A Tiny Taste of Norfolk, VA

Usually when I write about a place, I’ve had a pretty thorough visit, whether it was a day or a week. Our plans had me spending a full day in Norfolk, VA when my flight came in. Unfortunately due to a “security breach”, all Southwest flights were canceled for a while, and I ended up flying out four hours later and arriving six hours later than originally planned. 

So I will share with you some of the things I had hoped to do (and certainly hope I can return for) as well as what we actually did. 

Norfolk is near Virginia Beach, which seems to mean you can do the tourist on a busy beach thing as well as get your taste of the biggest, most diverse city we have seen all summer. It’s a part of the larger Hampton Roads metropolitan area, so there are lots of water-based things to do nearby. It has lots of history and culture worth checking out while you’re in town, and much of it is for free or cheap. It has lots of beautiful river and bayfront property which makes for some excellent photo opportunities amidst the city and skyline. 

Norfolk is definitely the cultural hub of the area. Whether you’re looking for museums and historic homes or for concerts or theater, this is the place for it. Town Point Park downtown hosts lots of events. The Pagoda Garden looks like a free, pretty location for a visit, but if you’ve got time and a little money, you definitely won’t want to miss the Botanical Gardens. They include exhibits that can really take some time to explore, and they seem a steal at $8/person. It’s my first choice for when we return. 

History buffs won’t want to miss Fort Norfolk. It’s free to visit and will give you a chance to take a trip back in time to this important location in the War of 1812 and the Civil War. 

Wondering what we managed after my flight into Norfolk? Ultimately, all we had time for was a quick visit to the Chrysler Museum of Art, known for their glass exhibit. We’re so glad we came to this free museum. We saw phenomenal exhibits, including a visiting one that captivated us with its combination of glass, light, video and sound. We only had time for a short visit, but allow at least a few hours to exploring here. And did I mention it’s free? If you’ve got extra time, consider taking a class or observing the glass studio!

Norfolk looks like a great city and we are eager to return again in the future. And you’ve got lots to explore in the area too, including maritime museums and of course the beach. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

Choosing Our Next Steps 

It’s mid-August already. Can you believe it? We are in shock at how quickly the summer has flown by. But everything they say about time flying is pretty true, in our experience.

And there isn’t much we can do about that. But we can be deliberate with the time we have. Some people work extraordinarily hard to save so they can retire early. Or just retire someday. And we respect that. But since we haven’t found lucrative gigs that excite us and make us want to wake up every morning, our approach is to make the most of our time by seeking adventures and pursuing our passions to the fullest. It’s so hard. And we still have to do the boring stuff, like laundry and battling ants. But we’re incredibly blessed to be doing what we are doing, and we are thankful for it every day. So the adventure continues.

We’ve reached that time in the season where we are being asked to decide if we are coming back next summer. And boy, are we on the fence! This place is seriously amazing. Our bosses and co-workers are awesome (even with a few good friends no longer here) and these jobs offer us creativity, flexibility and fun in a way that basically can’t be beat. 

But there are downsides to staying, of course. We’ve done the sight-seeing thing, so year 2 we won’t really have anything new to explore within an hour’s drive. Even more of our friends won’t be back, although we will meet new people of course. And while being on the beach is awesome, we still have lots of this country to see, and May – early September is a big time commitment. 

But there are some serious positives here, and we know that if we do decide to move on, we’d come back again in a heartbeat. It’s always nice to know there’s a place for us!

So what is next, you might be wondering? Well, we head back to NH for 4-6 weeks or so this fall. We will visit doctors, hopefully get our RV looked at by our favorite RV mechanics, visit family and do some performing and teaching. After that, it’s back to the Orlando area for the winter. We will return to the same RV park as this winter – it’s cheap and has nice people, even if the maintenance/cleanliness is not ideal – and hope to return to part-time work while we build our business. Oh, and Disney. We’re excited to see what Halloween and Christmas and the Food and Wine Festival look like at Disney World, and since our annual passes are good through mid-February, we will plan to stay until then. 

After that, we will see where the wind blows us! It could be the Outer Banks (in which case we would consider FL for another couple of months), or it could be New Mexico or Colorado, both high on our visit list. We’re currently reaching out to campgrounds and researching the cost of living in the places we’d like to land. And it seems likely that even if we return to the Outer Banks in 2018, we will be out west by the fall. 

Adulting is hard. Planning is hard. And we are so blessed to be making these choices. Thanks for reading and supporting what we do! And if you haven’t found us on Facebook yet, check it out! Ross and I are performing live every week or so now, so follow our page for the updates. 

Safe travels and have a wonderful day, wherever you are!

Accidents Happen

And sometimes they’re caused by construction companies.

For those of you who haven’t been seeing us in the national news, the islands in the Outer Banks that we are living and working on have been without power since Thursday thanks to an unfortunate construction mistake. Our campground has been running on generators ever since, and the KOA next door had to close due to sewage issues when the outage happened. Meanwhile an evacuation order was issued, but those currently on the island (even short-term visitors) can stay if they’re self-sufficient like most campers are.

So we’ve been making due with a generator and the best staff and management we could ask for. There’s still a beautiful beach, which we took advantage of until the ocean ate Ross’ glasses. But we will be back there and taking it easy while working to stay cool at a much emptier than usual campground. 

Today’s plan was to handwash our clothes, but the limited power that came back yesterday is enough to power our washers and dryers, so I am thanking the powers that be for modern technology!

I’m sure when all of this is behind us, I will have more insight and tips for dealing with situations like this. But for now we’re just taking it one day at a time. (Photo is of the almost empty beach at 8 a.m.)

Note to future folks – in an emergency here, T-Mobile is apparently Talk and text only. Luckily Ross has Verizon and the campground has internet!

Do you have any power outage tips?