Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Mini Bucket List for the Summer


On June 21, Jesse Scaccia, a columnist for The Virginian-Pilot, wrote an article called, “50 ways to fall in love with Norfolk this summer.” It’s actually a two-part article, but the second half hasn’t been published yet. To me, this sounded like a challenge to complete a mini, local bucket list. Challenge accepted, Hampton Roads! 

I’m going to include the text of the article here, because you’re only allowed a few free articles per month from Pilot online. And if you’ve already used them up, at least you can still see it here.
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It’s happy season in Hampton Roads – summer.

Here are 50 ways – in two installments – to ensure you find joy in our sweet city on the water.
Save this article. Tape it to the fridge. See how many you can get through and notice how light you feel come fall.

1. Watch the diverse downtown set go by from a window seat at Field Guide while enjoying one of their “adult slushies.”
2. Plan a beach day in Ocean View, where the crowds are thinner than at the Oceanfront. It’s great for kids who are too small for the bigger waves of the Atlantic. We’ve done this on a regular basis, because like Jesse said, the crowds are thinner this time of year. However, when tourist season ends, I prefer the Oceanfront.
3. Catch one of Norfolk’s epic sunsets from the Hague footbridge and instantly fall in love.
4. Dance the night away at Latin social nights at the Mambo Room – because summer is the time for movement and feeling sexy. Salsa until 1 a.m. Fridays.
5. Play with one of the adoptable pups at the Norfolk SPCA. They sure would love a walk – it gets lonely inside.
6. Kick back and enjoy live music from some of the best bands in Tidewater at the Hermitage Museum’s Sunsets on the River. What a view, I’m telling ya.
7. Wear your angel wings, kilt, glitter, face paint and anything else that will make you feel like you’re in a Shakespearean wonderland for one of the most magical weekends of the year – the Mid-Summer Fantasy Festival in Town Point Park, July 29 – 31.
8. Travel back to the ‘80s. Generic Theater is putting on “Heathers: The Musical” this summer.
9. Harness the wind! Get your U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification through Sail Nauticus. I’m playing a little loose with this one. I don’t care about getting keelboat certification, but we did purchase some kayaks and got them registered for Norfolk and Suffolk already. In fact, we had them out on the water this last weekend.
10. Party on the streets of Norfolk at First Fridays downtown.
11. Get your licks in with an ice cream cone at Doumar’s. Well, duh! J
12. Think healthy and refreshing eating with one of the acai bowls at Zeke’s. Just $5 for a small.
13. Take the ferry to Portsmouth and grab lawn seats for a show at the Pavilion. Hold hands and feel the night rise with Ray LaMontagne on July 19. I’ve seen about three concerts at the Pavilion and think it’s just a fantastic place for concerts. The parking is easy in/easy out, and there’s a number of small, local restaurants within walking distance so you can eat there before the shows without spending a buttload of money on not-so-great concert food.
14. Buy a new (old) bike at Hunds Recyclefactory on North Colley and ride it as much as possible. We already have awesome beach cruisers from East Coast Cycle.
15. Walk among Norfolk’s historical dead at a twilight tour of Elmwood Cemetery. No RSVP necessary, every first and final Friday of the month, organized by the Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation. Did this on Friday, Aug. 26. I thought it was so interesting, that I also went on the historic Cedar Grove Cemetery tour on Sept. 17.
16. Celebrate Hogwarts-style. At the end of July, there’s a birthday party for Harry Potter at O’Connor Brewery. (I know there’s some craft beer and Harry lover out there who just squealed with delight.)
17. Tour the Naval Base, the world’s largest. We salute you, America! Done, and has been for some time now.
18. Catch The Wave, Norfolk’s come-as-you-are summertime dance party. If you love to dance and you’ve never spent a night at The Wave, I have just one word for you: Girl.
19. Get around town in style: the downtown water taxi takes off from Mile Marker Zero on the Elizabeth River.
20. Find the bird sanctuary in West Ghent. You’ve got to promise to keep this one a secret, as it is so often wonderfully devoid of people ... I’d say more but I’ve already said too much. It's almost hard to find, even if you have the address, because the gate is kind of hidden. It's also completely fenced in. On the way in, we actually saw a common ribbonsnake, so that was kind of neat. This would be an easy place to visit in just an hour, because it's not very big. We went there on July 9 and Jesse was right: only one other person was there and he left shortly after we got there.
21. Sample fried green tomatoes on the rooftop of Supper on one of those hot Southern nights. Alright. so this one is a little bit of a stretch: the best friend green tomatoes I've ever had was at Fire and Vine in Virginia Beach. They came with goat cheese and a balsamic vinegar glaze.....ohhh, they were mouth watering. :)
22. Add some laughs by taking the improv 101 class at the Push Comedy Theater.
23. Feast at Great American Picnic & Fireworks on July 4th.
24. Ride The Tide to see The Tides and to give Rip Tide a high five. Hook your bike up to the city’s newest piece of public art, “The Pitch,” by local artists Christopher Revels, Jen Stringer and Laura Freed. This seems like a couple different activities. We’ve ridden the Tide, have gone to see the Tides play usually every other summer, and I’m pretty sure I’ve high fived Rip Tide, but not all in the same evening.
25. Get sweaty at a punk show at Charlie’s in Riverview, or dance yourself clean at one of the best live music venues in all of these United States, The NorVa. I’ve been here to see Barenaked Ladies and loved it. :)

Check back next week for Part 2. What did Jesse miss? Email him.

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