is even better. Sitting at Rocky's Bar you can look out into the cerulean blue water of the Caribbean and dream away. The serene beauty is a perfect backdrop to the laid-back atmosphere of Rocky's and the fun and zany crowd it seems to draw. The cast of characters is straight out of an Elmore Leonard novel - especially the California surfer dude who posed as the hotel's dive instructor. He calls himself Captain Crabby and most of what comes out of his tanned, creased mouth is not fit for publishing but darn funny. Diver Dude a.k.a. Captain Crabby is a mainstay at the bar and he always has a story to tell. It's not a bad way to end a long, hot day loafing around the Caribbean. All you have to do is lift your Carib to the sky and salute Captain Crabby and all that's sacred at Bird Rock.

The Flamboyant "Flame" Tree

The Flame tree or Flamboyant tree as it is known, in St. Kitts, is as magnificent as it looks. The bright red flowers are a sight to behold and I have seen nothing like it in my home state. These majestic trees dot the landscape of St. Kitts and are proof positive of a colorful, wonderful land that is still begging to be explored. In the background is a catholic church which, I am told, rocks out to the magical music of the Island King himself, Bob Marley. How could it get any better?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

First Motorcycle Ride

I was totally unprepared to be terrified and in pain all at once. The plethora of emotions and feelings that ran through my brain and body were mind boggling. All I wanted was to have some fun and let my hair down.

Within a few seconds, I thought "what have I signed up for?" The freezing air at 60 miles per hours hit me like fast moving Artic glacier, my eyes quickly teared up and bugs flew in and out of my mouth at a regular clip. My wide-legged stance on the back of the too-small seat( for my comfort level) soon had me wondering if this is what childbirth felt like and I had a terrible urge to pee. Would I ever make it back alive, I thought to myself.

The grand finale was taking off the skull cap helmet to reveal my rats nest hairstyle, which minutes early had looked pretty good. I was glad to get my legs back on the pavement and wonder if I have the nerve to try to again. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Quad at UNC-G

I wrote a letter to the editor this month and to my delight, it was published. I had to write when I heard that the Quad at UNC-G was up for possible demolition. There has been a public outcry, including mine to save the dorms on the Quad that date back to early 1900s. The best times of my college experience (and my life) all date back to UNC-G and times spent on the Quad. From parties, special events, sunbathing, to chilling out, it was a time I will never forget. I was young, naive and full of life and happiness with my friends at a college and a dorm that I loved. I vote for preserving history and letting new building take place elsewhere. Some things in life are sacred. The Quad is one of them.

Butterflies and the Order of Things

Butterflies have their order in our world and show us that life can be tough while we are waiting for change or something to happen. Like the butterfly, we must go through the cocooning part of life when it appears that nothing is happening. Eventually we emerge like the butterfly and our wait is rewarded.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Woodley Park Guest House

Courtney Lodico and husband, Joe, are the owners of Woodley Park Guest House which they run with Raymond and Laura Saba. It is a neat twist that Courtney and Laura are sisters and both are extraordinary hosts who know how to make guests feel at home. I am serious that you will simply NOT want to leave. We were late for most of our scheduled events because we had so much fun talking to the hosts at both B and B's. I don't regret a minute and you won't either. These B and B's are simply not to be missed when you go to D.C.

Here I am with Courtney, the vivacious host of Woodley Park.

Embassy Circle Guest House

The Embassy Circle Guest House offers great conversations, great food (depending on the season) and top-rate accomodations. Here is a sampling of hummus, baba gnoush and bruschetta - the best I have wrapped my lips around.

Pictured: Raymond and his lovely wife, Laura.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Best Bed and Breakfast Chef in DC

Here is my new friend, Raymond Saba, who in my opinion is one part of a duo who run the best bed and breakfast in D.C. He owns Embassy Circle with his wife, Laura, and is a partner at another great B & B, Woodley Park. Raymond is in his extraordinary kitchen taking out his famous Shortbread which is mouth-watering.

More to come about Embassy Circle, which wins in every category: beauty, comfort, terrific food and super-stimulating conversation with guests from all over the world.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes, You Can Change in 2009

For all one of you who might be reading, "Yes, You Can!" This is the year for change in every area of our lives from deeper needs dealing with our finances, employment, homes and spirituality, to reconnecting with people from your past.

Now is the time to renew our strength for the tough times ahead. Now is the time to make relationships with people a top priority. Every day on earth is a gift, no matter how hard. If you got out of bed today and walked without assistance, count your blessings. If you are working, count your blessings. If you aren't working, make this the year you find the job you are destined for. Do what it takes and the tide will break. Eventually. It has to.

You see I am reading about Change and making plans for a lot of change this year. I am still evolving my plan but I can tell you that I plan to celebrate life more in 2009. You can do it. Yes, you can.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Marley Teaches Us to Celebrate Life

Here I am writing my first blog of 2009 and yes, I have been a bad blogger. Life, holidays, a lot of parties, life, holiday and parties and here I am. Just getting around to writing a little note about a big-hearted story that took me by complete surprise. I like dogs, don't get me wrong, but I was not excited about reading about one. I gave in out of curiosity and read the book before seeing the movie. Let me tell you, the movie is good but the book is superb. I did not know who John Grogan was but now we all do. I can tell you he is a man with heart and a writer with soul. I was hooked from page one and raced to the finish. As Marley's life was coming to a close, I felt emotion brewing that I haven't felt in a long time while reading a book. I am not embarrassed to say that tears streamed down my face as I read about his last breath.

The story of a crazed, out-of-control dog with overwhelming devotion to his owner puts life in perspective and gives new meaning to unconditional love. Love is healing and Marley has no doubt healed a lot of people with his story. A highlight for me was John Grogan's response to my email thanking him for such a first-rate book. He really is a genuine guy and he has given us all a reason to keep believing in love in 2009.