Outer Banks Vacation

Winston snapped this photo with our camera.  It is a picture of the beach right outside the hotel we stayed at on our vacation.  Early in the morning and late at night, I was often fishing midway down the pier.  I assumed the end of the pier would be the best spot to fish, but I was most productive fishing just a couple yards beyond where the waves broke.

Dalia was well prepared for the beach and packed her butterfly shades.  I’ve never met such a character.

Here’s a pic of Jockey’s Ridge State Park.  This place is basically a vast sandscape with enormous dunes.  In August, I am sure this place is awful to visit, but we actually spent a couple of amazing hours trudging through the sand and over the dunes.  At one point, thousands of little black birds flew by us and you just felt really far away from everything, which is a sensation I most enjoy.

Dalia mistakenly thought it was a topless beach.  We were flying the kite seen above.  At one point, Dalia dropped the kite and I had to run about a quarter of a mile to catch up with it. 

The view of the pier at night from our hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk.  From the pier, I caught Bluefish, Speckled Trout, Croaker, and Spot.  Typically just dropping bait to the bottom and waiting for the fish to tap it, not sophisticated in the least, which is how I fish best!  One night I was determined to catch something huge, I hooked up a big piece of bait, walked to the end of the pier and casted it as far into the ocean as I could.  I waited under a full moon with a soft breeze for about 2 hours, didn’t get a single bite and enjoyed every second of it.

Winston enjoying the Wright Brothers Park & Memorial.  The hill in the background is where they perfected their gliders and wings that would later become critical for their airplanes.  Un-Fun Fact, the Wright Brothers actually came up with most of their ideas and plans in Dayton, Ohio, Kitty Hawk just happened to be a sandy windy vacation spot where they tested out their creations from Ohio.

The Wright Brothers Memorial is a cheap place to visit, $4 per adult and well worth the price of admission.  Even just to walk the grounds, you can really still taste the sense of adventure of those crazy brothers soaring off those sand dunes, crashing, repairing, and trying over and over again until they got it right. 

My posse fell asleep on me during a night fishing excursion.  Jaclyn picked them both up and carried them back to the hotel at the same time.  This makes Jaclyn one of the strongest females I know and makes me a pretty lame husband.

An older picture of the kids sleeping in our bed.  When you wake up and see this sleeping next to you…you can be pretty certain you got a crappy nights rest.  The kids are marvelous though, wide eyed, filled with energy and adventure, we are lucky parents.

Percentage Points

Life’s been pretty good lately. You won’t hear any complaining from me. I have been thinking about my life in terms of percentages lately, it helps keep me focused on things that are constructive…constructive is definitely not the right word, let’s just say it puts things in perspective.

I do not like the fact that someday I’ll die, I even thought it was somewhat unfair to bring kids into a world that they’ll someday have to die too, but that is sort of a depressing perspective. The percentage way of looking at things is regardless of how long you live, you lived 100%. If you lived 30 years, 5 years, 100 years, it doesn’t matter, your life equals one unit, 100 percent. If you have 100 percentage points to use between birth and death and the thing that really matters is how you use each one of those points and it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot of your percentage points worrying about dying. If you sleep 8 hours a day, you waste 30% points there too. I’ve tried to get by with much less sleep, but that doesn’t work out too well.

I have been trying to decrease some of my percentage points from work and move them into relaxing, family, and adventure. I’m also trying to squeeze some points into the “take better care of myself” area. I turn 33 on Friday, which puts me roughly 32 years away from retirement, I guess that’s another half full statement. I think I’ve been more reflective lately because I’m really seeing my kid’s personalities take shape and it is a pretty powerful thing, like a thumb print, there’s just no changing it (not that I’d want to, I just expected both kids to be like an exact combination of Jac and I).

Jac, Win, Dalia, and I are all heading to the Outer Banks next week for a vacation. I cannot wait to roam around on vacant beaches and turn the kids loose for hours. Being near water, Jac and I have decided that the kids will be wearing life vests all the time.

My good friend Andy and I were talking about how wonderful the Phillies have been the past couple years and he asked me, “Do you sit your kids down and make them watch the games and tell them that they are witnessing the best baseball team we’ve ever had?” The funny thing is, the thought has definitely crossed my mind. I told him that my kids couple care less about sports, playing sports, or watching sports on TV. It is sort of dissappointing, but it would be also be weird if a kid looked forward to laying on a couch for an entire Sunday to watch football. I think I’m very lucky that my children’s percentage points are completely dedicated to adventure, exploratation, learning, and building. Maybe someday sports will be important, but they’ve got bigger fish to fry.