Sunday, October 7, 2018

Second Camper Tryout - Hanging Rock State Park, North Carolina

Anna and I took a quick weekend to practice for the second time.  Hanging Rock State Park is about two hours from our house in Durham.  We stayed at a very good campground and drove to the park with our car.

Inside our camper:

View at sunset:

Hiking to the Hanging Rock is just a 1.3 mile route.  Because it is 800 feet up and is reached by an difficult rock path (and Anna was wearing her knee brace) it took us 1 hour and 45 minutes!

Of course Anna got out there to take a photo!

Then, because we weren't totally exhausted after an hour of climbing down, we took the short hike to a cascade:

The T@B camper was in great shape.  But we were drained of all energy!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Over The Edge

Annually, in Raleigh, there is a fund raiser for the Special Olympics.  Anna and I volunteered to help.  For two days,  as part of the "rope team", Anna and I worked with 20 volunteers who helped corporate sponsors and 110 fund raisers to go "over the edge" - to rappel down the face of the 400 foot high Wells Fargo bank building in Raleigh.

As volunteers we had a chance to do this as well.  Great fun!!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Keith Urban Concert

Anna and I went to the Keith Urban concert at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater.  We sat first row center and Anna was in heaven.  First we did the traditional tailgate:

At the end of the concert, Keith Urban tossed out guitar picks and one of his [very sweaty] wrist bands.  I caught the wrist band and gave it to my Sweetie (she knows this is the closest she will ever come to his DNA).

Monday, July 16, 2018

Gourmet Dinner at the Fearrington House Restaurant, Pittsboro, North Carolina

Anna and I went back to this restaurant after too long an absence.  We had a drink at the bar and of course Anna had to try their signature cocktail, El Cazador (the hunter).

The menu:

We shared a lovely amuse bouche of coconut cream on spoons.  Anna's bread choice was rye with chocolate nibs and braided French bread and I chose the corn muffin. Then Anna chose the poached chicken with morels, trout with a foam cloud, speck wrapped rabbit, and soufflée for dessert.  I had the same main course, rabbit - but I had fois gras, and quail first.  By the time it came to dessert (I, of course, had the chocolate tart) we couldn't wait to photograph the dishes - so they are half-eaten in the slide show below:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Quick week in Bavaria

Anna and I made the long-awaited trip to visit her relatives in Germany.  We had a fabulous time in both Bamberg and Bayreuth.  We stayed with Aunt Johanna and Uncle Hans in Bamberg, where Anna was born. Johanna bought fresh bread every morning and served us the famous Bamberger bratwurst! We did all the tourist things: the Old City, the Rose Garden, "Little Venice", the Dom Cathedral (Emperor Heinrich II had the Cathedral constructed in 1002; and it was completed in 1012), and Altenburg Castle.

Oh, did I mention the smoked beer (the original brewery is still there - since 1405)?

Entrance to Old City:

Short video at the entrance to the old city:

The Rose Garden:

A very brief look at "Little Venice" on the boat ride along the Regnitz river:

DOM Cathedral 

Slideshow inside the Dom:

Anna's cousin Luvo took us to the highest point in Bamberg, the Altenburg Castle:

We also visited Levi Strauss’s hometown of Buttenheim.  The house he lived in is now a museum.

Luvo owns a glider repair shop.  Originally, the shop was owned by his dad, "Uncle Hans", and it built gliders. Anna and I toured the shop which now repairs old (wooden) and modern gliders sent from all over the world. And of course he arranged for us to get a glider ride.

Very short video of Anna taking off:

Then Luvo took us to his beautiful home where we met the rest of the family - Heike, Ella and Hannes; and Luvo barbecued LOTS of meat. Hannes, who is already taller than his dad, was at tennis and then went to a dance so he's not in the photo.

Next, Anna and I were picked up by another cousin, Hans-Peter, brother of Luvo, and driven to Bayreuth (where Wagner had his own opera house built).  We toured the streets of Bayreuth and then we met the rest of the family, Claudia, Anna and Katia, had coffee and wonderful cake, baked by Claudia, and later went out to dinner.

Wagner Museum:

The next day we had a spectacular breakfast and then did a hike in Franconia (where there is world famous rock climbing) with Hans-Peter and Claudia.

Hans-Peter's studio:

Anna had to return to the university:

On our last day, Hans-Peter took us to Nuremburg from where we would take a train to the airport in Frankfurt.  We roamed the streets there and of course ate some of their famous bratwurst.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Vacation in Roatán, Honduras

Anna and I went diving for a week off the island of Roatán.  The weather was perfect and the sea temperature was 83 degrees F.  We did 11 dives, one of which was a shark dive (intense!).  We have posted Anna's wonderful underwater photos and videos.  

Anna swimming with the sharks (I made this video):
The following video of the shark dive was done by the videographer at the shark dive company.

Free swimming turtle:

Free swimming eel:


Anna's underwater photos:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Top Rope Climbing Progress

Anna is constantly improving at the climbing walls (Triangle Rock Club).
She climbed this short wall 5.9+ twice.  What a woman!