Saturday, June 28, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
"The Greensboro Grasshoppers plan to showcase the Gate City this coming week as the South Atlantic League All-Star Game returns for the first time in 18 years."
We came to Greensboro last week to visit with our dear friend Paige. She moved to North Carolina about 10 years ago to be closer to family. The last time we saw her was 2 years ago when she visited us in California. She's been a real trooper while we've been here. She took us out for massages on Thursday, went to the water park all day Friday with us for Sawyer's 5th birthday, took me (Robert) out on the town Saturday and we all went to her parent's house for Father's Day. I think she had to go back to work Monday to get some rest and we don't blame her!
One of the things we had wanted to do on the trip was take the boys to a local baseball game. Paige told us about the South Atlantic Minor League All-Star game which was coming back to Greensboro on Tuesday the 17th.
The Greensboro team is known as the Grasshoppers.
Paige and Sawyer
Paige's friends, Carol and Claudia joined us for the game. Sawyer loves to tell his Pirate jokes and he loved the captive audience of adoring women! This is his reaction to Carol's really loud whistle!
Although it was after 10pm, we stayed for the fireworks. I've never seen so many fireworks at a sporting event. They went on for 10 minutes continually, one after another. We had great seats for the fireworks but unfortunately we were downwind of them and got rained on by firework particles and smoke.
We had a GREAT time at the ballpark. Thanks Paige!!!!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Joss had bought a book on the Wright Brothers and Kitty Hawk a few months ago as part of the boys' "road schooling". When we got to Wilmington, NC we knew we had to go to Kill Devil Hills/Kitty Hawk up the coast. I found an RV Park that had great reviews, about 40 minutes away from Kitty Hawk so that's what we used as homebase for our exploration of the Outer Banks, as this part of the coast is called.
The hill the Wright Brothers used in their glider tests is called Kill Devil Hill and it is/was a giant sand dune. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of their historic first flights, a giant granite monument was erected on Kill Devil Hill. Only problem with building on a sand dune is...they move! In fact, the hill had moved 450 feet in the preceding 25 years so the engineers build a wooden base to both support the granite and keep the sand still.
The monument is in beautiful shape and very impressive. This shot is from directly underneath.
For their historic flight(s), they had to be on level ground, or sloping upward so they landed at least at the same elevation as take off (no gliding allowed). The flight had to be under it's own power and at least 320 feet (roughly) long. These granite markers indicate the stopping point of each of the four flights they took on December 17, 1903. The last one is 894 feet long and lasted 59 seconds. At the Wright Brothers National Monument, you walk right where the brothers flew. The original rail they used for takeoff is there and replicas of their hanger and living quarters are all in the original locations.
I'm not sure what this real size model of the 1903 Flyer is made of but it's some sort of metal, perhaps bronze. Anyway, the whole scene is recreated of the 1903 flight, photographer, onlookers, Wilbur at the controls, Orville running along side during take off.
The brothers alternated flying duty, first Wilbur then Orville. This is Orville in the "cradle". They used their bodies to help control the plane by laying in a cradle that was connected by cables to the control surfaces on the plane.
After Kitty Hawk, Joss wanted to drive up the coast to see the wild horses that inhabit the dunes and beach. If you have four wheel drive (or are very good at sand driving) you can drive up the beach for miles before you hit the Virginia state line. We have four wheel drive in the dually so we took a chance. We didn't lower the air pressure as you're supposed to because, frankly, it takes FOREVER to refill the darn things. The truck tires run at 80 psi and those coin operated air pumps run very slow.
Well, with much tire spinning and overworking of the diesel engine, we made it to the horses. Joss took these pictures out the window of the truck because I didn't want to stop for fear of getting stuck!
However we did finally stop so the boys could do some sledding down the dunes. We have been hauling their sleds in the trailer ever since the White Sands of New Mexico back in February. While the boys were sledding I got out to lower the air pressure in the tires. That's when we discovered the beach is infested with biting flies! I don't know if they are the famous "black flies" that are so miserable in the Northern MidWest, but these were black and they swarmed on anything living that stopped moving... like a man trying to let 50 pounds of air out of 4 tires! They were attacking the boys and Joss too. Heck, they were even swarming on the truck tires themselves. We took refuge in the surf, then headed back to civilization.
Civilization came in the form of a town called Duck, NC. It was a very cute town with a good vibe to it, at least to us. We stopped at an ice cream shop and got to talking to the owner of the pizza place just down the walkway. Turns out Chris had recently bought the shop and is a gourmet chef. He has big plans for the location...and what a location it is. It's over looking the water, facing West into the sunset every night.
Chris and his sister, Michelle are running the place (Angelo's Pizza). They are neat people and Chris makes a mean pizza! I asked him to cook me up whatever he wanted and his chef surprise was the best tasting pizza I've ever had. It had so many things in it I couldn't tell what they all where. He did come out of the kitchen and ask me if I liked crab at one point, so I'm sure that was in there!
After pizza we headed back to our camp in Shawboro about an hour away. Thanks for the great meal and conversation Chris! What a way to end a day.