What I like about VA

We’ve been going non-stop in Virginia so I haven’t had much time to sit down and write. Sorry about that. Our first trip is almost finished so I thought it would be good to share some highlights of our time here so far.

The weather has been beautiful, albeit very humid which is not a good look for me. On the upside, though, rain just dumps on you and then it’s gone which is a nice little cool down refresher amidst all this humidity. Except for the one night in Virginia Beach where we decided to eat at a place called Abbey Road (which had 101 Beers From Around the World on tap!). They were so sweet about allowing Baxter to dine with us on the patio (we had a hard time with that) and as we sat outside a huge storm moved through, dumping bucketloads of rain, and in true dinner and a show fashion: a sky full of lighting and surround sound thunder. It was amazing and luckily we had more than enough beers to sample while we waited it all out. My favorite was Legend Brown Ale brewed in Richmond. I’d recommend it if you’re a fan of Newcastle – it tastes of toasted nuts, caramel and molasses. Good stuff.

We’ve been driving a lot, in fact we’ve been up and down the state twice now. One thing that makes me smile is on the interstate you see signs that say “Church, turn right.” It’s nice to know you can pull in over for a prayer just as much as you can for fast food.

Because of all the wet weather, Virginia is full of lush green plants. We went for a great hike along the James River Park system one day and rock hopping the next at a really neat place nearby called Pony Pasture. The water flowed gently down stream, the rocks were large and flat so families and couples picked one to lay out a picnic, sunbathe, and listen to some tunes in between frolicking in the water. We had to keep Baxter on his leash because he likes to run (sometimes a little too far away) but he went crazy leaping from rock to rock, splashing around, biting some small rapids, and chasing ducks. We loved it.

Down in Virginia Beach we spent one day at the beach, sneaking Baxter on the sand as dogs aren’t allowed between Memorial Day and Labor Day (bummer). The water was warm and pleasant and Baxter, having discovered elusive and mysterious sand crabs only a few days earlier, went crazy digging in the sand and burying his own head in the holes he had just dug. So funny to watch! He still isn’t fond of swimming or waves but we carried him out there and he seemed to be getting more comfortable. Hopefully he’ll be better when we are in Havasu next. At night the boardwalk comes alive with really entertaining street performers and lively crowds. We learned the city of Virginia Beach pays performers so that visitors aren’t asked for tips or hassled by scam artists. It’s a very family-friendly destination and Baxter hammed it up getting lots of affection from passersby. Mumbles and I even met our east coast doppelgänger couple, complete with a girl version of Baxter!

We’ve spent a lot of time in Starbucks. And in the hotel lobby. Looking forward to being home and cooking fresh meals, sleeping in our own bed (let’s just say we bought new sheets to put on the bed in one hotel we stayed in), and celebrating the upcoming nuptials of three sets of friends this August as the Year of the Wedding continues, and the arrival of BFOTB’s precious little miss!

Hope you are enjoying some fun adventures too this summer!

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Virginia is for Lovers List

In less than a week, we’ll be on a plane and I’m certainly hoping we’ll have time for exploring and experiencing what the east coast has to offer during our next few months in Virginia. I hear that early fall is a beautiful time to be there (and not too crazy temperature wise, which is important for me and the sanity of my curly tresses) so I’ve started doing some research on towns, exhibits, museums, and things to do while we’re there in between all the working and planning and training.  If you have any must-see or -do’s to add to our list, please let me know!

  1. Tour George Washington’s plantation estate, Mt. Vernon.
  2. Explore the Smithsonian Museum(s).
  3. Dip our toes in the Atlantic while sunbathing in Virginia Beach.
  4. Watch Dark Knight Rises in IMAX at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
  5. Catch some Civil War Battle Reenactments a la Gilmore Girls! (did you know more battles took place in Virginia during the Civil War than in any other state? you do now!).
  6. Sip and Savor Virginia’s best wines — we’ll have more than 200 wineries and breweries to choose from, plus a winery you can kayak to…how fun!
  7. Delight in the magnificent architecture and history of Colonial Williamsburg.
  8. Celebrate the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  (did you know Thomas Jefferson was America’s first “foodie?” me either!)
  9. Take in the scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway – supposedly America’s favorite drive!  🙂
  10. Walk the grounds of the first English settlement in Jamestowne.
  11. Stay at the Colonial Williamsburg Resort, celebrating 75 years of southern hospitality!
  12. Take a drive to feast on crab in Maryland (yum! might have to do that more than once!).

Summer vacation

You may have noticed that I didn’t write about last week’s episode of The Bachelorette. Well, I have some bad news: I won’t be able to write about it now for a few weeks. I’m terribly sorry but I’m also not because Mumbles and I have some jam-packed weeks of fun behind and ahead of us. Dr. Merrett was married in a beautiful ceremony on a gorgeous day in a stunning dress to a wonderful man and we were so thrilled for them and to be part of their day. We got a lot of compliments on the decor so I’ll be sure to share some photos later on. We had another wedding the following day and then we’ll be doing a bit of traveling before I return for BFOTBM’s baby shower which I also can’t wait for! Too much good stuff this summer! I hope you’re all enjoying great weather and times with family and friends. I’ll have lots to share in the coming weeks and hope you know how thankful I am for your support. Cheers!