Azalea Festival In My City

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. To visit other cities, click on the button and link up with photos of your own town.

Goodness, gracious, it’s Sunday, y’all! Where does all the time go when you’re not blogging?  I have been playing hookey the past few weeks, but I’ve been snapping lots of photos. These are just a few I took at the annual Azalea Festival that is held here, in Wilmington, North Carolina every spring. It is a big southern-style party, complete with a parade, a street fair, fireworks, garden tours, a few celebrities and lots of pretty local girls dressed up like southern belles.

The whole thing is in celebration of the azalea, which blooms here in profusion, along with dogwood trees,

The parade always includes the marching cadets.

And a few colorful clowns. This one even had his poodle dyed to match the azaleas.

The local kids get in the act with lots of talent and loads of cuteness.

The azalea belles are in the parade…


And one of them appeared to be lost in the crowd.


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Signs in My City

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. To visit other cities, click on the button and link up with photos of your own town.


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Yesterday I wrote about the subject of home, and what my city means to me. Go on and read it, if you haven’t already. My love for my hometown city, Wilmington, North Carolina, is the reason I love to participate in The Unknown Mami’s Sunday in my City.

Every Sunday, folks from all over the world post photos of their cities, and I’ve seen some pretty decent photos, some pretty interesting ones, and learned a lot about different locations that I didn’t know. I hope that by posting photos of my city, y’all can get a flavor of what it’s like.

Today’s  slide show is a collection of some photos I took this year in and around downtown Wilmington. All of them have a sign of some kind or another in them. I like photographing signs wherever I go. I think they really showcase an area and give you a certain feel for its inhabitants.

A photography website that has taught me a lot (and it’s free!) is Digital Photography School. The subject of one of the tutorials was “Photographing Signs – Travel Photography Tip.” The author list several reasons why he likes to photograph signs when he is on trips.

He writes: “I set myself the task of photographing the ‘little things’ that we saw along the way. My hope was that in photographing ordinary, everyday aspects of the countries that we were traveling through that I’d capture the essence of the country.”

I hope my ordinary, everyday signs from around my city will give you an essence of what it’s like. I also hope I’ve inspired you to get out and capture a few “snaps” of your own.

Aha! My First Slide Show

Today’s topic on The Daily Post is to post something about an Aha! moment. I was going to ignore that and post a few pictures I’ve been saving  instead. But then I had a genuine Aha! moment.

On New Year’s Day, after working a long string of miserable night shifts, and having had to work right through the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays, we woke up to an unseasonably warm day. The temps had been in the 20’s for what seemed like the whole month of December. But on January 1st, we had a balmy high of  70 F.

I posted one of the pictures we took that afternoon here, but in honor of Sundays In My City, one of my favorite photo memes, I wanted to showcase the haunting beauty of Wrightsville Beach in the wintertime.

As I was posting pictures to this blog post, I noticed a button in my “gallery” that I had never taken time to notice before. Slide show? I tried it and Lawd Have Mercy – now I have my very own cotton pickin’ slide show!

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This will come in real handy later this week, when I get ready to post pictures from our trip. Right now this moment, my hiney is sitting in the warm heated leather seat of the passenger side of our Corvette, cruising down I-95 towards Vero Beach, Florida. We are going to visit my mom tonight. And tomorrow?

KEY WEST, BABY!

That’s our solution to the quandary of what to do on our seven-day break this month. We left the 19 degree F and chance of snow flurries behind, along with our cares and responsibilities, for a few days. Tomorrow night I plan to be enjoying a cocktail in a bar somewhere on Duval Street. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Stay tuned for a report on our trip and another slide show real soon, y’all!

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. To visit other cities, click on the button and link up with photos of your our town.

Sunday After the Pirates Lost

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I usually post pictures of my town, Wilmington, NC. But my son lives in Greenville, NC, a college town a short two hours drive from home. I thought it would be interesting to post photos from  the ECU/Navy game yesterday.

My youngest son, Klinton, is a student at East Carolina University. We were there yesterday to watch the football game between the ECU Pirates and the Navy Midshipmen. The whole town of Greenville, NC vehemently shows its support for the East Carolina Pirates. This involves, among other things, wearing temporary tattoos of a small Pirate on your face. My son’s girlfriend, Sarah, gave me a tattoo. Don’t I look just like a college girl, y’all?

Another way to show your team spirit: wearing the purple and gold. Sarah’s puppy, Winston, even had purple barrettes.

Almost everyone had flags on their vehicles.

We followed Klinton and Sarah to the stadium, after a nice tail-gate party of  sausage dogs and beer.

On the way, we saw a lot of other folks having tail-gate parties.

Purple tights were an interesting way to show team spirit.

Once we got to the stadium, we realized that almost everyone in the crowd was wearing  purple.

We could see a sea of purple across the way.

The fanfare before the game included a pirate appearing out of the pirate’s head.

Afterward, the whole team walked out of the Pirate’s head, in a haze of purple smoke.

From our vantage point, high in the stadium, we could see a line of fans waiting to be admitted. It was reported to be a sell-out crowd.

In the student section, the fans were going wild with excitement. Whenever the Pirates scored a touchdown, a cannon noise was played over the loud speakers.

After the first half, the Pirates were looking pretty good.

The band, the cheerleaders, and the mascots put on a good halftime show.

It started to rain, but the fan’s spirits were still high.

Klinton and Sarah were both looking hopeful at the start of the second half.

And even though we were having a great time…

…on three of four plays, the Pirates  fumbled the ball away deep in their own territory. Navy used the momentum to fuel a 76 – 35 win, the most points scored by a team in the 240 game history of the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

After it started raining, there was a rainbow to be seen behind the stadium. The Pirates lost this game, but I think the battle is far from over, y’all.  The Power of the Purple that this team has on its side, has got to be enough  to enable a bounce back from defeat.

If not, all that purple in one place at the same time sure does look real pretty, don’t it?

 

 

Sunday in the Blue Ridge Mountains

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I usually post pictures of my town, Wilmington, NC. But I have so many photos of other places in North Carolina, that I decided to do something different.

These are some of my favorite pictures from our trip this year to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I fell in love with the funky, old, fifties-style signs that I saw everywhere.  I took so many pictures of just signs that, well, I had to do something with them. So, a photo collage!

If you click on the image, you can see a bigger version of it.

Here are some of the photos with a little bit of explanation.

This is typical of the road side stands that you will see in the North Carolina mountains. Pork rinds and boiled peanuts are popular items. Don’t knock ’em ’til you’ve tried ’em, y’all!

The purpose of our trip was to drive our new red corvette on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap. On the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, Deals Gap is a popular and internationally famous destination for motorcyclists and sports car drivers. It is located along the 11-mile stretch of two-lane road known as “The Dragon” or the “Tail of the Dragon”, which has a stunning 318 curves!

This is a photo of the Tree of Shame, which is a collection of parts from motorcycles that have crashed on the ride, all nailed randomly to the large oak tree.

I couldn’t resist getting a close up of this part, left by a female rider. Please forgive the *ahem* very unladylike  language.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive of  469 miles connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It features stunning views, abundant hiking trails, picnic areas, campsites,  interpretative exhibits and many areas to pull off the road and take photos. Known as “Overlooks,” these areas often include a short hiking trail that allows you to get off the highway and explore the natural surrounding on foot.

It was at one of the overlooks that I wandered a bit back into the woods and discovered this cross. It appeared to be marking a grave, and the whole experience was a little creepy. Especially the name, Luther.

This photo was taken on the Cherohola  Skyway.  I apologize for the poor quality of this one, but it was hastily snapped through the window of the car. All the arrows in the signs caught my eye.

I’m thinking the Warrior Hotel hasn’t changed their sign since about 1962! And they have electric heat and air!

My husband thought it would be real funny to get a picture of me in front of this sign, y’all.  This isn’t just a great picture for Halloween. This is an actual overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have no idea why it is named the Big Witch.

These signs made me hungry.

This sign, one of hundreds just like it, is what you see on the Tail of the Dragon. It is like driving on a roller coaster in your car.

We stopped at this little store for gas, and a bottle of water. Inside, they have absolutely everything. I would tell you where it is, but we were hopelessly lost. The man sitting on the porch found us to be very amusing.

Happy Halloween, y’all!

To participate in Sunday in My City, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

A Segway Tour of My City

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington, NC, should be included.

Wilmington is a beautiful city, rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am so proud to show off my hometown.

I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

These shots were taken on a recent segway tour with Cape Fear Segway. The two-hour tour takes you through part of the historic district and gives you a chance to look into the yards and gardens of some of the oldest homes in the city.

The architectural features on some of our older homes are simply stunning.

This is our group posing in front of the Graystone Inn, one of Wilmington’s popular Bed and Breakfast Inns. This palatial mansion, built in 1906, is one of the most imposing structures downtown and a historic landmark.

We had a blast riding the segways and it is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. A Segway, also called a Ginger or Personal Transport (PT,) is a two-wheeled transportation device related to a scooter.  Some experts believe the Segway is a revolutionary technology that will change transportation in the world, while others consider it a glorified scooter of real use only to technology fans.

To participate in Sunday in My City, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.

Sunday in my Neighborhood

We had a rare event here in Wilmington, North Carolina, this weekend. A snow storm hit our area on Friday night, dumping between three and six inches of snow. Since we are lucky to get a dusting of snow every two or three years, three inches is a virtual blizzard to us southern folks.

The Yankees down here think we’re all insane “cute”. Everything closes down, and life comes to a standstill. Our city might have one snowplow, I’m not really sure. No one knows how to drive in the snow anyways; we are all too busy gaping at the sight of snow to be bothered with learning how, y’all.

Even though I had worked a twelve hour night shift and my feet were killing me, I just had to get out in this and take over two hundred a few snapshots. After all, it might be several years before I see any snow again, and I honestly forget how awe inspiring this stuff can be!

Wilmington is a beautiful city, rich in history and natural scenery. As a Wilmington native, I am so proud to show off my hometown. I love it so much that I have another blog called Wilmington Daily Photo. It keeps me busy posting a new photo of the Wilmington area every day. I hope y’all will check it out and see for yourselves why I think this place is so spectacular.

I chose these photos for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. I thought Wilmington NC should be included.

To participate, visit Unknown Mami and link up! Let’s visit and travel the world together.