Spend A Vacation Week Or A Lifetime In This Delightful Beachfront Home Near Cape Charles, VA

May 25th, 2017 by Marlene email

 

Arlington East

Overlooking  the wide blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay, this delightful Cape Cod style home is a perfect place to spend a vacation week — or indeed, a whole lifetime.  Haven’t reserved the place for your summer vacation yet ? Looking to purchase a leisure or full-time home ? Located near the vibrant little historic town of #CapeCharles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, this gorgeous 4 bedroom, 3 and a half bath home, priced at $775,000, is your unique opportunity to spend a week and discover if perhaps you’d love it for a lifetime. Sort of try and buy ! Imagine dramatic water views, golden sunshine, sandy beach, salty breezes and gentle tides — this home has perfected the relaxed feel and open style of a truly comfortable coastal home.

 

 

frontview Greatroom waterviews Master bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porch View

Located just a few minutes from the quaint historic town of Cape Charles which offers so much to do and see.  From fine and casual dining to art galleries and little shops, Cape Charles is ground zero for fun and relaxation.   Boaters — provide a home for your boat at one of its 2 state of the art marinas.  Golfers– take a swing at the 2 gorgeous waterfront Signature courses, a Nicklaus and a Palmer, among Virginia’s top ranked courses. Joggers — take a run down to the beach and throughout this charming little town on the new community path.  Whether is for a vacation week or a lifetime, this bayfront home offers the Eastern Shore’s sweet beach life.  Call Blue Heron Realty at 757-678-5200 to make an appointment to see if this property would be the right leisure or full-time home for you. This is the perfect place to live the #EasternShoreSweetBeachLife!

 

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Whale Watching In Coastal Virginia — Thar She Blows !

May 23rd, 2017 by Marlene email

Big WhaleThar she blows!  Splish, Splash, Flipper Slap !  This past winter our family enjoyed some great Whale Watching— not in Alaska, not in Hawaii, not in the Caribbean –  but right here in our local coastal Virginia waters less than a hour from our front door! So this is a whale of a tale starring boats, a bird, and, of course, whales. For about the last 10 years I’ve been hearing that a few juvenile humpback whales have been migrating through our area in winter, sticking around for a bit, munching on menhaden, etc., apparently the whale treat de jour. But for the last couple years, from the middle of December to about the middle of February, quite a few of these friendly marine mammals have been staying longer.  Apparently they are having a whale of a time in our home waters, not far from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel,  breaching, Big Splashing, flipper and tail slapping, just generally cavorting, acting like the acrobatic teenagers they are. So this past February we decided to take a whale watching tour with some of our kids and grandkids, a little adventure to see these magnificent creatures with our own eyes. So glad we did.

 

Fin w. Beachfront Whale Fin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We set out mid-afternoon on the Rudee Whaler, a comfortable 80 ft catamaran which leaves from Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach, slipping past the strip of beachfront hotels gleaming in the distance, past the Cape Henry Lighthouse and into the ocean waters beyond. It wasn’t long before our wildlife guide spotted a whale blowing.  All whales have to come up to breathe about every 15 minutes or so (although they can stretch that to about 35 minutes) and after they inhale they then exhale or “blow”, expelling air and water through their blowhole at up to an amazing 300 mph ! So spotting the blows helps the Captain gently advance in the direction of the whales.  (Fortunately, there are specific guidelines for protecting whales, including how to approach, how close boats can come to a whale, etc. . These important rules are issued by NOAA and all the local tour boats adhere to these guidelines.)
It wasn’t long before we were seeing multiple whales, both to starboard and port, all doing their gymnastic thing! Rolling over and slapping flippers– apparently those wacking sounds alert other whales to their locations. Plus it seems like they are having great fun ! Then breaching, with a Big Splash back into the water. Or surfacing and then diving, waving their tail fins. Nearly everyone on board had cameras, most with with telephoto lenses, click-clicking rapid fire. For well over an hour we watched amazing acrobatics, totally captivated by the antics of these gentle creatures. (These are juveniles, estimated to be from 3 to 7 years old and from 15 to 25 feet long. )

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Whale Tail

 

The on-board wildlife guide said that tour boat operators help notify the many big ships in the Hampton Roads shipping channel of the whale locations. This in turn helps reduce the number of whales injured by collisions with ships, which is a serious problem. They also take photos of these whales and their tail and pectoral fins to forward to the environmental group, Allied Whales. Allied reviews the photos, then sends them on to be catalogued by the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalog group. Computer recognition software enables the catalogers to identify specific individual whales through the distinctive markings on their tail and pectoral fins, helping scientists to track their migration patterns, etc. She said that this identification program indicates that just for the boat we were on, about 31 different individuals have been spotted this year and about 10 of these are confirmed to have been in our local waters previously. Incidentally, it’s the male humpback that “sings” the haunting whale song recordings we’ve all heard on You Tube, songs that can last up to 20 minutes or more.

 

 

Boats in a RowBut too, too soon it was time to return to port. Fortunately, there were lots of other sights to enjoy on the way back, including many normally viewed from above when traveling on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Seen from relatively close by, on the water and at eye level, gives one a whole different perspective. A nearby Navy ship and a container ship literally towered above as they slowly proceeded past. Then, to cap off the day, as we slid back into the Rudee berth, we were greeted by lovely reflections in the water of the other boats moored there, a beautiful end to a wonderful afternoon.

 

 

 

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HGTV NEW EPISODE OF “BEACHFRONT BARGAIN HUNT CAPE CHARLES” WILL RE-AIR ON MAY 21st

May 16th, 2017 by Marlene email

 

HGTV 205 TAKE TWO !!  TUNE IN !!   Blue Heron Realty is pleased to report that the 2nd national showing of the new Cape Charles Chesapeake Bay episode of HGTV’s popular “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” series featuring Blue Heron’s listings and Blue Heron agent, Eva Noonan, will re- air at 1 pm on Sunday, May 21st. Although it seemed to us that the premier showtime on April 2nd might never get here, (the actual filming took place early last fall ), that wait just served to heighten the anticipation all the more ! We are really proud as this is the second Home and Garden Network “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” program to feature Cape Charles, Blue Heron Realty listings and its agent, Eva Noonan, —a trifecta for our Small Town, Big Future !

 

These pictures are from the first Cape Charles episode, filmed in 2013, when I tagged along with the production crew for three days to document the filming of Eva and her clients, Jim and Jodi Outland, who are now enjoying their HGTV featured home as full- time Cape Charles residents. During my tag-along, I learned a couple of interesting things about filming a show like this: The 5-6 member production crew is very hardworking. And the hours are long– location set-ups start before 9am and the wrap-up for the day isn’t usually till 7 or 8pm. So having lots and lots of coffee available is absolutely essential to TV production ! Plus doing a mid-morning pre-order for a delicious noonish to-go lunch for the crew definitely must not be forgotten. ( Like the Army, a film crew travels on its tum- tum ! )

 

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Hopefully these photos give you a little feel for the considerable time and effort that goes into producing these popular real estate shows. We loved seeing just which leisure activities and new little nooks and crannies of the Eastern Shore the producers chose to include in this second show. Love surprises ! So tune in May 21st  to discover  for yourself which Eastern Shore homes Eva’s new clients considered and which very special home they fell in love with. ( If you can’t watch on May 21st, check out future schedules as HGTV will likely re-run the show a few more times. Better still, just remember to set your DVR.)

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Located In Oyster, VA, This Cozy Waterview Cottage Is Ready For Lots Of Summer Fun 2017 !

May 5th, 2017 by Marlene email

 

Main ArielIf you’ve been searching for a cute little getaway cottage with waterviews, this  cozy and cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath seaside bungalow located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in the tiny fishing village of Oyster, VA could be really perfect !  Perched on a knoll overlooking the quaint harbor and priced at just $199,000, it has recently been throughly renovated– new paint, new carpet, new Trane HVAC system, Rinnai water heater, appliances and more. Early risers,  savor your first cup of morning joe watching the sun rise above the shimmering salt waters.  The large covered porch is the perfect place to  relax  and unwind, overlook sleepy Oyster harbor and enjoy watching the boats go by. What could be more fun than a big porch, a comfy lounge chair, a book, a tangy breeze and a cold glass of iced tea spiced with ever-changing views of blue waters and sky ?

 

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Or launch your own boat at the Oyster boat ramps across the harbor and cruise the inlet and out towards the Atlantic Ocean to some of the very best fishing on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Flounders beware !  This is a great location —  tiny Oyster is only about 10 minutes from the soft sand beach in Cape Charles as well as its 2 marinas, Palmer and Nicklaus golf courses, restaurants, shops, art galleries, etc. Good vacation rental potential too. Grab your flip-flops, move right in, this terrific  little cottage is ready for you to enjoy lots of summer fun, 2017 and beyond.

 

 

 

 

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Oyster Sign and Boats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 70th Annual Garden Week on The Eastern Shore of Virginia

May 2nd, 2017 by Marlene email

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Saturday marked the 84th Annual Virginia Historic Garden Week statewide and the 70th Eastern Shore Virginia Annual Garden Week sponsored locally by the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Five beautiful properties were opened for visitors to view both the homes and grounds. It was an otherwise busy day for me at Blue Heron Realty so I had to choose just one.  Because of its waterfront setting and history, I selected Vaucluse House located on Church Neck about 25 minutes from the little historic town of Cape Charles, VA. 

Built circa 1784, Vaucluse was the seat of the prominent Upshur family. By 1829, one of its most notable heirs, Abel Parker Upshur, had expanded their holdings into a grand Virginia plantation.  But young Abel, an attorney, had grander ambitions, becoming a judge and eventually becoming Secretary of the Navy and then Secretary of State, both under President John Tyler. As Secretary of the Navy, Upshur established the Navel Observatory in Washington DC, one of the oldest scientific agencies still in existence today, in charge of the critically Old Naval Observatoryimportant positioning, navigation and timing for the US Department of Defense as well as the US Navy. It also operates the US Master Clock for GPS satellites, all pretty darn important. And Blair House, the official residence of the Vice President,  is located on the Observatory grounds. So young Abel did some really impressive work during his tenure which was cut short when he died in an explosion aboard the new steamship, USS Princeton, during a demonstration cruise along the Potomac River in 1884. In addition to the continuing importance of the Naval Observatory, his legacy also includes 2 navy ships named in his honor, a number of streets plus counties in several states named for him, as well as Mount Upshur in Alaska. 

Meanwhile, back to the 2017 Eastern Shore Garden Tour. The Upshur plantation lands have long been divided off inVaucluse blue aerial looking north 2006to neighborhoods and small farms but the grand old home, Vaucluse, built by Abel Upshur’s father, Littleton, remains proudly centered on a 5 + acre tract overlooking one of  the Shore’s most colorful inlets from the Chesapeake Bay, Hungar’s Creek. The house has been fully restored and a large addition plus a carriage house have recently been added. Of frame construction with brick ends and impressive classical brick chimneys, the main house features the classic superb interior woodwork and design found in grand historic homes from that period.  For the Tour,  each room was decorated with  fabulous original floral arrangement created by Garden Club members for the occasion, designed specifically to complement the colors and attributes of that particular room. Beautiful views of the park- like setting and the blue waters of the inlet create a special harmony between the grounds and the home.  Guarded at the entrance by brick columns flanked by two towering evergreen trees,  Vaucluse’s formal shrub gardens, an herb garden and the fountain garden are just a part of the magic of this property.  A great addition to Garden Week, special thanks to the owners for opening their lovely property to the public last Saturday.  Garden Tour proceeds help fund important preservation projects for more than 40 historic public gardens as well as research fellowships and projects with Virginia State Parks, all to the benefit of the citizens of our great Commonwealth. #VirginiasScenicEasternShore

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The New Cape Charles Farmer’s Market– Fun And Delicious

September 2nd, 2016 by Marlene email

Farmers Mkt. BBQ StandOn the Eastern Shore of Virginia this summer, Tuesday afternoons  from 4 to 6:30 pm are  a special time in the little coastal town of Cape Charles, Virginia — particularly for foodies and farm-to-table enthusiasts.  It’s a time slot  that lots of locals  ( and visitors too ) have set aside for a visit to the brand new Cape Charles Farmer’s Market.   Located on the spacious grounds of the Cape Charles Museum on Stone Road,  the Market takes good advantage of the Museum’s huge grassy front yard so there is plenty of room for venders to set up little tents to display their yummy wares.  Wicker basket in hand, I traipsed from the parking lot over to the vendor area, not exactly sure just what to expect in the way of  variety so I was  pleasantly surprised  to see so many beautiful fruits and veggies on display, some local artwork too, including some new designs from Mama Girl and tantalizing home baked goodies from Cape Charles Confectionery.  But my first stop was at Shore Beef and BBQ, where owner Ron had smoky good aromas wafting from a sizable portable smoker grill hitched to his pickup truck, folks already in line, buying sandwiches and BBQ by the quart, pulled pork, beef brisket plus cooked-to-perfection ribs.

Farmers market peopleMy plan was to make a big circle, check out all the vendors and circle back around again to make my purchases.   And that would have been a good plan if I had brought a bigger  basket and if I had not stopped to talk to a few friends along the way and ended up having a detailed conversation comparing southern style creamed corn recipes.   Who knew that “with or without bacon drippings” could be a major creamed corn issue– but trust me, it is !   ( And for those like myself, not originally from Virginia, south of the Mason-Dixon Line “creamed corn” does not contain a drop of cream, that is to say, dairy cream. Instead, creamed corn is made by cutting the kernels off the cob and then carefully scraping the corn’s own juices, the cream, from the cob with the dull edge of a sturdy table knife into a waiting bowl.  This can be a pretty messy job, best done with the bowl in the sink to avoid corn splatters all over the counter. Now comes the contentious part, cooking the creamy mixture.  Diehard Southerners almost always insist that sautéing in a generous amount of bacon dripping is the only true method. But transplants like myself often prefer olive oil with a bit of butter added at the end when seasoning with salt and pepper.  And so it goes, where it stops nobody knows, the new vs. the traditional.

 

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Farmers Mkt.ProduceContinuing on with my circle, I was captivated by a lovely display of cut flowers– nothing like a gorgeous bouquet to brighten any room, especially at the great farmer’s market prices, finally settled on the cheery sunny faces of a colorful bunch of long stemmed sunflowers.  Further down the line found some local honey, so great on my Mother’s excellent recipe for fresh buttermilk cornbread, eaten warm from the oven and slathered with butter, then honey.  Saunders Orchard cantaloupes looked great, and so low cal as well as delicious.  At Mattawoman Farms, a local CSA,  some vibrant and crisp Swiss chard caught my eye, a rainbow of colors ready to sauté with chopped onion in …..you guessed it,  a little bacon dripping, finished with a little cider vinegar. Yum.  They also had some good looking kolorabi. I have never actually cooked kolorabi, I’ve looked at it, considered it, but never taken the plunge.  This time was no exception, still haven’t worked up to it, next time maybe.  But their Zebra tomatoes were keepers, small red orbs with golden stripes and so were the really ripe small tomatoes from Copper Cricket Farm, displayed in a sizeable bin and priced at ” select a bunch of them  for $3.00″. By that time my little basket was about full but I headed back to the bread tent for a loaf of sour dough, hoping to try a recipe for an Italian tomato and bread salad, panzanella, that I had seen recently in the Washington Post. Doesn’t sound that great but I’m imagining that fresh artisan bread, lovely ripe tomatoes wedges combined with finely chopped garlic and fresh basil chiffonade, everything tossed in a delicate vinaigrette is going to be worth trying, we shall see.  At any rate, when I got there the cupboard was bare and so the poor cook got none.  But there is always next Tuesday and all the other Tuesday’s until October, so sooner or later a loaf of sour dough shall be available and a panzanella shall be made !

 

HGTV FILMS NEW SHOW IN CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA– Redux

July 14th, 2016 by Marlene email

HGTV 2016They say that good things often come in threes so I’m looking forward to a next time– but right now we are just enjoying the second time that  HGTV, the Home and Garden TV channel,  has chosen  Blue Heron Realty Co. and the charming little historic  town of Cape Charles to film another episode of its very popular home hunting series, Beachfront Bargain Hunt.   Thursday through Sunday a few weeks ago, Cape Charles was all abuzz as the HGTV crew followed Blue Heron’s agent Eva Noonan and her clients as they hunted Virginia’s Eastern Shore high and low in search of that perfect beachfront bargain !   Unfortunately,  the answer to which house they finally chose and why will just have to wait for this fall when the show airs– so, some pleasant suspense for a few months.

HGTV 2015In 2013 when HGTV first chose Blue Heron Realty and Eva Noonan to film an episode of Beachfront Bargain Hunt, the whole Shore was agog. Several newspapers interviewed Eva and ran multiple articles about the then upcoming show.  I got into the act too, following the HGTV crew as they followed Eva and her clients. It was a pretty interesting couple of days, being on the inside and watching the creation of a national TV show episode as it came together, piece by piece.  Just the technical elements are amazing, it’s truly surprising how much can be accomplished by a small crew.  More or less, a show that attracts millions of viewers is created by a couple of  camera operators, a sound person, a jack of all trades who helps manage equipment, run errands and handles miscellaneous details, plus the director– voila’, a show is born !  And it was interesting to watch Eva and her clients get miked up, just the tinest little clip-on mic is all it takes for the sound person to be able to manage everyone’s conversations from what looks like an accordion  strapped sideways around the waist. Of course, an airplane flying overhead brings everything to a swift halt during outdoor shots.  I was somewhat amused to see that, like an army, a film crew travels on its stomach.  Not sure how they did this time, but back in 2013, the first order of the day as the crew gathered in the morning to get started was steaming hot coffee, and lots of it, plus  donuts of course.  And the second order of the day, a couple hours later, was to pass around the menu from whatever restaurant had been selected for lunch that day and then a brief pause so the crew could order to-go lunches.  No two  hour, 3  martini cocktail lunch here– a half hour break and back to business for these guys and gals.

Cape Charles Beach Sunset.2So, now as then, I am really looking forward to the airing of the new Cape Charles episode, once again seeing the town and the Eastern Shore of Virginia on national TV in all its coastal glory. The whole town had its shiny, best self on display. In fact, the local paper put out a call for volunteers to spiff up the grounds around the Cape Charles museum because of its high visibility on the road into town.  Hopefully, once again this show will generate some great publicity for the town, its interesting blend of yesteryear architectural styles, charming coastal ambience, its sparkling soft sand beach and its spectacular sunsets over the broad waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  No doubt that’s why HGTV decided  that Cape Charles, Virginia was and is still a great place for a “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” !

Escape To One Of Our 11 Cape Charles Virginia Vacation Rentals For A Great Summer 2016

February 23rd, 2016 by Marlene email

I had set out to write this post on vacation rental homes in Cape Charles, Virginia a few weeks ago. Shows how time flies when having fun–it’s now February 23rd but when I started this post on  Valentine’s Day weekend,  Mother Nature had not only brought rain here on the Eastern Shore but delivered  another miserable winter storm to the rest of the East Coast for the weekend–  snow, ice, sleet and freezing  rain !  The usual suspects. Nothing like lots of snow, slippery roads and forecasts of  ice accumulations  to keep a body firmly ensconced indoors, far far from the weather outside that’s frightful. What to do with the extra indoor time on a weekend this time of year ?   Well, might I suggest that a cold/ rainy/snowy day is  a great time to venture into “let’s-select-our-summer- vacation- rental- home” searches, letting dreams of summer fun push away the realities of winter blues.

And if you’re looking for a weekly vacation rental which offers both a relaxed and quiet atmosphere paired with lots to do, might I suggest Cape Charles, VA as a great destination. Coastal traditions, historic towns and tiny villages to explore, soft sandy beaches to relax on, off-shore Barrier Islands to visit, broad saltwater inlets to boat and kayak,  fabulous fishing and crabbing, artist’s studios and antique shops to visit,  seafood restaurants to sample, Palmer and Nicklaus golf to take a swing at– from A for Art Galleries to Z for Zesty clam dip, there is so much to do.  Or… just laz around on the deck,  book in hand, a  iced tea or cold glass of Chardonnay  waiting close by,  letting the tension just slip away like an outgoing tide.  That is the promise of a Simply Relaxing Vacation on Virginia’s Eastern Shore because Virginia’s Eastern Shore is not just a place, it’s a relaxed coastal state of mind !

Which brings us to the list of  the 11 terrific vacation homes offered this year for weekly vacation rental through Eastern Shore Vacations Inc.   ( Use this link to email them  your desired dates and the house you are most interested in at easternshorevacationtime@gmail.com   .  Or call them at 757-678-5277 )   Though the homes vary by size and price, each has a distinctive personality–  historic, waterfront, beachfront, in-town, in the country.  From a ” 1 bedroom cozy nest for two”  through ” 5 bedrooms, sleeps 14″,   there is something for everybody.  ( And a couple are even for sale,  so if you fall in love with it, it could be yours for life !! How cool is that ? )

“SEAHORSE RETREAT”-  1 bedroom, sleeps 2 ( 4 w/sleep sofa )  Base Summer Rate: $795.  /per week. Beach Access,Historic Area

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“PARADISE ON THE CHESAPEAKE BAY”-  5 bedrooms, sleeps 14. Base Summer Rate: $3850 /per week. Beachfront, Pool Access

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“DRIFTWOOD BEACH”- 6 bedrooms, sleeps 13.  Base Summer Rate $3600 /per week. Beachfront

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“BAY BREEZE”-  A WEST INDIES STYLE, ACCESS TO BEACH & POOL”- 4 bedrooms, sleeps 12. Base Summer Rate $2200  /per week. Beach Access, Pool Access

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“ALMOST PARADISE”- 4 bedroom, sleeps 12, in-ground pool, Base Summer Rate: $2995. /per week. Pool, Beach Access

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“SEASHELL  COTTAGE”- 4 bedroom, sleeps 11, Base Summer Rate: $ 2300.  /per week. Beach Access, Historic Area

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“SARATOGA PLACE”- 4 bedroom, sleeps 10, Base Summer Rate: $2000  /per week. Beach Access, Pool Access

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“SANDY HARBOUR”- 3 bedroom, sleeps 9, Base  Summer Rate: $1550. /per week. Waterfront with dock, Beach Access

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“SUN AND SAND”- 4 bedroom, sleeps sleeps 8, Base Summer Rate: $ 2200. /per week. Beach and Pool Access

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BEACH HAVEN ” – 3 bedroom, sleeps 7, Base Summer Rate: $2100. /per week. Waterfront with Beach

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“BAY COTTAGE” – 3 bedroom, sleeps 6, Base Summer Rate: $1550. /per week. Waterviews, Beach Access

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Three Exciting Beachfront Listings In Cape Charles, VA, Ready For Summer Fun 2016

February 2nd, 2016 by Marlene email

Long walks on a soft sand beach, picking up treasures deposited by the last incoming tide.  Picnic lunch on the screened porch under azure skies and golden sunshine. Languid  summer’s eves on the deck, cool breezes wafting,  moonlight casting sparkling white nets against dark waters, falling asleep to the music of waves gently lapping against the shoreline.  These are but a few of the many pleasures of owning a beachfront home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  And just in time for  summer fun 2016,  Blue Heron Realty Co. has  3 remarkable beachfront homes listed in Cape Charles, VA  on Virginia’s Eastern Shore’s  beautiful Southern Tip.  Very special yet completely different, each home is a place where you can kick off your shoes and revel in the bliss of beachfront living !  To make an appointment to see any of these gorgeous beach  homes, just call Blue Heron Realty Co. at 800-258-3437.

ON A MOUNTAIN AT THE SEASHORE— Well, to call it a mountain is a wee bit of an embellishment but definitely atop 2.7 acres of the highest sand dune formation on the entire Eastern Shore of Virginia  stands this spectacular 4 bedroom, 3 full and 1 half  bath, custom Lindal cedar home offering breathtaking views of  the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This is truly a home that must be seen to properly appreciate its magnificence  inside and out.  Built from the finest Western red cedar and natural stone by one of the Shore’s best custom builders, this home features top of the line materials throughout. Even the laundry room features granite counters !  The focal point of this spectacular home is  the spacious great room, which, because of the post and beam construction, features a huge open span capped by the warmth of a cedar cathedral ceiling and anchored by a dramatic floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace.  The chef’s kitchen, open to the great room,  stands ready for the preparation of everything from whipping up simple midnight omelet to  creating elegant cuisine for a dinner party for 20— and everything in between.   The first floor master  suite features a “sky window” , perfect for laying in bed and gazing up at the Milky Way as one falls asleep.  On the second floor a second master suite plus 2 guest bedrooms fan out from large guest living room, giving visitors a large private space to just relax and enjoy the views tucked away from the activities in the rest of the house. Outside, a full house length deck with its own stone fireplace offers a relaxing space to breathe in the tangy Bay breezes.  Steps with gentle risers and several landings lead gently down to the one of the widest sparkling sand beaches on the Eastern Shore, really comparable to the most beautiful private sand beaches almost anywhere on the East Coast,  part of a mile and a half of private beach shared by very few homes.  Call  757-678-5200 for an appointment to see this extraordinary beachfront home listed at $1,750,00.

Rosen Aerial from West blue water2 Rosen greatroom 7-28-14  Rosen dining area 7-28-14 Adkins beach 6

Perry frontview 10-24-14BIG, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL &  READY FOR THE SWEET,  SWEET  BEACH LIFE !   Open the front door and the eye is drawn through the foyer, through the dramatic great room with its amazing soaring ceilings and out to the sparkling sand beach and shining blue waters beyond, revealing unrivaled views out to the far horizons of the Chesapeake Bay.  Fine craftsmanship and luxurious details have created a stunning beach home with waterfront vistas from virtually every room. The heart of this 4 bedroom, 4 full and 2 half bath  home is its expansive great room with amazing tall elegant columns, dramatic windows and three separate conversation areas, perfect for entertaining either large or intimate groups. Fine finishing details abound including mosaic floor inserts, deep crown moldings and triple tray ceilings. The gourmet kitchen is open to the great room, offering a free flow of  conversation and interaction between the two.  Plenty of  kitchen space, custom cherry cabinets, beautiful granite counters and  high-end appliances are sure to please.   Spacious master bedroom suites on both the first and second floor offer premier views, luxurious baths and plenty of closet space. Two large  guest bedrooms make having stay-over visitors a breeze. A huge media room complete with full room length bar with sink and wine cooler overlooking the water also boasts a large veranda, perfect for enjoying those tangy salt breezes all summer long.  Located in Bay Creek Golf Resort offering such amenities as Palmer and Nicklaus waterfront golf courses, 2 beach areas, tennis courts and pool. Offered at $1,595,000. Call Blue Heron Realty Co. at 800-258-3437 for your appointment to see this very elegant and special beachfront home.

Perry aerial view arrow Perry livingroom bayviews Perry view from pool table bayviews Beach sunset with houses resizedjpg

adkins front bestTHE “BRIDGE HOUSE ”  OVERLOOKING THE WIDE BLUE WATERS AND SOFT SAND BEACHES OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY — The “Bridge House” offers a truly unique access since the front entryway to  this distinctive beachfront home is across a  dramatic  little bridge which beckons you to leave the all-too- busy-busy world behind and enter this realm of serene waterfront beauty.  Sited high on a unique 3 acre +/-  wooded sand dune which rolls gently down to a gorgeous soft sand  beach and the gentle waves of the Chesapeake Bay,  this 4400  sq. ft. contemporary 4 bedroom, 4 full bath home beach home offers a truly secluded feel.  Once inside, the eye is immediately drawn to the dramatic views of the Chesapeake Bay sparkling below viewed through a full wall of windows and sliding glass doors.  The first floor offers a huge open great room with breakfast, dining and conversation areas presenting opportunities to both socialize or relax in a little intimate corner to catch up on news one-on-one.   Walk out and enjoy nearly the 2000 sq.ft. of decking, a perfect place for a glass of  cold iced tea on a summer’s  afternoon or wowing a crowd with casual outdoor entertaining at sunset !  When you catch a cool summer breeze flowing off the Bay,  you’ll begin to realize what being  “relaxed” really means.  Time to  pour a little mint julep and get started on the new issue of “Southern Living” magazine, just chilling out to your heart’s content !  Not to mention savoring nightly the glorious sunsets over the Chesapeake Bay .  Was life ever better ? ?   But wait till you catch the elevator up to the huge third floor master suite which includes spacious sleeping area, delightful master bath, large library area with built-in floor- to- ceiling bookshelves, a huge sitting area with gas log fireplace and a full-length deck overlooking the broad deep blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay and beach.   WOW !!!  does not even begin to suffice.  Must see to really appreciate !  This spectacular home offers the essence of Virginia coastal living.  Offered at $1,499,000.  Call us today at 757-678-5200 to see this unique and inspiring beachfront home.

Backview with beach cropped Adkins kitchen great room toward dining room Adkins master bedroom

Happy 50th Anniversary, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

April 17th, 2014 by Marlene email
Bridge Tunnel Aerial Sunset

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Connecting Virginia Eastern Shore to Virginia Beach

The idea was beyond bold, beyond audacious even.  Build a Bridge from the Eastern Shore to Virginia Beach ?  Across and under the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean for 17 miles ?  Ridiculous, can’t be done. So said the skeptics — and virtually everyone started out as a skeptic.  But thankfully. the skeptics were wrong and on April 15th, the 50th anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was celebrated with a ceremony  held on the Thimble Shoal Tunnel’s Seagull Island, one of the four man-made islands built as part of the tunnel complex, complete with speeches by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe  and Lucius Kellam III, son of Eastern Shore businessman Lucius Kellam, Jr., who was a driving force behind turning the idea into a reality and who served as the Bridge Commission’s Chairman until 1993.  Once opened in 1964, it promptly won an international competition which earned the Bridge the title  ” One of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.”

Cape Charles railroad and ferry stop

Cape Charles Ferry Terminal

Before the Bridge were the ferries, operating originally out of the deep water harbor in Cape Charles, later out of what is now Kiptopeake State Park,  and connecting to the mainland at Norfolk.  A one-way trip took about an hour and a half on a good weather day and whatever if it was not.  In fact, the trip to get from the Shore to the mainland has been fixed into an Eastern Shore colloquialism still used today– “going across the Bay.”  Folks don’t say ” I’m going to Virginia Beach”,  we still say “I’m going across the Bay”, harkening back to the trials and tribulations of getting from here to there and back on a ferry, with the possibility of a sudden storm blowing up out of nowhere, maybe a mechanical problem, who knew what might happen.  It took time and effort and it was an adventure.  ( No Doppler radar for those ferry captains ! ) With a fleet of 5, ranging in size from 68 feet to the 367 foot flagship, SS Pocahontas, the biggest ferries could carry up to 120 vehicles and 1200 passengers per trip.   At its zenith, an estimated 50,000 vehicles per month were using the ferry service.   And  although service was hourly, passenger buses had priority so cars often had quite lengthy waits, with vehicles lined up for long distances along the highway awaiting their turn to board.  Demand was rising and in by 1956 the Virginia General Assembly authorized the Chesapeake Bay Ferry Commission to explore the feasibility of a building a fixed crossing.  The rest, as they say, is history !

Ocean Hiway croppedjpg  Ferry Terminal  Ferry at Night  old cape charles ferry

view of both spans of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

View of Both Spans of The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The Bridge Commission reports that since opening over 115 million vehicles have crossed the Bridge, a pretty hefty number. In 1999 a parallel crossing was completed,  expanding the Bridge from a 2 lane facility into a 4 lane facility, including renovated restaurant, gift shop and amazing fishing pier.  And in 2016,  work is expected to begin on an additional tunnel .  But the Bridge is so much more than a stupendous engineering feat,  a collection of 2000 concrete pilings 110 feet long driven into the floor of the Chesapeake Bay supporting 17 miles of roadbed or 4 man-made islands, each the size of five football fields built with 300,000 tons of massive boulders and 1,500,000 tons of sand rising 30 feet above the Bay,  enabling vehicle entrance into tunnels .   The word “bridge” is defined as a structure built to span physical obstacles for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle.  But for the Eastern Shore, “The Bridge“, as it’s called, is so very much more than that,  it’s essentially a passageway between two very different ways of life.

Fisherman island looking north to the Eastern Shore

Getting Off The Bridge Onto The Eastern Shore of Virginia

The contrast between life on the Eastern Shore on the north side and life in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Chesapeake metro area on the south side of the Bridge could hardly be greater.  On the Eastern Shore,  a slender peninsula barely 3 miles across where the Bridge begins,  Chesapeake Bay to the west,  Atlantic Ocean to the east,  it’s like stepping back 50 years into a land where farming and long-time watermen traditions are still the main economic engines. A land dotted with small historic towns and tiny villages, many dating back to the 1700’s, some even earlier, towns which are reminiscent of Mayberry. But new little waterfront neighborhoods nestled between big family farms are slowly emerging, bringing the energies and talents of folks from all over who have moved here after falling in love with our relaxed, coastal way of life.  But when you travel south over the Bridge, savoring the lovely waterviews, seabirds overhead, maybe even sighting a pod of dolphins or a submarine slipping swiftly through the waters as it returns to the Naval Base at Little Creek, your 15 minute journey thrusts you smack dab into the sights and sounds of  a modern metropolis, which indeed it is. The three city complex ( formerly called Tidewater, currently called Hampton Roads and soon to possibly be renamed Coastal Virginia )  sustains a population of about one million and offers virtually every amenity one could ask for.  Obviously it’s not the Big Apple,  but  large shopping malls, great restaurants ( including several fabulous Italian bakery/deli shops that I love ),  an international airport, excellent medical facilities including a world-class hospital and an associated medical school, a wide variety of cultural facilities including a symphony hall, an opera house and numerous museums.  Sports lovers will appreciate the  sports arena, a baseball park with a Baltimore Orioles farm team and a hockey team,  even a new 10,000 seat soccer stadium .  And for me, my unofficial “home away from home”,  4 jam-packed- with- the- latest- goodies Barnes and Noble bookstore choices calling out to me like the Sirens on my every trip across the Bay.

Harbor Park Aerial  Norfolk-Harrison-Opera-House-e1360597486304  Nauticus  MacArthur Mall Interior

And therein lies part of the wonder of living on Virginia’s Eastern Shore,  the ability, in a 15 minute time span, to move virtually effortlessly between two very different worlds.  I’ve had a major operation at that world-class Norfolk hospital, we’ve enjoyed many performances at Harrison Opera House,  the Wells  Theatre’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” is great,  my grandkids loved “The Lion King”

Cape Charles  Southern Tip Aerial Photo

Home Again To The Beautiful Southern Tip of Virginia’s Eastern Shore

production at Chrysler Hall.  Every year my eldest grandson waits in great anticipation for the Norfolk Tides baseball season to start at  Harbor Park and the battleship  USS Wisconsin moored alongside the Nauticus waterfront museum awaits the fulfillment of my promise to the grandkids to take them all for a deck tour this summer… and  the beat goes on and on and on.  BUT… after the fun, after the chicken tikka marsala with garlic naan at Saffron Indian Bistro,  after a Macy sale at MacArthur Center Mall, after the “Jersey Boys” musical at Chrysler Hall, after the Cherry Blossom Festival at Redwing Park,  etc., etc., etc.,  it’s always so great get back on The Bridge, to return home to our serene, relaxed feel, our slower pace, to the Eastern Shore’s  pristine, natural  beauty, its friendly atmosphere, the peace and quiet.  And that is the magic of ” The Bridge ”  — making possible the amazing “have your cake and eat it too”  eclectic lifestyle that those of us living on the Eastern Shore are so lucky to have.   So, thanks Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel– and Happy 50th Anniversary !