Thursday, April 30, 2009

Epic Win (Edited)

So, for those of you who don't know, I'll just say this:  The Carolina Hurricanes stunned EVERYONE (themselves included) last night in New Jersey when they scored two goals (one to tie it up and the next one for the win) within seconds of each other - both in the final 80 seconds of the game.

We were of course at the official 'Canes Cool Bars location for the viewing party, watching outside on a massive screen set up for the occasion.  It was pure pandemonium.  Mayhem.  Chairs flipped over, beers spilled, small children trampled.  Just kidding, of course...  No beer was spilled.  ( I kid, I kid!)

Anyway, I've got something special brewing for my "official" post about this most joyous occasion, which I will hopefully get up on here later this evening or tomorrow.  

***************EDIT***************
Turns out, between battling a nasty case of hay fever and being generally busy, I simply haven't the time or energy to work on my little special project, as mentioned above.  So, instead I'll leave you with this...  My celebratory stance in the parking lot of the Ale House.

I really can't explain the feeling of thinking your team's season is about to end and then celebrating a truly unbelievable win against the best goalie in the world less than two minutes later.  

All smack-talk aside, I have to say that Marty Brodeur is amazing at what he does and no one can really explain how we got two crucial shots by him, seconds apart.  And aside from the little stick-throwing tantrum after our last two-tenths of a second winning goal in game 4, he is a class act.  As are the Devils fans who have showed up on the 'Canes message board to congratulate us...  A totally unexpected, but much appreciated gesture.

And now, Bruins - we've got your numbah.  

Monday, April 27, 2009

SHUT OUT!!!!

The Hurricanes sent the Devils back home with their tails between their legs with last night's 4-0 shut out victory.  Our boys lit up Marty Brodeur.  Lit. Him. UP.  Not to mention our goalie, Cam Ward was on freaking FIRE.  We had a great time hurling insults and taunting.  I'm telling you, I turn into a different person at sporting events.  Here's a highlight reel of my positively horrid behavior:

During a Devils penalty I screamed "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!!!"

Whenever we scored on Brodeur, we would yell the ever-classic "Maaaaaaaaarty.  Maaaaaaaaaaarty.  Maaaaaaaaaarty.  YOU SUCK!"

Towards the end of the third period, we had the puck in Devils territory and I shouted "C'mon boys!  Give Marty one more to cry himself to sleep on!"

And of course, the most obvious one is "Devils, go to hell!  Devils, go to hell!" which I also yelled in the general direction of a couple of people in Devils jerseys in the parking lot.  (I mean, it's just too easy.)

Classy.  Real classy.  I would apologize but, quite honestly, I'm just not sorry.  All bets are off at hockey games, right?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tap tap? Is this thing on?

So, uh, here's the thang. I just set up mobile blogging today and since I'm sitting here at Brooklyn Heights doing absolutely slap-ass nuthin' except consuming a small country's worth of bloody marys, I figured I'd give this a go to see if it really works. You know, because I rarely trust all them fancee teknologees. So, here goes...


It be wurkings? Sent from my iPhone

So, I've edited this post so that the picture now shows up and while I'm at it, I figured I'd add the other photo Jason took of me, the pizza delivery girl.  You see, there's no food at Brooklyn Heights (except when they do BBQ and bluegrass) so we called in an order to Mellow Mushroom and I walked to pick it up.  Just when I thought bloody marys on the porch couldn't get any better, a pepperoni and feta cheese pizza makes an appearance...  God, my life is good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rally time

We put on our gear and headed out to Carolina Ale House to watch some hockey last night.

Our mascot Stormy even showed up!  (Please don't ask me what a furry pig has to do with a hurricane.  We don't question it.  We just love the pig unconditionally.)  And may I just say that our server last night (to the right of Stormy) was on it.  I've never seen a bartender move that fast and still be pleasant and fun.  Hats off to her.

So, although the Hurricanes lost 1-0, there is no way I can complain about their performance.  They played like champs.  They were in it to win it.  They had 44 shots on goal.  The problem was that Marty Brodeur had 44 saves.  The Devils had 42 shots on goal.  The other problem was that Cam Ward had 41 saves.  And the one that slipped past was a totally impossible save.  It basically came down to a goaltending match.  I've never seen two goalies work so hard in my life.

Here's what our captain Rod Brind'Amour had to say:
You can't hang your head on a game like that.  It was a good game, a good effort. If we get one power-play goal, that's the difference in the game. Normally, if we only give up one (goal), we're in good shape. Marty played great. We'll be happy if we get that many scoring chances again.
Now, it's do or die on Sunday.  But you can bet the Hurricanes will bring it.  If they can bring home even an ounce of the momentum from last night's game, we'll have more than a fighting chance.

I love what NHL.com had to say about it:
If anyone expected the Carolina Hurricanes to be depressed, discouraged and divided in the wake of Thursday's 1-0 loss at Prudential Center to the New Jersey Devils that put them down three games to two in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, they don't know the Hurricanes.
Damn right.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do you believe in miracles!?!

Let me just start by saying that I have a very sore throat and no voice today.  And it's not because I'm sick.  Oh no.   It's because I'm a rabid Carolina Hurricanes fan and we attended what might be the best playoff game EVER last night.

Our boys take the ice (taken with the iPhone so not the best quality).  I get so pumped when the announcer says "Please welcome to the ice, YOUR Carolina Hurricanes."  And the team skates out with the "Here I am, rock you like a hurricane" song playing.  Seriously, I get ca-razay.

The 'Canes were taking tons of shots on the goal (twice as many as the Devils) and we scored two in the first period and another in the second so we were feeling pretty good.  The atmosphere in the arena was completely electric.

Celebration at the net after the third goal...

And the resulting "Whoooooooooo!"  (This will only be understood by our fellow Caniacs.)

And me doing my Ric Flair "Let hear your whoooooooooo!"

Unfortunately, the momentum shifted when the Devils scored with about 27 seconds left in the second period and when the third period started, the 'Canes just weren't playing with the same intensity as before.  Not nearly as many shots on goal, no hits, no aggression...  The energy was just not the same.  And the Devils took advantage and tied it up with two more goals.  

And we got very nervous.  Nail biting nervous.  But in the last seconds of the final period, we had the puck in Devils' territory.  Everyone was going nuts.  I was screaming "Finish them!!!  Finish them!!!" like some kind of deranged war general.  And I cannot explain this but like it was happening in slow motion, I saw Pitkanen pass the puck to Seidenberg, somehow looked and saw less than one second on the clock and then saw the puck sliding in the goal.  Jokinen had scored with two-tenths of a second left on the clock.  Two-tenths of a second.  

The arena completely erupted.  Our reaction was priceless.  Jason and I turned to each other and just screamed inches from each other's faces.  Then jumped up and down in a bear hug.  Still screaming.  High fives and fist bumps were exchanged with all our seat mates who had been total strangers to us a few hours ago.

Then we realized the goal was under review.  They needed to make sure the puck was in the goal before the clock hit 0.  So we stood there motionless.  Hands to the face.  Eyes on the ref.  I'm pretty sure I wasn't breathing.  I know for a fact that my heart was pounding.  

Then the ref came out to give the verdict.  When his arm made the chopping-motion signal for "goal good", the arena erupted all over again and we had the exact same reaction all over again.  The screaming, the hugging, the jumping, the high fives, the fist bumps.  I'm getting all jumpy just thinking about it now.  

Jason even lost his rally towel in all the excitement.

It was so fun to walk back to the car with everyone cheering and screaming and chanting and blowing horns.  Now it's back to the Garden Garbage State for game 5.  (Sorry, that was a cheap shot.  If I have any readers in NJ, please don't take it personal.  It's hockey season.  We can be friends in July.)  And back to Raleigh on Sunday.  And yes, we bought our tickets as soon as we got home last night.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Just because...

Here are a couple of photos from this weekend.  Because what's a good blog without the occasional "gratuitous preshuss baybee" photo?

He's already such a little hipster, with his vintage Snoopy tee shirt.  


Monday, April 20, 2009

The good ol' hockey game, it's the best game you can name

It's that time of year again.  Playoffs, baby.  

The Caniacs are coming out of the woodwork all over town!  We went to the game on Sunday night and even though the 'Canes lost to the stupid f**king New Jersey Devils in sudden death overtime, it was an awesome and exciting game to watch.  (But we're going again tomorrow night and I hope we get a win for our $120.  In fact, it would be really nice if we could wrap it up the same way we did in 2006.)

I've visited this topic before, but I imagine I've gotten some new readers since May 2006 so I figured it couldn't hurt to remind everyone that "Heck yeah y'all! I really do live in the south!" To wit: John Deer zambonis.  Yee-haw!

Our boys...


Gettin' crazy with the towels.




Friday, April 17, 2009

Ocracoma

We're back.  And much like the aftermath of our trip to the Dalmation Coast of Croatia last summer, I am moving in sloooooooow mooooooootion.  I'm in an Ocracoma.  I think it is entirely possible that I have never spent a more relaxing 5 and a half days in my life.  There is only one speed in Ocracoke.  And it is known as "Y'all ain't in no hurry are ya?"  

Though the island isn't all that far away from Raleigh "as the crow flies", it takes quite a long time to get there because you have to go the most bass-ackwards route imaginable (and then take a 40 minute ferry across the inlet.  (Plus, you should plan to queue up for the ferry about 30 to 40 minutes in advance - longer in the high season - to ensure you get a spot.)  Trust me though - it is well worth the drive.

That's not to say we weren't a little stir crazy by the time we hit the final stretch on Highway 12 that runs along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  We spent the last hour of the drive speaking entirely in Boston accents about everything we saw.  "Oh my Gwod, you wanna do a pwontoon adventuah?  It's only fouah dwollahs.  It says to cwall Mahk."  "Hey Heathah, I bet they do hahbouah touahs too."  "Oh yeah, let's eat dinnah at The Sandbah tonight."  And so on a so forth like this.  Bet you wish you had been in the car with us.

We were very happy to finally reach the Hatteras Marina and even happier that we were lucky enough to be among the last few cars that they let on the the ferry.

We finally arrived at our final destination, The Cove B&B.   

It was the absolute picture of restful seaside living.  It's situated on the Pamlico Sound - across the street from the waterfront but we could still see the beautiful sunsets from the balcony on our room.  And one of our favorite things about The Cove was that they had a slew of old bikes you could take and ride all around the island.  

So after we settled into our room, we grabbed a couple and took off.  The Cove is right down the street from the lighthouse so we stopped there first.  The house you see used to be the residence of  the lighthouse keeper and his family but it's now privately owned.

Ocracoke Island lighthouse was built in 1823 and is the second oldest in operation in the United States. 


Then we rode over to Springer's Point, a nature preserve on the sound front.  This area used to be referred to as Teach's Plantation because it's believed to be one of the favored spots of the pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.  He was finally killed in the waters just off Springer's Point in November of 1718.

It's such a secluded and unspoiled area.



And a freaking SPECTACULAR spot for a sunset.  

On Friday, we did a whole lot of nothing.  Unless you count peddling around on the bikes and stopping every now and again for sustenance....  Of course by sustenance, I mean a pitcher of mimosas.  Yes, you read that right.  A pitcher.  Of mimosas.  Why have just one mimosa in a glass when you can get a whole pitcher?

And what better waterfront food than a half pound of cajun spiced peel and eats?

We slap wore ourselves out peeling all those shrimp and rewarded ourselves with an afternoon of napping on the beach.  

And wouldn't you know it, that nap really worked up my appetite.  (Pay no attention to that case of wine on the floor.  It's full of bottled waters.  And other healthy, non-toxicating beverages.)

That evening, we headed back to the beach for a campfire dinner.

Just in time for a beautiful sunset over the dunes.

Mmmm, Nathan's Famous dogs on a stick.  Dinner of champions.


After we had stuffed ourselves full of hotdogs and marshmallows and the sun had properly disappeared, we realized just how dark it was.  We knew there was supposed to be a full moon but it was no where to be found and it was pitch black on the beach.  If it hadn't been for our fire we wouldn't have been able to see our hands in front of our faces.  It was slightly disconcerting that we couldn't see anything past our little 5 foot-ish radius.  

We did have a flashlight though and switched it on occasionally just to check that the tide wasn't coming in on us.  Well, one time when we turned it on, we caught sight of something scurrying across the sand.  Upon closer inspection, we realized there were several somethings scurrying across the sand.  We were surrounded on all sides of our blanket.  But one, in particular, was getting rather brave and kept getting closer and closer.  

But we tried to ignore him since he simply seemed to be enjoying our roaring fire.  So we laid back to stare at the stars since they were particularly glorious due to the missing moon.  I don't think I've ever seen stars like this outside of a planetarium.  You know how you see pictures of galaxies in science books and there are so many tiny stars that you can see what appear to be clouds of light?  Yeah, it was like that.  Amazing.  

So, imagine if you will Jason and I lying there on the blanket, sharing this "in awe of nature" moment.  Peaceful, right?  (My exceptionally bright readers may sense a build up here...)  

All the sudden, Jason bolts upright (he may have also screamed like a little girl - I can't recall) and red wine goes flying.  All over my favorite J. Crew baby blue summer weight chinos.  (Miraculously, they did come clean thanks to an overnight soak and a generous spray of OxyClean.)  The reason for this outburst?   A piece of plastic from the wrapper on our cord of wood touched Jason's foot.  And he thought one of the crabs had him.    

I don't know how to explain this next part without sounding like a total cheeseball so I'm just going to go for it....  In the aftermath of the crab attack, we were sitting there still wondering where the moon was.  Then, we both noticed a speck of bright orange in the ocean.  We couldn't figure out what in the world it could be.  It got a bit bigger and both of us thought something might be on fire in the ocean.  

Just then, we realized that it was the moon rising over the water.  I have never seen anything like it in all my life.  It was truly one of the most stunning things I have ever witnessed.  As it rose, it went gradually from fire orange to bright white.  By the time it was fully up, it had lit up the entire beach and was glistening on the water.  With the spray from the breaking waves being reflected in the path of light, I swear to god it was like something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.

After all the drama of the crab attack and the spectacular show put on by mother nature, we decided to take it easy the next morning.  You know, as opposed to all the hard work we had been doing otherwise.  
  
For lunch, we biked over to the marina for some catch-of-the-day sandwiches.

And hush puppies, of course.  Hush puppies are a staple of any Eastern North Carolina diet.  You eat 'em with seafood.  You eat 'em with bar-b-que.  You eat 'em as a side item.  You eat 'em as a starter.  Hell, I'd even eat 'em for dessert.  They are delicious little deep fried bites of heaven.

Had to work off those hush puppies somehow...

Well, that was exhausting.  Better take a break.  

I know you guys won't believe it (as I can scarcely believe it myself...and I was there...) but we got up at 5:00 am the next day for an Easter sunrise service on the beach.  Considering I've barely set foot in a church since our wedding, (I subscribe more to the church of "Just be a good person and be nice to others" than any organized religion) I figured it was the least I could do.  We were rewarded with a lovely sunrise over the ocean.  

And you really won't believe what we did later that day.  (Again, I can scarcely believe it myself...and I was there...)  We went horseback riding on the beach.  It was exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.  And both our horses were a bit ornery.  Jason's moreso than mine.  The guy told us to make sure we stayed one behind the other and not to let ours get next to each other because they fight.  Well, that's great.  Seriously?!?  They will fight?!?  WTF?

Unfortunately, Jason had the camera and since it was impossible to do a hand-off (because, you know, our horses might freaking kill each other if they get close), the only photos are of me.  And I look positively freaked the f**k out. 

Since it was a slightly chillier, yet still very sunny and clear day, we decided to take the ferry back over and go see the Cape Hatteras light house.  At 207 feet, it's the tallest in the United States - even with 10 feet of it underground.

No caption could possibly do this photo justice.  I'm special.

Monday was a bit overcast but we couldn't have cared less.  We took to the bikes again and just cycled around the island some more, stopping every now and then at a shop or whatever.

Or to admire the view across the harbor...

Later in the afternoon, we figured it was a perfect day for a beach fire so we grabbed all our accoutrement and headed out.  When we found a spot, Jason sent me on a reconnaissance mission for small sticks and logs.  I spotted a piece of driftwood and went to pick it up.  Umm, holy crap.  That's not driftwood.  That's a freaking SHARK!  Okay, so it was a dead, dried shark.  But still, a SHARK!  

A little roasted marshmallow in the afternoon never hurt anybody...

If you're keeping track (and let's be honest, who among us isn't?), that would be two, count 'em, TWO bags of Cape Cod's I've polished off.  Best. Chips. EVAR.

Beach, fire, books, wine and snacks.  I can think of worse ways to pass a chilly day.

We awoke on Tuesday in utter denial that our holiday was over.  So to eek a bit more mileage out of this vacay, we made a couple of stops on our way back to Raleigh.  First was the lighthouse at Bodie Island (pronounced like "body").  It's been in use since 1872 and operates on one single 1,000 watt bulb.  It's pretty quaint compared to the Cape Hatteras lighthouse but that's part of its charm...

Our final treat was a quick detour to the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island.  We stopped and had lunch at Full Moon Cafe and the crab dip was out of this world.  I could have eaten a vat of it.  Actually, I pretty much did.  If you ever find yourself out this way, do yourself a favor and spend an afternoon in Manteo.  It's such an adorable little town with tons of character and history. 

Well, that's our OBX holiday.  I didn't use my hair straightener one single time.  We drank wine and played cards on our balcony just about every night.  We had no cell phone signal and loved it.  We ate whatever we wanted with no regard for calories, fat or overall healthiness.  We sat almost solely either on a blanket or in adirondack chairs the entire time.  It was five and a half days of awesomeness.