Tag Archives: waterfront

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.

 

IMG_0985

 

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

 

IMG_0995

 

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

 

IMG_0998

 

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.

 

IMG_0994

 

Then it was on to the visitors center.

 

IMG_0999

 

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.

 

IMG_1001

 

There was a wonderful theater…

 

IMG_1006

 

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

 

 

Outside there was a long boardwalk…

 

IMG_1007

 

That led to a monument…

 

IMG_1012

 

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

 

IMG_1015

 

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

 

IMG_1093

 

Who led us to the original settlers’ site.

 

IMG_1018

 

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.

 

319ds0

 

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

 

IMG_1082

 

But archeologists have been actively digging here for years….

 

IMG_1081

 

Removing thousands of artifacts from the fort….

 

IMG_1080

 

And various other buildings.

 

IMG_1030

 

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

 

IMG_1019

 

The soldiers barracks.

 

IMG_1083

 

Where the Queen visited a decade ago.

 

IMG_1084

 

And the required selfie by the water.

 

IMG_1089

 

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

 

IMG_1022

 

And a graveyard for unidentified remains.

 

IMG_1028

 

It was a lovely spot.

 

IMG_1088

 

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

 

IMG_1087

 

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

 

cannibal

 

Second required selfie by the water to lighten the mood.

 

IMG_1090

 

It was a fascinating tour…

 

IMG_1029

 

And we learned a lot.

 

IMG_1042

 

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

 

IMG_1039

 

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

 

IMG_1037

 

You couldn’t beat the view.

 

IMG_1035

 

Chicken salad spinach wrap with potato salad for me…

 

IMG_1036

 

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

Thus fortified, we headed for the museum.

 

IMG_1038

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head North Carolina…. cold wind, cursing, birds and the death of a hairdo.

 

Continuing farther down the coast of the Outer Banks, I wanted to stop and walk out on a pier.

(Have I mentioned that I have a knack for picking the coldest, windiest, most frigid days to do this? Seriously… it’s a gift. If there’s one bitter cold day on an otherwise delightfully warm 2 week vacation? That’s the one I’ll choose to walk out on a pier.)

 

IMG_0718

 

There’s the husband, bracing himself against the wind and giving me (and my phone) the evil eye.

 

IMG_0713

 

And there’s the entrance to Jennette’s Pier, the biggest and best in Nags Head.

 

IMG_0714

 

Gladly.

This type… and the other. It was too damn cold for either of them.

 

IMG_0720

 

Approaching the entrance…. you don’t follow a yellow brick road.

 

IMG_0719

 

But a line of memorial blue fish.

I love this idea!

 

IMG_0721

 

A quick peek at the beach…

 

IMG_0731

 

The map…

 

IMG_0729

 

And me mumbling ‘Holy Crap it’s freezing! Can you read the pier history a little faster please?’

 

IMG_0725

 

A quick peek at the beach on the other side.

 

IMG_0724

 

Through the gate…

 

IMG_0736

 

Past the turtle.

And finally, the door…

 

IMG_0735

 

Where the husband had to hold on to his hat so it didn’t fly off.

It was that windy.

A brief warm respite inside to pay the $2 ticket price and out we went.

 

IMG_0737

 

As piers go?

It rocked.

 

IMG_0738

 

Even the birds agreed.

 

IMG_0742

 

These guys were everywhere.

 

IMG_0744

 

Fighting the wind just like us.

 

IMG_0757

 

Hairdo?

Not so much.

 

IMG_0739

 

So we walked….

 

IMG_0741

 

Shivering in the arctic blast…. with the husband cursing me under his breath.

 

 

Good times.

 

IMG_0751

 

Every now and then there would be a wind break where we’d huddle to catch our breath.

 

IMG_0753

 

And then finally, we reached the end.

 

IMG_0752

 

Where the husband realized we had to walk back, into the wind…. and started cursing me under his breath all over again.

 

 

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.

 

IMG_0605

 

My first impression?

Busy and crowded.

 

IMG_0617

 

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

 

IMG_0609

 

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

 

IMG_0615

 

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.

 

IMG_0613

 

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

 

aaa

 

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

 

IMG_0622

 

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

 

IMG_0621

 

Seriously, it took up the entire street.

 

IMG_0624

 

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.

 

IMG_0650

 

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

 

IMG_0631

 

We got there early.

 

IMG_0633

 

Okay, really early.

 

IMG_0628

 

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

 

IMG_0629

 

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.

 

IMG_0635

 

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

 

IMG_0636

 

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.

 

IMG_0634

 

Did I mention there were multiple pages of cocktail lists?

 

IMG_0642

 

Maybe Virginia Beach isn’t so bad after all.

 

IMG_0630

 

3 hours in we figured we’d better eat.

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

 

IMG_0641

 

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…

 

IMG_0643

 

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

 

IMG_0649

 

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…

 

IMG_0651

 

And headed back to Williamsburg…

 

IMG_0653

 

Wondering who Willoughby was and why he was spitting.

First stop? A decent place for dinner.

 

IMG_0654

 

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.

 

IMG_0655

 

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!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Cod Day 6… antiques, cocktails and dinner on the water.

 

Because you know no road trip with my husband is complete without a visit to an antique store…

 

IMG_9358

 

I’d managed to make it almost 6 full days without one, but my luck ran out.

 

IMG_9352

 

He scoured the stalls…

 

IMG_9356

 

Thoroughly perused the cases…

 

IMG_9353

 

Chuckled at the creepy mid century Santas.

 

 

And then….

 

IMG_9357

 

Bought a folding freight sled.

And if that wasn’t bad enough? The damned thing was from Maine!

Jesus wept.

 

IMG_9359

 

And I drank.

 

IMG_9364

 

It was the only appropriate response.

 

 

So we ended the afternoon at a wonderful waterfront restaurant…

 

IMG_9362

 

Called Fisherman’s View.

 

IMG_9367

 

Where I worked my way down the cocktail list.

 

IMG_9372

 

Have you ever had Casoni 1814 in a mixed drink? Ooh la la!

I hadn’t… but will be looking for it soon.

 

 

Food?

 

IMG_9365

 

Yes, they had that too. But since it was late afternoon and I wouldn’t be cooking when we got back, we opted to stay and wait for the dinner menu…

 

 

And watched the non stop crabbing…

 

IMG_9376

 

As well as some tugs escorting a barge through the Cape Cod Canal.

 

IMG_9369

 

Crab cake appetizer for me….

 

IMG_9370

 

Butternut squash and apple bisque for the other half.

And as evening rolled around…

 

IMG_9382

 

Neither one of us managed to get past that night’s specials.

 

IMG_9371

 

Scallops Spaghettini for me…

 

IMG_9378

 

Beef tenderloin for the hubs.

 

IMG_9377

 

Both were superb…. and I cursed the the fact that we hadn’t found this place earlier in our trip.

Replete…

 

IMG_9390

 

We took a short walk around the harbor.

 

IMG_9387

 

Enjoyed the sunset.

 

IMG_9391

 

And the view of that wonderful restaurant lit up in the distance.

 

IMG_9402

 

Back at the resort condo, the husband was knee deep in the impeachment coverage on MSNBC.

A guaranteed way to kill my buzz…

 

IMG_9410

 

So I escaped upstairs to my nook overlooking the living room to read….

 

IMG_9420

 

And (not quite) drunkenly play with my phone.

Cape Cod Day 4, Black Dog Tavern, Vineyard Haven.

 

map 15

 

 

If you live in New England, I can guarantee you’ve seen numerous bumper stickers, t shirts and assorted swag with the ubiquitous black dog silhouette.

 

X1025_grande

But on day 4 of our fabulous Cape Cod adventure, we had lunch at the real thing.

 

IMG_8917

 

The original Black Dog Tavern on Martha’s Vineyard.

For a sweetly illustrated history, click here.

 

IMG_8923

 

It’s a rustic little place…

 

IMG_8918

 

With some fabulous views.

 

IMG_8936

 

Filled with maritime history as well as the flavor of the sea….

And on the day we had lunch there?

Even an adorable real life black dog on the beach.

 

 

IMG_8938

 

(No worries… it was a cool day, he had water and his owners checked on him regularly.)

 

IMG_8935

 

Cocktail?

Don’t mind if I do….

 

IMG_8920

 

Since we were at the Black Dog, I tried a Black Dog Orange Crush.

 

IMG_8926

 

Which might have to become my new favorite way to wake up the day.

 

IMG_8922

 

Happily sipping, we enjoyed watching the ferry.

 

IMG_8928

 

The boats..

 

IMG_8933

 

The harbor…

 

IMG_8929

 

And local craft beer disappear.

But yes, the food. We came for food…

 

IMG_8927

 

Quahog chowder. Thick, creamy and delicious with homemade croutons made for a nice start.

What’s a quahog you ask?

It’s a large hard shelled clam.

 

quahog

 

Isn’t that just typical human behavior?

Name your pet, then kill him to find out how old he is.

Sorry Ming, you deserved better. And I sincerely hope you weren’t in our soup.

 

IMG_8942

 

I was in the mood for a good chargrilled burger and this one didn’t disappoint.

 

IMG_8941

 

The husband? He inhaled two dozen mussels.

Replete, we said goodbye to the real black dog….

 

IMG_8943

 

The views…

 

IMG_8948

 

The pier….

 

IMG_8946

 

And the original Black Dog Tavern.

 

IMG_8944

 

Fervently wishing they would come to Maine and build one on our coast!

 

Cape Cod Day 4, Edgartown (and because you knew there had to be some…. rocks.)

 

First stop on Martha’s Vineyard?

 

map 13

 

Edgartown.

 

IMG_8837

 

A beautiful place to visit…

 

IMG_8838

 

A nerve wracking place to drive.

 

IMG_8861

 

The streets are narrow and many of them one way.

 

IMG_8859

 

Which is charming…. until a delivery truck blocks your only egress.

 

IMG_8841

 

But let’s get back to beautiful.

 

IMG_8851

 

Park your car and walk…

 

IMG_8847

 

Because that’s the only way you’ll discover all the wonderful nooks and crannies in town.

 

IMG_8849

 

Since we were there in November, off season…

 

IMG_8856

 

We practically had it all to ourselves.

 

IMG_8848

 

Full of old world charm…

 

IMG_8863

 

 

And coastal breezes…

 

IMG_8858

 

I highly recommend an extended stroll.

 

IMG_8839

 

And the required clothing souvenir from the Black Dog.

 

IMG_8845

 

(Okay, I bought 3… so sue me.)

I could have easily walked and shopped all day but the husband will only tolerate so much of that.

So we headed out.

 

IMG_8875

 

And drove past mile ….

 

IMG_8870

 

After mile….

 

IMG_8866

 

After mile…

 

IMG_8869

 

Of stone walls.

 

IMG_8865

 

Seriously, I thought they would never end.

 

IMG_8872

 

Some houses had them in the front, to the sides and around the back.

 

IMG_8878

 

Some sections of the road had them lining both sides.

 

IMG_8874

 

And speaking as someone from Maine, which has it’s own fair share of stone walls…

 

IMG_8868

 

I must say, this section of the Vineyard put us Mainers to shame.

Cape Cod Day 4….Martha’s Vineyard

 

The forecast for Veteran’s Day was warm and bright so we decided to book passage on the Steamship Authority’s car ferry over to the Vineyard. This is something I’ve always wanted to do and I was tickled pink. Having no idea where, how much, or when…. we dropped by the ticketing office the night before and were rewarded with these –

 

IMG_8799

 

Free tickets for the husband.

How sweet was that?

 

map 11

 

We reserved a spot on the 9:30am ferry from Woods Hole and were told to arrive half an hour before departure. Ever the type A personality, I made sure we were there 45 minutes prior and as soon as we pulled up, they pointed us towards the 8:15 freight trip and boom!

We were on board.

 

IMG_8802

 

With a giant load of Christmas trees.

 

IMG_8813

 

Being used to small Maine island ferries, I was amazed at how large these ships were.

 

IMG_8817

 

And how clean, and how spacious, and what great views they afforded.

 

IMG_8811

 

We happily roamed around taking pictures…

 

IMG_8807

 

And found a snack bar!

 

IMG_8805

 

Okay…. it wasn’t open off season, but still. If you want a snack on a Maine ferry? You better dig in your purse for that crushed pack of Nabs from 2003.

And then, before we knew it….

 

IMG_2733

 

We were there.

 

IMG_2735

 

Approaching Vineyard Haven.

 

IMG_8825

 

And yes, it was just as beautiful and quintessentially coastal New England as you would imagine.

 

IMG_8823

 

Here’s another ferry getting ready to depart, so you can see how large they are.

 

IMG_8828

 

We had booked an 8:30pm trip back, so we arrived ready to spend the whole day exploring.

 

map 12

 

Of course none of the tourist information kiosks were open this time of year and we had no utter clue where we were going. ( I didn’t find this map until we were ready to leave.)

So we just drove.

 

IMG_8834

 

Past weather beaten waterfront homes…

 

IMG_8830

 

And homes…

 

IMG_8832

 

That had their own private lighthouses.

 

IMG_8833

 

How cool is that?