Monday, July 8, 2013

I'm Back! Did You Miss Me?


 
Not only am I back to MYFWBS, I am back home from a well needed mini-vacation. The past several days, I have been in Philadelphia celebrating the birth of this great country, The United States of America.

I never intended to abandon my blog (or my readers). Things just got a little crazy around here, and finding the time and opportunity to write became extremely difficult. I never considered my blog to be a priority. This was just something for me to do that I enjoyed. I did it for myself. If no one had ever stumbled across this microscopic piece of the Internet, it would have been just fine. This little blog was no more than an online diary of sorts. It gave me someplace to store memories. It gave me a place to voice my opinions. It also gave me a place to meet wonderful people.

I think it is time that I make this blog a priority.

After being on Blogger for only three months, someone (other than my friends) commented on my blog for the first time! His name is Ron, and he writes a wonderful little blog called “Vent”. Over the next year and a half, we connected via the blogosphere. I would never have imagined friendships forming from blogging. I certainly would never have thought I would be meeting a blogging buddy in real life.

This year, I arranged a vacation with my husband to Philadelphia for the 4th of July weekend. What better place to spend Independence Day than at America’s place of birth? I knew that Ron lived in Philadelphia, so I emailed him to see if I could talk him into lunch somewhere. To my delight, he accepted.

On July 5, Ron met my husband and me at Philadelphia’s beautiful City Hall Courtyard. I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally meet my favorite blogger!

For the next nine hours, Ron showed us around. We walked what I swear was the entire city! He showed us the Reading Terminal Market, the historic area, some of the residential neighborhoods, Society Hill, and even took us through some fabulous stores! He proved an amazing tour guide!

My friend, Ron, is just as I imagined him to be from his blog. He has so much life inside of him! This man is overflowing with charm, magnetism, presence, energy, and has so much love to offer. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed being around him!
 
 
I will be posting photos of our trip in my next blog. In the meantime, If you want a real treat, go see my friend at www.triloquist.net. You won’t be disappointed!
Ron, thank you for such a wonderful time, and for encouraging me to get back in the saddle again!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment! It says you have the right to bear arms, or the right to arm bears, whatever the hell you want to do!

~Robin Williams
So I did...

Early Saturday morning on March 31 (yes I am behind on blogging), Bear and I met up with friends Sandi, Mike, other Mike, Hilton, and Bruce for the Virginia Concealed Handguns Course. The Course was offered at the Mt. Hermon Fire Department.

Mike signs the roster

 
Sandi and Mike waiting for class to begin

My BFF "Bear"
(Robin Williams said I have the right to arm Bears... So I did!)

Mike and Hilton

We were shown many different weapons and holsters as well as ways to carry them. We were taught how to safely handle firearms. We were also taught the Virginia Code regarding weapons.

An array of weapons and cases

One of the holsters that we were shown (and got the biggest laugh) was a pouch that fits down the front of one's pants. One of the instructors swore by it, and showed it more than one time. Every time he held this holster up, as if it were a pair of underwear, the entire room burst into a roar of laughter:

A gun holster to fit over your gun!

Yes, our group can be immature at times. But that's what makes us such a fun group!

There's Bruce way in the back!

Instructors Creasey and Merricks from the Danville Police Department

Viewing Virginia Code

The course was four hours long and cost $50. When the course is completed, a Certificate of Completion is awarded to the participant. This certificate is needed in order to apply for a Concealed Handgun Permit in the state of Virginia.

The Application for the permit is an additional $50. Depending on where you live in Virginia, they may fingerprint and photograph you. I live in the county where fingerprinting and photographing is not required. I did, however, have to raise my right hand and affirm that all information on my application was true.


I have applied for my permit and am waiting it's arrival.

Do you carry concealed?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship Memorial

 On our way home from the beach, Stump, Sage, and I took a detour to Wilmington, North Carolina to see the U. S. S. North Carolina Battleship Memorial.

The U.S.S. North Carolina was launched on June 13, 1940 and was in every major Naval offence in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.


She is 728 feet long, and 108 feet wide at her longest beam. She was capable of 28 knots (not a bad speed for her time).


We followed the ramp up to the main deck Where Stump and Sage imagined shooting the enemy with these WWII guns. 


There was an airplane on the main deck




We went underneath the deck into a maze of ladders, corridors, and tunnels. There we found the working and living quarters of many WWII men. The area was tight and cramped. It was hot. It was difficult to navigate the straight up ladders and the trip hazards in the bowels of the ship. I can't imagine how it must have felt to be one of the men who lived like this during the war.

Sage takes a seat in the mess hall

This was the "general store". One could pick up a pack of Lucky Strikes or a tube of toothpaste. Need some hair salve? They had that too!

 Old cans of snuff, shaving cream, soap, and other toiletries on display

This was the sleeping quarters. Those beds are so small and cramped together. I would have hated to be the man on the top bunk at 7 feet off the ground!

The showers were few, and the men who wanted a shower before dinner lined up. The phamplet said that the line would extend all the way to the main deck.

The dentist's chair. Just looking at this gives me chills.

Even worse, however, is this operating room. I was amazed at how primitive the equipment in this room was. I wouldn't want to have needed this room.

The quarters in sick bay weren't much better than the regular sleeping quarters. The thought of being seriously sick or injured and staying on the top bunks horrifies me.

We made our way through many rooms including several kitchens, quarters for officers, the post office, and several other areas. I had put my camera away to concentrate on walking. The narrow openings and straight up ladders weren't the easiest to walk.

Back on the top deck, Stump and sage manned more guns.




The U.S.S. North Carolina was an amazing engineering feat for that time. Even more amazing were the men who lived, worked, and gave part of themselves to our country during World War II.

If you want more information about the U.S.S. North Carolina, their website is HERE. It is an enjoyable trip and an interesting look into history.

*Be warned: There is a lot of climbing narrow, steep ladders and there are various trip hazzards. Someone that does not get around very well would be best to stay on the main deck.

Y'all have a wonderful week!


Friday, April 13, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Weekend - Part IV

We left O'Keefes hours after we arrived. Our lunch had worn off and we knew we needed something to snack on before we set in for the "heavy" St. Patrick's Day drinking.  We headed over to Creek Ratz in Murrell's Inlet.
Creek Ratz is a nautically themed restaurant located right next to the Inlet. There is a marsh walk to enjoy and docking available for boats. There is both indoor and outdoor seating, both of which have a breathtaking view of the inlet. We chose to sit outside.

Sage and Stump look over the wonderful menu


A view of the Marsh Walk and the inlet from our seats


Stump settled in

Our seats were also located front row to a marvelously talented jazz singer. He was upbeat, happy, and so much fun to interact with. He played a lot of the old lounge music, sang several Frank Sinatra songs, and Nailed my favorite of all, "Your Song" by Elton John.

I got his name at the time, and I feel terrible that I have lost it. If you guys know him, please let me know!


The wind got up a few times and Sage was recruited to hold the music and flip the pages.

We stayed at Creek Ratz for HOURS and had the greatest time! The food was off the charts and the entertainment was amazing!

We left Creek Ratz and headed to Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach for their St. Patrick's Day celebration. They close off several blocks and erect an ENORMOUS stage. Vendors sell green beer by the cup as well as green tee shirts, hats, and other party paraphernalia.

I snapped a couple of "hail Mary" pictures near Peach's Corner as we moved along like cattle down Ocean Boulevard.

Patrons enjoying the St. Patrick's Day festivities

We continue walking North on Ocean Boulevard

Just a couple of blocks up from the crowd, we stopped in at another old favorite, The Beach House. We sat on the patio overlooking the Ocean Boulevard traffic. It is so much fun to sit with friends, have a few drinks, and look at all the AMAZING cars that cruise the boulevard. Bonus: There was a car show going on the same day... and we got to look at bunches of muscle cars and never had to take a step to see them.

Sage is showing himself a little intoxicated at this point

Stump is having a pretty good time too.

When I snapped these last two photos, Sage excused himself to take a phone call. I blogged the story about that call HERE a few weeks ago. This is the point that we made our way back down to our room. The party was officially over.

We had such a great time while we were there, and it saddens me, not THAT we had to stop the party, but WHY we had to stop the party.

*Update: Sage is doing well, has gotten over the shock of the fire, and is staying with Stump and me for a few more weeks until his new place is ready.

I want to thank everyone who donated items, money, and those who kept Sage in your thoughts and prayers. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends.

Have a marvelous weekend, everyone!



Thursday, April 12, 2012

St Patrick's Day Weekend - Part III

Sage and I had just left Broadway at the Beach to return to our room where Stump was "recovering" from "not feeling so well". (I think he really didn't want to go shopping, but oh well.)

We were getting ready to go out for St. Patrick's Day festivities when Sage suggested Stump wear a kilt. Imagine my surprise when he ACTUALLY TRIED IT ON!!!

He even said he would have worn it that day if it had fit better.

Stump in a kilt (rare photo opportunity)

We headed out to our favorite Irish bar on the beach, O'Keefe's (which I have blogged a few times before). O'Keefe's always has a pretty good size crowd on St. Patrick's Day, and as early as it was (around 1:00), today was no exception.

O'Keefe's Irish Bar

Vendors selling their Irish wares

The "green beer stand"


They had a man playing bag pipes in the parking lot. He would make a round inside the bar on occasion.


Irish folk singers setting up for outside entertainment


Sage and Stump with their green beer in hand

Breakfast had worn off and we couldn't ignore the scent of barbecued pork and corned beef coming from the outdoor grill. Time for food!


We grabbed our food and headed inside to sit down in the air conditioning

An Irish delight!

It was still early, but the inside of the bar was packed. There were also probably another 75 people outside under a tent at picnic tables

Hubby Stump

O'Keefe's Secret Shots (yes, we asked what was in them, no they wouldn't tell us) Down the hatch!

No St. Paddy's Day is complete without a Guinness (or four)

Maybe five

Sage is double-fisting them!

We have so much more to do during our weekend at Myrtle. There is yet another installment to come.

See you then!