"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Number 27: Singing in the rain

When I first arrived in NC, I took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood and got caught out in the  rain.  I made the most of it by strolling along singing to myself (and the dog).  I just happened to have that new Gotye song in my head from the drive from Atlanta.  I walked in the door from my dog walk soaked from the summer rain with a smile on my face.

A few weeks later I was with a couple of friends hiking a trail in Vermont, when it started to rain.  The canopy of trees above us was so thick that the drops barely touched us, but beneath we were singing all the songs we could think of.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Roxy squared

For about a month this summer, I had my friends dog Roxy with me because he had a difficult time getting her a flight to the Lower 48.  Since I was planning a visit to see him in Vermont anyway, I offered to just bring her along with me because the airline that I was flying with is much more pet friendly.  Our first summer stop was in NC where my friend Chirsty also has a dog named Roxy.  Roxy and Roxy really got along quite well.  I think this little piece of heaven in NC was a nice transition for Roxy coming from Alaska to the big wide world of the Lower 48.  We ended up calling the brown one Roxy and the black one Box-o-Rox just so they wouldnt get confused.  I think the nickname stuck.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Number 31: Lay on a beach or sleep in a hammock

How about both?

 This hammock is where summer started and ended for me.  Each morning while in NC, I spent a little time there with a good book and some coffee.  It's a great place to be...I feel like my soul gets recharged here.
On the summer solstice, I went to the Jersey Shore for the first time in my life.  I got my yearly sunburn.   We flew kites.  A crab pinched my foot.  Twice.  It was good.

P.S. I hope your not weirded out by my feet pictures.  I dont have a thing for feet.  I think they're pretty gross actually, but there's something about bare feet that just make me feel like it really is summer.  You know, the whole toes in the sand, footloose and fancy free kinda feeling?  Yeah, I thought you'd understand :)


The Biltmore mansion is dubbed America's largest home.  This is because it is still lived in by the family and is the largest privately owned home. You can tour part of the amazing mansion and most of the estate. George Vanderbilt II built the house as a summer getaway near Asheville, NC.  The property originally stood on 125,000 acres of land.  85,000 acres were sold the US government by Edith Vanderbilt after George died to create a national park.  The estate is a National Historic Landmark.  It was built from 1889-1895.  The house was opened to the public in 1930 by George's daughter Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil either at the request of the city of Asheville to spark tourism or because the estate was broke or maybe a little of both.

Some of the features...
250 rooms in the mansion
175,000 sq. ft.
8,000 acre estate
original furnishings and artwork
7 story tall dining room
bowling alley in the mansion
indoor pool  in the mansion
early 1900's gym and workout facility
a working farm
2 story library with over 10,000 books
75 acres of formal gardens
Dürer's Rhinoceros
fire alarm and intercom systems
43 bathroom and 34 bedrooms
65 firplaces

It's a very interesting place to visit and I would recommend it if you are every near Asheville.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Perfect summer treat!

If you're looking for a refreshing summer treat, I would highly suggest stopping at a farmers market for some local strawberries and picking up a bottle of Moscato on your way home.  You can combine them in one glass or eat/drink them separately.  Either way, it makes for a very good way to spend an evening.  Add a good friend to make it even better!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Number 18: Go 1 week computer free

Instead of this...
 I did this...
And it was hard.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My new car!!!

Since moving to Alaska, I usually spend my summer's traveling around the Lower 48 visiting friends.  My friends have been good to me and let me borrow theirs often, but not having a car has been a hassle.  So this year, I decided it was time to get one.  I spent weeks searching.  I drove about 15 cars and probably looked at about 30.   I spent a whole week of my summer basically car shopping as a full time job.  Thanks to my friend Christy for letting me use her car to run around searching for my own car. 
Then I found this one.  It's an 04 Ford Escape with 101,000 miles on it.  It was owned by a urologist (boring doctor) who was very anal particular about keeping up on the regularly scheduled maintenance, keeping it clean, and in good working order.   That works out well for me anyhow.  I love the roof racks and have already had paddleboards and a canoe up there this summer.  I also love that it is 4WD, which is specifically what I was looking for.  I love that it is clean and that it has a good amount of cargo space.  The only things I dont really care for are the leather seats, but I guess that will give it good resale value if I ever want to sell it in the future.

So far I've already put about 4,000 miles on it and it has ran beautifully all the way.  I'm very happy with it and glad that I took the time to shop around before buying, even if it took a week of my summer.    I've got one more major trip planned for the summer, then we'll part ways until next year.  Hope all of you are having a great summer too!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Goodbye Nan

I've been trying to write this post for awhile, but there are no words to say what that I feel.  My grandmother was the most important person in my life and I loved her dearly.  I'm really glad that we had the chance to spend time fulfilling one of our dreams with a trip to Paris before Alzheimer's fully took over.  Jola Coplin died Tuesday, May 29th.  Goodbye, Nan.