Archive for July, 2011

A Waterfront Gem– This Like-New Virginia Waterfront Home For Sale Is A Very Special Retreat

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Beautiful Water Views From Back Deck

View Of Inlet Out To Chesapeake Bay

Nestled along the shoreline of a Northampton County, VA deep water inlet is this gem of a Chesapeake Bay waterfront home,  tucked in gracefully among the tall oaks and hickories, awaiting  a  new owner.   Being listed  for sale  by the estate,  this gracious traditional style home was built in 2008 and is like brand spanking new inside and out.   Located in a tiny intimate Eastern Shore waterfront neighborhood of upscale homes,  privacy is assured by its mature landscaping and spacious 4 acre parcel size.   A  very special retreat, relaxing, inspiring,   the floor plan and spacious rooms in this home offer a perfect balance between possibilities for activity and  entertaining or  relaxation and a quiet place to just unwind,  catch one’s breath.

Front View Of Home

The approach is down a  winding  private road, through groves of tall oaks and pines,  glimpses of the water flashing between the trees,  past horse barns and lovely homes.   Lined with  evergreens  and crepe myrtle trees,  the driveway curves through the wide,  velvety green lawn  and down a gentle slope towards the house.   In the background, a wide ribbon of  bright blue  catches the eye.   A  low murmur of a boat,  passing by on its way out to the Chesapeake Bay for a day of fun and fishing,  competes  with the noisy krank, krank of  a blue heron,  already fishing,  with breakfast on its mind.   A  serene coastal scene, part of daily waterfront life here in this fine waterfront home.

Relax On The Front Porch

One of my favorite aspects of this home is its wide, welcoming  front porch, graced on the south end by a gazebo, a wonderful place to sit in the shade, relaxing with a book,  some iced tea, surrounded by flowers and songbirds flitting between the branches of the crepe myrtle trees,  enjoying the kind of  relaxing stillness for which the Eastern Shore of Virginia is famous.  Once inside one is charmed by the open floor plan.  The high cathedral ceiling in the great room features two skylights which make the room come alive,  sunlight pouring in,  illuminating  everything with a golden cast,  the corner fireplace ready to strike a cheery fire on a cool winter’s day.   The openness of the floor plan continues  into the breakfast room and the spacious kitchen,  both with very pleasant water views.  Kitchen counters are granite, with custom  cabinets, appliances are top of the line GE Profile, all in all a very pleasant yet practical workspace,  ready for the challenges a  fine cook may place upon it.   This home also features a large first floor master bedroom with tons and tons of closet space and scrumptious master bath with handmade tile decoration.   Best of all, it’s move-right-in ready for you to begin to enjoy sweet Eastern Shore waterfront lifestyle.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Eastern Shore’s Independence Day 2011, Cape Charles Style

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

In towns small and large all across this country, very, very early on the Fourth of July,  organizers are out and about, getting ready for the big parade and after dark, the fireworks.  And the same holds true for the little coastal town of Cape Charles, Virginia,  but with several special twists.   Great fireworks, of course, set off from the Cape Charles harbor, with an audience not only watching from the shore but lots of boats gathered out in the Chesapeake Bay to watch amazing colors bursting high in the night sky.  And there is a parade  but there also is a fishing tournament, beach volleyball tournaments,  an  artisan show  and a corn hole tournament all steeped in the tempting aromas of the food vendors lined up along Bay Avenue.   Squash , broccoli and salads are mysteriously absent but behold the delicious crab cakes, clam fritters,  grilled Italian sausages with onions and bell peppers, hamburgers,  hot dogs and French fries, of course.  Funnel cakes dusted lightly with powdered sugar, ice cream, brilliantly colored snow cones and Italian ices are there in great profusion,  ready to help Cape Charles  celebrate the 4th of July.

Reeling In– Will It Be The Big One ?

Our first order of the day was the Fishing Tournament– not for adults but for kids, divided into  3 groups,  RED ( up to age  7),   WHITE  (  ages 8-12)  and, you guessed it,   BLUE   (ages 13 to 17).   The Kids 4th of July Fishing tourney is an annual 4th of July event sponsored by the  Northampton County Angler’s Club and its become a very popular event both with the kids and their parents but also with on-lookers, like my husband,  who love seeing kids having fun with something besides their video games and who also love fishing.  The event takes place on the impressive Cape Charles Chesapeake Bay fishing pier down by the beach and Charles Dumouchchelle, the 4 year past present of the Anglers,  was there overseeing all the action, registration,  rod and reel loaners, judges, the lot.   Awards are made by age group, three prizes for each group,  with a first prize of a rod, reel and tackle box.  While I was chatting with Charles, Jim Clark, who Charles describes as one of the best fishermen on the Eastern Shore,  came up to enthusiastically convey the news that his  young grand-nephew Zack had just caught an 18  inch flounder, the biggest catch so far by any age group– clearly  fishing talent runs in the family !

Uncle Sam, Cape Charles Golf Cart Style

By this time volleyball and horseshoes were  gearing up but I was a little hot.  After grabbing a couple of deliciously cold lemon Italian ices,  we  headed for Blue Heron Realty’s  Mason Avenue office for a little AC prior to taking a stroll down the street to see some of the art work on display along the sidewalk.  Just  about 2pm the parade kicked off with the Color Guard from the Cape Charles Coast Guard Station leading the way, marching in quick step down Mason Avenue and around and down Bay Avenue, throngs of on-lookers cheering them on, then the American Legion float,  followed by the Golf Cart Parade and the Bicycle Parade.  Cape Charles is one of the few towns in Virginia where golf carts are street legal and lots of residents enjoy ” going green”  and  zipping around town in their electric golf cart  rather than a gas powered car. Every year,  as part of the 4th of July celebration, the town sponsors a golf cart parade.  Owners can decorate their cart and enter it into the Parade contest and I’ve seen some very creative designs entered.  The golf cart contingent was followed by the Bicycle Parade– kids of all ages can gather down near the  Fire Station on Plum Street to participate in the parade, riding their bikes, some still with training wheels, all the way down Mason Avenue and  Bay Avenue, learning at an early age that in a democracy, participation is important.  So,  a long day but full of  fun, food, fireworks– an Eastern Shore Independence Day,  Cape Charles style.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

A Bird ? A Plane ? Superman ? No, It’s A Flying Boat !!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Not A Bird Or A Plane Or Superman. It’s An Incredible Flying Boat On The Beach In Cape Charles,VA!

Last Saturday I was cruising the beach for a  few pictures  to be used in  the new Blue Heron Realty Co.  catalogue of prime Eastern Shore Virginia waterfront properties when I saw what appeared to be a gargantuan yellow butterfly floating in the Chesapeake Bay out near the breakwater.   Definitely not a butterfly though,  it was a flying boat,  FIB for short,  a flying inflatable dingy to be exact,  bobbing in the shallow waters just off the Cape Charles, VA beach as its owners readied it for take-off.   Curious about the craft,  never having seen or even read about one before,  on the spur of the moment  I took off my shoes and waded out ,  fully dressed including  slacks,   to take a closer look,  introduce myself and ask a few questions.  Owners Erin and Sophie Harvey  were kind enough to tell me all about their astonishing  craft– in fact,  I learned that it was Sophie’s maiden voyage.   (Not sure–   in a FIB,  is it  a maiden voyage or a maiden flight ?  )  Anyway, it was her first time to travel aboard  their  FIB and she was busy screwing her courage to the sticking point because Sophie,  like me,  is not that crazy about heights.  But at least  she was game to try,  I fear you couldn’t get me into that little thing for love nor money.

Getting Ready For Lift-off On Sophie’s Maiden FIB Flight

One of the first things I wanted to know was how high Erin would be flying her.   ( Is a flying boat even properly referred to as a  “her” ?  )   Apparently its  wing span of 36 feet enables the pilot to achieve a maximum height of 10,000 feet and the 64 horsepower motor offers a maximum speed of 50 knots,  roughly 58 miles per hour.   Which to me  is a pretty scary thought- –  traveling 10,000 above ground,  at almost 60 mph,  in what more or less is a flying  11′ 6″  by 5′ 5″  bathtub with seats.  But for Sophie’s  maiden flight/voyage,  Erin was planning a staid 300-500  foot  max altitude which would have been a comfort to me,  I don’t even like to peek over 3rd story balconies.  Sophie’s take on the situation was that either everything would go pretty well and they’d follow a course south to land at the Sunset beachfront pub for dinner  or we’d all hear her let out a blood-curdling scream and see Erin make an immediate landing,  she wasn’t taking any bets either way.


Airbourne In A Flying Inflatable Boat-Scary, Thrilling, Astonishing !

By now a little crowd of curious people had gathered around to see what was happening.  Erin was ready to began his pre-flight checklist which was stored on his cellphone,  not the fat clipboard one sees in the cockpit of a  Boeing  747.   Donning her intercom radio- equiped helmet,  Sophie climbed aboard and got settled into her  seat, a seat  which resembles the booster seat of a two child stroller more than anything else.  Countdown to liftoff  began, checking battery connections,  checking propeller,  fuel lines, wing pulley lines, testing intercom connections, etc., etc.  Finally satisfied that everything was ready to go,  Erin grabbed the tow line to pull the craft out into the Bay beyond the area where beachgoers were enjoying the water, climbed aboard and  started the motor,  which sounds very much like a  lawnmower on steroids.  Apparently only about 200 feet is normally required for FIB  takeoff  but Erin had told me that he might have a little trouble with the liftoff because of  lack of wind and weight of a passenger aboard.  But the wind gods were with him because just as he started the motor,  a breeze came through and up  they went !   No bloodcurdling screams,  just 2 big, lazy circles around the beach and then a beeline south,  next planned stop  a landing in the shallow waters of the Chesapeake Bay at Sunset Beach.  I watched until they were just a tiny speck in the sky,  Erin and Sophie flying into the wild blue yonder in their intrepid craft,  the  astonishing,  amazing,  postively incredible  flying boat.


P.S. I want to give a shout-out to the LL Bean Company.  After wading out further and further,  trying to get a better view of the take-off,  my slacks were soaked up to the fanny but I had 2 other stops to make and there was no possibility of going home to change first. To my surprise and delight, by the time I walked back to the car, got my camera stowed away and drove 10 minutes to the first errand,  my LL Bean crease-resistant slacks were basically dry.  But best of all, they looked fresh as a daisy, nobody could ever have guessed that 15 minutes before I had unexpectedly decided to wade  into  three feet of  Chesapeake Bay saltwater.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)



PPS.  If you want to learn more about FIB’s,  click on the following link to  a US FIB distributor.

A Round Of Golf At Bay Creek Golf Resort And Lunch At Aqua’s- Father’s Day 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus Golf Courses At Bay Creek Golf Resort

Father’s Day at our house is usually a fairly energetic affair, with kids, grand kids and dogs all  around.  A lot of the food is usually grilled-  last year,  beef fajitas,  grilled veggies  and Mexican style grilled corn served with black beans and a huge salad.  Plus a truly luscious  pineapple upside-down cake ( with vanilla Ben and Jerry’s, of course )  for dessert,  one of  the best I’ve ever eaten.  But this year two kids were out of town and one had another event.  So,  as Monty Python would say,  now for something different.  The result was a decision to play the front nine holes of  the spectacular waterfront Arnold Palmer Signature  course at the Bay Creek Golf Resort  community and then have lunch at Aqua restaurant,  which overlooks the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Charles.   This wouldn’t seem too unusual except that my husband doesn’t play golf  and I only play  occasionally anymore so the only people playing golf would be Eldest Daughter and Middle Daughter,  along with their respective  boyfriends.  But this was fine,  we both enjoy the beauty of the course and  watching the kids work on improving  their game.  About a thousand years ago,  before I had any children,  I played golf  several times a week,  had  a single digit handicap and was serious about the game.  Five kids and a real estate business later,  I’m just an old duffer but I still enjoy being out on the course, watching the kids play, zipping around in the golf cart, taking a few photos,  just enjoying the beautiful waterviews,  the amazing Bay Creek landscaping and the fresh salty breezes.

Putting Out On Arnold Palmer Hole # 1

Sunday dawned overcast,  looking suspiciously like rain and riding around in a golf cart in the rain is definitely not my thing.   But the hour- by- hour weather report indicated only a 10% chance of  precipitation  before 3 pm so we decided to go with the forecast  but bring rain jackets and umbrellas,  just in case.  By the 10:45 am tee time the sun seemed trying to peek through, not very hard,  but trying nevertheless.  The Palmer hole # 1 is a spectacular hole, a par 5,  459 yards,  heading straight west, with a green which is nearly right on  the Chesapeake Bay.  It’s my favorite hole, one of the longest and one of the most beautiful,  with a pristine natural feel,  the water,  the sea grasses, the shorebirds overhead and of course its  flower petal shaped massive sand trap,  creatively  designed  pits of deadly sparkling grains of ground rock that can easily cost an extra stroke or two.  And the impressive replica of Old Plantation Light  standing sentry over the green and the Bay, watching for fudgers and sailors.  Or maybe not.


Three Balls Sailed Over The Water But The Fourth Went Plop ! I Shall Not Say Whose…

By hole # 3  however,  the sun was definitely shining and the little wavelets along the Bay were shimmering, a lovely sight.  This is a tricky hole because of  its  water features — it’s easy to lose a ball or two here.   It was especially pretty that Sunday, the tall pines on the far side of the green reflected in the waters of the pond,  a flock of pelicans sailing by skimming just above the waves in the Bay.   As for the golfers in the group,  on this par 4,   336 yard hole– let’s just say  that three balls sailed nicely over the pond and onto the green but some body’s ball,  we won’t mention whose,  went plop and promptly sank.    And then on hole #4, overcast again and the beginning of a  sprinkle.   To make a long story short, the weather went wacky,  alternating between periods of sunshine and showers until we wrapped up after the ninth hole,  everybody starving and ready to slip over to Aqua’s for lunch.

A Fine Father’s Feast At Aqua

On holidays and special occasion days,  Aqua  usually has  something out of the ordinary  and for Father’s Day they offered a very nice brunch buffet accompanied by specially priced Mimosas.   Lots of gorgeous fruit,  an omelet station with a wide choice of  ingredients,  some excellent home fried new potatoes with onions and ever so much more  for the breakfast lover.  For those ready for lunch, a carving station with a delicious grilled flank steak  and  a honey ham  accompanied by an especially flavorful mango salsa stood at the ready,  as well as  BBQ  ribs which were exceptional,  slathered with a particularly  tasty sauce,  enlivened with a subtle touch of cumin.  Goodies from nearby trays of relishes and grilled veggies,  including a delicious cold eggplant,  made a pleasing plate together with the ribs and a top notch ceasar salad.  Needless to say,  everyone found more than enough choices they really enjoyed and nobody left hungry, an understatement for sure !   One of the nicest things about eating at Aqua’s,  aside from the food,  is the lovely interior and the great views out to the Chesapeake Bay from the wall of windows which wrap around on three sides.  Sunday was no exception,  cloudy or not, the water was  beautiful as always and  we  enjoyed  watching boats come and go from the marina.   “The Present”,  a special Father’s Day gift that the kids all chip in together to give, was  presented,  especially lovely this year,  then ’twas time to head for home and a little walk with the dogs.

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)