Tag Archives: virginia

Yorktown, the Riverwalk, cocktails and finally…. some food.

 

After our long day at Historic Jamestown, it was time for some refreshment. Liquid and otherwise.

 

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So we headed to Yorktown…

 

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And their popular Riverwalk Landing.

 

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I had planned to leisurely stroll around, check out the cute little shops…..

 

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And walk the waterfront.

Until a stiff wind blew in and made it feel like -10 degrees.

 

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New plan?

Drinks and dinner.

 

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This place looked promising from the outside….

 

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From the inside? Not so much.

 

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And while the cocktail list was interesting…..

 

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And the Mulberry Muddler quite tasty, it was basically a loud sports pub with a menu that didn’t satisfy the husband’s cravings.

 

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So one extremely large soft pretzel later, we left…. and went next door.

 

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And were very glad we did.

 

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Ah, much better.

 

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It was a lovely place, and practically deserted off season.

 

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Cocktail?

Well, if you insist.

 

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While I’m generally not a wine drinker, I do occasionally like Sangria…. and this one had apple brandy. Scrumptious.

 

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We relaxed. We watched the sun set. We drank….

 

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And yes, food picture screamers… we ate.

 

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The menu was intriguing….

 

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The food marvelous and artfully prepared.

Husband had the catch of the day…..

 

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While I opted for the lamp chops.

Were they good?

 

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I picked them up and gnawed the bones…. so in a word, yes.

 

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Full, but never too full for dessert… we split this, which almost put me in a chocolate coma.

Day 7, done.

Only 8 more days to go!

 

 

If that helps?

Sure, be my guest.

 

Museum oddities, death, Pocahantas, a scenic drive and some vultures.

 

I could bore you to tears with all we saw that day, but let this suffice..

 

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A portrait of an evil cherub who looks like she’s ready to stab Fido with an already bloody knife.

 

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But no.

 

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It’s just a 17th century pacifier. “Your mouth is sore sweetie? Here… suck on this metal and coral pointy thing.”

No wonder she looks pissed off.

 

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“Inveterate dysenterical fluxes”.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

 

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The museum was filled with artifacts unearthed from the original site.

 

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And things thrown down the communal well.

Naturally, the husband was appalled at the waste of all those perfectly good rusty tools.

 

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The takeaway from most of the history we read?

We might romanticize the idea of the first settlers… opportunity, adventure, a brave new world etc., but in reality? It was starvation, illness and death.

 

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And Pocahantas…. of whom much is written and little is really known.

The only actual image drawn during her lifetime is this English portrait:

 

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A much later Anglicized version of her true self.

 

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Child trading. A fact of which I was heretofore unaware.

 

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So there you have it, historic Jamestown.

Where a t shirt we saw in the gift shop said it all…..

 

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Leaving Jamestown, we got back on the Colonial Parkway…..

 

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And saw some deer.

 

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Some swamps.

 

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And a whole bunch of these strange mounds.

 

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Too small and numerous for beaver.

 

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Any southerners care to weigh in on what constructs them?

 

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The Parkway slides along the James River….

 

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And was a lovely, peaceful, traffic free drive.

 

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Except for the black vultures.

 

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Which are neither lovely nor peaceful….

 

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And often cause their own traffic jams when they discover a fresh kill.

And no, I didn’t include a photo of the canine corpse.

 

Historic Jamestown Museum.

 

Through with our outdoor touring of the site….

 

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We found the museum.

 

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An odd looking building we were assured was totally green.

Although it looked pretty brown to me.

 

 

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Although I called it a museum?

They call it an Archaearium.

 

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Technically that means an archeological excavation covered by a glass building.

Which it was.

 

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Because the remains of the first government building was literally under your feet.

 

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The exhibits were well done and history rich.

 

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And it shouldn’t surprise you that we spent a good couple of hours here.

 

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They’ve apparently taken a good deal of flack over the display of actual remains.

 

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But to be honest, it was fascinating.

 

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Granted if JR was my 10th great grandfather I might feel differently….

 

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I mean, it doesn’t look like he died peacefully.

 

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But then again, this poor fellow had to be in dire need of some Excedrin as well.

 

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Early surgical instruments?

 

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Or the Marquis De Sade’s toy chest?

Tough call.

 

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I’m guessing this poor soul didn’t get any Novocain either.

 

 

Of course back in the day…. this pointy little piece of metal?

 

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Yeah.

 

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Not your average Q Tip.

 

 

Way.

And if you remember my post from yesterday about the hardships the settlers endured?

 

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This 14 year old girl was eaten.

 

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It doesn’t get much harder than that.

 

 

 

 

Day 7…. Historic Jamestown

 

Part 2 of the historic triangle in the Williamsburg ,Virginia area is Jamestown. What I didn’t know before arriving was that there are 2 distinct ways to experience it…. the National Park site and the more touristy recreation.

 

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We opted for the National site first, by way of the Colonial Parkway.

 

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The Parkway is a beautiful 23 mile road that runs along the James River from Williamsburg to Yorktown.

 

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We jumped off at Jamestown and drove the 5 mile Island Loop, a self guided tour that explores the natural environment and history of the area.

 

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Then it was on to the visitors center.

 

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I won’t bore you  more than I already do   with the story. You can read about it here.  Suffice it to say Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement, the birthplace of Virginia… and basically, America.

 

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There was a wonderful theater…

 

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With multiple screens… where we brushed up on our high school history.

 

 

Outside there was a long boardwalk…

 

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That led to a monument…

 

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Which I’m sure the husband was glad he didn’t have to climb.

 

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It was there we waited for our Park Ranger tour guide.

 

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Who led us to the original settlers’ site.

 

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That’s Pocahantas to the right… and yes, there was a Mockingbird on her head. A real one who proceeded to poop on her nose.

 

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The only thing left from the original settlers’ buildings was one crumbling wall of a church.

 

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But archeologists have been actively digging here for years….

 

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Removing thousands of artifacts from the fort….

 

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And various other buildings.

 

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Here, the husband checks out a model recreation of the site.

 

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The soldiers barracks.

 

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Where the Queen visited a decade ago.

 

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And the required selfie by the water.

 

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There was an outline of a church with markers for the identified graves.

 

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And a graveyard for unidentified remains.

 

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It was a lovely spot.

 

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But the history of the hardships the colonists suffered sure made you appreciate the wealth of opportunities and conveniences we have now.

 

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Famine, civil unrest, severe weather, murder, Indian attacks…. even cannabilism. They experienced it all.

 

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Second required selfie by the water to lighten the mood.

 

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It was a fascinating tour…

 

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And we learned a lot.

 

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But it was lunchtime…. and the husband’s stomach was growling.

 

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Not wanting to waste time and drive back to town, we were glad to find a small cafe on site.

 

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You couldn’t beat the view.

 

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Chicken salad spinach wrap with potato salad for me…

 

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Tomato bisque and a Sloppy Joe with potato salad for the husband.

Thus fortified, we headed for the museum.

 

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Day 6…. The Outer Banks, Jerky, and Dirty Dicks.

 

During the 17 years we lived in North Carolina, we never managed to make it to the Outer Banks… though not for lack of trying on my part. So on Day 6 of this vacation? A three hour road trip.

 

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Past the Lamberts Point Coal Terminal in Hampton Roads…

 

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The largest coal exporting port in the country.

And if you think it’s pretty? Just imagine how nice it smells….

 

 

Yes. Kind of like that.

 

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Over and through the Hampton Bay Bridge Tunnel…

And past some tempting tourist attractions.

 

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Is it shocking we didn’t stop?

 

 

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No.

It is not.

 

 

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One more very long bridge later….

 

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And we were there.

 

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The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic.

200 miles of beach.

 

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Where the wind was so fierce it was blowing said beach right across the road when we got there.

It had been a mild 48 degrees in Williamsburg, but here?

It felt like minus 12.

 

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Beachfront condos and rentals were everywhere.

 

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And in every color you can imagine.

 

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Neighbor’s roof blocking your view?

No worries, just build a deck on yours.

 

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It never ceases to amaze me how little property they can build on these days. Our town has a 3 acre minimum….

At the Outer Banks? It must be 3 inches.

And though we were getting hungry for lunch…

 

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Awful Arthur’s was closed.

Damn… and I really wanted to see how awful it was.

But since we have a good friend named Richard, who is sometimes called Dick?

 

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We had to.

 

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Yes, ladies and gentlemen.

I got my crabs from Dirty Dicks.

 

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My She Crab soup that is….

 

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And my hushpuppies….

 

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And my Ocean Blue Margarita in a disappointing plastic cup as they had run out of funny bar glasses…. or so we thought.

 

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I’m not a Bloody Mary fan…. but that looks like a meal in itself.

 

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The husband had mussels and lamented over not getting a glass for his collection.

(Oh, did I tell you? Along with all the other ridiculous pieces of crap things he collects… he has now decided to acquire a glass from every fun bar or restaurant we visit.)

Did this place qualify as fun?

I don’t know….

 

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But with fried potato salad on the menu it definitely qualified as southern.

Finished eating, the husband asked the waitress to rinse out the plastic cups so he could bring them home to our friend as a joke…. which is when she pointed to us to their entire store of Dirty Dick merchandise.

We should have known.

But it was too good to pass up and we bought him a hat, a t shirt and a bumper sticker for Christmas.

(P.S… He loved them)

 

 

 

 

Day 5… a trip to Virginia Beach, a long lunch and a lot of alcohol.

 

Our 5th day had us meeting the ex wife of an old Marine Corps buddy. There’s a long sordid story that goes along with this statement, but suffice it to say you never really know anyone. Honestly, you don’t.

The man we’d been friends with for over 35 years? The one we thought was honest, trustworthy and stable? Is now on his third wife, estranged from his children, drowning in debt, filing bankruptcy for the second time (while working as an accountant for the Federal Government) and being sued by his own lawyer for fraud. Did I mention he lies like a rug and told wife #2 that wife #1 accused him of having an affair with me?

I mean come on.

I know I like to drink…. but I think I would have remembered that!!

Needless to say it was a verrrrry long lunch.

But I’d never been to Virginia Beach before so we took a little scenic drive before heading to the restaurant.

 

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My first impression?

Busy and crowded.

 

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With the typical big city high rise hotels lining the road near the ocean.

 

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Complete with all that ticky tacky crap I hate, designed to suck your wallet dry.

 

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In other words, it’s similar to Atlantic City, Myrtle Beach and numerous other places we’ve visited along the Florida coast.

No thanks. You’ve seen one you’ve seen ’em all.

 

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Even this gang of tropical fish escaping the surf and heading for the highway didn’t make it more appealing.

 

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We drove down a few side streets to check out the houses near the shore…

 

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Which was nerve wracking in that behemoth of a vehicle the husband had rented.

 

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Seriously, it took up the entire street.

 

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We found a few pretty spots, but overall? Being jammed right up next to your neighbor is not where I want to live…. waterfront or not.

So, lunch.

 

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Was at a place called Rockafeller’s right on the water.

 

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We got there early.

 

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Okay, really early.

 

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But at least we didn’t have to wait for a table with a view.

 

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I have to admit I got a kick out of the illustrated cocktail menu.

I’m guessing this is for when you’ve had too many and can no longer enunciate properly.

 

 

If you can smile and point?

You’re not too drunk to serve.

 

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This is the Mojito, which shouldn’t have been yellow but was tasty all the same.

 

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One drink in, we spotted some fishermen bringing in their catch.

 

 

It doesn’t get much fresher than that.

 

Two drinks in, our friend arrived and we talked, and talked, and talked.

Or rather, she talked and we did a lot of listening.

And drinking.

 

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Did I mention there were multiple pages of cocktail lists?

 

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Maybe Virginia Beach isn’t so bad after all.

 

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3 hours in we figured we’d better eat.

Crab and shrimp hushpuppies sounded like a good way to start…

 

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They were huge, not at all like hush puppies and absolutely horrible.

Flavorless wads of fried dough. If there was shrimp or crab? I never found it. The husband had an equally bad platter of steamed shrimp. Which is hard to screw up, but they did, so I went the safe route…

 

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And ordered a chicken Caesar salad…. which turned out to be practically chickenless.

 

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I imagine even the mosiac Santa dolphin out front would have tasted better. But it was a good time and nice to see our friend.

So we left Virginia Beach…

 

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And headed back to Williamsburg…

 

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Wondering who Willoughby was and why he was spitting.

First stop? A decent place for dinner.

 

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And proof that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

Tucked in the back of a very ordinary looking strip mall was a wonderful little Italian place…. that I can’t remember the name of to save my life.

But the garlic knots were to die for… light as air.

 

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And my cheese tortellini alfredo with chicken, broccoli and sun dried tomatoes?

Ooh la la! So rich I had to take half back to the resort.

(I hope this quiets you food screamers. Two meals in one post. Now hush!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mariners’ Museum 5…. toys, a submarine, weapons, an Enigma and a 3D coral reef.

 

I realize this is the 5th post of our trip to the museum, but fear not…. it will also be the last.

 

 

Oh, stop being so dramatic and admit you learned something. Even if it was just how to use seashell toilet paper.

We’d spent all day roaming these halls and closing time was approaching before we were even a quarter of the way through.

So we literally trotted from exhibit to exhibit.

 

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Vintage naval toys?

 

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Check!

 

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The hull of the Oracle that won the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010?

 

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A ginormous check!

 

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Submarine cutout?

 

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Got it.

 

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WWII memorabilia?

 

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Yup. Tons…

 

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They even had an Enigma!

How cool is that?

 

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If you haven’t seen The Imitation Game about the life of Alan Turing, the man who broke the unbreakable code and then tragically took his own life… with an apple?

You should.

 

 

 

Teddy Roosevelt was there…

 

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As was this precious little sword wielding cherub.

 

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Because yeah…. what could go wrong with that?

 

 

There was too much to see…

 

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And too little time.

 

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Look… interesting, not to mention decorative, ways to kill people!

 

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And I didn’t have a chance to read all the details.

 

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And that.

What was that?

I don’t know!

Because the husband was bound and determined to watch the 3D movie about the coral reef before they closed. So we ran to the theater, put on our plastic glasses and found a good spot to watch and take pictures.

 

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Until this woman moved seats and put her head in front of my lens.

Rude. Very rude.

 

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The Great Barrier coral reef?

Beautiful.

 

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The Great Barrier coral reef in 3D after I moved away from the back of that woman’s head?

 

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Stunning.

 

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It looked like all these little things were reaching out for you….

 

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And I swear the husband jumped a foot when he thought this fellow was right beside him.

 

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Beautiful. No two ways about it.

So that was it.

We spent 8 full hours in the museum that day….

 

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And were too tired to go out to eat.

Oh, stop screaming.

We got Chinese take out and went back to the condo.

 

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The absolute worst Chinese takeout I think I’ve ever had… but there.

Still a food picture.