Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Emerald Isle (final post...for 2014)

The last of the EI pictures...

Somehow I missed adding this one to the last post, but I love it so I want to include it. He makes me laugh. :) 

Family selfie! Auntie C, Richard, Mom, Beth, and me

Beautiful Beaufort, NC -- not to be confused with Beaufort, SC which is actually pronounced differently. 

And of course, here are more photos of my favorite place. I love the view of the ocean with the sea oats and dune-protecting fences in the foreground. Someday I'll paint one of the multiple photos of this view. 

Richard on our way home from the beach -- so sad to drive over the bridge and head home.

Atlantic Inter-coastal Waterway 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Emerald Isle (Volume 3)

Views from our beach walk

Richard loves to catch sand crabs and harass them. This guy was the biggest on the beach. We named him "Henry" and kept an eye on him all day. 

After we freed Henry, he kept his shifty eyes pointed in our direction. 

On Thursday, we drove down to the east end of the island to check out the expanse of beach that is created at low tide. It was a beautiful day, and the sand went on forever. 

The sunset from our beachside vantage point on an East-West island

Our lovely rail-less porch view

Richard took me out on a beach date night on Thursday night -- somewhat in celebration of our engagement anniversary. Doesn't he look so nice all cleaned up?

Sitting in the proposal location. Seriously, my heart. (Also, there are a few reflections of our photographer -- Beth -- and other family members.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Emerald Isle! (part: the second)

More pictures! These are mostly from our trip to the aquarium on Tuesday. 

The sound side...

...and the beach side

On Tuesday, we went to the Pine Knoll Shores NC Aquarium for the special event of celebrating the birthday of a rescued sea turtle, Nimbus. He is now four years old. 

I'm a crab!

Richard's a crab, too! We're perfect for each other!

Lion fish

Beth's "Ah! A shark!" face

Nimbus! The white sea turtle. He was a little shy and refused to face the glass for a good picture. 

My birthday note to Nimbus -- he's 4!

Other, cute birthday notes to Nimbus -- my mom liked this one because the "Erin" looks very much like how I used to write my name. 

Some big, blurry fish and a green sea turtle!

Me and my man and a shark

Auntie Cherryl and me with the turtle statue (she loves turtles). 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Emerald Isle! (part: the first)

This island, this beach, this whole environment is seriously one of my favorite places to be. My dear aunt invites me along every year (so far), and two different groups go at two different times. There's the smaller, more relaxed group in April and the usually-larger, adventurous group in August. I've been going in April since my sophomore year of college when I first learned to rearrange my spring semester exam schedule to be able to join. I've only been a part of the August crowd since the summer of 2009. Richard was invited to join the August trip starting in 2011. 

Since the April trip always came at the end of the semester (and the spring semester just somehow always seemed harder), Emerald Isle has been a haven of relaxation to me. A beautiful breath of fresh air after months of hard work. 

On August 17, 2012 -- the Thursday of that year's August trip -- Richard took me on a date night at the beach, then we sat on the back deck of the beach house, and he gave me the best surprise of my life; he proposed! 

So, those are a couple of reasons why this beautiful place holds my heart. 

I love the view; I love the beach; I love the restaurants around the island; I love the shops that we visit every year; I love the time with friends and family; I love it all. 

This year was no different. The forecast was seriously bleak for the whole week -- cloudy and stormy and rainy all week. We had rain on Saturday afternoon as we unloaded the cars (good timing), and it rained overnight a couple of times. But other than that, all sunshine and smiles!

As per tradition, I always take a picture from the deck as soon as we get there. As you can see, the deck on "our" beach house has a unique view with no rails to obscure it. It makes for a very relaxing and beautiful, unobstructed view of the beach. I love it. 
Had to take a hot dog legs picture! It's how you know I'm at the beach and that I have legs. 
Another, better view of the beach, sans hot dogs. 
For a while prior to the trip, I wasn't sure if my work schedule would allow me to go to the beach or possibly for only part of the week. All along though, Richard made it clear that he was going, and he was going for the whole week -- whether I'd be there or not. 

And he had one plan for the whole week: fish. 

So it was a lovely and great surprise that I was able to go for the whole time! Woohoo! And Richard got his wish, too. He was left to his own devices to fish and crab all he wanted. (This was a reasonable escape though -- his beach company most of the week was two sets of sisters -- my aunt Cherryl, my mom, my sister Beth, and myself, his lovely wife.)

The new walkway out to the Bogue Sound

Richard graciously let us go crabbing with him on Sunday night. Beth, Mom, and Cherryl with their lines in the water. 

One of the little guys we caught. Most of the ones we caught (actually, all of them) were smaller than the legal limit, so we let them all go and had pizza for dinner instead. For some reason, this guy was missing a claw. Maybe he'd been hangin' around, eatin' bait a few too many times. 

Beautiful Bogue Sound

"Here crabby, crabby, crabby."
That's the first batch of pictures -- many, many more to come! It makes me feel like my vacation lasts just a liiiiittle bit longer.