Category Archives: Traveling Days

A Special Start To The Season

My friends, Donna and Linda, invited me to an early Christmas event last Saturday: the Holly Jolly Festival in an area of Richmond. (Linda lives nearby, and Donna did for many years.)

You know how much you want to spend time with your friends when you drive an hour and a half each way (including the dreaded Interstate-95) to be with them. I grew up in the country: we didn’t have interstates.

We shopped in several shops, enjoying the beautiful holiday decorations and humming/singing along with the Christmas music. Neither of us spent an enormous amount of money, but we did make some purchases. And I found a couple of Christmas gifts

Oh, and we donned our Christmas headgear and had our picture taken with Santa. Just look at Donna Donner: I think she’s jockeying for more toys on Christmas morning.

Then, The Grinch showed up, so we thought it only fair to have a picture with him, too. (I must confess that, although I’m familiar with the song, and I’ve heard that he “stole Christmas”,  I have no idea what the whole Grinch thing is all about. Shhhh…don’t tell anyone.)

Then, we three girls ditched those guys and enjoyed a leisurely lunch, and shopped a little more.

Soon it was time for me to hit I-95 south to head home. Totally worth braving that interstate to spend the day with friends.

PS. My snowman hat is from CVS pharmacy: $5.99. Haute couture.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

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Mountain Drive, A Surprise And Friends

When we left Virginia Safari Park on Saturday, we continued on to the Shenandoah National Park to drive the scenic Skyline Drive.  We were late for peak foliage, but we managed to find a little color. (That gorgeous blue sky helped out quite a bit.)

We forgot our tripod, but, at one of the scenic overlooks, we saw a couple taking pictures of each other. So they took our picture, and we took theirs.

At one point, as we rounded a curve, I spotted a bear. Having never seen one other than at a zoo, Motor Man said later that my excitement was equal to that of a child’s.

Thankfully, my camera was in my lap, so I was able to snap some quick pictures of it.

“What? You’ve never seen a bear before?

After that excitement, we drove on to Warrenton, where we stayed the night. The next day, we visited with my dear friend, Pam (Two Spoiled Cats) and her hubby, Dave. Pam and I met through blogging eight years ago, and for a while, our friendship was online only. But then we (along with her Davey and my Motor Man) began meeting a few times a year. Saturday, our visit with them began at a nearby farmers market.

The four of us then went to lunch and later browsed through an antique mall.

We then spent some time at their home, and their gorgeous big boy kitty, Teddy briefly joined us.

Motor Man and I avoided the interstate and took a leisurely drive home late Sunday afternoon.

It was one of those special weekends, full of fun times with lots of memories made.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

On Safari

Last Saturday, Motor Man and I had quite the adventure.

We went to Virginia Safari Park near Natural Bridge, Virginia, which is about 3 1/2 hours from us. This is a drive-through park with several species of animals who roam freely over the 100+ acres .

When we bought our tickets at the gate, we also purchased four small pails of food (pellets). The staff member gave us two empty buckets and advised us to pour a small amount in an empty pail to feed the various animals that would come up to our window.

And do those animals ever know the drill.  They stop right in front of your vehicle (roadblock), then move to your window in search of the food they know you bought.

The llama and oryx were the most aggressive of the different species. One of them snatched a bucket right from my hand, another managed to get his head (and upper body) all the way in the vehicle and was eating food from the bucket in the floorboard by my feet.

“We need to talk about that food, Mister”

Motor Man also had a bucket snatched from his hand by an oryx.

After that experience, we were a bit leery when the elk approached our vehicle.

Amazingly, they were very gentle and only ate from the bucket…..very good manners.

And here’s a weird shot….. doesn’t that look like a spooky “human figure” to the right? It’s actually an animal (not sure if it was a llama or antelope) with its head laid back and nose in the air.

Feeding the ostrich was a bit scary: that’s a huge beak to be pecking for food so close to my hands.

And how impressive is this sight?

The park also has a walk-through village.  It was a chilly, breezy day, so our “walk-through” was rather quick.  My only disappointment of the day was that the giraffes were on the opposite side of their yard from the viewing/feeding deck. Here’s a little slideshow of some of the animals in those exhibits.

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Although a bit cool, it was a beautiful day for our visit. As much fun as Motor Man and I (as mature adults) enjoyed the park, I can imagine what fun it is for families with little ones. We highly recommend it.

Tune in Friday for more about our adventurous weekend.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Adventures In Cape Charles, Part II

Today’s post is continued from Monday and is jam-packed with fun times from our trip to Cape Charles.

Following our dinner Friday evening, and while taking photos at the marina, we noticed a sundog.  We would see several between that time and sunset. This looks a little like a fish, don’t you agree?  Very appropriate.

There was a pier leading to a gazebo at the beach near our hotel. We decided it would be the perfect place to watch the sunset. And our personal photographer, Donna, was once again hard at work.  Although that appears to be the sunset behind us, it’s actually more sundogs. The sun was setting further to the left.

And a beautiful sunset it was, well worth braving the cool temps and brisk winds. The sky was amazing.

Once we got back to the hotel (and thawed out), Donna and I had a mini-pajama party. We brought our witch hats along on the trip, hoping to find a fall/Halloween display that would be a nice backdrop for a picture. The pajama party turned out to be our only option.

And, then, as so often happens, a cute boy crashed our pajama party!  So I kissed him.

Saturday morning, the three of us had breakfast in the hotel’s beautiful dining room.  Donna opened the first and smallest of her birthday gift bags. She loves scented soaps in decorative packaging, so one was a tiny Halloween themed soap. The other is Bourbon-Pumpkin scented body lotion.  (Did you notice the tear in her eye?)

The weather was cool and somewhat rainy, so Motor Man drove us to a nearby antique mall for a little shopping.

After lunch, we explored more of the Eastern Shore. During Motor Man’s late teens/early twenties, he did quite a bit of fishing in the Chesapeake Bay in that area . He recalls the Cobb Island Coast Guard Station located on a nearby island, and had heard that it had since been moved inland. With directions from locals, we found its new location. It’s been renovated and is for sale, but sadly, a long lane with a gate at the highway prevented us from seeing it. It’s now near the tiny fishing village of Oyster, Va.

Motor Man and I really enjoyed the trip, and I’m thinking that Donna just may have, too. It was fun celebrating her birthday with her. Wishing you many, many more, my friend.

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

Adventures In Cape Charles, Part I

As mentioned in Friday’s post, my friend, Donna, celebrated her birthday on Saturday.

So Motor Man and I invited her to join us for an overnight trip to Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  We left early Friday morning and returned home Saturday evening.

Our Friday was spent browsing the quaint shops in downtown Cape Charles.  The shopkeepers were so friendly, and that, of course, made our experience even nicer. Motor Man waited in the vehicle, read a book he purchased on the history of Cape Charles and chatted with passers-by. The weather was perfect.

Donna and I especially liked the consignment shop, Periwinkles, and we both found something to buy there.  At the international shop, Voijer, I found several giraffe items to add to my growing collection. Moonrise Jewelry had beautiful items (including a ring I couldn’t resist).  We both purchased Christmas gifts at another shop. And we loved walking around in a one-hundred-year old hardware store, which brought back memories to Donna of her father’s business.

Lunch was at Kelly’s Pub, one of our favorite restaurants in Cape Charles. Then we spent the first part of the afternoon finishing up our shopping. Afterward, Motor Man took us riding around town and listened to us “oohing and aah-ing” over the beautiful old homes, some restored and some in the process of restoration.

There are huge stately homes alongside quaint beach cottages. Donna and I are still wondering how they still have such beautiful summer flowers this late into fall.

Later, we checked into our rooms at the beautiful Northampton Hotel, an old hotel – newly renovated. We couldn’t wait to explore the “widow’s walk”.

Motor Man is certainly patient with us two “crazies”

Donna was sweet to take so many pictures of my Motor Man and me during our trip. It was like having our own personal photographer. Behind us, the body of  water to the right is the Chesapeake Bay. There are many cargo/container ships anchored in the Bay; one is barely visible just over Motor Man’s left shoulder. To the left is an inlet coming into the harbor in Cape Charles.

Dinner was at The Shanty, a waterside restaurant at the nearby marina. It was a bit too chilly to sit outside, but we had a great view from inside. And we stepped outside after dinner to take pictures.

Docked nearby was this beautiful “teaching vessel” based out of Hawaii.

It was a busy weekend, so I’ve decided to share our adventures in two posts. To be continued on Wednesday…..stay tuned!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner, Winner

Racing has been part of Motor Man’s life since he was a young boy, “souping up” go-kart engines. By the time he was in his late teens, he had begun building race engines for stock cars, drag cars and hydroplanes (race boats).

He has no idea how many races his engines have won through the years, and his engine customers have won several local short-track  and hydroplane championships.

Yes, I’m bragging on him…wives can (and should) do that from time to time often.

This past Saturday night, Danny, one of our customers, won the 2018 track championship at Langley Speedway, our local short track. For those of you familiar with stock car racing, Danny races in the Late Model Division. This is Danny’s sixth championship, three of those with Motor Man’s engines. Only one driver (now retired) has won more at seven.

Danny and me with “our” Motor Man

There are lots of great folks involved in Danny’s racing. It’s a great team, and Motor Man and I are proud to be a part of it.

Congratulations to Danny and his team…including my Motor Man. Now, onto the 2019 season!

~These Days Of Mine~

 

 

Each Trip Is Different

As most of you well know, driving to the four-wheel-drive beaches of Carova on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is a favorite day trip for Motor Man and me.

Some things are constant, but yet different each time:  we’re going to be driving along the ocean. But what will her temperament be on that particular day? Sometimes she’s smooth as glass, other time’s she’s very angry.

And each time,  we’re driving ON the beach, but the condition of the sand varies from trip to trip. Some days, it’s like driving on the interstate, and, at times,  we don’t even have to use our four-wheel-drive.  Other times, the sand is so deep and soft, and the ride so rough, we fear losing our teeth…. and getting stuck.

It’s rare that we don’t see wild horses, but how many and where we’ll see them changes with each trip. It’s especially nice to see them by the water.

But even if we only see them from the “back roads”, we’re good.

They’re beautiful regardless of their particular location.

But, one thing we find just happens by chance, and that’s the folks we meet while on the beach.

I’ve shared posts before about Renee and Mike, a couple we met on the beach a few years ago. The four of us “hit it off”, and since then, we’ve arranged a get-together whenever they visit the area.

On one of our recent trips, Motor Man stopped so I could take pictures of the horses on the beach (second one in this post). I noticed three people nearby, taking pictures of each other with the horses in the background. So I asked if they’d like a picture of the three of them together.

They were so friendly, and we began chatting. I learned that the couple, Caty and Jon, had just gotten married the day before in an oceanfront wedding in nearby Kill Devil Hills. Caty’s mom, Cathy, was with them and excitedly shared that happy info with me. I just happened to have some 2018 Corolla Wild Horse Fund calendars in our vehicle, and one of those was my wedding gift to them. And, I couldn’t leave out the mother-of- the bride.

They weren’t from the area, so Motor Man asked if they’d like to follow us, and we’d take them on the back roads in search of more horses. They agreed, and off we went.

We did see more horses, but further up the beach, our new friends were in for another treat. I’ve shared posts on here before about the Gypsy Queen. Yes, the newlyweds (and Mom) were treated to a tour.

Cathy later sent this photo of Caty and Jon on their wedding day and gave me permission to share it here. (I think she looks like a princess.)

Beautiful scenery is a given on our beach trips, and seeing horses is a norm. But chance meetings with friendly folks is definitely a bonus.

~These Days Of Mine~