Saturday, September 22, 2012

Home Again

Walking on the beach on our last day, the sky was amazing.

We left Virginia Beach on Tuesday to head for Charlottesville. On the way we stopped at the Richmond headquarters of Child Fund International, the organization through which we sponsor several children. We wanted to meet our main representative and some other people there. It happened to be a day where they had a lunchtime speaker. He was put into a CFI orphanage as a child in China; at 17 he emigrated to the US, learned English, and attended college and medical school. He is now a cardiologist in California. He had lots of slides and the pictures and stories were fascinating.

On the way to Charlottesville, we came through a heavy storm. Here it is looming ahead as we drove west on I-64.

Charlottesville was a blur of visiting -- staying with a friend, meeting people for lunch two different days, trying to squeeze in other visits. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see everyone I would have wished to.

Friday we drove home in 11 hours. As usual, listening to audio books made the miles fly by. One we both enjoyed a lot this time was Larry McMurtry's Telegraph Days. It was laugh-out-loud funny much of the time, which was unexpected.

For more about our visit in Virginia Beach, you can read Anjali's blog at

We now have about 10 days to prepare for leaving for India on October 2. Check back here early in the month for the next round!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday Outing

We decided to visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina today. It is about a two-hour drive south of Virginia Beach, so not too bad. Our first stop was at the Wright Brothers National Memorial site in Kitty Hawk. We listened to an entertaining talk by a volunteer in a room where there was an accurate reproduction of their first plane and a small glider like they used earlier. After the talk, we went out to the site where they camped and took off on their successful day, December 1903. Walking the distances they went on those four flights was interesting -- the longest was 852 feet, not far at all. Here we are in front of the rock that marks the take-off spot.

Our next stop was Manteo on Roanoke Island, the site of the Lost Colony. If you don't know the story, do check out the link. It's interesting! They had picnic tables and we ate the lunch we had brought with us.

During the summer, there is a "symphonic play" that runs six nights a week in this outdoor theater with an ocean view. Very nice.

Near the theater is an Elizabethan garden (the Lost Colony was founded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I). We went into the gift shop but decided not to tour the garden. Just outside there were flowering bushes that had lots of butterflies. Anjali got close to photograph them.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

On the Road Again

Can we stay home for more than a month at a time? We will find out next winter/spring when we won't be traveling back to India for a change!

Monday evening we hosted our usual small dinner group at our house. My friend Irene had told me about a lemon meatloaf that she made the week before, so I decided to try it. I made them in muffin tins, which made lovely small loaves. The recipe (found on the internet) was a fairly ordinary meatloaf, but with lemon juice in it. Topped with a dollop of barbecue sauce and a lemon slice, they were both attractive and delicious. Served with some of the last fresh corn and spinach topped with chopped hard-boiled egg (one left in the fridge before the trip, what else to do?).

Tuesday morning we left to drive east, where we are visiting our daughter and son-in-law in Virginia Beach for a few days. We drove into a beautiful sunrise just after 7 a.m.

We spent the first night with Dan's brother in Manassas, VA. Camille, the cat that their sister brought for their mother, is enjoying life.

Anda served a lovely dinner of chicken kebabs marinated in Thai flavorings, plus a mixed salad of roasted vegetables on lettuce with olives. Beautiful and delicious. Unfortunately, it was already eaten into before I remembered my camera.

Our niece's husband has class on Tuesday evenings, so she joined us with her 4-year-old tiwins. They are delightful. They enjoy going to "school" every day here at Grandpa & Grandma's house while their mother teaches first grade in a local school.

We left at a more civilized time (9:00) on Wednesday. As we passed Williamsburg, we decided to stop at the old Williamsburg Pottery, a place we used to love exploring. To our great surprise, it has been completely changed. You can see a picture of the faux-French village facade of the new buildings. It is very nice, but does lack the character of the old place, as well as the serendipity of finding unexpected things in unexpected places.

We ate lunch at Au Bon Pain, a chain that has partnered with them. Lovely fresh soup, sandwiches, and salads. Dan had a pesto chicken sandwich and I had a Thai peanut chicken salad.

Now we are with Anjali and Domingos, about to head off to get her bow rehaired and visit the Apple store.