Leaving Virginia

It’s been 10 days and what a beautiful visit it has been.

They say “Virginia is for lovers”, it must be true. Although the people I’ve only met are families and friends of my niece’s husband, they are a wonderful and hospitable group. So warm and sincere. Having been a blogger for a long time, that’s how you feel when you finally meet in person someone who you constantly communicate with in the net but I haven’t had any kind of communication with any of them before this and yet I feel like that I’ve known them for a while.

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We are grateful that our niece has married a very good person, we are as proud and grateful as her parents would be.

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Virginia is home to a big Filipino population. No wonder there’s so many establishments that cater to their tastes of home. Am jealous that they have two Filipino food franchises in Norfolk so it is no surprise that I bought some for stocking at home.

Halo-halo @ Jollibee, a favorite summer refresher

Halo-halo @ Jollibee, a favorite summer refresher


And there is a lot to do in Virginia. I wish I have more time to enjoy their beaches and mountain trails. The seafood is just as phenomenal – freshly caught.

We were blessed to have a temperate weather in the 10 days we are here and although the garden I only visited was Monticello, I love that they have so many forested areas.

Virginia is steeped in history being one of the first English colonies. We visited Jamestown and Yorktown to familiarize ourselves of its past. It is also home to four past presidents and one of them is Monticello.


Aside from its beautiful shorelines, the sights from the mountains is just as breathtaking. The Luray Caverns, privately owned, is a must-see.

I truly enjoyed Virginia and I can’t wait to come and experience it on another season – perhaps Fall. Am sure there’s a lot more to see.

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365 Project: Day 230

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A Word-A-Week Challenge: Technology

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Yesterday at Sandbridge Beach, I noticed this gentleman and was wondering what he was doing. The beach was fairly clean so I thought he was clearing it of unnecessary debris. I striked a conversation with him while taking a walk and asked what he was doing.

He told me that he was looking for valuables, rings and like jewelries that fall from bathers or surfers. This time of year, around the holidays (today is Labor Day) and there are many events going on around like a marathon this weekend, the beach is filled with people. And some of them lose their jewelries in the water.

The electronic scanner he’s using probably runs on battery but it does make his life at the beach a breeze. At that time, his only luck was a penny. He said he does it only on weekends but when he retires he wants to do it full time.

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Great excuse to be at the beach everyday!

365 Project: Day 230

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1 Day 1 World Project: 5:00 am – 6:00 am

Five is just about my normal wake up time but since I’ve been on vacation I had a few occasions when I went past it. But today we have an appointment with the sunrise which we expected at 6:33 am. So we left the house at a little bit past five to get there on time.

My entry to Lisa’s challenge.

Little North Pier @ Sandbridge, Virginia Beach

Little Island Pier @ Sandbridge, Virginia Beach

365 Project: Day 229

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Travel Theme: Edge

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My entry to Ailsa’s Travel Theme Challenge: Edge

365 Project: Day 228

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Daily Post Word Challenge: Dialogue

Thanks to guest host Frederic Bever, I got the explanation/answer to this week’s challenge of Dialogue. To join go here.

My family and I spent overnight at Shenandoah National Park. The day before, we toured Monticello and the next day the Luray Caves so it made sense for us to spend the night at the Skyland Resort inside the national park.

Though the lodges inside the national parks are in stages of disrepair, believe me (they need to be updated big time), they are convenient if you want to enjoy beauty of the park. You are there at the end of the day and early morning. No need to dress up to drive there or leave the park during daylight as the roads could be dark if you stay to watch the sunset.

Shenandoah is highly elevated and one can enjoy the view of the valley below. I enjoy looking at the silhouette of the other mountains and we had a magnificent view of the sunset.

Here’s the progression of my sunset photos as I play with the aperture of my camera:

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365 Project: Day 227

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A Word-A-Week Photo Challenge: Rust

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Above are a couple my favorite shots in Luray Caverns and it is my entry to Sue Llewellyn’s challenge for the week: Rust.

That cave is just awesome! We went there at the suggestion of a friend of my niece and nephew who’s been there four times. He said the place never ceases to amaze him. Thanks to him am glad we went.

If you go, empty your memory card as it is easy to take a shot at every turn.

365 Project: Day 226

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The garden at the top of the little mountain

Behind is the door that you see in the US nickel

Behind is the door that you see in the US nickel

Monticello is an Italian word for “little mountain”. It was the home/ranch of President Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States.

We were told that as a child, Thomas Jefferson frequently climbed the mountain with his friend. When his father who was a surveyor and successful landowner died, he inherited vast lands and decided to build Monticello at the age of 26.

The house was grand befitting a retired president then and one can’t argue how beautiful the mountaintop view. A paragraph in Thomas Jefferson Foundation website summarizes his contribution to the nation as

” . . . . Thomas Jefferson—author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia—who voiced the aspirations of a new America as no other individual of his era. As public official, historian, philosopher, and plantation owner, he served his country for over five decades.”

While his life as a person, president and slave owner in his plantation is very interesting, his life as a gardener strikes me more even though I skipped the Garden Tour and instead joined the “Slave Tour”. At the end of my tour, I walked down by the “farm” and noticed that they grew a variety of vegetables and fruits. It was said that there were 400 slaves who worked and lived at the ranch so they must have produced everything they needed to feed all that people. Although he was a slave owner, he was generous and benevolent than most, giving them a day off to do whatever they pleased except going out of the safety of the ranch where they could be subjected to cruelties of people who frowned on slaves.

Here are my galleries of photos taken at Monticello.

The flower garden:

The “farm”:

365 Project: Day 225

Posted in East Coast, Garden, Vacation | Tagged | 8 Comments