life’s a beach

Midsummer Magic

By holiday fun, life's a beach, ruling at life, virginia beach 3 Comments

If I could begin and end every summer day at the beach the way I did today, I would be eternally happy. I squeezed in a refreshing, early morning bike ride before work, and I toasted the summer solstice with a champagne picnic at the ocean’s edge at 7:09 p.m. — complete with shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, and the boyfriend. =)

On this first day of summer, I vow to make every attempt to spend as much time enjoying the sun, sand and surf as possible — riding my beach cruiser at dawn, strolling the boardwalk at lunch, catching those last few rays after work, and taking plenty of cool dips in the Atlantic.

Come September, there will be no, “Oh, I wish I had spent more time outside” or “Where did the summer go?” or “I should have found the time for more beach days.” Not this year.

The summer is mine to squander or fill with magic moments like today, and I choose the latter.

Oh, Say Can You See

By airplanes/airports, concerts, events, jet noise, life's a beach, navy, partying like a rock star, virginia beach 3 Comments


Last weekend, Virginia Beach launched 2012’s series of summer events with the Patriotic Festival — a three-day celebration of our nation’s military featuring concerts on the beach, vendors along the boardwalk, and air shows over the Atlantic Ocean.

Last weekend was nothing short of amazing. I’ve seen air shows before, but never two days in a row over the ocean. =) On Saturday, I managed to finagle an invite from Heather to Sky Bar, which had to have been one of the best vantage points for snapping photos of the Blue Angels as they soared south past the Hilton towards the demonstration area over and over during their performance. Saturday night, J and I leisurely walked up and down the boardwalk, dodging the occasional rain drop and listening to the sounds of Steel Pulse coming from the stage on the sand at 5th Street. Sunday was another perfect beach day, and we biked to the Oceanfront to watch the Blue Angels again — this time at the water’s edge.

This year’s Patriotic Festival also kicked off 12 days of OpSail 2012 Virginia, which coincides this weekend with Norfolk’s annual Harborfest and the bicentennial of the War of 1812. I told you it was going to be a busy summer. =)
















Scenes from the Long Weekend

By holiday fun, life's a beach, ruling at life 6 Comments


It was three days full of beach time, sunshine, bike rides, dog walks, and get-togethers. I wish the entire East Coast could have enjoyed the weather we did for Memorial Day weekend. I started my “staycation” on Friday evening soaking up some sun on the beach, followed by a nice dinner date with the boyfriend. Saturday shaped up to be a leisurely morning of shopping, an afternoon on the beach, and a night out with John and Vince that ended up in a midnight walk on the beach and a barefoot bike ride home.

On Sunday, I crammed in as many activities as I could — a bike ride to breakfast, a mid-morning walk along Rudee Inlet, some quality time with Diesel, progress on my sunglasses organization project, and two birthday parties involving margaritas and lots of beer. =)

Monday was meant to be a day of doing nothing, but we ended up hosting an impromptu cookout for just a few friends, and it was the perfect way to close out an easygoing, beautiful weekend.








{see the rest of this outfit here}










Words of Wisdom for a Long Weekend

By food, holiday fun, life's a beach, lists, ruling at life 4 Comments

Memorial Day weekend is upon us. I don’t know about you, but I plan on making the most of the next 72 hours…starting with the fact that I’m already lounging on the beach. =)

As far as I’m concerned, the next three days are a mini-vacation. No work, no stress…just fun, sun, and more fun.

That being said, here are just a few ways you can celebrate the start of summer this weekend.

1. Wear sunblock. And keep wearing it all summer long.

2. Don’t drink and drive. There are cops everywhere, and I hear getting arrested sucks.

3. Drink a piƱa colada. It’s summer, and you’re on vacation.

4. Relax. Spend at least a few hours reading, snoozing or sipping champagne outside, whether it’s on a porch, near a pool or at the beach.

5. Listen to some fun music. My soundtrack for the next three days is shaping up to be Reel Big Fish Radio on Pandora. Nothing like soaking up some sunshine to the tune of some upbeat ska.

6. Don’t show up to cookouts empty-handed. If you’re too lazy (or hungover) to cook, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you. Spread one package of cream cheese over the bottom of a medium-sized microwaveable casserole dish. Top that with one can of Hormel chili (no beans), and top that with one package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Voila! Taco dip! Pop it in the microwave for seven minutes when you get where you’re going. Serve it up with some tortilla chips and beer, and you’re golden.

7. Take at least a few minutes to remember what Memorial Day is all about.

8. Cram in as many other fun activities as possible. You only ring in summer once a year. =)

And that’s about it. Enjoy your weekend!

P.S. I posted this from my iPhone, so please pardon any typos or formatting issues. First attempt. =)

Let’s Do Lunch: Surf Club Ocean Grille

By food, life's a beach, restaurants, virginia beach One Comment


Virginia Beach is full of so many amazing restaurants, but it’s easy to limit myself by eating at my favorites over and over again. Fortunately, my friend/favorite bartender Tara recently started working at the Surf Club Ocean Grille, so I had the perfect excuse to venture up to the North End to try something new. A storm rolling in kept us off our bikes, but parking was plentiful, and J, Vince and I enjoyed a delicious Saturday afternoon lunch at the bar.

The atmosphere was serene — the Surf Club engulfs visitors in sea-inspired hues and wavy textures with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean through wall-to-wall windows on the east-facing side of the restaurant. Even the bar is a smooth, sea foam green, reminiscent of tumbled sea glass washed up on the beach.

Lunch on a Saturday means indulging in at least one (if not two) drinks, so I chose to start off with a crisp glass of champagne garnished with an orange slice (a personal favorite). The lunch menu was far from fussy with just enough choices to leave me wanting to visit again before I even ordered. I’m glad I opted for the Roasted Lobster and Crab Chowder, which came out in a larger-than-life bowl, accompanied by oyster crackers and topped with a White Truffle Sea Foam. It was a light, creamy soup, chock full of crab and lobster meat, potatoes and corn — delicious right down to the last spoonful. J also enjoyed a bowl of the chowder, while Vince ordered a Grilled Turkey Panini on flatbread with a side of cucumber salad.

The Surf Club is the first place that’s ever offered me a taste of Tommy Bahama rum, so for my second drink, Tara concocted a White Sand Pina Colada topped with a Golden Sun floater — best frozen drink I’ve ever had. =) The Surf Club also has Peroni on tap — another rarity at the beach, for sure.

What was missing? In a place that gorgeous, I would have liked to have seen some signature cocktails and perhaps some more fitting music…especially if I was on vacation. But, overall, I can’t complain. It was a perfect weekend lunch — tasty food, friendly service and a sublime setting.

The Surf Club is located at the Wyndham on 57th and Atlantic in Virginia Beach. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Surf Club also hosts a monthly wine tasting event on the third Thursday of every month (details here). For reservations, call 757-425-5699, and if you go to the bar, tell Tara I said hi. =)