Sunday, November 20, 2016

new chapter

Friday was a gorgeous day to be kicking off Thanksgiving break.  Loaded my car, pushed play on the new Bon Jovi cd and hit highway 17 towards Norfolk.

Been far too long since I've been at the ocean. 

Was wondering why my suitcase was so heavy~genetics are showing; glad to be from a reading family. 

Stumbled upon a lovely new Trader's and stocked up on snackage.

Went for a long beach ramble and was happy to see that they've got miles of Christmas decorations up.

Fun beach details at every crosswalk and railings. 

Neptune seems distraught by global warming.

My personal one seems off to an auspicious beginning.

Good to see palm trees after several months of inland river life.

A very long swim? 

It's not the Zilker Trail of Lights, but I'll take it.

If you squint, you'll see Santa and his reindeer on the old pier. 

It's disorienting to not see the sun set on the ocean.

My room is eight floors above the Two Turtle Doves. 

Serenity.  At least for a few hours. 

Not blurry~just the actual colours of the twilit sky.

Don't know that I've ever stayed ocean side before, but I'm hooked!

Part of the Christmas Lane. 

I did sit out and watch the moon rise, but the pictures did not do it justice.

Generally not a fan of sunrises, but it was rather wonderful to see one on my actual birthday, 

especially, as I went right back to sleep after watching.

Not sure whether I'm cheered or creeped out that my Doodle is for my bday today.

Spent the rest of the morning at the Virginia Aquarium~took snaps of the Komodo Dragon to share with my Indonesian students.

The tunnel of fishies. 

Lil' poisonous frog.  

Just one teeny tank of jellyfish.

It's blurry, but this fish kept swimming up and making eye contact. 

An enormous lobster~he must have been well over two feet in length. 

Gorgeous walk way connecting the two campuses that comprise the aquarium.  I hadn't expected 70 degreed weather at the beach. 

Otters always seem to be such happy creatures. 

Time for a snooze after all the aquatic acrobatics.

A blue crab asking if you want a piece of him. 

Magical sea horses.

Hermit crab fight.

Probably not the nicest photo with which to end, but I learned that there are only (!) three venomous snakes in Virginia~the copperhead, the cottonmouth, and the timber rattle snake.  According to the informative placard, one can tell them apart from the others by noticing that their eye slits are vertical.  Um-hm.  Looking a snake in the face is exactly what I'll be doing should I come across one in the wilds.

Reptiles aside, it's been one of the nicest birthdays yet.


  1. Nice pictures. You were born at sunrise (6:15) so you should be up at sunrise!!

    1. Since I saw it at birth, it can be forever checked off my bucket list!

  2. I always enjoy your vacations - and it does make me realize that I don't actually... go on vacation much! After living abroad, you get out of the habit of it, since "abroad" is pretty much most people's idea of vacation. So, we've decided to go over Christmas somewhere... just have to pick where.

    1. Something shifted for me when I went to grad school & wandered Manhattan~decided to always play tourist in my own region. Seattle & Austin were great places to do so. And now? I've got the eastern seaboard to explore.