Archive for the ‘Boating’ Category

Fabulous Beachfront Lot In Cape Charles, VA Ready For Your Dream Beach Home

Friday, July 14th, 2017

The ColonyLonging for a life lived with your toes in the sand? Look no further than this gorgeousDSCF0205 beach lot located in Cape Charles, VA in The Colony Village at Bay Creek Golf Resort on the scenic Eastern Shore of Virginia. Save money– this property is a terrific value, priced at just $239,000. With soft warm sand underfoot and blue skies and golden sun above, The Colony is a perfect place to build your retirement, vacation or full time home. Imagine your dream home rising up from just beyond the shoreline, comfortable and breezy, abundant light from floor to ceiling windows, an inviting deck for entertaining, the real essence of a relaxing coastal home. Get ready to live the Eastern Shore sweet beach life!

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And you will love the brilliant sunset views as the sun sinks slowly below the horizon,  streaks of pinks, purples and golds nightly painting the infinite sky. Wine on the deck at twilight, tangy Bay breezes and waves quietly lapping the shoreline, all adding to the relaxed coastal ambiance. Boaters, this is just a hop, skip and 2 jumps from two state-of-the-art marinas — perfect for sailboats and power boats alike. Time to embrace your inner mermaid and come see this impressive property.

 

P.S. For frosting on the cake…Palmer and Nicklaus Bay Creek Signature golf courses, pool and tennis and memberships available in the Bay Creek Beach Club. Lots of amenities available for properties owners at The Colony at Bay Creek.   http://www.blueheronva.com/golf_course_home/

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Contemporary Home On Eastern Shore Virginia Waterfront Point

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

100_1363_0001Boaters, set your course for this impressive 3 bedroom, 3 and a half bath custom built contemporary home nestled into a 1.25 acre+/-partially wooded waterfront point near Cape Charles, VA  listed by Blue Heron Realty Co.  Priced at $799,000 and located in Franktown, VA, on the scenic Eastern Shore of Virginia, this single story home is on a quiet cul-de-sac in a tiny upscale waterfront hamlet. Sitting atop high banks, it offers gorgeous views of the clear blue waters of its colorful saltwater inlet from the Chesapeake Bay. The handsome dock with good boating water would provide the perfect home for your boat, with fast easy access out to the Bay for fishing or just a relaxed cruise.  Love kayaking ?   The pristine, calm inlet with its many prongs makes exploring by canoe or kayak a real pleasure.

 

 

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Exceptional construction, dramatic window package and an open floor plan with lots of natural light offer coastal living at its best. This unique home is truly a work of art starting with a bronze fountain featuring elegant blue herons which greets visitors at the front door created by famed Eastern Shore artist, William Turner. Lovely mosaic tiles by local artists throughout, including, in the foyer, an amazing marble mosaic reproduction of Vincent Van Gough’s “Starry Nights” by internationally known Eastern Shore tile company, New Ravenna.

 


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Interior details include elegant teak floors, custom cherry cabinets, granite kitchen and bathroom counters, amazing floor-to-ceiling custom windows, skylights, barrel ceiling and luxurious bathrooms. Everything from the custom details and the dramatic window package to the mature landscaping, trellises, many decks, hot tub and lovely in-ground swimming pool work carefully together to create a special synergy with the home itself, producing a truly inspiring waterfront haven. Only about 20 minutes to Palmer and Nicklaus signature golf and the sparkling sand beach in Cape Charles. This unique home definitely must be seen to truly appreciate. http://www.BlueHeronVa.com/boating_properties/

 

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Contemporary Eastern Shore Virginia Waterfront Home With West Indies Style Architecture

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

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Located in Cape Charles, VA, on the beautiful Southern tip of  Virginia’s Eastern Shore, this colorful contemporary West Indies style custom home is sited on a small freshwater lake with long dramatic views down the lake and out to the Chesapeake Bay. Take advantage of its low maintenance construction, with Hardie Board siding and a standing seam metal roof, making upkeep a breeze.  Priced at $445,000, the bright and flowing floor plan includes 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths. The extensive floor-to-ceiling window package fills the interior with lots of comfortable natural light, adding to the casual coastal feel. Lots of intricate detail work, custom built-ins, a great room fireplace, granite counters, etc. Small lot for easy maintenance, but very nicely landscaped.

 

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And a very special place to hang out at sunrise or sunset is the sunroom with its wall of windows bringing the outdoors in and magnifying the spectacular sky colors . Or later maybe out on the deck  in the hot tub, Milky Way twinkling overhead, stars seeming so close you could just reach out and touch one.  Fabulous ! As part of The Colony village at Bay Creek Golf Resort, this home enjoys deeded beach access, indeed a soft sand community beach is within easy walking distance.  Pool and tennis are also on the amenity list.  It’s easy to take a swing at some great Eastern Shore golf because the owner’s golf membership to the Bay Creek Palmer and Nicklaus  Signature courses as well as their golf cart will convey with the property. Frosting on the cake — it’s located just a few minutes from a state of the art deep water marina. So you can have it all beach, boating and golf with this great coastal home  http://www.blueheronva.com/golf_course_home/

 

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

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

 

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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.

 

 

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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 !

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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.

 

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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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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

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

 

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 !

Friday, May 5th, 2017

 

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

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

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

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

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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Happy 50th Anniversary, Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
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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.”

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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 !

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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 !