To spend quality time in at least one area of every state. Quality time means exploring the area; rest stops, gas stations, airports or train stations do not count. The goal is to explore the natural and cultural environments of these regions. Each location visited has a story, pictures for my amateur hobby addiction, and maybe a piece of jewelry/art.

Friday, January 15, 2016

First Road Trip of the New Year

We are headed into Martin Luther King weekend. For a while now I have been using this weekend to explore on quick trips - I have headed to Florida, Memphis, took a bunch of trips to Vegas and had a great roadtrip last year to Palm Springs (from Vegas). I have seen a few national park sites - Death Valley, Joshua Tree and Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park.

This year, I am skipping the plane. Instead, I am headed to Virginia Beach and northern North Carolina. Virginia Beach is hosting the Coastal Wine Festival this weekend, and while I am not a wine connoisseur, my date loves a good glass of wine and I do enjoy the sweeter stuff. Besides, the festival also is host to arts & crafts, specialty foods and live entertainment. So, while it will again warm up this weekend, it is not warm enough to sit and enjoy the beach... we are headed inside to the convention center. If we are lucky, we can walk the "boardwalk" (I call it the cement walk) and listen to the waves.

I can't hang out in a convention center all weekend... I have my eye on the northern outer banks. I have spent my virtually entire life on the east coast, yet I have never been to the outer banks. It was never our thing. Growing up in Jersey, we had our own awesome beach. With family in southern Florida, a completely different type of beach awaited me there. We just never stopped in between. And now that I have lived in the DC area for 15 years, I find I still haven't made time to visit the banks. I have spent time in VA Beach, Ocean City Maryland and even the Delaware beaches. I haven't made time. That ends this weekend... We are taking the short 2 hour drive from VA Beach to Kitty Hawk and the surrounding areas. I have my sights on visiting the Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh. Neither will be like the 2 desert parks I have visited the last 2 years, but that is good - this is a change of pace. Fort Raleigh recognizes the mysterious site of the first English attempt at colonization (1585-1587). The Wright Brother site preserves the location of the first successful airplane flight in 1903. And if the weather cooperates, maybe I can drag my date on a few trails where I can put my camera to good use.

Have a great weekend everyone - Get Outside. Appreciate diversity. Enjoy life.

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