Intending to show the best of North Carolina to my brother’s friend who was visiting from Florida, my family journeyed to the Blue Ridge Parkway on Friday. Although the weather forecast said, “partly cloudy,” we met heavy fog on the Parkway.
We made the most of a less-than-ideal situation, eventually abandoning the Parkway for Boone and Valle Crucis (but not before I snapped some ominous fog photos).
…and I snapped one less moody photo because from the valley, the low-lying clouds made the world look Christmas-white.
This week I attended the Ruffalo Noel Levitz conference at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort. As a self-proclaimed penny-pincher, I consider the prices at Disney a little, um, steep. However, I did discover a few ways to save money.
1. Choose “Quick Service” dining options.
I ate most of my meals at Picabu and Fuel. These “buffeterias” have delicious food, and (while they’re not cheap) they are cheaper than the more formal restaurants. I especially liked Picabu because I could grab a hot meal (such as tacos or a burrito bowl) and a snack for later (they stock some of my favorite granola bars).
For ten hours on Monday, I drove south at 80 mph in the company car. I am attending a student retention conference this week, and my goal was to reach the hotel before dinner.
About halfway to my destination, I stopped at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge to snap some nature photos and stretch my legs. As soon as I exited the car, 1000 mosquitoes attacked me. I ran in circles while swatting them (killing about 10 mosquitoes per swat) until I could safely return to my car.
I didn’t try to leave the car again for three hours.
Sorry there aren’t more photos of the nature preserve, but I like my blood to stay in my body.
You cannot converse with me for very long without hearing something about summer camp. Whether it’s the eight years that I attended youth camp as a child or the three summers that I served as photographer at Pine Cove, camp seems to weasel its way into every discussion.
A favorite activity at most youth camps is the blob. If you aren’t familiar with blobbing, it essentially consists of a giant inflated pillow in a body of water and a high dive. One child sits at the end of the pillow, and the other child stands on the high dive. When the second child jumps down to the pillow, the first child is launched into the air.
I was an average-sized teenager. Thus, I wasn’t very good at blobbing other campers. However, I loved sitting at the end of the blob and letting the largest high school guys launch me into the air.
As you can imagine, this didn’t always end well. For the sake of this story, we need to backtrack to the Friday night before I went to camp in 2012. (Warning: this story is loooooooong, but I will try my best to keep it short)