Church was really good today. The music was by a band called Fie or Fee or something like that from Atlanta and they really rocked it out. They did several songs we already do sometimes (which I believe are songs of theirs) but they did them in a very loud and energetic way. Not to take away from the regular musicians at the church, but these guys were just on a different level. The 8:30 service was packed too. Amanda reckoned it was because vacation season is pretty much at an end and all of the college kids are settled in now. Whatever the reason, it hadn’t been this crowded in a very long time.

After church we went to Atlanta Bread Company for breakfast. We both got an Asiago cheese bagel with egg and cheese. I got Swiss and Amanda got provolone, and since we couldn’t tell which was which just by looking, we both had a half of each. On the way home I mentioned wanting to go downtown to take some pictures, but I didn’t think Amanda would want to do it. She said she wouldn’t mind actually, so we got Bruce and went downtown to walk around a little bit. We stopped by PetSmart on the way there because Amanda wanted to pick up a new dog tag for Bruce. He’s got two collars that we use with him- a Duke Blue Devils one and what we call his Fourth of July collar. That one has American colors and stars on it. The ring that holds the tag on is really tight and hard to get off, so Amanda wanted to get one for each collar. The old one was on a circular gold-colored tag, currently on his American collar. We got a blue bone-shaped one for his Duke collar.

On the way downtown we stopped so I could take a picture of a single wall standing by itself near the Cape Fear River next to Cape Fear Community College. I was trying to get a little closer to it and hopped one foot over a, I don’t know, a small embankment I guess. It looked solid on that side, aside from what looked like a thick pile of old grass clippings, but it wasn’t quite as solid as all that. Most of my foot went into what I suppose could be described as a shallow ditch, getting my foot and the bottom of my jeans wet. I quickly hopped back to the other foot and decided to take some pictures from further away.

Anyway, we parked near the Port City Java where Michael works again then just started walking and taking pictures. Unfortunately for me though, my batteries died and I only got a few pictures. We still had a nice time walking around though and we even got some ice cream from Kilwin’s. Well, Amanda got ice cream and I got a shake. We were sitting by the Cape Fear when Bruce noticed another dog. I let him go check that dog out, and it happened to be part Chihuahua and part something else, probably Jack Russell, Rico’s owner said.

We were home by around 12:30. We watched a little TV then decided to go out to the beach. We took Ally, the surfboard my parents’ friend Charlie Bowsher had laying around and gave to my parents to give me. Barry said it’s actually a pretty good board, despite the yellow and hot pink design on it, circa 1987. I don’t know if Hannah really liked it or not, but she went on about how much she loved the design. Allison is the last name of a surfboard designer who happens to be from around Wrightsville, so it’s pretty funny that the board got back here. Barry said the guy is pretty well-known, and if I take the board out I’d probably have people strike up conversations with me. He’s going to fix up some dings in it and get it surfable. Ally’s been thirsty for a long time.

I did go out surfing today. I borrowed a top and went out with Barry. It took me forever to get past the breakers, but once I got out there it was nice. I mean, just sitting out there on the board is so serene and relaxing. For a while we had pelicans dive bombing for fish all around us. There were some not ten feet from us. I finally caught one wave, but I hardly stayed up on it. It took me a while to get back out again, but not as long as before. Barry and I talked for a bit and he caught a couple waves. I eventually caught one more, but again, I didn’t stay up for long (or really much at all). I was pretty licked at that point. I was walking down the beach towards our access when I saw Amanda and Anna walking towards me. Amanda and I stayed there while Anna walked down to the pier and back. Barry had gone back out into the water since Hannah and a friend of hers had come out.

Amanda and I sat by the board, but flies kept landing on us and biting us so we moved closer to the water. Amanda had seen something on The Today Show or Good Morning America, one of those, yesterday about working out with a partner. She wanted to try this one where you cross arms and hold your partner and both do squats at the same time, and even though we looked goofy doing that on the beach, we did it. It was kind of fun. I liked doing it because we don’t do a whole lot of spontaneous stupid things.

Everyone came in from the water eventually and we all went back to the house. I was waiting to get into the shower stall to rinse off and Hannah, who was in there, told me to come on it. Oddly, Amanda didn’t seem to mind me taking a shower with another girl! (Of course it wasn’t anything like that.) Once everyone had changed we went to get some pizza. Amanda and I drove because we were going to leave from there to go on home, but everyone else rode bikes. At the pizza place, the name of it eludes me right now, there was a guy wearing a shirt that said “Don’t Smoke (shitty) Pot”. Amanda thought it was amusing and pointed it out to everyone else, prompting the guy to turn around and strike up a conversation with us. He and his friends turned out to be from UNCG and he lived not too far from the last apartment I was in up there. He was a music major wanting to study guitar, and they were down for the weekend. While he was talking to us one of his friends, the girl in the group, angrily left the table followed by one of the guys. He told us that he and another guy both liked her. I don’t know what happened, but there was some sort of drama and some question as to whether they paid their pizza and beer bill, or maybe whether everybody had paid their portion- I’m not sure which.

Anyway, we finished eating after a bit and went on home. Aunt Robbie called and I talked to her for a while as Amanda watched The Emmy Awards. There were some decent wins. The biggest thing that bothered me was that I watched all but one of the shows that was nominated for Best Comedy, and Ugly Betty, the only one I don’t watch, was the one that won. Asia Fererra, Ugly Betty herself, won Best Actress in a Comedy, but I was rooting for Tina Fey. Speaking of Tina Fey, 30 Rock got lots of nominations and won Best Comedy. The Sopranos won best drama, which was a given since it was the last season, but that’s probably the only reason it won. I mean, as a season it just wasn’t their best.

Back on the topic of surfing, I’ve resolved to do that more. I’m going to try to go after work, although then I’ll have to figure out when I’m going to the gym, which I’ll also still want to do, particularly since I’m paying for it. It was a good workout today though. I can definitely feel it in my lats, my shoulders and my abs. I’m going to try to get Michael to go some too.

On another subject we were given some surprising family news. I won’t go into it, as, for one thing I don’t know how many people know and, for another, it is a pretty personal thing. I just want people involved to know that our hearts and prayers go out about the situation. We were terribly sorry to hear about it.

Zach Dotsey