KITTY HAWK-092714-PART 2

After walking around the displays inside the Wright Brothers National Memorial we went outside. We went to the two buildings that have been replicated where the brothers had made the hanger and their living quarters.

The display notes that this is what their 1903 camp looked like at Kills Devil Hills.

Display of out buildings
Display of out buildings

We looked in the hanger first, (building on the left) which was empty.  It would have been nice to see the actual replica of the plane in there.

Wright Brothers Hanger
Wright Brothers Hanger

The second (building on the right) was their living quarters. Very small place.  The first thing you notice is that ladder up to the beds.  They didn’t waste any space.  Just imagine what the square footage would cost if it was on Hawaii…lol

Living quarters - front
Living quarters – front

The dining room and shaving area.

The dining room and shaving area.
The dining room and shaving area.

The kitchen was perfect size…for one.

Heating and kitchen
Heating and kitchen

Looking out from the hanger you can see how far away the dune is where they flew the glider.

View from the hanger looking at the memorial on top of the dune where did they glider tests.
View from the hanger looking at the memorial on top of the dune where did they glider tests.

Little past the building you see the tablet that was put up by the National Aeronautic Association on Dec. 17,1928, in remembrance of the 25th anniversary of “The First Successful Flight of an Airplane”. Below is a picture of the historical (black & white, 1929) photo of when they put up the tablet. It’s interesting to see how high the original one seems to have been higher then it is now.

Commemorative plaque in 1929
Commemorative plaque in 1929

Here is the one I took (in color, Sept 27, 2014).

commemorative plaque 2014.
commemorative plaque 2014.
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Kitty Hawk-092714-Part 1

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014: (Click links for more info) We left Virginia Beach for a two hour drive down to Kitty Hawk (part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, also known as OBX).  The Outer Banks is 200-mile long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast.

Kitty Hawk map
Kitty Hawk map

Driving into the city of Kitty Hawk, we found out that the place that the Wright Brothers actually did their flight tests was actually a sand dune (now a town) called Kill Devils Hill (Named after the rum named “Kill Devil” by the English, that was scavenged from shipwrecks and hidden in the dunes).   We reached the Wright Brothers National Memorial and lucky for us it just happened to be National Park day, so we got in for free. We started at the Visitor Center to see all the items that they had on display about the Wright brothers.  It was amazing to see what two newspaper man and later a bicycle repair store.

Wright Brothers National Memorial
Wright Brothers National Memorial

The first item that they had there was pretty amazing to see.  A plaque with a piece of fabric and wood from the are from the Wright Brother’s plane.   They were flown on the Apollo 11 mission and on the lunar module Eagle that landed on the moon.

 fabric and wood pieces in the manned Lunar landing.
fabric and wood pieces in the manned Lunar landing.

Of course, there was a nice plague honoring the brothers as well.

Wright Brothers plaque
Wright Brothers plaque

Carolina Premium Outlets-92514

Thursday, Sep 25, 2014:

Another day with Nicole, Derald and the kids.  Unfortunately it rained again…Nicole was missing Washington state so we thought we would bring the rain for her.  I think she doesn’t want to come back anymore after that reminder.

We got cooped up in the house with the rain, so we decided to go out for lunch.  We headed out and drove to Smithfield, North Carolina to the Carolina Premium Outlets.  Because, what would a vacation be without going shopping.

We went through a few interesting places while driving to the outlet stores.  One of the places we drove through was the Campbell University which was founded in 1887 is a Baptist university with the name “Buies Creek Academy“.  Per Wikipedia “It was founded by North Carolina minister James Archibald Campbell, under the conviction that no student should be denied admission because of lack of funds“.  Very honorable thing to do….go Fighting Camels!!!

Just before we got to the I-95 freeway, we passed through the town of Benson, which was having some sort of rally.  We found out later it was the Benson Mule Day.  Apparently the festival draws 40-50,000 people every year.  I’m sure Nicole will take the kids one day, since the festival “packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more. ..was inducted into the Library of Congress in Washington, DC in May of 2000.”

Took us about an hour an half or so to get there, with all the traffic in Benson, so we worked up a good appetite.  We stopped at the Cracker Barrel to eat.

Since we had to eat first so that we could walk off the lunch….and with two women with us…who knows how long this shopping trip would be…lol.

Carla and Isabella
Derald, Isabella and Carla.

After lunch we walked around and went to some of the shops.  Carla found one store, but lost her in there.  Can you find her?

Carla in the Christmas section
Carla in the Christmas section

It was a nice place with lots of stores and very spread out.  Time to head back to the house.

Virginia Beach – Arrival-092614-Updated

Friday, Sep 26, 2014:

After a great time with family friends, we headed out for the beach.  We stopped for breakfast at the Waffle House outside of Benson, before getting onto the freeway. Of course I had to have the Pecan Waffle.

Waffle Housel, since 1955.
Waffle Housel, since 1955.

On the way to beach, we stopped at a place that looked interesting.  It was the King-Bazemore House (Built 1763 ) near Windsor, North Carolina.

King-Bazemore house built in 1763.
King-Bazemore house built in 1763.

According to historic records there were 100 acres granted to William King, in 1758 by Lord Granville.  William and his wife Elizabeth had a home built there in 1763.  It stayed in the King family, until a descendent sold it in 1840 to a prosperous local farmer, Mr. Stephen Bazemore., hence the hyphenated name of the historical place.  And per Wikipedia it is “one of the few remaining examples in North Carolina of mid-eighteenth century “hall and parlor” design.”

front of King-Bazemore House
front of King-Bazemore House

The other place is the historic “Hope Plantation” (1803 [Wikipedia]) which was built by Mr. David Stone who was once the Governor of North Carolina.  The plantation was named after David’s  mother Elizabeth (who was of Hope Parrish in Derbyshire, England).

Historic Hope Plantation
Historic Hope Plantation
Back of Hope Plantation
Back of Hope Plantation
Front of Hope Plantation
Front of Hope Plantation

We finally reached our  hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  The hotel The Grand Ocean Hotel was ok (2 or 5 stars), but the view was incredible.

View from balcony, at The Grand Ocean hotel.
View from balcony, at The Grand Ocean hotel.

We were surprised to find out that there was an event going on there that weekend, so there was lots of things to see.

Carla by the beach access.
Carla by the beach access.
41st Annual Neptune Festival
41st Annual Neptune Festival
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier
Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

We had a great time walking around and looking at all the vendors at the 41st Annual Neptune Festival. It was getting late and we had only made it half way. So it was time to turn around and head back to the hotel.

Southern Pines

 Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014 (Click on the green links for more info):
Woke up to a rainy day (one of three nights) we spent with Nicole, Derald and the kids.
Carla and I with the kids.
Carla and I with the kids.
Me, Gabe and Nicole
Me, Gabe and Nicole
 Played with the kids and drank lots of coffee, trying to keep up.  Of course there was lots of tea and food that the kids made for us from Bella’s stove and oven….yummy.
Cowgirl
Cowgirl
Around noon, we headed to a small town named “Southern Pines“, with a population of about 13,000 people.  It’s a small quaint town which reminded me of Andy Griffith’s fictional hometown of Mayberry (North Carolina).
Interesting item listed in the Wikipedia about Pinehurst is that it is also the home of three championship croquet courts and a lawn bowling court.  Another noteworthy item that ties North Carolina (East coast) and the State of Washington (West coast) was that John Frank Stevens – railroad builder, discoverer of Stevens Pass, and lead engineer for the Panama Canal.
We went into one of the shops there and the owner told me that when they have the PGA U.S. Open golf tournament near here (in the Village of Pinehurst), there are usually around 200,000 (based on Fayobserver.com posted on 6/27/2014 there were 340,000) in the area.
There were quite a few items in the store that looked like they would go really well in a Man Cave.
2014-09-24 15.58.09
2014 U.S. Open for 25% off…wow, what a deal.
Pinehurst
Pinehurst
Bats for the Cave.
Bats for the Cave.
 After some walking around Southern Pines in a light rain and stopped into The Ice Cream Parlor for a nice treat.
The Ice Cream Parlor
The Ice Cream Parlor. (The man behind has been washed out since permission to post his image was not approved.)
The rain picked up so we started to head back to the house, after stopping for a mocha…of course.
We stopped off at Wal-Mart for some items and couldn’t get rid of some stowaways in the cart.
I'm always the horse.
I’m always the horse.
Cart stowaways
Cart stowaways

Meeting with friends

Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014:
We met up with friends for dinner in Raleigh at a Mexican restaurant named “Gonza Tacos Y Tequila”, with a 5 star rating from Yelp.  The interior is pretty amazing.  From the start you know you’re going to be in for a surprise décor as you walk over

Front for Mexican restaurant.
Front for Mexican restaurant.

the outline of a corpse that may have laid there at one time.

Cheryl, Isabella, Stan, Derald, Nicole and Gabe.
Cheryl, Isabella, Stan, Derald, Nicole and Gabe.

Sarah and Doris Duke Gardens-Part 2

Sunday (9/21/14) was fun and didn’t realize how big this place was.  You’d have to really look at the map to see how large the grounds are.

You can go around the pond and have a really nice view of the pond and the garden from the Frances P. Rollins Overlook.

Gardens from the Frances P. Rollins Overlook.
Gardens from the Frances P. Rollins Overlook.

You can go around the sidewalk and follow Flowers Drive. On the other side of the drive is the Duke University Medical Center – Duke Clinic. Walk along the sidewalk and you will get to the lake where the Waterfowl Observation Area.

The lake has many ducks, swans and turtles but wasn’t packed. Some of them even shared logs.

Duke shares log with turtle.
Duke shares log with turtle.
"Teenage Mutant" Turtle
“Teenage Mutant” Turtle

We went around the left side of the lake toward the Japanese garden (Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Japanese Pavilion and Garden).  But it was closed for restoration.  I look forward to seeing it when it is done.  It looked really nice, from what we could see through the gates.

We had to go around the garden along the river.  Where we saw a very nice red bridge, and very photographic.  It looks like it was white at one time and was painted red.  From some of the searches I did about the bridge, it appears to be have been used in many wedding pictures too, and is part of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.

Japanese-style arched bridge.
Japanese-style arched bridge with a black-necked swan. The sun shining on it made it really jump out and almost looks like its a 3D version.
Us on the Japanese-style arched bridge
Us on the Japanese-style arched bridge part of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum.
Carla, Neetu and kids
Carla, Neetu and kids

Looking back to the bridge I had to get one more picture.

Looking back to the bridge.
Looking back to the bridge.

After the bridge we walked up the hill back towards where we started our walk by the fountains, and headed to the Doris Duke Center.

We wound our way up along the trail and passed the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, which we didn’t go to.  Going across another bridge we came upon the Page-Rollins White Garden and Gothic Pavilion.

The Gothic Pavilion beams look like a cathedral to me, what do you think?

Gothic Pavilion
Gothic Pavilion

Down the path is the Angle Amphitheater and Virtue Peace Pond, where there seems to be a great place for a weddings.

William Dodge Angle, MD Amphitheater.
William Dodge Angle, MD Amphitheater.

The Virtue Peace Pond is a great place to relax and contemplate, and probably a great place to do some yoga there too.  No fishing allowed.

Peace Pond
Peace Pond

We went into the Doris Duke Center and signed in and use the facilities before leaving.  Driving out of the garden area, we drove to the right and went over to Duke University Chapel.

The Christian chapel is located in the middle of the Duke University campus in Durham, North Carolina; completed at a cost of $2.5 million dollars back in the 1935.  According to Wikipedia the chapel was “Constructed from 1930 to 1932, the Chapel seats about 1,800 people and stands 210 feet (64 m) tall, making it one of the tallest buildings in Durham County.”

Chapel at Duke University
Chapel at Duke University

So much to see and do at Duke.  Thanks for the memories.

Sarah Duke Garden – Part 1

Sunday (9/21/14) was a fun day, got to take lots of pictures too.

It was a nice warm day for a stroll in the gardens in Durham, North Carolina.  We went to the Sarah Duke and Doris Duke Center (Visitors Center and Gardens).

I blend right in.
I blend right in.
Doris Duke Center entrance.
Doris Duke Center entrance.
Sarah Duke Garden Visitors Center
Manav & Ria in front of the water feature filled with metallic iris sculptures (sculpted by Francis Vega) and a bluestone walkway in front of the Sarah Duke Garden Visitors Center.

A short walk down the road from the Visitor Center is the Sarah P. Duke Gardens which is #4 on the list of “50 Most Stunning University Gardens and Arboretums” and the admission is free and open 365 days a year.

Click on map for a view of the various gardens.

Stairs down to the Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden and Roney Fountain

Walking down the trail and stairs you start in the Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden, and at the bottom of stairs you see the beautifully restored Roney Fountain.

Restored Roney Fountain
Mary Duke Biddle Rose Garden with the Restored Roney Fountain

You walk to the left and follow the trail to the Sarah Duke Gardens where you see the medallion for her. I will post more pictures of the Gardens later.

Sara P Duke Gardens medallion.
Sara P Duke Gardens medallion.

If you come back out and continue going down the trail it will end you to a really great place for a picnic.  I wonder how many students and families come down there from Duke University, which is just on the other side of the gardens.

Lake and green space.
Lake and green space.

Plenty of places to sit around and enjoy the sun.

Walk around the path and go to the Historic Terraces & Fish Pool (part of the Sarah Duke Gardens).

So many colors in the garden.
So many colors in the garden.
Pergola where the Sara Duke medallion was cemented.
Pergola where the Sara Duke medallion was cemented.

Nice place for portraits and pictures.  This random family posed for me (lol).

Manav, Ria and Neetu
Manav, Ria and Neetu

There’s a nice sized pond with koi and lots of water lilies (giant ones and with flowers). Nice place to relax and meditate.

Water Lilly
Water lilies (jewels of the pond)
DSC_0027
Water lilies and Koi
DSC_0039
Lilly pads

Cousin Neetu and family

It was really nice to see Neetu, her husband Neeraj and her two kids (Manav and Ria).  We were able to spend some time together for a few days on the weekend while the kids didn’t have to go to school.  With all our luggage.

1-Luggage-2014-09-19 16.21.16

We arrived to warm sun with Neeraj picking us up from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  It was good to see him, since I don’t think I’ve seen him for many years.

And I just realized that I didn’t even get a picture of him while I was there. 😦

We sat around with everybody got reacquainted.

8-Neetu&Ria-2014-09-20 21.48.28
Neetu and Ria
7-Manav-2014-09-20 21.47.36
Manav lost in video..good kid.

Then Carla and I had to take a little nap from the jet lag, because we were very tired.

That evening (Saturday, Sept 20) we went to the Raleigh Convention Center and were able to take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the 29th Annual International Festival of Raleigh.

3-IntFest-2014-09-20 17.36.48
This is the looking down from the top of the stairs.
There was a dance competition
There was a dance competition
Of course we sat and watched some of the dances from around the world. I, of course, had to voted for the Indian team.
Of course we sat and watched some of the dances from around the world. I, of course, had to voted for the Indian team.
Smelled the samosa and chai from anywhere.
Smelled the samosa and chai from anywhere.
Om sign
And such wonderful art. I really liked this are piece. Looks like a good tattoo.

This was a good ending to the day, thanks to Neeraj, Neetu, Manav and Ria.

vacation, fun, sun, free time