Archive for the ‘Odds and Ends’ Category

THE PERFECT HOME IN CAPE CHARLES, VA TO GET AWAY FROM ALL THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF EVERYDAY LIFE

Friday, April 13th, 2018

frontviewRecent restoration has breathed new excitement into this circa 1910, historic 3 bedroom, 2 and a half bath home located in the quaint little beach town of Cape Charles, VA. Offered at $349,000, this charming home captures the gentle feel of yesteryear but includes many modern amenities including new kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, ready and set for you to prepare some of the Eastern Shore’s succulent fresh seafood and fresh-from-the-farm veggies and fruits ! Elegant entryway, original pine floors throughout, pocket doors, original trim work. French doors open to the back deck overlooking a well landscaped, fenced backyard which includes a spacious custom-built golf cart shed. Heat pump provides comfortable central heat and A/C. This home is on a quiet, tree- lined street near the Cape Charles Central Park. Go Green- – Walk or zip by electric golf cart to town’s soft sand beach, shops, galleries, restaurants and golf. Perfect getaway or full time home in a quaint little town nestled on the beautiful shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

 

front porch foyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

kitichen dining room

 

 

 

 

 

 

livingroom fireplace

 

 

 

 

 

bedroom 2 master bedroom

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_1766 DSC_1748

 

 

HERALDING SPRING – – THE 39th ANNUAL CHINCOTEAGUE EASTER DECOY AND ART FESTIVAL

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

DSC_9302Saturday was such a beautiful and warm day, compared to most of what we have shivered through this March, that on the spur of the moment Saturday afternoon we decided to take a ride up to Chincoteague, VA to attend the Annual Chincoteague Decoy and Art Festival which is traditionally held the Friday and Saturday before Easter. The 2018 event was the 39th Annual, a real testament to the popularity of this delightful show which provides an important opportunity each Spring for local and national carvers, artists and photographers to exhibit and sell their works. And for art enthusiasts, it offers a wonderful chance to meet the artists and, in the case of some of the many carvers, observe them at work. It can be fascinating to watch someone with talent in the process of converting a plain old lump of wood into a work of art ! Attendees also have the opportunity to vote for the show’s “Best Carver” and “Best Artist” and to bid at two silent auctions.

Unfortunately, the show closed at 4pm, and we were running late, so we didn’t have as much time to tour the exhibits as I would’ve liked. DSC_9306But it was loads of fun nevertheless. We did stop and watch Russell Fish carve for a bit, I love his work and our decoy collection at the Machipongo office of Blue Heron Realty Co. includes one of his striking carvings, a tall pelican perched on a set of 3 pilings. My husband and grandson got to chatting with carver Bob Gray about his two horned grebes, one shown before molting where it presents with drab black and white feathers and one after molting where its white plumage becomes a riot of colorful orangish red. Nature is so amazing ! In the course of looking around, my husband found a walking stick he liked, my grandson discovered an interesting old poster depicting the off-shore Barrier Islands and at the “Silent Auction” table, I fell in love with a small framed print of a colorful waterfront scene painted by local artist, Grover Cantwell. So we each left with our own little treasure, icing on the cake.

DSC_9351After a quick bite at Bill’s, a favorite Chincoteague restaurant, we took a moment to admire a quiet garden spot across from Bill’s, complete with a colorful full-wall sea life mural, dedicated to “Miss Ruby Lee”. I’m not sure exactly who Miss Ruby Lee was, but clearly, as the dedication scroll proclaims, she was much beloved by the Islanders. From there, we were off to a leisurely drive through the Assateague Wildlife Refuge. There’s always something unique to see at the Refuge and, once again, we were not disappointed. But the most unique sighting Saturday was not some interesting wildlife or a wild pony come to town, no, it was a person sitting in chair, stock still.

Dressed in a camouflage jump suit covered completely by netting stuffed with twigs, leaves, pine needles, looking for all the world like a pileDSC_9417 of yard debris, this patient photographer was zeroing in on two great white egrets fishing in the shallow blue stream, using a camera sporting one of the longest lenses I have ever seen, also in camouflage colors. ( A treat to watch, quite interesting, maybe on assignment from National Geographic or some other Nature publication.) In Tom’s Cove, a flock of tiny ducks was out in full force, foraging away. Cearly something totally yummy to ducks was stirring about underfoot because they ducked and dived and dived and ducked, just munching away, ignoring us completely. The last stop on the way out was …. Island Creamery ! In Cape Charles, we are lucky to have the ever-delicious, ever-amazing flavor combinations offered at the now-famous Brown Dog Ice Cream Shop. And on Chincoteague they have Island Creamery, also home to some excellent ice cream, of which we quite enthusiastically partook, the sweet conclusion to our lovely Spring afternoon adventure.

DSC_9316 DSC_9328

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9335 DSC_9319

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9308 DSC_9333

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9322

 

DSC_9318

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“WOO WOO” DECODED – – AN AFTERNOON SPENT WITH AUTHOR JOE COCCARO

Friday, March 16th, 2018

The Civic Center was humming with activity as  Friends of the Cape Charles Memorial Library wrapped up its Winter Tea season 2017-18 with a convivial program featuring Chris Bannon of Sea Gate B n B in conversation with Joe Coccaro about “Woo Woo”, his recent novel set in Cape Charles, Virgina. Coccaro had me hooked with his comment, “ I’m enchanted with Cape Charles”, to paraphrase “Jerry McGuire”.

DSC_9247Maybe it’s because everyone loves to have their own opinions confirmed, but Coccaro’s decision to move full time to Cape Charles after his purchase of a home on Monroe Avenue because of how much he “loved the vibe” made him a man after the audience’s own heart. This is Coccaro’s first novel after a lifetime spent in journalism and book editing, including a long career with the Virginian Pilot newspaper. His decision to write “Woo-Woo” evolved from interesting stories heard at the Pub and elsewhere, and in meeting so many eclectic personalities with interesting backgrounds around town, spawning a habit of recounting these funny stories in emails to friends. The eventual long string of stories led to a decision to write a novel featuring Cape Charles, which possesses what Coccaro describes as a “high concentration” of colorful personalities, the town essentially becoming a character in the book as well its setting.

As is likely with any tour guide type novel set in a small town, there has been a whole lot of speculation and a bit of controversy too, as to who-might- be-who in the book, which quirky character is based on which particular local person. Chris Bannon is pretty sure, but not absolutely positive, who the “Woo-Woo” Realtor actually is modeled after. But Coccaro sidestepped that whole brouhaha by stressing that it’s really an amalgam, that “everybody in town is in the book, a little slice here and a little slice there”, which is fun and surely keeps everyone guessing, especially since he sees Cape Charles as a melting pot, a North meets South, millionaire meets clammer societal blend. The Q & A after the interview revealed that Coccaro is thinking/working/collecting stories for a new book about Cape Charles, this time more water/waterman centered. Clearly we can anticipate Cape Charles bursting back onto the literary scene in the future.

Library Friends did their usual great job on the goodies aspect of the event, the much anticipated 3 Sweets and 3 Savories. Everyone at our table, particularly moi, loved the melt-in-the-mouth fig pecan DSC_9173scones and thumb- sized Irish soda breads. Crostini with melon and prosciutto and a rich seafood chowder were big all-around hits. And I always find it fun to try the various varieties of tea offered, my personal favorite this time was the Scottish Afternoon Tea, a blend sponsored by the American Scottish foundation. Who even knew ? But they have created a wonderful tea ! The afternoon wrapped up with Coccaro doing a reading from “Woo-Woo”, after which some fun products and services donated to the Friends were raffled off, including a huge, beautiful basket filled to the brim with everything needed to make great tea at home. Last but not least, book signings by Joe Coccaro, after which we stepped out the Civic Center door, an abrupt transition from the cozy warmth and conviviality of this delightful afternoon into blustery wind, dreary cold rain and a mad dash to the car !

DSC_9178

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9201 DSC_9228

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9251 DSC_9259

 

 

VIRGINIA OPERA – – ANOTHER WONDERFUL EVENT AT LEMON TREE GALLERY !

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

DSC_8743I don’t know why, but it always amazes me when members of the Virginia Opera Company perform here on the Eastern Shore. Maybe because of its stature as the “Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia”, maybe because its other venues, the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Dominion Arts Center in Richmond and the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, are so imposing by comparison. But last Sunday afternoon, there they were at beautiful Lemon Tree Gallery in Cape Charles, 5 members of the Virginia Opera Company’s Emerging Artists program ! Stars in the making, they gave a wonderful performance of “Aria’s and Duets” in the small and intimate Lemon Tree setting in Cape Charles VA, particularly special because the audience can connect so personally with the performers. And such a lovely feel, surrounded by the gallery’s impressive collection of works by local artists and artisans.

Soprano Rachel Mikol led off with an aria from Mozart’s “The Impresario” followed shortly by the familiar and beloved Puccini aria, “ O mio babbino caro”, an audience favorite. The program concludedDSC_8588 with a soaring Marian Anderson spiritual performed by baritone Phillip Bullock and mezzo-soprano Melanie Campbell. Lots of energy was brought to their program which included an interesting mix of classical and modern, including a selection from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The
Woods,” sung by Bullock and bass-baritone Joshua Arky, all accompanied by accomplished pianist, ChanMi Jean. But the showstopper was Campbell’s strong rendition of Hammerstein’s “Can’t Help Loving That Man of Mine” from Showboat.

DSC_8665

 

At the conclusion of the performance, the audience gave a standing ovation and Clelia Sheppard’s daughter, Sheila, and her granddaughter, Aven, presented bouquets of lovely pink roses to each performer. After an encore, wine and light hor d’oeuvres were served, giving audience members an opportunity to meet and speak with the performers. All the performers were terrific, and Ms. Whipple and Mr. Bullock were standouts. Definitely we can expect to see all of these “ emerging artists” making their presence felt on the national and international stage.

 

DSC_8559 DSC_8569

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8638 DSC_8645

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8714

 

 

 

 

THE 2018 EASTERN SHORE LUNAR ECLIPSE & THE “SUPER BLUE BLOOD MOON”

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

DSC_8312

For the first time in about 150 years, a lunar eclipse occurred on the exact same date as a “super blue blood moon.” Unfortunately, Mother Nature blew in a blanket of thick, thick clouds which obscured the horizon at both moonrise on the evening of January 30th and at moon set on the morning of the 31st, preventing folks on the lower Eastern Shore from seeing the vibrant moon colors that would have otherwise been visible and gorgeous. But were able to catch some good photos after the moon rose fairly high in the sky, brightly shining, huge, gleaming pearly white over Oyster, the Cape Charles water tower, the Harbor and the Hump. And in the icy chill at dawn on the morning of the 31st, it was simply beautiful over the Cape Charles beach and the LOVE sign as slowly it sank westward. But sadly, just as its color would have morphed red as it approached the horizon, the moon completely disappeared behind a thick cloud bank, concealing the actual eclipse and the super blood moon ! Goodnight Moon ! Good morning Sun !

 

DSC_8331DSC_8350

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8368 DSC_8399

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8377 DSC_8373

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8372 DSC_8414

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8397 DSC_8418

 

CAPE CHARLES, VA IS ONE OF TEN FINALISTS IN COASTAL LIVING MAGAZINE “HAPPIEST SEASIDE TOWN” CONTEST !

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

1Aerial 300dpi2We are thrilled that our little coastal town of Cape Charles is in the “Top 10” on Coastal Living Magazine’s 2018 list of the “Happiest Seaside Towns” ! Every year for the past seven years, Coastal Living magazine has created a Top 10 list of the “Happiest Seaside Towns”. Original nominations come via social media. From there, Coastal Living evaluates the nominees for such qualities, outlined on its website, as we looked at their ranking the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, crime ratings, standard of living and financial well-being of locals, geographic diversity, and our editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.”

Cape Charles is very much a happy little town, relaxed, low-key, with lots of lifestyle amenities and things to do. A beautiful soft sand beach, multipleDSC_2779 marinas and boat ramps, Palmer and Nicklaus1Aerial 300dpi2 Signature golf courses, cute little shops and galleries, an impressive art presence, a theatre, fine and casual dining, all these opportunities are the raw ingredients. Mix in the wonderful Cape Charles community spirit and there we see the possibilities for being voted the 2018 Happiest Seaside Town ! If you want to participate and vote for Cape Charles, click the link below. You can vote multiple times but voting ends at 5pm on February 6,2018. As of this writing, Cape Charles was fifth in the number of votes so we have a ways to go to hit #1 by February 6th. So let’s get voting !!

HERE IS THE LINK FOR VOTING: https://www.coastalliving.com/travel/happiest-seaside-town

brown dog DSC_4052

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_1671 smyth_beach_photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

22048111_625479491175046_3583599484166833963_o DSC_2773

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_4948 Sailboat Reflections

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0301 DSC_3140

 

 

 

 

 

SHINE ON, SHINE ON, SUPER MOON SO WAY UP HIGH… OVER VIRGINIA’S EASTERN SHORE ! AND IT DID ! SUPER MOON RISE/SET JANUARY 2nd/3rd, 2018

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

DSC_8077Not only did the Super Moon shine brightly on the night of January 2nd, there is still a second 2018 Super Moon coming on January 31st. The 2018 calendar year boasted 2 Super Moons- – the January 2nd and the upcoming January 31st, a moon which will not only be a Super Moon, where the moon is closest in its orbit to Earth, but also a “Blue Moon”, a second full moon falling within a given calendar month. Chronicling the January 2nd event from the harbor’s viewing stand overlooking Parting Creek in Willis Wharf sounded like fun. Moon rise was indicated for 5:56 pm, more than an hour past sunset so full darkness which unfortunately, for me, increases the difficulty of getting good photo takes which include surrounding landscape. Even more unfortunately, it was well after 6 when we rolled up, the moon already above the horizon, disappointing, because seeing the moon as it just peeks over is always special. And it was really cold, dare we say Super Cold – – but the night was crystal clear, the stars were like brilliant twinkling diamonds flung across the sky and the moon glowed a deep, lovely gold, an incredible sight as it began its journey westward. Only a few boats were tied up in the marina, the harbor’s street lights creating a rather erie feel, water sluggish, new ice everywhere, little chunks and ice pans undulating around the empty boats, the super-bright Super Moon above, all the while my shutter finger screaming Frostbite Alert ! Frostbite Alert !

Up early on January 3rd, hoping for some good photos of Super Moon Set on my way to an appointment across the Bay. By the crack of dawn, as the moon was rapidly DSC_8067cruising West and the sun was rising slowly in the East, I was heading down Bayside Road. Although it was barely 6 am, an early gathering of Franktown farmers was already out in the field, pick-up taillights glowing red, bright spotlights illuminating a big piece of machinery, the Moon now pearly white and huge overhead, moonbeams falling softly on wide fields and clattering diesel motors below. Farming by moonlight, that’s dedication! Moon Set was indicated for 7:31 am on the 3rd but an early appointment in Virginia Beach kept exploration for a variety of moon-set photo locations to a minimum. Luckily, still bright and still Super, the moon yielded some interesting shots near The Colony, the Oyster Farm Marina and the Outlook pull-off on the Bridge. So, Super Moon 2018 # 1 over, looking forward to Super Moon # 2/Blue Moon on the 31st ! And then – – that’s it until January 21, 2019.

 

 

 

DSC_8006 DSC_8008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8056

IMG_6326

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8025

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_8079 DSC_8081

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Festive Friday” In Cape Charles, VA”

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

DSC_7598Happily, there is still one more chance to experience a “Festive Friday” in Cape Charles this season ! Still one more chance, on December 22nd, to enjoy the beautiful and cheery shop windows along Mason Avenue and down Strawberry Street, all dressed to the nines for the holidays. Maybe shop for a unique piece of art at Lemon Tree or Ellen Moore Gallery, enjoy a savory gourmet dinner at Hook-U-Up or a steaming cup of hot chocolate at the popular Cape Charles Coffee House, sample the smooth balsamic vinegars at Drizzles, select your New Year’s Eve champagne at Gull Hummock, visit with a friendly agent at Blue Heron Realty, browse the gift shop at the beautiful, newly re-opened Northampton Hotel, check out the international offerings from Voiajer, take a horse and carriage ride and so much, much, much more ! You might even take time to drop in at the “North Pole” to tell Santa or Mrs. Claus ( aka the ever-effervescent Trina Veber ) what you want, what you really, really want, for Christmas this year ! And so, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight !

If you’ve never, ever been to a “Festive Friday” in Cape Charles, you probably don’t realize that it is so much more than just a few merchants staying open late each FridayDSC_7503 evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At its heart, it is the culmination of the hopes, dreams, efforts and financial investments of a myriad of individuals, businesses and organizations who believed that Cape Charles could rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of its post-ferry, post- railroad, essentially “post-everything” economic doldrums and become, once again, the dynamic little coastal town of its yesteryear, with well cared-for homes and bustling shops, a spirit of civic pride and a sense of fun. And not to get too, too sentimental, but when you think back to the near-derelict homes throughout town and the boarded-up stores along Mason Avenue that were still in existence even 5 years ago ( farewell McCrory’s and BeLo, hello Strawberry Station), the Cape Charles transformation from down-at-heel to sparkling restoration is truly inspiring.

DSC_7510So “Festive Friday” is the actualization of those aspirations rolled into 2017, into lots of happy folks strolling down the street at 8 pm on a windy, cold December Friday evening, beautifully decorated shops serving smiling customers, clever street performers doing their entertaining thing, lively songs of the Christmas carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, delicious gourmet dinners and free holiday movies at the Palace Theatre. And, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus, greeting excited little kids eager to shyly whisper their Christmas wishes. “Festive Friday” is truly like a 1000 points of new light, illuminating historic downtown Cape Charles, amazing and wonderful!!

 

25587937_668697106853284_7134603120880215510_o DSC_7585

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7486 DSC_7541

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7552 DSC_7542

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7550 DSC_7532

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7539 DSC_7595

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7618

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7614

The 7th Annual Grand Illumination And Golf Cart Parade In Cape Charles, VA

Friday, December 8th, 2017

DSC_7178The 2017 Annual “Grand Illumination” kicked off the official start of the holiday season in Cape Charles, VA last Saturday evening with the 7th Annual “Grand Illumination” in Central Park. This community event was originated in 2010 by Citizens for Central Park and was hosted for many years by Chris Bannon of Sea Gate BnB ( aka Mr. Cape Charles ) as its delightful Master of Ceremonies. A newish addition to these festivities, the “Golf Cart Parade”, started just a few years ago with 11 participating carts. It grew and grew into this year’s dazzling parade of 33 golf carts, all gussied up, resplendent with lights and ornaments, smiling drivers and laughing passengers. Happy to note that Blue Heron Realty’s cart participated again this year for a 2nd time – – looking good, Blue Heron guys and gals !

By tradition, Christmas carols were sung by the gathered crowd, candles were lit and held aloft by the audience in memory ofDSC_7112 loved ones, hundreds of points of light, quite beautiful piercing the darkness of Central Park. And then, with a flip of a switch by the Mayor, thousands of lights on the Gazebo and on all the Park’s trees glowed brilliantly in the dark, a very Grand Illumination ! Afterwards, a jolly Santa Claus took Christmas requests from dozens of children whose heads would soon, no doubt, be dancing with visions of sugarplums. All this made cheerier under a bright moonlit sky, almost but not quite, the vaunted Super Moon, but very special nevertheless.

 

DSC_7164 DSC_7121

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7099 DSC_7109

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7127 DSC_7068

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7088DSC_7103

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7138 DSC_7131

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7144 DSC_7155

THE SILVERY BEAMS OF THE 2017 SUPER MOON ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

DSC_7212What appears brighter and bigger and might only appear but once a year ? A Super Moon ! And during the December 3rd the 2017 Super Moon, our moon orbited to its closest distance to earth for this entire year, making this silvery orb appear much brighter and larger than a normal full moon. Here are a few Eastern Shore Virginia Super Moon shots we took that night. From the vivid pink moonrise as it climbed above the horizon in Oyster, VA  to its pearly white aspect and glittering beams high in the sky above Cape Charles, it really was a beautiful sight !  I think Shakespeare said it best – – “How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank ! Here we will sit and let the sounds of music creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night become the touches of sweet harmony. “

By the way, soon, another Skywatchers delight ! A Blue Moon is coming – – In just a few weeks, the two Super Moons of 2018 will both take place in January, on the 2nd and 31st. The Moon on the 31st will be a “Blue Moon” as it is the second full moon in a calendar month. So, once in a blue moon … get ready to “croon love’s tune” to your honey by the light of these two silvery Super Moons !

DSC_7210 DSC_7225

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7310 DSC_7305

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7261 DSC_7267

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7285 DSC_7256

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7318DSC_0648

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0611 DSC_0628

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7235 DSC_7303

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0607 DSC_7324