This was the scene today as we drove through the base to pick up some milk at the commissary. It was so very foggy that you couldn’t see the aircraft carriers from this parking lot, and they usually dominate the horizon. It’s kind of hard to miss a couple of aircraft carriers, moldering away on the pier. But today’s fog was so thick you couldn’t see more than a couple hundred feet, if that. Fortunately we didn’t have far to go. I don’t think we got more than a mile and a half from our house today.
I so love living in the city.
So how was your holiday? Ours was wonderful. My parents arrived on Tuesday, two hours later than they should have because of horrific holiday traffic. On Wednesday we took a tour of Kurt’s office, which my parents loved as they both are retired Navy. The Commanding Officer (known as the CO) was in the building, and Kurt introduced him to my parents. We spent a good half hour in his office, my father swapping sea stories and “where were you on September 11th” stories. Turns out the CO was 150 feet from the impact of the airplane, while my father, who works at the Pentagon, had taken the day off to head up to Bethesda for a medical appointment. As we were leaving, my father and the CO shared a handshake, and it wasn’t till later that my father revealed that the CO had given him a coin.
I am so jealous.
Coins are a military thing. There are many reasons to give and to receive a coin. And there are many different coins. Each ship and each command mints their own coins, bases have their own coins, Chiefs’ Messes and Officers’ Clubs have their own. I myself own a minimum of three coins — one from Kurt’s command, one from Kurt’s last ship, and my favorite, one from the Chiefs’ Mess at Naval Station Newport. You can see that one HERE.
All I’ve gotten from our CO was a chipotle-flavored bouillon cube, where my father gets a coin. Hmph. Go figure.
The CO has quite an impressive coin collection himself.
I think he needs a couple more coin trays!!! There are more that flow over the right side of the desk. It’s insane how many he has.
Thursday was Christmas, so we spent the morning opening gifts. Then that afternoon, Dad decided we needed to go out shooting. He grabbed his Nikon D300, I grabbed my D40, and off we went.
I love that Dad and I both have Nikons. He leaves his 18-200mm lens on 99% of the time, while I can’t afford such a useful lens. So I was able to steal his lens from him to capture a few shots that required a higher zoom than my 18-55mm. Had I gone with my first intuition and bought a Sony α100 when I was looking at dSLRs, I couldn’t have swapped lenses with him like that. See? I am bright, every once in a while. I try not to let it become a habit.
We got some really excellent shots while we were out. We started in downtown Newport and walked around, finding interesting things to photograph. Oliver Hazard Perry was looking awfully fine in the sunlight (photo HERE), especially once I put my polarizing filter on to make the sky blue blue blue. I was able to capture a typical Newport street HERE, with the old colonial homes and the narrow, narrow streets. I really wish I could go into some of these houses. They’re all so lovely! Even their construction is unusual — HERE is a photo of two doors that are set at an angle to one another, and HERE you can see a colonial window that looks like the pane of glass is held on to the window opening by hinges. It’s really very intriguing.
Then it was off to Sachuest Beach to take some photos of the water. Man, surfers are a breed unto themselves, aren’t they? I couldn’t believe there were so many people in the water. We’re talking about the cold Atlantic, not the beautiful sunny Pacific in Hawaii. They were all in drysuits, but still. Brrr! HERE is a photo I took with my dad’s 18-200mm lens of a guy heading out to catch some waves, and HERE you can see two buddies eager to get into the water.
But I think my favorite photo of all the beach photos is this one:
It’s kind of hard to tell in this small size, but the colors were just gorgeous. The warmth of the sand, the coolness of the water, the perfect curve of the shore… it’s just so beautiful. Plus I love the surfer trotting toward the water, so excited to catch some waves.
I sure hope you all had a lovely Christmas!