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virginia beach

One Last Beach Day

By fall, life's a beach, lifestyle, outfits, style, summer, virginia beach, weather 2 Comments

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It was bright, sunny and 82 degrees this afternoon, so J and I rode our bikes to the beach. I wasn’t expecting the water to be warm enough for swimming, but it was perfect. Not to be deterred by lack of a swimsuit and a towel, I waded out into the salty Atlantic in my dress. I thought it was a novel idea at first — the kind of thing you only see in movies or magazine photo shoots. But after awhile, I realized it was the rare sort of day where you find lots of people in the ocean with their clothes on. It was as if we all flocked to the beach a few hours ahead of the cold front, expecting the water to be freezing. The realization we were wrong, coupled with the fact that the temperature is going to take a 20-degree tumble overnight, made taking one last dip somewhat irresistible…dresses, shorts, jeans or otherwise.

I’ll still be holding out for a few more warm days, but if today truly was the last beach day of 2012, I’m glad I managed to spend an hour walking along the water’s edge enjoying it. =)

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to autumn taking the reins, so I can wear boots and plaid flannel, cook chili with J, and not have to worry about mosquitoes outside. =)

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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

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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. =)

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Let’s Do Lunch: Surf Club Ocean Grille

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

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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. =)

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Back Bay

By catch a wave, life's a beach, ruling at life, take me away, the places you'll go, virginia beach 5 Comments

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Living at the beach has many perks that I often take for granted. In the almost eight years I’ve been living in Virginia Beach, I’ve never ventured down to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or False Cape State Park, which is why I made it one of my 2012 resolutions to get my bike down there and go for a ride.

For those of you not from around here, Back Bay is a 9,250-acre wildlife refuge situated on a narrow spit of land bordered on either side by the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound. False Cape State Park — accessible only on foot, by bicycle or via boat — borders Back Bay to the south and forms the adjoining border of Virginia with North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

It was a gorgeous day — perfect for breaking in my new Electra cruiser and spending some quality time with my parents while they were in town. We spent hours pedaling along the gravel road, taking in the sights, and snapping photos. When gravel turned to sand, we hiked up and over a gigantic sand dune, landing ourselves on a breathtaking beach, where wild waves and a sandy shore stretched for miles and miles with nary a soul in sight.

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