Enjoyed Beach Therapy: Talus Recovery (Week 11)

As a last minute thing during Week 11 post accident, we were able to join our friends on our annual beach trip. This year we were hoping to go on an international trip together this fall…but that is the kind of thing that gets postponed when you break your ankle. It so happened that our friends still had an empty room to fill and we were able to join after all!

Going to the beach, rewalking was still new enough that it was easier to feel thankful for every step I was able to take, and I was able to do them in another state!

We’d warned our friends that I might need more help when we asked about coming, since I’d only started walking, and they easily rose to the challenge. They were amazing bringing food/drinks so I didn’t have to walk so much and a few times I was even carried/given piggyback rides!

Historically (due to personality type) I struggle with resting, and this is always the most evident at the beach. Husband likes to completely veg out while on vacation, sleeping in late, just lazing around the beach house. No matter where I am I have a drive to do stuff and adventure. I’ve relaxed more so after having a consistent full time job, but it is something that still pulls us in opposite directions.

Seriously though, I keep myself so busy I volunteer to go with anyone even if they are just going to the grocery store, I beg to go with. I’ve come to the understanding that if I do a special trip or thing at the beginning of the beach trip then it is easier to relax the rest of the week because I’ve got the “exploring” out of my system.

 

This year you guys I FINALLY GOT TO SEE THE PONIES (only they aren’t ponies as the guide chastised me on). There was expected to be hurricaney weather later in the week ( which has caused me to have the tour cancelled 2 years in a row) so the first morning (Sunday) I started seeing if it would be possible and husband agreed! It was amazing! I loved the thrill of using my giant lens. We sat right behind the driver and found out he was actually from our neck of the woods as well. The real adventure was driving back along the 4X4 beach as the waves were higher from the storm, in some places there was very little beach to drive on. The foam from the waves was everywhere.

There was some rough weather but we still had fun.

It truly amazed me how much I felt like I did during this trip, despite that I did so much less than I normally do. For example, I only walked down to the beach like 2x (though a couple more if you include pictures), I only went to the grocery store once. I skipped several stores that I normally travel to. I still felt exhausted doing the few things that I did. It helped provide some insight into the need to truly learn was REST is in my life.

We made it out to the outlets which I’m so grateful I was still able to rent my knee scooter.

I used the house elevator, and everyone joked that it was like I just “appeared” everywhere, it was great.

I was proud of myself for being creative about getting my boot down to the ocean. I’d cover it with a trash bag and secure it with washi tape. Then once at the ocean side I’d walk barefoot some. We also purchased these things called “sand pads” to help make my crutches stable in the sand. I felt like Ms. Wonder Woman herself proudly standing at the water edge.

My foot loved the pool therapy I was able to do. It felt so freeing to “walk” in the pool and not need crutches or other supports.

It was the perfect boost that I needed to help launch me from my couch time to transition towards going back to work!

Vacationed in OBX During the Govt Shutdown

Off season beach week trips are awesome….even if you have to wait all summer through everyone else’s beach trip pictures. The fun thing this year, about joining our former crew from last year, was that it would be during our anniversary…meaning more adventure on our special day!

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We headed down to the beach, road tripping with a newbie to the OBX. We were in a different house in Nags Head this year instead of Corolla. Nags Head is nice to be more centrally located with shops and food.

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One of the biggest struggles that I started the week out with was wrestling with my expectations comparing everything to last year. As much as I regret the time wasted in that awful frustration, processing all of it I think helped grow me as a person. :0)

The first few days the weather was rough. The “No Swimming” signs were up, but my husband is a strong swimmer so he chanced it.

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Our beach house kitchen had a long family style table for gaming, again, and a giant fish hanging on the wall. And an amazing comfy chair for reading.

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Our beach house had a visitor, Franklin the crab. He was also on vacay from the Ochin, swimming in the pool.

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I did end up relaxing on the beach. My whole life I’ve always teased people who came to the beach to just sit on the sand. I apologize. I took a nap on the beach, and it was literally the best nap that I’ve ever had in my entire life! It was magical!

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One of the coolest things that we did as a group was head down to the beach at night. We’d bring chairs and sit just at the edge of the waves’ grasp, staring into the beautiful sparkly sky. One such night I was splashing my feet, and I started to see little specks. I discovered dinoflagellates! We got everyone else to the shore line and we got to hear everyone’s gasps as they discovered the bio-luminescent plankton.  I’m such a geek.

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And actually the govt being shut down…culminated in probably the best anniversary that we’ve ever had!

One of the biggest missions was to find the “good” salt water taffey, since the company I’d discovered last year was closed for the end of the season. On one of the last days I found the delicious savory taffy across from Jockey’s Ridge! Success!

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And there is always time for shopping!

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Fall is definitely the best time to go the beach. The beach is empty, traffic isn’t a night mare, and the weather is still amazing!

 

 

Celebrated Our 4th Anniversary

This adventure was my favorite yet for one of our anniversaries!

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Phase 1 included driving by the entrance to the Bodie Lighthouse on a whim. There were several other cars parked outside the “govt shutdown sign.” We figured that the mile walk couldn’t be that bad.. I mean I’d been training for a 5k at that time…I could jog a mile!

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Heh, little did we know that there were blood thirsty mosquitoes (obviously in league with the govt) to chomp on us as our inappropriately clad feet earned sores.

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The lot of course was empty, though we did see a few other people documenting their time at the lighthouse.

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I’d visited this one before on a girl’s camp out trip. Then, the lighthouse was in the middle of renovations. Now, it had reopened and you could climb inside! After last year’s light house, I didn’t mind only seeing the outside.

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I was feeling a little impish, and when I pictured the entire adventure, I daydreamed about posing while touching the base of the light house. Apparently, it was gated, so I just needed to invoke my country girl skills and hop the fence.

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After phase 1 we returned back to the beach house and soaked our bruised/burnt feet in the pool.

Phase 2 included photography on a beautiful pier. We walked around, hoping to see someone reeling in a fish. One cool thing that we did see, however, was another couple getting married over on the beach!

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I really have such a great catch ;0).

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Phase 3 was a delicious dinner! The dinner was on this really cool structure as part of the restaurant. We actually got to eat on a pirate’s ship! We were able to watch the sun set over the Roanoke Sound.

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Husband even had fun getting some pictures!

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While I was taking pictures this yummy dish arrived:

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Seriously! Best anniversary ever.

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Lived in the OBX For a Week

Welcome to North CarolinaThis summer Husband and I finally schedule a vacation that didn’t involve traveling to meet family. It was the first vacation that we had since our honeymoon. Husband’s coworkers regularly travel to the Outer Banks for a week and rent a beach house together, so he jumped in to partake. All year I was sooo excited! Despite all of the international beaches that I’ve visited, the Outer Banks is by far my favorite. I’ve been twice previously, and the gorgeous sandy dunes covered in tall beach grass is the most gorgeous natural looking coastline. I was even more excited to share this beautiful place with the Husband who’d never been!

Our vacation began with a short trip to Williamsburg to ride Verbolten at the spiffy VIP party that I won access to based on my social media merits and waxing nostalgic over the love for the park. Read that post.

Then we traveled to the beach, it was nice to break the trip into two sections. We ended up arriving earlier than the rest of the guests, so we just found a public beach access and explored.

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Our Feet Upon Arrival

 

The Beard in the Wind

Once everyone arrived and we got the keys, I got to see our beautiful large beach house. It was located at the end, so we really only had neighbors on one side. We were also located right on the edge of the water, with no other houses blocking our beach front view! This giant house had a pool, and a Jacuzzi  As well as there was a porch off of our bedroom on the second floor, where I could walk to the beach to take pretty sunrise pictures.

Front of the Beach House Our Pool

 

Living Room

Our Living Room View

View of Our House From the Beach

The first few days were rainy, so we mostly stayed inside. The large kitchen table was converted to the LAN party station. Most of the other wives/girlfriends were frustrated by this. I decided that “if you can’t beat them, then join them.” The beta version of Torchlight II had been offered, and I was eager to try it! 

Rainy Day

 

Geeks at the Kitchen Table

The next day the sun was out, bright and shinning. We ventured out to the beach and enjoyed it! The water was still pretty cold since it was May, but we enjoyed it all the same. As a very pale person I know that one of my most important rituals is lathering myself in sunscreen (the highest SPF that I can get!) So, I did this…however, apparently when I did this, I only put the sunscreen down the right sides of my legs, leaving the left halves to become bright red and burnt. ><

Bright Sun

 

Reading on the Beach

 

Burnt Legs

Husband enjoyed himself playing with his new go pro. At one point he was wearing it while they were using the boogie boards and it fell off into the ocean. Luckily one of the other guys felt it next to their feet. The video was running all the while as the waves/current dragged it across the ocean floor. Watching the amazed expression on husband’s face when he retrieved it is priceless!

Husband and Go Pro

And of course we built a sand castle together!

Sand Castle Building

 

Drizzled Castle

 

Me and Castle

 

Sand Castle

I wanted to see the wild ponies on the beach, we didn’t have the opportunity to do that, but we did get to explore a local lighthouse! I visited a lighthouse the last time that I went to OBX, but it was under reconstruction and not open inside. I’ve heard that climbing the rickety stairs of a lighthouse can be scary, but I figured after the bell tower in Italy that was walking up chiseled stone stairs I’d be fine. Hah! These were metal grated stairs, but there were wide gaps in between each step. This ignited my fear of stairs and I crawled up them at a snails pace.

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Lighthouse

Scary Stairs

 

Us at the Lighthouse

 

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The lighthouse exploration was also the final episode of my Nikon point and shoot. I’m pretty sure it was my fault. I remember snapping a picture and then tossing it into my purse as the lens was closing. The next time I brought it out to turn it on, it said there was a “Lens Error” and shut off. It was pretty tragic, but our trip was mostly over at that point, and at least I had my camera phone!

Living with a few awesome chefs, we had great meals every night. One night we had delicious giant mushroom burgers.

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Another we went to a yummy restaurant. I had delicious macaroni.

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Another night we had seafood (an absolute necessity). I LOVE crab legs, so of course this was a priority. People are often astounded as crack the limbs with my bare hands. I trained a few of them on this wonderful art. You see the trick is to crack it in the middle from one side, only enough to break the shell not the meat. Then, you turn it over and crack the other side. Thus, you pull the shell apart to uncover the whole piece of crab meat that you dip in succulent butter. Yum!

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We even discovered some of the best salt water taffy that I have ever tasted. There are a bazillion delicious flavors and you can choose your own. (Perfect for avoiding those flavors that you dislike). We brought home several bags. We said a few were for others but I know we ate a large portion. My favorite flavor was watermelon, the candy even looked like the fruit.

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The last night we were there we decided to combine all of our leftover food into a baked Mac and Cheese in an attempt to use it all and have less to throw away. What was concocted was a wild creation called “Everything Under the Kitchen Sink.” This was made with all of our cheese: swiss, white cheddar, gouda, and habanero cheddar. All of our sandwich and leftover meats: roast beef, ham, bacon, brats, rotisserie chicken, left over mushroom burger. Other ingredients were cream cheese, Doritos, Lays Potato chips, Sun chips, six boxes of mac and cheese dip, 3 sticks of butter, all placed in a pan greased with bacon grease. It was pretty incredible!

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I really hope we can go again this upcoming summer.

Played Torchlight II Beta

Hello world, yes I am a geek (and I can’t even blame my husband because I was one before I met him).

As I kid I was largely a console gamer with my experience being in Nintendo 64 (best console ever!!), and Playstation 2 (gotta love me some cute purple dragon…and the versions of that game after Playstation made the whole series crash and burn).

Husband has an affinity for PC games instead of consoles, and really there is a ton of logic to this, after all the computer you can continue to upgrade. Meanwhile the console you just have to constantly buy the more advanced system. When we got married I quickly realized to the truth, that “if you can’t beat them, you should join them.” He spent a lot of time with PC games, so I figured “hey, maybe this is a way to get some relationship quality time in?” Torchlight was released the month that we got married and became one of those games that I was eager to try due to the amount of time my husband was absorbed in it.

I like games, a lot, but I can not say that I am great in them. I’m often handicapped by my inexperience for the controls (especially some first person shooters like Halo–pretty sure I died on the training mission because I had issues not staring at my feet!) So, I was hesitant to try the game, but try I did! I enjoyed the original Torchlight immensely! I even ended up beating the game before my husband. Of course the main thing that was lacking was coop. Then, in August 2010 they announce they’d be making the sequel.

Due to my novice in computer game world, I did not know that release dates could be continuously delayed. With regard to movies and books the release dates are stuck permanently upon announcement, and change rarely (and if then only once for six months later!). I’ve felt tortured and tortured, constantly annoying my husband with, “Is there an update for the Torchlight II release?” (believing that he’d have better connections/websites to find this information than I). To which he’d roll his eyes and tell me to google it.

But finally, after all of my waiting…I began to see twitter updates indicating that people were playing Torchlight II. It was in beta! Then, I saw it was a closed beta = sad face.

Commence my stalking of how to get a beta key. Then, it was announced, the beta stress test weekend! Happiness ensued, including the fact that at this point I’d be on my beach vacation and have time to play! (The only difficultly of that became the fact that the only computer we have with a windows distro (and even then only a dual boot- go Linux!) is husband’s work laptop. Given the fact that Diablo 3 was released previous to said beach trip…I’ve only been able to play twice. Here is my opinion in my short game play.
It rocks! I’d almost say that it was worth the wait ;0) (but seriously Runic Games…don’t make me wait so much next time…!) Improved functionality includes: there are 4 classes, and each of these can be either male/female, coop via LAN or internet, many more pets, pets can now buy a few requested items, and the environment is overwhelmingly more engaging.
I’ve been playing as an Outlander (as I played Vanquisher in the original game). There are also skill points (not just stat points) to divide between three different skill trees per class. I kept forgetting about my magical glaive attack throughout most of the game. Don’t do this! This attack is awesome. Once enacted the glaive will act like a boomerang bouncing between the enemies. This the probably the Outlander’s best way to defeat large waves of enemies. (And be helpful for even low level masses to defeat the groups quicker).
The aspect of the game that I’ve been impacted the most by so far is the enhancement to the overall game product. There are more places involved this time (you venture outside of the main town), and in each of these areas can be different types of weather, and different types of environments. However, the environments are interactive not simply static background. These include: moving mists, tiny spiders that are not enemies, rocks and boards that can be checked for loot, broken detonators that will be fixed upon discovering a plunger, and fuses that you can ignite to explode crates and set houses on fire.
I could not be happier with the game play that I’ve experienced so far! It has met all of my expectations and above. Throughout all types of game play this weekend, members in the beach house teased the group about all of the “clicking” due to the playing of dungeon crawler based games. One such person was gifted the original Torchlight through my husband’s steam account. This guy started playing in and continued to play it for a few hours. He said that he liked the steam punk style of graphics and game play. Win :0)
I hope to play one last time before the beta stress test weekend is officially over at 7pm my time. Then, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the full release…which with my luck will occur when I’m out of the country in July. I’m excited that husband and I will actually be able to quest together.
*looks forward to spending quality time together* :0)