"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Visiting Family in Virginia

Newport News, VA
Newport News Park Campground
We arrived in Virginia and are looking forward to spending time visiting Steve's family.  He was born here and still has brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and a new great-niece.  Diesel gas has been getting cheaper the more south we go.  So far this is the cheapest we've seen.
It was getting late and we were a day ahead of our reservation at the campground so we wallydocked in Richmond which gave us the chance to meet up with Steve's Uncle Harry for dinner.  Aunt Linda wasn't feeling well and stayed home.  We went to his cousin's, Danielle's, restaurant, Grillin & Chillin Shack and had some great BBQ!  If you're in Richmond, try it out!  All homemade!

Newport News Park is a great place to spend some time.  It's perfectly located in the city but sits on many acres and a lovely lake.  Some of the sites are close enough you can put in your kayak from your campsite.  You do hear some road noise if your sites are near the water, but it's not that bad.  It's $32 a night with electric & water, right on the lake.  This is a large campground.  It was almost empty the 10 days we were there with exception of the weekend before Halloween which was a little bit busier.  It was cute that many folks decorated up their rigs and campsites.  Most of the sites are quite deep and will easily fit 40' rigs.  The downside though is that many sites are not level and the pads themselves are not in the best of shape.  No problem maneuvering through the grounds.  There is a dump station, boat launch, playgrounds, archery range, lots of bike and walking trails with historical things all around and a laundromat.  I was very impressed with the laundromat.  It was spotless, had 4 of the larger washers and dryers and they were only $1 each!  And that is $1 for an hour of drying, not 10 minutes!

Our backyard on the water, no extra charge.
We went out to dinner with Steve's brother, Mickey, and his wife Wendy.  It was Steve's birthday so we had a great time celebrating and visiting!

Wendy & Mickey
We spent some time in Virginia Beach also visiting with Steve's other brother, Jeff.  While there we walked along the boardwalk.  Strange, but it's been the first time we've been to the Ocean all year. (We used to live in CA and went a couple of times a year).  It was rather cold and windy, but it was nice to smell the salt air again.  Dogs are allowed on the boardwalk and on the beach, except during summer and festival days.  Hurley would've LOVED to tear up and down the beach and run in and out of the water, but dogs do have to be leashed.  It would've been torture if we walked him down by the surf but kept him on leash, so we just stuck to the boardwalk.
They were just putting up Christmas light displays for the holidays.  Too bad we won't see them as they get turned on at Thanksgiving, and we'll be down in South Carolina by then.  They also put up a huge holiday light display in Newport News Park that you can drive through.

While visiting with Jeff, Veronica and kids, we had a great time going over old family pictures from West Virginia where their family came from originally.  We've been able to trace it back several generations, but are stuck at one family.  I forgot to get a picture of our nephew, Alex.

Charity, Jeremy & Cassidy

Lot's of wonderful paddling.  The fall color is just getting going here.  We have been fortunate to follow it down from the Northeast.  Lots of eagles, egrets, turtles and deer here.

Our adorable new grand niece, Callie.  She is 2 months old and I finally got to hold her.  What a cutie pie!  I haven't held a baby in years!

Callie's Daddy & Mommy, Travis and Katie.

Going to the local breweries is always something we enjoy too.  Especially if they give tours.  Today we went to St. George Brewing Co., New Veterans and Beach Brewing.  It's really more Steve's thing.  I don't like beer.  I keep trying them, but they simply taste too bitter for me.  Totally repulsive.  Don't know why.  I enjoy hearing about the brewing process though and I love the hops.  If we had property again and it was in the right zone, I'd love to grow hops!  Steve's favorite, hands down, was the Hoptopus Double IPA by Beach Brewing.

This wasn't your average Hard Lemonade.  It is made with hops.
I kind of liked this one, but it was very strong!
More paddling and eagles and egrets.  Sorry some of the pictures aren't the best.  One of these days I'll get a camera that can get the shots my iPhone can't!


We had a Cousin's BBQ day and had lunch at Newport News Park in the picnic/shelter areas.

Steve, Cindy, Jeff, Christie & Mikey.

I had fun getting the kids to do some action shots!  Even the big kids (below) got in the action.

One of the many nice, paved walking/biking paths.


It's too bad this picture wasn't over the open water because I think the ducks would've really looked amazing!  It's hard to see them with the trees in the background, bur there are 6 of them.  Do you see them?  Pretty cool actually.

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