Outer Banks Weekend

We took an impromptu weekend trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina last weekend. We were invited to stay at the cottage of some very good friends of ours. So we packed up the minivan with swimwear, boogie boards and beach chairs and headed down on Friday night after my son’s baseball practice.

My wife and I went to the best donut shop in the world on Saturday morning to grab breakfast for everyone. She stood in line while I went to a shop next door to pick up some flip-flops since I left mine at home. I was able to purchase flip-flops and two ball caps and still find that she had not reached the inside of Duck Donuts yet. All in all, it took about an hour to get our donuts. But, oh man, are they worth it!

In the afternoon, we headed over to the beach. The winds were blowing out of the southwest and the water was glassy and smooth. And a chilly 68˚F. But it was in the 90’s so it was very refreshing. The kids had a blast bodysurfing. There were quite a few small but very rideable sets.

Catching waves
Outer Banks Weekend

We decided to pack up and head back to the cottage when we noticed the clouds forming to the north and south of us. By the time we got back to the cottage, the cloud formation was getting pretty spectacular over the Albemarle Sound. I grabbed my camera and jumped on my friend’s bike and rode down to the water and was able to get these shots before the rain came:

Outer Banks Weekend
Outer Banks Weekend

Sunday morning came early. I was able to convince my wife to come out with me and get some sunrise photos by the Avalon Pier. So at 5:30am, I grabbed my camera bag and tripod and my wife and I headed over to the pier. I was really hoping to get some great photos of the sun coming up on the Atlantic, but the clouds wouldn’t allow it. However, the clouds and humidity led to some fog rolling in and I am quite pleased with the shots I captured.

Avalon Pier, Kill Devil Hills, NC
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier
Avalon Pier

Hope you enjoy them!

New York City Part 1

My wife and I decided to take the kids to New York City for Spring Break this year. We had a blast! I love New York. My daughter and I could live there. My wife and son don’t feel the same. We drove up Wednesday and took in a game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. The Yankees are my sons favorite team so I know he was excited. The weather wasn’t too kind to us, however. It was brutally cold. I think the temperature at game time was 40ºF. The Yankees didn’t put on much of a show for us either. Boston won easily.

I was slightly disappointed with Yankee Stadium. It felt very sterile too me. It didn’t seem to have a personality to me. I don’t have a lot to go on, but I’ve been to Camden Yards in Baltimore and Nationals Park in Washington, DC. Both of those parks were more attractive too me.

For our trip to New York, I decided to rent the Olympus OM-D E-M5 micro four thirds camera. I didn’t want to carry around my Canon 7D and my Canon 24-105mm lens. The Olympus did a terrific job. I’m very impressed. The only complaints I have of it are that it’s a little weak in low light conditions and it’s uncomfortable in my hand. I’m sure a battery grip would have alleviated that.

So without further ado, here are a couple pictures I shot at Yankee Stadium.

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium

New discoveries

Last month, I dropped my son off at the batting cages and I headed over to the Great Bridge Battlefield and Historic Park with my camera by my side. While I was there, I noticed a path into the woods at the back of the park. I decided to take a walk on the path, figuring it was going to loop around and come back out. The path followed along the Intracoastal Waterway and kept going further back. I was able to get a nice shot of the Chesapeake Expressway bridge from here. If you’ve ever been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and you traveled through southeastern Virginia, you crossed this bridge.

Chesapeake Expressway Bridge

After a while, I realized that the path I was walking was not circling around. Instead, it was going all the way to the bridge. I’ve lived in Great Bridge since they built the bridge back in 1980. I had no idea it was accessible by foot. This was pretty cool! About 10 minutes more of walking, I was there. I discovered that I wasn’t the first person to be here. There was some graffiti and even a few liquor bottles. Lots of raccoon tracks as well. I will definitely be back another time to shoot. Next time I’ll bring the tripod.

Underside of Chesapeake Expressway Bridge

My NFL power rankings are out

Finally. The wait is over! My first power rankings of the 2012 season are out. Here’s my top 5:

1. Houston (5-0)
2. Chicago(4-1)
3. San Francisco(4-1)
4. Minnesota(4-1)
5. Atlanta(5-0)

And here’s my bottom 5:

28. Tampa Bay(1-3)
29. Kansas City(1-4)
30. Carolina(1-4)
31. New Orleans(1-4)
32. Cleveland(0-5)

For the complete rankings, go here.

Weekend travel

We visited some friends at Lake Gaston this weekend. They have a house on the lake. The kids had a blast. I did some fishing. I’ve come to believe fish hate me. Not a single bite. I really wanted to catch a largemouth bass.

Anyway, here’s the view from our friends’ house.

Lake Gaston

On the drive back from Lake Gaston, I came across this abandoned house in White Plains, VA. I couldn’t resist and had to stop. I’m a sucker for old and abandoned houses and barns. By the way, you can buy this property.

Abandoned home