Wednesday, April 20, 2011

34th Wedding Anniversary Celebration in Virginia

by Donna L. Watkins

Since we rarely come up with any gift ideas for our anniversary, we usually choose to "make memories" instead with a trip somewhere. This year we took an overnight trip to the coastal area of Virginia. We've often talked about visiting the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Suffolk, Virginia, so that was our main target.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Devil's Walking Stick Tree
We left very early and visited there first at the end of our 3 hour trip over. It was a bit chilly and overcast with a breeze. They had a really nice boardwalk trail through the swamp area and we walked on two other trails also. We found a couple of owl pellets on one trail which was very exciting, along with numerous Devil's Walking Stick trees.

The Great Dismal Swamp NWR has been designated as a site in the National Underground Railway Network to Freedom, so there was a bit of history on that. My photo descriptions give an account of all we saw and read about.

View The Great Dismal Swamp photo album.

After we had enough chill, we headed for downtown area of Suffolk, Virginia. Planters Peanuts was "born" in Suffolk and the original building of 1889 is still there and being used to sell peanuts. Being privately owned, they still sell peanuts and have a 1936 roaster to roast the peanuts in the shell. The downtown area of Suffolk was very nice with a beautiful wall mural and many historic churches, a train station, and a historic cemetery. It's nice to see a clean downtown that can be strolled. We also visited Sleepy Hole Park in Suffolk where we caught a glimpse of the founder of Planters Peanuts home. The Obici House was a 1870 farmhouse that was relocated and expanded to a 1920's Art Nouveau-style mansion along the Nansemond River. Amedeo Obici was an Italian immigrant. Since the home was being renovated they were not taking visitors.

View the Suffolk, Virginia photo album.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Camellia at Chesapeake Arboretum, VA
We then checked into the hotel in Chesapeake, Virginia, and had dinner at a nearby family-owned Italian restaurant. Randal loves manicotti when he can get it and I had checked out the vegetarian dining options ahead of time to find one less than a mile away from the hotel. I wish I could say it was absolutely wonderful, but it was the worst Italian meal that I can remember. Since we don't eat out very often, that's a long-term memory.

The next day we visited the Chesapeake Arboretum which included an old farm house with gardens and also a woodland wetland trail of trees. The trees were nicely marked with signs, but they had a real invasive plant problem. I took a photo of my hand on the bottom part of a vine and my hand only went half way around it. It was amazing! I liked a sign that had a quote from Anne Frank, ""I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles." Near the end of our stay I was able to photograph a rabbit while he was in the midst of running away with his rear legs up in the air. So cute! My friend, Robin, in Atlanta said it was the Easter bunny, but I had to tell her that there is no Easter bunny.

View the Chesapeake Arboretum photo album.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Fresnel Lens - Portsmouth, VA
Leaving the arboretum, we drove to the downtown historic seaport of Portsmouth, Virginia. Randal loves to see ships and they had one that helicopters landed on in for repair. They also had a fine example of a lightship. They were floating lighthouses, so the history on them is very interesting and is included on my photos. They had a fresnel lens from a lighthouse on Hog Island (Virginia) in a pavilion built for it. It used hundreds of prisms to bend and concentrate light in a powerful beam. There's more information on that in the photo descriptions also.

View Portsmouth, Virginia photo album.

We had a full 30 hours of celebration time and wanted to get back home to enjoy our screened porch and review the many blessings we have which includes having each other. That's something we can celebrate every day!

This Website is Sponsored by The Herbs Place - Wholesale Prices Always
On Sale Now * Online Catalog * Women * Men * Children * Essential Oils

1 comment:

wedding cakes said...

Appreciating this persistence you place in to the website and detailed advice you present. It’s awesome to arrive upon a website once in a time that’s not the same out of date re-written information. Excellent article! We have saved your blog and I am adding your Feed to my Msn account.

Share This Post