Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mom T's Third Visit

Once again, Mom T was here in early October for her third visit.  She has come each year in October and we have been thankful for each one.  We were able to get Mom around to several places she hadn't seen yet, and a couple that were new to us, as well.  We had pretty nice fall weather most of her time here.  In this post we will hit the highlights, and follow up with separate posts for some of our new "discoveries".

Mom and Barb go see the U.S. National Arboretum...

and take a day trip to Middleburg, including a delicious lunch at the historic Red Fox Inn.

Dan, Barb, and Mom take a day trip to Harper's Ferry, West Virginia .....

..... and join our Bible Study Home group for a trip to Graves Mountain Lodge for Sunday dinner and beautiful autumn scenery.

No visit could be complete without dinner at Clyde's Willow Creek Farm ....

.... but for the first time we ventured to Occoquan, a quaint town southeast from our place.

Mom, thank you so much for coming!  We had a wonderful time and were blessed by your time with us!

We love you!  Dan & Barb

See future posts to learn about the places we visited.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Exploring SE Virginia: Eastern Shore

The last day of our little mini-trip was to explore the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  People have told us for two years that we need to get there, because it is a beautiful piece of Virginia.  Now for those of you readers who aren't familiar with Virginia, you may ask "where is the Eastern Shore?"  It is kind of like an appendix off of Maryland, rather like Point Roberts, WA, is a little appendage from British Columbia ... except in this case you don't have to leave the country to get there.

To see a map, click HERE.

To get there we had to cross the 23 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel.  This itself is an engineering marvel and provided a beautiful crossing.

Greeting sign upon arrival.

Once we got to the Eastern Shore peninsula we headed north.  Along the way we saw a couple of cotton fields, the first we have seen in our two years in Virginia:

Eventually we arrived at the northern end of the Eastern Shore and found Chincoteague and Assateague. 

We first visited the old lighthouse there and climbed to the top to get a bird's eye view of the island.

View from the top:

Assateague Island is home to a herd of wild Ponies (well, semi-wild). 

They are owned by the volunteer fire department of Chincoteague. Each spring, many of them are driven across the waterway to Chincoteague for auction, thereby raising funds for the fire department and keeping the island herd at or below 150, the maximum allowed by the Park Service.

There are other wilderness preserve areas on the island, mostly to protect the marsh and seabirds.

The island also had an interesting variety of elk called Sika Elk, which was brought from Asia around 1920:

To finish the day off we drove through the historic sections of a couple of small towns, and then stopped to have dinner in Cape Charles before returning to Virginia Beach.

Thus ended our mini-vacation to explore the Southeast corner of Virginia.  We are always amazed at all there is to see and learn in this area.  What will be next?

Stay tuned ......

Friday, October 22, 2010

Exploring SE Virginia: Virginia Beach

Fresh from a couple of very hot days at Jamestown and Yorktown, a bit of cooler weather moved in as we arrived in Virginia Beach.  This is quite the resort area for people in this part of the country, and an area that we have been wanting to see for quite a while.  We spent a couple of nights at the Capes Hotel, right on the beach, which is really quite nice.  Here is a picture of the ocean side:

We had a nice ocean-view room on the 8th floor.  We were glad we came in late September because we wouldn't have to face all the crowds ..... and then we looked out from our balcony:

Three miles of boardwalk and there were booths and people as far as we could see!  Turns out we happened into VA Beach on the weekend of the Neptune Festival and the North American Sandsculpting Championship.

King Neptune kept watch over the proceedings 

We spent quite a bit of time looking at the sandsculptures, which were amazing!  There were too many to show all of them here, but these were some of our favorites:

and a few more .....

and yet a few more .....

But now, for the prize winners, in the local business category, this little gem:

And our prize for the the biggest "Awwwwww" is the sculpture titled "Love Never Grows Old":

And now, our personal GRAND PRIZE WINNER, "Glory Lost, Glory Restored":

After walking up and down the boardwalk and visiting the craft booths, the rain moved in so we went for dinner and called it a night.  We needed rest for the long day trip to the Eastern Shore the next day. 

Next up: the Eastern Shore and Chincoteague Island!