Candles, Holiday Music, Decorated Golf Carts, Lights and Smiles Highlighted the 8th Annual Grand Illumination In Cape Charles

December 7th, 2018 by Marlene email

 

IMG_2318We’ve all heard the phrase “The show must go on”. But last weekend we saw it in action as, after holding off for most of the day, rain began falling at a pretty good rate just as the Lighted Golf Cart Parade, traveling down Peach St., crossed over Tazewell Ave. and headed into Central Park for the 2018 Grand Illumination. But no worries, everyone just kept going, undaunted, this unique- to-Cape-Charles Parade and Illumination kept moving forward, offering dazzling lights and decorations, wonder and joy to the many kids and adults who ventured out to see it. Tots bundled in zipped up strollers, parents with umbrellas at the ready, headed into the Park. Over at the Gazebo, plenty of hot chocolate on hand to warm cold hands although fortunately temps were pretty mild. In fact, in retrospect, rain doesn’t seem so bad, actually a silver lining- – thank heavens it wasn’t sleet !

It was a wonderful evening, with candles lit and a moment of silence held in memory and honor of loved ones and first responders. Then the traditional countdown, a flip of the switch – – voila’ ! Holiday lights strung around the Gazebo and the trees were revealed in their shining glory. (A shout-out here to Citizens for Central Park, without whose hard work we would not have this amazing community amenity.)

Definitely a highlight of the event was a rousing performance in the Gazebo by the impressive Tidewater Concert Band. What a splendid treat to have live orchestral holiday music, 30 musicians strong ! The Band was great, playing favorites of the season, the percussion section making Little Drummer Boy and Do You Hear What I Hear particularly delightful, loved their rendition of Feliz Navidad with its upbeat tempo and joyful wishes. Super Kudos to those who arranged the booking of this Band, I really hope that having the Tidewater Concert Band back every year could become a favorite Cape Charles Grand Illumination tradition!

Of course, no Christmas event would be complete without a visit from the jolly old Elf himself. Pretty sure the little kids and big kids alike loved seeing Santa and Mrs Claus who dispensed hugs, danced do-se-do with youngsters and posed for many a photo, kids smiling ear to ear ! ( Another Shout Out, this time to Trina Veber, Santa’s better half since the very 1st Grand Illumination. On that freezing evening, December 4th, 2010, so many folks, young, old, toddlers and teenagers alike, poured into Central Park for the celebration. Chris Bannon, aka Mr. Cape Charles, dressed jauntily in a bright red Santa hat and jacket, was the first Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Dora Sullivan threw the Illumination switch for the very first time and Trina & Larry Veber made the first “surprise” Santa visit, passing out candy canes, sitting for photos, listening to kids earnestly whisper Christmas hopes and dreams in their ears. )

Not to sound too sentimental, as a lot of water has passed over the dam since that first Illumination, yet I believe that the same spirit of goodwill, hope and holiday joy that was present when the very first Memory Candles were lit 8 years ago still prevails today. In that spirit, Blue Heron Realty Co. wants to wish you a Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad from the bottom of our hearts.

P.S. if you’re interested in seeing photos from that 1st Grand Illumination in Dec., 2010, click the link http://www.easternshorevablog.com/2010/12/ to our Life and Real Estate blog and open the Dec. 2010 Archive in the right- hand navigation bar.

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Autumn on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

December 4th, 2018 by Marlene email

DSC_3317I love Frank Sinatra’s rendition of “Autumn in New York”. I’m especially intrigued by his question “Why does it seem so inviting?” which question applies equally to Autumn on the Eastern Shore. Why does it indeed seem so inviting? To me, Autumn is one of our most beautiful times of year, offering common yet timeless scenes of crops being harvested, fields newly tilled for winter grains, myriad yards with fall azaleas and camilias blooming in gorgeous shades of rosy pinks and fuscias. Along blue waters, marsh grasses slowly fade from brilliant green to butterscotch to winter’s brown. Halloween pumpkins come and go, Fall events like the Agricultural Fair, Birding Festival and Thanksgiving Artisan Tour are exciting but really, the main event is color, the amazing colors of the season taking center stage, everywhere – – leaves with near infinite shades of tangerines and ambers, crimsons and scarlets, rustle on trees from seaside to bayside, acres of cotton transform brown fields to snow-white, late soybean leaves gleam like bright yellow mustard, open landscapes of tender green blades of newly sprouted rye crops lend a pastoral feel. And the Air, the breezes blow fresh, cool, crisp. But best of all, clear cerulean skies frosted with billowing white clouds that float boldly above the cobalt blue waters of creeks and bays. All of which is why the Eastern Shore in Autumn seems so inviting to me!

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Cloudy Then Rainy. Yet the 2018 Artisan’s Guild Holiday Tour Was Still Great

November 27th, 2018 by Marlene email

DSC_3666From Cape Charles to Onancock, 43 talented Eastern Shore Virginia artists and artisans threw open their studio doors, welcoming the world to enter and discover the unique items on offer during the 16th Annual Artisan Holiday Tour this past Friday and Saturday. It may have been cloudy and then rainy outside but inside the many stops on the 14 studio plus Chatham Vineyard self-driving Tour, it was cozy, friendly and warm. Unfortunately, because of a late start we didn’t make it to every location….. but there’s always next year !

We kicked off at the Milby Barn Studio at Chatham Flower Farm located in Painter where we were greeted by Kate Meyer, likely humorously known as the Painter of Painter. ( Also the hostess of the recent and hugely successful Farm-to-Table dinner which we unfortunately missed.) From there forward to Maurice Spector’s studio featuring unique wood and stone sculptures. Mo hosted 4 other artists at his waterfront home including David Crane, Miriam Riggs, Marty Burgess and Guy Shover. Oysters were on the grill, smoke drifting, aromas tempting, totally relaxing.

Onward to By The Bay Alpaca Farm, one of my perennial favorites. Their alpacas are so cute- – when you pet them they are delightfully warm and luxuriously soft and silky ! Definitely the place to stock up on alpaca sox, perfect stocking stuffers for anyone on your List who fights cold feet all winter ! From there we were off to the tiny town of Harborton where Windhorse Barn and Studio overlooks Pungoteague Creek. Painted a whimsical shade of fuchsia , the Barn hosted multiple artists and offered a blazing fire pit surrounded by plenty of chairs to enjoy it.

After a lunch break at Janet’s Cafe in Onancock, (home to one of the best roast beef sandwiches on the entire Shore), we stopped in at Danny Doughty’s studio. ( Danny and his work were honored earlier this year at the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Pubic Policy. ). Located above the Red Queen Gallery, Danny’s was not on the official Tour but we are huge fans of his work and wanted to see what new pieces were hanging on the walls of his large and light-filled gallery. Plus he always has a spectacularly decorated Christmas tree ! Well, this year the tree was “Under Construction” but Danny’s fabulous new art work definitely did not disappoint, including a large Ballard Fish company commissioned painting on which he is currently putting the finishing touches.

Just a few blocks over, the Vesna Zedovic studio. Vesna’s mirrors, framed with a surround of hand-cast pottery tiles of sea creatures or butterflies or flowers are really amazing. We’re lucky to have a small collection of beautiful her red clay tiles stretching back many years to when we first saw her pottery at the former Old Thyme Garden and Gifts in Weirwood. Vesna is still going strong nearly 30 years later although working primarily in white clay now.

By then the rain was really doing its thing but nobody seemed deterred as we rolled up to the Ker Place Museum where Gertraud Fendler’s sea glass jewelry, David Farlow decoys and Diana Davis watercolors were being shown as part of the Tour. In addition, the Museum itself had a featured exhibit of Shore WW I memorabilia, pretty interesting. And then to our last stop of the day, the historic Onancock School with its numerous exhibitors. We took a moment to watch carver Brad Bradach work on one of his miniature decoys before slipping over to see what Bobby Bridges, Billy Crocket, Elizabeth Hunt and Laura McGowan were showing. Everybody had beautiful things on offer, unique, one-of-a-kind art, perfect for a distinctive holiday gift for a Special Someone or possibly, dare we say it….. a holiday gift for oneself ! And then, all over, time to go home after a long but delightful day ! But definitely ready to do it all again next Thanksgiving !

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JUST ONE MORE CHANCE THIS YEAR !

November 27th, 2018 by Marlene email

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It was a beautiful Fall day last Saturday, blue skies, wispy white clouds, golden sunshine, perfect for the next-to-last Cape Charles Farmer’s Market session of the year. Attendees enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the grounds in the near 60 degree weather, stocking up for the weeks ahead. For the many aficionados of the Farmer’s Market, it’s a fact, sad but true, that there is only one more chance this year to meander through the Market, picking up special goodies as you go ! So mark it on your calendar, Saturday December 15th from 1-4 pm, the very last market of the year, after that it’s farewell till May to all your favorite vendors.

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Eastern Shore Virginia’s 2018 Fall Trail Ride

November 13th, 2018 by Marlene email

DSC_2944Keep Calm and Ride Horses was the masterplan for the October 6th weekend when the attendees of the Eastern Shore of Virginia’s Fall Trail Ride arrived on scene. Rescheduled from late last month because of weather, this time around it went off without a hitch. Within moments of arrival, riders turned into busy bees- – unpacking and setting up their campsites, lighting fire pits, chatting with friends, meeting new corral neighbors, walking dogs. Some saddled up for a quick jaunt before dark but most concentrated on feeding, grooming and getting their horses comfortable and settled in after what had been, for many, a long trailer trip to get to the Shore. ( Although many arrived in what I think of as very comfy “horse mansions” on wheels. )

Several of the folks we met had driven down from Delaware and Maryland, including one rider who said her horse Andy was “ just the best” and he had inspired her to buy a little farm. Bouncy little dog Ember’s owner indicated that this was the 8th Ride she had attended and had come to love the Shore just from participating. A lady who hails from nearby Greenbackville, busy feeding some treats to her gorgeous white and chestnut mare, mentioned that she had started attending the precursor to today’s Ride way back when, nearly 30 years ago. Nearby, a group of moms and daughters played cards while their horses munched contentedly just a few feet away. Everywhere, a spirit of calm and happy relaxation reigned.

Saturday is the big day, lots of excitement as riders set off early for a nearly full day excursion. It’s a great opportunity to soak up the Shore’s relaxed coastal ambiance, exploring winding trails through farm fields, into woodlands bordering large waterfront farms, past little freshwater ponds, across roads and over dams, and out onto beaches bordering the Chesapeake Bay, splashing enthusiastically across sand flats, through saltwater shallows. Saturday evening the Station 16 Northampton Fire & Rescue Company, the event sponsor, hosts a big BBQ to celebrate the exciting day, after which most riders are ready to relax by the fire, pleasantly tired, drowsing off to the sweet night music of owls calling from nearby woods and horses nickering softly under the moonlit sky.

 

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SMALL COUNTY- BIG FAIR ! 3rd Annual Northampton County Agricultural Fair

November 13th, 2018 by Marlene email

3075There was something for almost everyone to love at the 3rd Annual Northampton County Fair in Machipongo last weekend. Although no deep fried Oreo cookies or pork chops on a stick appeared on any menu, the Cape Charles Lion’s Club booth, Gordos Taco Truck, Country Kitchen, etc. offered plenty of other goodies to keep help the munchies at bay while browsing the various exhibits and activities. Plus the luscious pies, pecan, apple, sweet potato, entries in the ever-popular Baking Contest were for sale after the judging by the slice or even the whole pie, super yum ! ( I’ll never tell who took home half a sweet potato pie topped with pecan cinnamon streusel ! )

ANEC, one of the Fair’s main sponsors, offered some impressive pole climbing presentations by Tyson Arnold and George Floyd, both 2 years into their 4 year lineman apprenticeships. Interestingly, apparently it isn’t until the 10 year mark that most linemen have had extensive enough experience to be able to handle just about any situation. (Guessing employee retention is pretty important to A & N. ) The audience gained a new appreciation for A&N linemen who have to struggle up a pole in every sort of condition, wearing heavy cleats and a 45 pound tool belt. Sort of like the post office – – neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night nor heavy wind shall keep these critical linemen from shinnying up 40 ft poles to keep lights on for the customers. And thank heavens for that !

A huge favorite again was the Antique Tractor Show & Parade, this year featuring a few young drivers who I assume will be the future farmers of Northampton. Ancient but shiny and well cared for tractors of numerous makes and models paraded around what used to be the huge athletic field of the old Middle School, to much audience interest and appreciation. Antique machinery demonstrations of corn shelling and grinding showed just how it was done back in the “good old days”. And for kids, so much to see and do, including face painting, hay rides, pumpkin painting, a colorful bouncy house, balloon animal creations, duck calling contests, etc. Any County Fair worth its salt includes farm animals, in this case a little petting zoo with super cute sheep and a friendly brown goat. Plus a sweet and very patient cow, totally engrossed in munching her hay.

Once again a big turnout for the annual Skillet Throw, my favorite. Those cast iron skillets are heavier than they look and many a hefty heave only sailed the skillet a short distance from the starting line. The winners of the Ladies Throw were: 1st Place Helene Doughty, 2nd Debbie Mears and 3rd Emily Norwall. Men’s Throw winners: 1st Place Sands Gayle, a 2nd place tie between Brandon Parks and Will Russell and 3rd Carl Willke. Congrats to all, lots of fun for audience and participants alike !

A big thanks owed to the Side Porch Pickers and Thelma Peterson. It was a pleasure to listen to them, their bluegrass and county music added to much to the entire event. Wouldn’t have been the same without it ! And to the many, many volunteers who staffed the booths, the Kid’s Corner, ran the contests, brought their tractors, supervised hayrides, cooked the food, answered questions, etc., etc., bravo, you really pulled off a wonderful event, already looking forward to the 2019 Northampton County Agricultural Fair !

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BECOME THE BEACH PERSON YOU WERE BORN TO BE IN THIS GORGEOUS HOME ON VIRGINIA’S EASTERN SHORE

November 9th, 2018 by Marlene email

48641_29Located near Cape Charles, VA, this beautiful custom 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in small beachfront neighborhood of upscale homes on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is comfy, coastal and move-in ready. Approximately 2700 sq. ft. with a light and airy floor plan and a downstairs master bedroom suite. Priced at $395,000, this home offers lots of upgrades including hardwood floors, granite countertops, custom cabinets, recessed lighting. Beautiful master bath with jetted tub, walk-in shower and lovely hand-painted dual sinks. Sited on a spacious one acre parcel with deeded access to neighborhood soft sand beach . Only a few minutes to Kiptopeke State Park with boat ramp, fishing pier, kayak launch, birding observatory, hiking trails and sand beach. Quaint little Victorian town of Cape Charles close by with amenities including restaurants, shops, art galleries, theater and more.

 

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THE CREPE MYRTLES OF CAPE CHARLES

October 9th, 2018 by Marlene email

DSC_1659A thousand sprays of blossoming color, fluttering in the wind. That’s the essence of the amazing crape myrtle tree, Eastern Shore Virginia’s gorgeous summer jewel, blooming brightly along highways, down country lanes, in yards large and small, lining driveways, gracing avenues, the focal point in many a landscaping plan. But I think nowhere on the Shore does it make its presence felt more beautifully than in the historic town of Cape Charles, where street signs proclaim the names of famous men and herald summer fruits and the soft sand beach beckons. But from July through September, for those heeding the call of their inner arborist, the crape myrtle becomes a center of attention. Their lacy blossoms dance enthusiastically in the breeze, flaunting deep magenta, brilliant shades of lilac and crimson, counterpoint to lively Natchez whites, together a symphony of spectacular color radiating out from Bay Avenue to Fig Street, from King’s Creek to Plantation Creek, literally along all points of the compass. Once again, in Summer 2018, the crepe myrtle reigned supreme

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WINDOW SHOPPING ON A SERENE CAPE CHARLES SUMMER EVE

October 9th, 2018 by Marlene email

DSC_1268I long for more calm summer nights, more peaceful and quiet moments, more serene memories. Does anything feel more gentle or tranquil than a balmy summer’s evening outdoors, touched by soft salty breezes carrying sounds of murmured conversation and light laughter ? On an evening like that I love to window shop in Cape Charles. Everything closed, including late lingerers at the Brown Dog Ice Cream Shop shop, lights already dimmed, just a few folks out on Mason Avenue, strolling leisurely, holding hands, walking dogs or shepherding children. A couple cars driving to Kelly’s Pub, a few heading back to the hotels from The Shanty, a golf cart headed for the beach loop around Bay Avenue, one or two people at the LOVE sign, taking photos in the fading twilight, a murmuring couple sitting side by side in the sand, savoring the last moments of sunset. Otherwise, all quiet on the Western front. And in that peaceful instant, in that tiny sliver of time between the end of a busy day and the hush of nightfall, you’ll find the perfect time to window shop in Cape Charles.

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Gorgeous and Affordable Bayfront Home Near Cape Charles, VA.

October 9th, 2018 by Marlene email

frontviewLocated on the Eastern Shore of Virginia not far from Cape Charles, this 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home priced at $397,000 offers first floor living and a dramatic wall of windows featuring huge water views ! Enjoy entertaining and relaxation surrounded by these amazing views & sunsets. Expansive deck & patio overlooking the Chesapeake Bay adds to the enjoyment of this coastal home. Immaculately maintained ranch home with bright & open floor plan, hardwood floors throughout & spacious great room all over looking the water and a beautifully landscaped yard. Located in a “laid back” coastal community that offers beach, pool, tennis and boat ramp, truly making this one of the best coastal communities the Shore has to offer. Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Birding all from your back yard! Centrally located on the Shore for shopping, dining, public boat ramps, world class golf courses & Historic Town of Cape Charles .

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