Friday, October 2, 2009

Good Bye, Mom and Hello Corndog!

Sadly, Avie departed Tide Hiker and returned to Tucson, AZ yesterday. The 2-weeks truly flew by and none of us were ready for her to go. She was a great guest and we enjoyed her stay with us immensely. We're looking forward to Avie's next visit.

Also, sadly, we were to meet one of Norm's high school class mates (Dick Rettinger) near the airport. It would have been a quick visit, because Dick had a golf outing to attend. But it would have been a nice, but short get-together--IF the traffic had cooperated. We were stalled in a long backup following an accident in a road construction area. Unfortunately, we did not get to Dick before he had to hightail it to the links. We'll be trying to reconnect again while in the southern Chesapeake.

All was not lost, though. We had plans, after we dropped Avie off at the airport, to do a driving tour of Richmond and attend the Virginia State Fair. We did both. Bob and Stephanie, tolerated another encore sight-seeing performance and led us on a great tour of VCU, Momument Drive and other interesting Richmond sights. Then it was off to corndog heaven!

Let the gluttony begin. (Only kidding!) The VA State Fair was a fried food paradise. There was fried everything, including twinkies, potato chips, oreo's and more. And I thought Wisconsin Cheese Curds were different. While we did not try everything, we did experiment with a few. Between the four of us (mostly two of us--you guess who by the pictures) we tried the fried twinkie, the fried sweet potato fries, the fried corndog, the chocolate covered potato chips, the grilled italian sausage, fried chicken and the (not fried to my knowledge) warm cinnimon bun with extra cream cheese icing. Needless to say, it was a bit quiet in the car on the drive home. That is, except for the stomach growls.

(Click on the pics for a larger than life view.)
In addition to the food, there were the typical agricultural, livestock etc displays and a midway with amusement rides. Of course there were the wierd displays of the live snake woman and the smallest women, etc. We skipped those - didn't want the deep fried twinkie to come up.
One display of particlar interest to us was the dairy cows. We saw a calf that was only hours old and still being cleaned by its mom. (That's when we were hungry for a milk shake.) We also saw little chicks poking their way out of their shells in a glass-lined incubator. (That's when we were hungry for fried chicken). We also saw the pig races--yes the pig races. Bob got his italian sausage earlier, in anticipation of the pig races. I think we were fortunate that we missed the "Exceedingly Awesome Dog Trick Show". Or, we might have gotten hungry for dog and poor Cassie and Godiva (Bob and Stephanie's pets) could have been prime meat on the hoof. OOh, Icky!
There were three pig race heats. The last heat consisted of 5 pot-belly oriental swine. (That's when we got hungry for chocolate covered bacon and sweet & sour pork.) They kept advertising that the races got faster but they did not. They got slower and the pot-bellys were the slowest. In fact, the winner- the pink one here- stopped just before the finish line to have a snack of something--what a pig! The second one almost overtook him before he got moving and crossed the line. The thrill and suspense was, well, phat!

September Song left today for Mobjack Bay. We stayed another to return the rental car and get the boat ready for about 10 days or so of anchoring before we hit the Norfolk area and the jumping off point for our trek south to warmer climes. Safe travels, September Song.

Williamsburg, and Independence from the British Crown

Since we had to get Vicki's mom to the airport in Richmond on Thursday, we decided to remain in Urbanna for a few more days and take in the local sites by auto. First stop was Williamsburg. Yes we were there for Big Fast Boat Bob's Birthday Bash (try to say that fast 5 times) last month, but did not really explore Colonial. So off we went. First stop was of course lunch. Bob and Stephanie recommended a cheese shop. It was great--a plate of different domestic and imported cheeses and a bottle or two of a fine wine. A finer lunch we could not have had.

Having a bit of the "jolly", it was off to explore revolutionary city and the reenactments colonial times and the war for independence. First, at the playhouse, we saw three short skits of what live theater presented then
The Declaration of Independence was read from the Governor's Mansion to the townspeople. Many actors were in attendance and were participating in the reenactment with cheers and other complicated lines.

Several colonial citizens were listening intently.

A few others had no choice--like these two colonial wenches found guilty for wearing pants in violation of the Church of England's rules on appropriate dress.

And some would be sitting on the stoop in front of Raleigh's Tavern just passing the time by singing drinking songs.(Try clicking on the arrow to hear what we heard.)

Later the fife and drum corps marched down center street and led a parade.

Benedict Arnold, the turncoat, rode into town and overtook Williamsburg. They raised the British flag over the capital and announced the rules of occupation. He also tried to convince everyone that Washington's army had been defeated and told everyone to come back under the King. That, of course, went over like a lead balloon and the other costumed actors delved into their large repertoire of complicated lines and booed him. Also, as you know, Arnold was later captured and hung by the neck till dead!

Later, George himself rode into town to address citizens and the allied American army that had been gathering at Williamsburg and eager to engage Cornwallis at Yorktown. (Again, try clicking on the arrow to hear what we heard)

Of course, Washington defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown. The Americans were independent of the British Crown. It was a great day reliving history. It was a long drive back to the boat, so we hightailed it out of Williamsburg before we were reenacted into the War of 1812!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pizza, Hamburgers and Root Beer Floats

We arrived in Urbanna, VA on Sunday after a very nice 4-hour cruise down the Chesapeake and up the Rappahannock River. Urbanna was an old Tobacco Port as designated by the king of Great Brittan during the colonial days. Tobacco was grown here and traded with Britan for other goods and supplies. Tobacco back then was like money.

Urbanna now is a cutsey, resorty town that is busy in the summer and slowly dies after labor day until the November Oyster Feast. Then it dies for the winter. So, we decided to eat, shop, clean boats and eat. Our first stop was at the Colonial Pizza Restaurant--the only place open on Sunday. Pizza and beer were good and the laughs were plenty.

We then decided to walk back to the boat but Bob and Avie took a shortcut.

The next day was shopping the grand metropolis of Urbanna. More laughs than shopping, but Vicki did purchase a new shirt.
Of course, following the exhaustive shopping spree we got hungry for a snack. There is a drugstore in town with an old fashion soda fountain. So, root beer floats were in order.

We have to drive Avie to the Richmond Airport (about an hour away) on Thursday so we decided to remain here at dock. Winds were holding us up anyway, so it will work out good. AND, the town gave us a break on the cost, it being out of season and all. Tomorrow, Wednesday, we'll drive into Colonial Williamsburg for the day. And Thursday, we'll drop Avie off at the airport and explore Richmond for a couple of hours. We might even have lunch with one of Norm's high school buddies who now lives in the Richmond area.