Archive for the ‘Historic Homes’ Category

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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HGTV FILMS NEW SHOW IN CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA– Redux

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

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

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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A Glorious New Year’s Day 2014 Trip From Eastern Shore Virginia To Williamsburg, VA’s Historic District

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

CBBTBright, sunny, beautiful from dawn till dusk, New Year’s Day 2014 was simply lovely.  We had planned early on to ring in New Year’s Day in Williamsburg and the weather could not have been more co-operative.  One of the  delights of a trip to the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg in December are the beautiful holiday decorations– the door of each home in the restored area is adored with a unique, handmade wreath.  And since they are all crafted by the residents, no wreath is duplicated.  For about the last ten years we have made an annual pilgrimage on New Year’s Day to enjoy a guilt-free buffet brunch at one of the hotels because afterwards we take a brisk walk through the restored area to work off all those calories !   ( An excellent excuse for sampling several deserts …..)  And the trip from the Eastern Shore of Virginia to Williamsburg is so easy,  a glide over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, clear blue waters below,  chop-chop-chop up I-64 E , exit onto Colonial Parkway and, insto-presto, in less than 2 hours it’s napkin in lap, fork in hand, ready to enjoy a luscious lunch.

 

Williamsburg InnLunch this year was an interesting buffet at the always special Williamsburg Inn– in addition to  Southern regional dishes like oyster pie,   seafood fritatta and minced Smithfield ham salad,  a surprisingly excellent offering was a black-eyed pea bisque.  For those not familiar,  it is a Southern tradition that on New Year’s Day, one must eat black-eyed peas — they are supposed to bring good luck for the coming year.  I don’t really enjoy them and the idea of black-eyed pea bisque was initially not appealing whatever. But Hubby tried some, wow, said he, this bisque is really excellent, you really should try it.   So I did…. once, twice and three times a charm !  Couldn’t believe it, that’s how delicious it was, best darn thing on the menu, I shall remember it aways.  Well, maybe not always but at least until next year when I hope they will serve it again !  The desserts were fun, especially the crepe’ station, rich, thin crepe’s filled with Bananas Foster, topped with a little scoop of fabulous ice cream and sliced fresh strawberries, very, very yummy indeed.

Williamsburg Historic area shop 244The weather was  delightful,  a little warmer than usual, about 55 degrees,  so when we started our walk  Duke of Gloucester Street was teeming with folks from all over, tourists wearing their badge passes,  locals,  students from the College of William and Mary which is located just a few blocks away, everyone quite  relaxed, just enjoying the afternoon, strolling down this historic street.  If you love dogs, Gloucester Street is also a “meet and greet” heaven for dogs of all kinds and sizes, as owners leisurely traipse down the street behind their pooches.  This year was an especially great year for “people walking dog”  watching– a Bernese Mountain dog, Labradoodle, Great Pyrenees, Scottie, Doxie, Boxer, you name it, they were enthusiastically escorting their owners down this four hundred year old street where individuals  like  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both alumni of William and Mary, probably walked their dogs too.   Interestingly, you almost never see aggressive canine behavior there, just doggie curiosity and tail wagging which makes the whole “man’s best friend” scene lots of fun. And to add additional interest to this convivial scene, the  period style carriages were out in force, each drawn by two gorgeous, well-cared for horses, stepping high, coats gleaming in the afternoon sunlight, liveried driver seated high above.  The carriages are apparently hand- manufactured in Austria according to one of the drivers but the wheels themselves are actually handmade at the wheelwright shop right in the Williamsburg Historic Area. Anyway, four or five horse-drawn carriages traveling down the street is quite a sight.

Williamsburg Christmas Decorations 241 This year’s batch of wreaths and swags was interesting as always.  Nearly every home and shop in the Restored Area is decorated each holiday season with a wreath or swag made entirely of materials which would have been available to residents of  the 18th century, basically constructed from fresh greenery pine, fraiser, boxwood, holly, magnolia and decorated with a myriad of dried different flowers, seeds and fruits, no artificial decorations allowed.  To up the ante’ a bit for residents, 1st, 2nd. and 3rd place blue ribbons are awarded and given the obvious amount of  effort many wreaths show, I’m guessing there is a bit of friendly competition every year to win a ribbon.  The effect is so pleasing that every year literally thousands of visitors come each year over the holidays to see the decorations and enjoy a holiday meal in one of the period taverns.  Each Tavern is  gaily decorated for the season, softly lighted by candles with costumed servers offering food authentic to the period– one of the most famous is the King’s Arms Tavern which is famous for its peanut soup,  Game Pye as well as an unusual veggie offering, a rich creamed celery with a hint of nutmeg,  which doesn’t sound that great but which was quite delicious.   There is always something new to see or try in Williamsburg and a visit there is  a great way to kick off the New Year.

 

From The Entire Crew At Blue Heron Realty Co., Our Wishes For A Happy Holiday Season And A Great New Year !

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Well, it’s that time  of year again,  putting up the outdoor lights, decorating the big cedar tree in the front yard,  getting  a wreath properly hung on the door so that it isn’t that  tiny bit crooked, and,  my special favorite, stringing long loops of  colorful holiday lights along the full length of our back deck, such a cheery sight as dusk falls.  And all the usual outdoor holiday decor tasks  are made so much easier here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia because of our mild but definite 4 season climate. ( The delights of  the  Shore’s fabulous climate  were brought into sharp relief today by a call from an employee who had made what was to have been just a quick trip to Houlton, Maine, expecting to be back for work as scheduled on yesterday.  Instead, she got trapped by a major winter storm with a projected duration of at least 2 days, 8-12 inches of snow and lots of ice accumulation expected, so she missed  work  because it was too dangerous to drive.  You just wouldn’t  believe it, said she, ice pellets are falling fast and furiously, snow drifts are about a gazillion feet high, I’m so ready to get back to the Shore !  )  So,  counting my blessings as I puttered out on the deck yesterday afternoon, dressed in a light windbreaker, potting up pansies into  3 beautiful flower pots  I  got as  gifts for a special friend,  sky blue, sun shining, slight breeze blowing off the water, nary a snowflake in sight, no black ice, no 30 car pile-ups…..  I think next year I should just print t-shirts that say:  “Life is good ….on Virginia’s Eastern Shore“.

On a more serious note, this is the time of year when friends and family  are close in mind and heart, and, if we are lucky, in body too.  Trivial and petty are hopefully cast aside,  leaving more space for thinking  not just of family and friends but especially about helping those less fortunate.  By nature, I am an optimist and 13 is my lucky number–  but it does seem that 2013  has brought  definite economic improvement here on the Eastern Shore and nationwide.  For this, at Blue Heron Realty Co.,  we are truly grateful.  And we would especially like to thank our clients and customers, all the many folks who have purchased or listed property through our firm.  Please know that we very much appreciate your business and really value your confidence in us.

And to the readers of this little blog about life and real estate on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, we hope you found some of the information you were looking for and had some fun too, learning about our slender peninsula bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Happily,  we had our 15 minutes of fame and celebrity this year as the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) premiered  a “beachfront house hunter” episode earlier this month about the Eastern Shore of Virginia  and one of its most charming little historic towns, Cape Charles, VA  and, ta-da, featured Eva Noonan, sales agent in Blue Heron’s Cape Charles office and her buyers, the Outlands.  I loved watching the HGTV crew film the show over 4 days, it was such a fun and a unique experience, keep an eye out for  repeat showings of our episode.  And I’m hoping in 2014 you will keep reading our little blog to learn more about the amazing quality of life and the outstanding real estate opportunities on the Eastern Shore to purchase beachfront properties, homes with backyard boat docks, Bay Creek Golf Resort listings,  historic homes as well as  town and country homes  listed for sale by Blue Heron Realty Co. in the Chesapeake Bay area   

And so, from Lemoin, Marlene, Montaigne, Mike, Gerry, Heather, Kay, Lisa and Brandi in Blue Heron’s  Machipongo, VA  main office and from Dave, Eva, Jennifer, Luisa, Bonnie and Cynthia in Blue Heron’s Cape Charles, VA branch office,  thanks once again for your continued support, we really appreciate it.  Best wishes to you and yours from the entire Blue Heron crew for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous  2014.      ( Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA. )

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” A Victorian Winter Wedding” Was The Theme Of The 18th Annual Cape Charles VA Holiday Progressive Dinner

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

18th Annual Holiday Progressive Dinner Tour brochure Sponsored for the 18th year by the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce, and chaired this year by Blue Heron Realty Co. client, Tammy Holloway, owner of  the gorgeous Bay Haven B&B,  the annual Cape Charles  Holiday Progressive Dinner is always a fun event, homes dressed to the nines, holiday lights blazing, food, wine  and lots of good cheer. But what sets the Cape Charles event apart from progressive dinners all across the South (where they are very popular)  is its wonderful entertainment. Due largely to the influence of the Arts Enter ! theatre group sponsored by the historic Palace Theatre,  the Cape Charles Progressive Dinners always feature a special theme and offer entertainment, usually consisting of  numerous vignettes produced by the theatre group, with each home on the Tour playing  its part  in  the  theme. This year’s theme was ” A Victorian Winter Wedding“.  Like the town itself, it is set at the turn of the century,  and  revolves  around the elaborate preparations for the wedding ( fictional) of the Mayor of Cape Charles to the son of a well-liked local  businessman.  The wedding theme was embellished at every stop on the Tour, as each home offered a glimpse of a particular aspect of the extensive preparations for the wedding.  To better set the mood, at each stop the home’s owner,  host and greeters were elaborately costumed in elegant period fashion.  ( One  of the  really clever aspects was that the Mayor’s daughter was marrying the son of one of the town’s foremost businessmen, the builder W. H. Lambertson,  and two of the homes on this year’s Progressive Dinner were  actually built by W.H. Lambertson in the early 1900’s.)

 

DSC_0434The evening  kicked off  at the striking, art-deco style Palace Theatre, built-in 1941 and now fully refurbished, thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Art’s Enter.  We were in the early group, started at 3:20, ended about 6:00 pm.  In general, organizers have it  arranged so that  ticket holders consist of groups of about 25 and departures staggered about 20 minutes apart.  At the theatre, setting the evening’s theme, we were treated to a short play starring the irrepressible Trina Veber, veteran of many Progressive Dinner vignettes, in the key role of the Mayor’s wife, mother of the bride, anxious to uphold her position as a pillar of Cape Charles society.  Here we learn that although the Mayor is cheap, famous for pinching pennies, his wife has arranged to have the wedding dress purchased and fitted by the most prestigious dress shop in town, whose owner has recently made a buying trip to New York City to secure a variety of lovely but expensive dresses for this high society wedding.  We also learn that so many guests are expected that both the Cape Charles Inn ( in real life also an inn, the Chesapeake  B&B) and the famous ( in real life as well) Miss Mollie’s Boarding House, (where the portrait painter for the official wedding portrait will be staying ), both will be filled with VIP wedding guests.  As the little play ends,  the audience is  left wondering if Daddy isn’t  going to throw a conniption fit when he gets the bill for all the grand wedding preparations. But we shall find out before our evening ends.  While the action is proceeding on stage, Dinner ticket holders are enjoying a  High Tea–  tender tea sandwiches, cucumber dill and  liver mousse with red onion, prepared by Hook-U-Up restaurant’s  fine chef, Tim Brown,  as well as a fluffy, orange-iced cranberry orange scone baked by the Cape Charles Coffee House, served with sweet orange tea.

DSC_0527Off then to the second stop,  a  classic American four square home, one of the many examples in Cape Charles, which the playbill proclaims as home to the Lambertson family whose son is to marry the Mayor’s daughter.  From the owner’s speech before entering the house, we learn that when she purchased the property in 2009, this now-lovely house was in serious disrepair and served primarily as the abode for a large flock of pigeons !  As we walk through and see it now,  the house has been beautifully restored and is a real credit to the efforts of its new owners.  In the theme of the wedding, this house serves as  the elegant dress shop. In an upstairs bedroom several mannequins are dressed with beautiful bridal attire in various stages of being fitted.  ( Kudos to all the efforts of Arts Enter volunteers  in securing the gorgeous period costumes– it must have been a real labor of love.  In fact, it’s  the numerous participants, volunteers all, over 150 of them, that make the Dinner possible. Without them it just couldn’t be pulled off  ! )  Food here was prepared by The Shanty,  a fun new seafood restaurant located right on the Cape Charles Harbor, and featured Oysters Rockefeller and Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque.  Unfortunately, although I live in one of the finest oyster producing regions in the entire country, I’m not an oyster person so didn’t have any— but Hubby and Eldest Daughter assured me they were succulent.  However, I can personally attest that the bisque was absolutely delicious– smooth, creamy with a hint of  char at the finish.  Actually, it was my favorite dish of the entire dinner, especially as I am a devotee’ of butternut squash bisque. Wine accompaniment was  Church Creek Steel Chardonnay by Chatham Vineyard, a fine local vineyard and winery.

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Mayer home 2From there, we were off to the Inn, a walk of a few short blocks. In the Dinner’s theme, the Inn was to provide  accommodations and hospitality for many of the out-of-town guests expected for the wedding and is elaborately decorated for the occasion.. In real life,  the Inn really is an inn, the Chesapeake B&B.  Listed for sale by Blue  Heron Realty Co., it is a gorgeous 2 story historic brick Colonial Revival home which overlooks the Chesapeake Bay and Cape Charles’ soft sand beach.  One of its most stunning features is the arcaded 5 bay brick front porch. For the Dinner,  the owners  had decorated both porch and shrubbery with a stunning display of bright holiday lights, total eye candy.  ( For more information on the features of this extensively renovated property, visit http://www.blueheronva.com/property.php?propid=1516 . )  Our group arrived just as the sun was beginning to set, the sky was streaked with soft pinks and violets, absolutely stunning. Prepared by the historic Eastville Inn  in Eastville, VA, the offering here was a rich Rockfish Chowder.  Rockfish is probably the Eastern Shore’s most prized late season fish, mild and firm flesh, perfect for a chowder.  This particular dish is the signature fall-winter dish of the Eastville Inn and includes corn and asparagus, is seasoned with applewood smoked bacon and a touch of garlic and thyme,  served with sweet potato rolls spread with a brown-sugar cinnamon butter.  Yum !

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DSC_0511Next stop, in my opinion, one of the most charming homes in all of Cape Charles, with one of  the indisputably most beautiful front porches in town, curved, graceful  and full house length. Built in 1912 for Cape Charles’ first banker by W.H. Lambertson, whose son ( in the play) is to marry the Mayor’s daughter, this home continues the evening’s  theme as being the home of the bride’s best friend. It is at this gorgeous home  that the bridesmaids and friends will gather to make  decorations and guest favors for the wedding.  The tools and materials for same are seen as ticket holders tour the bedrooms at this house. Food served here was prepared by   Aqua Restaurant, offering fine and casual dining right on the shores of  Chesapeake Bay  at King’s Creek Marina .  A modern update of  a traditional Waldorf salad and a lightly curried chicken salad in a small brioche roll, very tasty, were served, complemented by Italian white wine selected for the occasion by the Gull Hummock Wine and Cheese shop in Cape Charles.

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DSC_0529The final home on the tour was Miss Mollie’s  boarding house which was, in real life, Miss Mollie’s Boarding House. Apparently Miss Mollie ran the boarding house for many years after her husband’s death and was known Shore-wide for her famous pound cake. At the house,  a video interview of Miss Mollie, done many years ago for a special Cape Charles history event,  was playing on the VCR– fascinating, a real highlight and I took a quick pic for this blog post.  Miss Mollie died at 101 and in the TV interview I’m guessing she was somewhere in her nineties but still sharp as a tack because when the interviewer, long-time local pharmacist, George Savage, apparently asked a particular question for a 2nd time, he received a  quick retort,  ” Why you already asked me that !”   When George inquired how many of her famous pound cakes she thought she had baked over her lifetime, she guessed she had baked plenty more than a thousand–  which is a heck of a lot of   home baking !  Food served here was prepared by Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, a fun place with  good food located on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles and included a delicious roast beef-Yorkshire pudding canape plus a roastedvegetable tort served in individual tart shells topped with a creamy, buttery sauce.  The piece de resistance’ was a little slice of Miss Mollie’s cake, a rich vanilla pound cake, prepared by Heritage Hall in Nassawadox, baked according to Miss Mollie’s very own recipe.  As party favors,  printed copies of Miss Mollie’s recipe were available for guests to take with them if desired– I took one and intend to try it out for myself.

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DSC_0543Leaving Miss Mollie’s,  it was just a short walk to the Cape Charles Town Library where the theme and the Dinner concluded,  with the penny-pinching Mayor was scheduled to see his daughter modeling her gorgeous, albeit expensive,  bridal gown for the very first time.  Suddenly he forgets the expense of the wedding and realizes that his baby girl is going to be gone, about to get married and move from his home, that it is family, not fortune,  he should be thinking about now.  Thus endeth  the play and also the Dinner,  after  the dessert course, naturally.  A  collaboration between Heritage Hall and Brown Dog Ice Cream in Cape Charles,  dessert was a delectable ginger snap cookie “sandwich” filled with Brown Dog’s heavenly ice cream,  Caramelized Fig and Mascarpone Cheese flavor, easy to hold, delicious to eat. It was the sweet end to a sweet day.  But one more treat to come– Pheiffer Stables, whose farm is  located on the outskirts of  Cape Charles, had brought a holiday-light decorated carriage into town, pulled by Rosie, a lovely patient horse. Horse and driver  stood ready outside the Library,  prepared to ferry  weary Tour members  back to the Theatre.  So aboard Hubby and I hopped,  not  spring chickens any more,  nice to get off our feet after several hours walking  town. So with sleighbells bells ringing,  off we rode to our car,  a perfect end to a  great evening.

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Gorgeous B & B Listed For Sale In The Charming Victorian Beachfront Town Of Cape Charles, Virginia

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Beach blanket and flip flops at Cape Charles VA beach

Cape Charles, VA Was Named One Of Southern Living’s “5 Best Little Beach Towns” In 2012

What better opportunity to marry a  love of fine historic homes with a spirit of entrepreneurialism than operating a B&B ?  And what better place to purchase a gracious Bed and Breakfast  featuring fine Southern hospitality than in Cape Charles, VA  which offers an exciting coastal lifestyle in an intimate small historic town environment ?   Presto,  Blue Heron Realty Co. has just listed a fine opportunity to follow your dream of  both owning a gorgeous historic home and running your own business with this charming 7 bedroom, 8 bath beauty.   Located on the beautiful Southern Tip of  the Eastern Shore of  Virginia, which is the  slender terminus of the DELMARVA peninsula,  bordered on the West by the Chesapeake Bay and on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia’s Eastern Shore  is a dream location for anyone interested in coastal traditions. And the charming  Victorian town of Cape Charles is the epicenter of  cultural and maritime events on the Shore,  so it’s a terrific place to live a water-oriented lifestyle as well as  to operate a business that takes advantage of these special assets. In fact,  in 2012,  Cape Charles was named by Southern  Living magazine as one of its ” 5 Best Little Beach Towns.”  And we’re also proud to announce that Cape Charles and Blue Heron Realty Co. were  recently chosen by the Home and Garden TV Network  (HGTV)  to be a featured episode, airing in January, 2014, of  its exciting new series entitled “Beach House Bargain Hunt”.

Cape Charles House B & B

Cape Charles House B & B, A Classic Colonial Revival Featuring 7 Bedrooms And 8 Baths

Introducing the Cape Charles House Bed and Breakfast, one of the town’s largest and most opulent homes.  Constructed in 1912 on the highest point of land in Cape Charles, this 5900 sq. ft. classic Colonial Revival was lovingly restored by the current owners. Featured on the well-known HGTV program, “If Walls Could Talk” and a recipient of the coveted Governor’s Award for  B & B Hospitality,  this long-established B & B  has been welcoming guests since 1993.  With 5 spacious guest rooms, each with a sitting area, an en suite bath and individual climate control, Cape Charles House offers guests a great place to just unwind and relax.  Numerous large, sunny windows in guest rooms and in the spacious common areas create a pleasant, light and airy feel throughout. The gorgeous original hardwood floors were hand restored. The original moldings, pocket doors and high ceilings help maintain the integrity, warmth and beauty of this stately historic home. Outfitted with comfortable furniture and plenty of reading material and games, the common rooms include a large dining room with fireplace, a spacious living room with fireplace, a roomy parlor and, of course,  the cheery kitchen with  “never-ending”  self -serve coffee and tea service plus guest  ice maker .

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Gracious Front Porch on Cape Charles House B & B

The Gracious Wraparound Porch- The Perfect Place To Relax, Unwind And Enjoy The Virginia Eastern Shore Slower Pace Of Life

The gracious wrap-around porch is a favorite guest amenity and the perfect place to kick back on a balmy summer’s eve. Filled with pots of blooming flowers and decorated with white wicker furniture, guests love to relax and unwind here, enjoying the refreshing breezes flowing off the Chesapeake Bay just a few blocks away.  The town’s soft,  sparkling sand beach and swimming area is not just a favorite of Southern Living magazine,  it is one of the many prime recreational amenities that attract guests to Cape Charles House year after year.  Golfers fall in love with the two side- by- side 18 hole award-winning Arnold Palmer Signature and the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses located less than 10 minutes away.  The deep water Cape Charles Harbor Marina and the King’s Creek Marina are both boater’s delights– in fact, lots of  B&B guests arrive by boat and golf cart rentals are available for guests to tool around town during their stay.  For Nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, the nearby Eastern Shore of Virginia Wildlife Refuge and the Hawk Observatory at Kiptopeake State Park offer a full range of unique outdoor activities. The Cape Charles Historic Area boasts  vibrant little shops, art galleries, restaurants and the beloved Palace Theater, a lovely venue for live dramatic and musical performances. ( As a matter of fact, some  impressive artists, including  the Virginia Philharmonic Orchestra,  have played at the beautifully restored Art Deco design Palace. Theatre. )   Fine and casual dining opportunities, both  in-town and nearby,  offer a variety of delicious cuisines including luscious local seafood,  the famed steamed Chesapeake Bay blue crabs  and authentic  Southern-style BBQ.

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645 Tazewell Ave Cape Charles-VA

Prospective purchasers will really appreciate being able to retreat to the roomy owner’s quarters.  Offering total privacy from the rest of the house, the third floor has been remodeled into an owner’s penthouse apartment, complete with a master and a guest bedroom, an office area, a sitting room and a kitchen.  The owner’s quarters sunny master bedroom overlooks  park-like grounds and includes a huge walk-in closet and a sumptious master bath.  At the end of a busy day, the owner’s apartment provides the perfect place to relax and retire into your own private world. What a great house and terrific town for actually being able to live the  dream of owing a spectacular historic home and being your own boss !!   In addition to the real estate itself, the  purchase price of $695,000 for Cape Charles House B & B includes most furnishings, as well as ownership of the trade name, website domain name, the telephone number, the B&B’s very attractive website  and its valuable guest list.   Financial information is available upon request  by calling the Blue Heron Realty Co.  listing agent team of  Gerry Forbes and Heather Brady,  who may be reached at 757-678-5200.

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Garden Week 2013 On Eastern Shore Virginia– The 80th Annual Event Sponsored By The Garden Club of Virginia

Monday, May 20th, 2013
Cape Charles Southern Tip aerial photo

The Beautiful Southern Tip of the Eastern Shore of Virginia

April, 2013 marked the celebration of the 80th Annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia, presented statewide  by the Garden Club of  Virginia each Spring since 1929.  This year’s official Garden Week book indicated that 178 homeowners all over Virginia, assisted by over 3000 volunteers from the 47  member clubs,  opened their homes and grounds to public tours last week.  Proceeds from the Tours help preserve the grounds of historic landmarks all over the state as well as to  fund scholarships in landscape architecture. The Eastern Shore of Virginia has so many beautiful historic homes that have been preserved and restored that going to the Garden Week open houses here is always a delight.  The homes that are selected  are always great and the last week of April is a perfect time to show gardens in full bloom here on the Shore. This year six waterfront  homes in Northampton County’s beautiful southern tip were opened for Garden Tours  and we devoted our  Saturday afternoon to visiting three of them, two historic and one quite contemporary home.  Each was gorgeous in its own particular way.  I only  wish that interior photos were allowed because the architectural detail is often remarkable in these homes, as is the  decor, including  some outstanding collections.

Old Castle Entrance

Old Castle’s Elegant Approach

Our first stop was at Old Castle, home of  Northampton County Supervisor Rick Hubbard and his wife, Kate.  It’s a lovely  traditional style home  located on the  Cherrystone Creek  inlet from the Chesapeake  Bay  near the historic little  town of Eastville,VA,  seat of Northampton County, well known as the oldest repository of continuous  court records in the nation.  The house itself is of a telescoping design,  a favored architectural style on the Eastern Shore in the 1700 and 1800’s, with a gambrel roof .  The approach to the front door is through a  double row of ancient  boxwoods, taller than I am, and pressing close in,  don’t think that someone the size of Pavarotti could have made it through without a bit of a push, not that I am the size of Pavarotti.  Once inside the spacious foyer, which features a striking custom floor covering by well-known local artist,  Mariam Riggs,  it quickly became clear that a lot of love and work went into the restoration of this lovely home.  My favorite interior architectural details were the two identical fireplace mantels in the  parlor and the dining room.  I’ve not seen any quite like them,  multiple layers of thin carved wood in descending size, sort of like thin steps in descending order, apparently created from a single solid piece of wood,  creating a remarkable effect, especially given the tools of that day.  As part of the Garden theme, each room in a Garden Tour Home has a floral arrangement custom created to compliment the colors and feel of the particular room in which it will be placed. Lots of lovely floral pieces throughout this home, clearly a great deal of  thought and effort went into these arrangements.  Interesting collections abounded, especially Kate Hubbard’s amazing collection of salt cellars — an entire room is devoted to  display shelves featuring nothing but salt cellars.  All shapes and all  kinds, crystal, silver, porcelain, from countries  all over the world– who knew that the Chinese even  used salt cellars or that German salt cellers were generally so ornate ?  But the real showplace was the backyard where Mother Nature  took over the limelight, including one of the most beautiful crape myrtle trees I’ve ever seen as a focal point. Fronting on the Cherrystone Creek inlet,  Old Castle’s fabulous views spread right out to the Chesapeake Bay, totally awe-inspiring, I’m sure  that sunsets are absolutely spectacular.

Old Castle FrontviewOld Castle BackviewOld Castle Crepe Myrtle Tree

Pleasant Prospect  Farm Front View of House

Pleasant Prospect Farm on Cherrystone Creek Inlet

Off next  to nearby Pleasant Prospect Farm, a 170 acre working farm,  home to retired 4 star Admiral  William J. Flannagan, Jr., whose distinguished naval  career included  the very  serious responsibility of being the  Norfolk, VA based  Commandant of the entire US Navy’s  Atlantic Fleet. True to its name,  Pleasant Prospect Farm is indeed quite pleasant, with a  quiet approach through fertile  waterfront farm fields , sun glinting off the glistening  blue waters all the way  down the  driveway.  Passing several outbuildings, including a two story garage with a castle-like  appendage, we arrived at the main house,  a very attractive Dutch  colonial style with two huge pin oaks heralding the front entrance.  The original section of the home can be dated back to the 1750’s. During restoration, support beams were found in their original, unfinished state,  revealing  a numbering system directing the order in which they were to be installed, a rare historic construction detail.  The original wainscoting is also still in place which I believe is fairly unusual. A new kitchen has been added, large, luminous, with a  lightly stained hardwood ceiling adding warmth and texture, a dream kitchen really,with every detail and convenience one could wish for right there, ready to take on anything from a simple omelet to  a large dinner party.  My favorite floral arrangement of the day was here,  the long dining room table the display surface for a striking  composition consisting of  5 small, dark green watermelons  (or maybe they were citrons ),  about 6 inches in diameter, handsomely striped, arranged in a zigzag pattern among fancy curled Lucky  Bamboo stalks which had been arranged  in  delicate vases of  a variety of sizes and shapes, but all  in various hues of  pale green, a pleasing contrast to the deep green of the melons.  Absolutely stunning, kudos to the ladies  who created it.  Once outside in the backyard, we took a few minutes to peek into several of the numerous outbuildings, my favorite being  an elegant little building, light-filled,  housing a built-in marble jacuzzi, waters steaming and swirling, neck muscles could unwind just by looking  at it.  From there, Mother Nature took over the limelight again.  If possible, even broader views of Cherrystone inlet and the Chesapeake Bay were on display here, simply inspiring, no other words  for  it.

Pleasant Prospect backview

Pleasant Prospect Marble JacuzziPleasant Prospect Waterview

Pickets Harbor House Waterside View

Simple Yet Elegant Describes This Pickett’s Harbor Beachfront Home

Then, as they would say on Monty Python, now for something completely different. Leaving  the Eastville area, we headed to the Eastern Shore’s very southern tip, past Cape Charles, nearly to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, to  the Pickett’s Harbor area and a new beach house nestled into the rolling sand  dunes of this unique topography.  Unlike most homes on the  Eastern Shore, this home is  very contemporary, a single story  home, almost a Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie style home,  appearing as if it had just grown out of the ground, looking as natural here as any of the numerous trees and shrubs which surround it.  Cedar sided, it blends  quietly into the  wooded setting right at the edge of the dune line. Yet immediately as you enter  the house you realize that instead of just simply being in a beautiful woods you are actually on the edge of an amazing beach, that although the house is nestled into woods on the front side, the rear of the home is balanced on sparkling, rolling dunes, nothing but sand and swaying sea grasses for hundreds of feet, ending only at water’s edge, where a view of infinite blues takes over the eye’s focus. The house itself, designed by its architect owner, Tom Goffigan, an Eastern  Shore native,  now transplanted to the bright lights of L.A., is long and narrow, basically one room deep in many places, but each of  these bright and airy rooms enjoy fabulous views of  sparkling waters, glistening  sands and  golden sunshine. What more could be asked of such a pristine  setting ?  My favorite room was the screened porch, full house wide, built- in window seats spanning one entire end, framed with wide cedar cross posts forming a soothing  pattern, breezes flowing through, laden with the tangy  sea aromas.   Outside,  a long, low slung  boardwalk zigzags unobtrusively from the house to the end of the dune line, providing an easy path to the beach and protecting the fragile  dune vegetation from being trampled. This is a very handsome home, decorated with all sorts of Eastern Shore memorabilia, old maps, photos, antique fishing reels,  a very restful space indeed, a great home to end our tour with.  From there,  after making a  quick stop at nearby Nottingham Farm Market  to pick up some  tender, picked-that-morning-fresh  local asparagus for dinner,  ever so yummy grilled with lemon butter, we set out for home, a delicious spring treat in hand, the end of an interesting day. (Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr.,Machipongo VA)

Pickets Harbor Screened PorchPickets Harbor BeachPickets Harbor Board Walk To Beach