How We Rang In Autumn 2012: Beer, Zoo, Beach, Ship, Photos, Friends & Family

Here I sit on the loveseat, making my entry into this wordpress blog.  This past weekend was the first offical weekend of Autumn, and a very jam-packed weekend, at that!

On Thursday morning, Jon flew into Norfolk.  On Thursday evening, about 8pm and a last minute plan, Monkey and I hit the highway for Norfolk. I arrived about 3:30am to the cottage in Ocean View. We arrived to hear a melody of crickets in the empty house, unpacked, and fell asleep by 4am.

At 8am, I woke up to the alarm screaming in my ear.  Although I wanted and needed to get more than 4 hours of sleep, I got up anyway.  I knew I had to log in to work remotely, but I also had a busy day ahead of me.  It was a beautiful sunny, yet cool temperature morning. Fall was definately in the air!  I took the dog out and we made our way to the beach behind the house. After we finished our walk, the morning was so gorgeous that I wanted to try to snap some photos.

We went back to the house, I put the dog inside, and I grabbed my camera.  Heading back to the beach, I walked over the grassy dune and saw a boat out in the distance.  It seemed a bit familiar to me somehow. I looked through my BIG ZOOM lense to see the yellow cranes, and rusty green body of the ship. It was Jon’s ship!  Switching the ports they were in, the empty cargo ship was going right by the house.  I took some photos and Jon called me on the phone, “Hey, are you out on the beach? Our ship is passing through the Spit!”



After taking some photos of the early morning and watching the ship sailing
by until it went out of sight, I headed back inside the house.

Around noon I headed to Downtown Norfolk; I had plans to visit with many friends that afternoon before getting to pick Jon up from the ship.  I first met with my friend Megan for tea at the Waterfront Park.  We sat in the lovely weather, by the Elizabeth River, watching the sailboats and people playing in the park as we chatted.

Melissa, The Hoff, Me, Horton

Next, I headed over to my previous workplace, Dominion Enterprises. this ended up being a better treat than I had thought.  I walked into the lobby of the large company building to get immediately greeted by the security staff.  This put me aback, as I had no idea they would recognize or remember me!  But as I got this warm greeting, out of separate elevators comes 2 smiling faces, also glad to see me…. my dear friend Paul and my funny friend Melissa coming to get me and take me into the building. Melissa lead me to the old floor I used to work on, and I was given many hugs from many old coworkers! Made me feel very good.

After chatting with them a bit, I went up to see Paul’s fancy new office.  He then invited me over for some coffee.  We sat in Starbucks awhile talking about nothing – which we do every week over the internet, but it was nice to do it in person. I was given so much friendship and love in just a few hours, and it really made me feel wonderful. I felt very grateful.

After finishing up visiting with Paul — I had to make my way over to the port to get Jon, but I learned he would be about an hour or so later than I had expected.  With Friday afternoon traffic, I knew I still needed to head over and wait the time out or I would risk being very, very late in picking him up.

Right outside of the port, there are a few bars/restaurants.  At 3:30pm The Birch had just opened, and I went into this place for a beer and to pass the time for about 40 minutes. All kinds of European beers are served there! It was very cool and unique place — but a wee high on the prices. One beer was listed as $65 a bottle!! I enjoyed 2 German beers, and then headed over to the gate to wait for Jon.

He and his crew pal, Big Dave came out of the gate.  This was my first time meeting Big Dave, but I had heard a lot about him over the past couple years. Big Dave is a wonderful guy from New Orleans and works as an AB with Jon on the ship. Very kind and very funny; I really enjoyed spending some time with him!

It was time to run some errands at Wal-Mart. The guys got some items they needed for the ship – and then we headed back to the port.  This time we stopped off at Tortilla West (no website) for beers and chats. After a couple rounds and many chuckles, Big Dave headed back to the ship.  While I was sad it was time for him to leave, Jon stayed to have dinner with me for a while and I was very happy about that.  I appreciated it very much.  We have some delicious tacos (ground beef for me, fried oyster for Jon) and Jalapeno Mac & Cheese!

After supper, it was time for Jon to go back to the ship, and I needed to go back to the cottage.  We were both very sleepy, and I needed to go check on the dog.  Also, Jon’s mother had since arrived to the cottage house, so I needed to check in with her before bed. Jon also needed to set up and clean up his room on the ship before the weekend.

It was a long, but splendid day – and with a lovely grateful feeling, I feel asleep. 

Saturday, the First Official Day of Autumn 2012, I awoke to another beautiful day. Jon’s mother and I had coffee, and talked for a very long time about all manner of things.  I eventually took Monkey & Hambone, and then Lilly, down to the beach for a stroll.


I, then, got myself together and went over to the Virginia Zoo! I had to go through a bit quicker than I would have liked, as I had only about an hour and a half before I had to get back to the house, but I had fun all the same. The new Tiger area, the Giraffes, the little creatures all about!  I love that place! As I was at the Zoo alone and sans children, I looked around at the faces of my peers and realized that I may have been the only adult truly enjoying my time. 🙂



I headed back, and Jon’s mother and I got ready to go get Jon from the ship.  This time he was going to stay with us all evening, so we had a evening sort of planned out. We headed over to Tortilla West, again.  Jon’s mother had never been there before – and Jon thought his mom would enjoy it.  So off we went!

Well — she and I had about 3 beers each, Chorizo & Cheese Dip with Chips, and waited for Jon to get off the ship.  We shared some ghost stories, and I heard a couple wild tales of Jon’s parents party days. We laughed and realized we were a bit heady from the beers. We could hear Jon as he arrived and said to the restaurant host, “I am here for the 2 drunk women.”   Jon’s mother started to wave at him and sang “Heerrreee weeee aarrreee!”  He joined us for a bit of the Chips and Dip, but then we made our way to our dinner spot!

The three of us got into the car, and Jon (obviously) drove us to Chick’s Oyster Bar in Virginia Beach for the Steamer Pot – a delicious steam pile of Mussels, Clams, Oysters, Shrimp, and Crab Legs!  We enjoyed our meal on the covered deck with the sun beginning to set, and the nice air coming off the water.

After we finished there, we headed back to the house to enjoy some ice cream, and watch a movie.  Jon’s father soon arrived, and then we all went to sleep. Another fun and successful day.

We woke up early (Again! Many early mornings this week!) so Jon could get back on the ship.  Yes, yes…. again I cried as now it was truly the last time to see him for the next several months. Jon works very hard, and has a hard job – while I am proud of him, and know that he knows what he is doing…. I still get a bit sad and nervous when he is off on long trips. (I tear up from selfishness of wanting him around, a little fretting or worry – but mostly with admiration & love.)

I left Jon at the port gate and I headed back to the house. Watching a little TV, having breakfast with his parents, and running the dogs (Lilly, Hambone & Monkey) out on the beach again – I got ready, packed up and headed back home to Charleston.

For me the First Official Autumn Weekend 2012 was jam-packed, fun,
gorgeous, and memorable, even if it was a little sad

I now look forward to keeping busy with fall activities to make the time past quickly until Jon is back home with us.  Hopefully soon, Jon will report some interesting things from his travel and I feel pumpkin-y things will begin to appear in my world very soon!!  Maybe my inner Martha Stewart will appear!


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