Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Quick Trip to Virginia

Sparky wanted to see her daughter in Virginia......After two weeks at home, after returning from Alaska, Sparky was ready to go again, trying to get out of the FL heat...HA! It was just as hot in Virginia as it was back in Bradenton, but she still had fun....Four days went by so fast! Kelly has a sweetheart of a dog, Moxie, and she is the best behaved dog ever...

The first full day, Sparky went on a bike ride on the Washington and Old Dominion bike trail, one of those rails-to-trails she loves. Sparky, Jr., (Kelly) had work to do, so it was a solo bike ride in the morning....Kelly lives in a beautiful area, full of trails and forested areas with plenty of hiking available...But it was too hot for that, so a bike ride sufficed...

The Washington Old Dominion Trail is 45 miles of paved, 9 foot wide asphalt with a painted yellow center line. It follows power lines overhead for much of the way, which always makes Sparky wonder if that could be hazardous to your health over a long period of time. Just 'cuz she worries about stuff like that. But it's beautiful.....Parts of it are very shady.....And there are long parts out in the open as well....Parts of the trail run through busy town centers, with busy street crossings, and other parts you can go for miles and not see as much city life.

There's a horse path alongside for much of the trail as well, so you see signs like this:

But Sparky didn't see any horse riders out today......She did see a fawn...Which was quite surprising as there were lots of residential and business areas right along side this portion of the trail.

There are lots of stopping points along the way for food and drink. Sparky's favorite is the Carolina Brothers Pit BBQ restaurant which has THE best pulled pork sandwich, but when she went by it, they weren't open yet. Phooey! It's a popular stop for riders along the trail. The last time Sparky was here, there were TONS of riders lined up and waiting outside for tables. It's that good!

There are candy shops, taverns, and plenty of rest stops and cute little town stops along the way....In Herndon, there's a terrific bike shop where you can rent bikes, but it's a little on the pricey side, 40.00 for four hours, but hey, it's near D.C. It's called the Green Lizard Cycling Shop and they are terrific! They also have terrific smoothies and by the time the weekend was over, Sparky had had three of them. Sparky stopped plenty of times to take photos of things that caught her eye, like this giant dandelion, a lowly weed, but she thought it was beautiful!
On the weekend, we went to a farmer's market....It was terrific! Sparky had fun taking photos of all the veggies and the flowers...

Sparky, Jr. just kind of rolled her eyes. What do you do with all those veggie photos? Delete 'em later....But Sparky is very into textures and filters that other people use these days, so who knows? Maybe she will dabble in digital arts more....She only has 3,000+ photos on her computer...That's not too bad, is it? :-)

The rest of the weekend....We went to a Washington Nationals baseball game with a bunch of twenty somethings from a local brewery....They were already drinking heavily by the time they got on the bus. That was quite an initiation for Sparky after living in a golfing community of 80+ year olds for three years. At the time, we were both thinking, "What WERE WE THINKING?" but it turned out ok...kinda amusing, actually. A couple of the people on the bus weren't at the ball game, as far as we could tell, we think they spent a lot of time in the bathroom, missing a great game. What a terrific stadium! Lots of cool music and sound and light effects. Kelly made friends with a neighbor baseball fan who was some sort of scientist/brewing engineer (?) for a brewing company who was great company during the game. She had fun. Sparky had fun, too, and she doesn't even like baseball all that much! It was raining hard when we got there, and then it quit, and a rainbow graced the park....And the Nationals won! Sparky enjoyed the game very much...and the food! Lots of choices!

Another bike ride, the next day, this time Sparky and daughter together...Yay! It was beautiful...We went past a city or county park, not sure which, and off to the side, you had to be looking, was the most beautiful marsh FULL of lotus flowers...Oh, my gosh, HUNDREDS of them! One of the most beautiful nature scenes Sparky has ever seen.....We did 16 miles together...It was awesome!
Sparky's last day visiting her daughter was a quiet Sunday...We got some Duck Donuts, which are by far, the VERY BEST DONUTS EVER! because they make them from scratch, while you wait. Cake donuts... And they are well worth waiting for, warm, fresh out of the oven. YUM!

We binge watched "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" on Netflix together, what a great show! Takes place in the twenties or thirties, not sure which, strong female lead..It's a cute show.......Too soon, it was time for Sparky to leave....Time to get back to Eldy, who was holding down the fort back home, and that wonderful Florida summer weather..   HA! but really, it's been abnormally hot all over the US, so Sparky doesn't whine as much as she used to...(Really? says an incredulous E. You could have fooled me...haha, just kidding...she's been pretty good lately, folks, not complaining as much.)

Sparky says, "It was a fabulous visit, we had some great meals, some great exercise, and it's always wonderful to see my girls....I miss them very much, they are so far away, both of them!"

OK, one last photo from the lotus marsh....

Next up, a lifeguard contest at Siesta Key Beach! Hot bodies, galore! Bet THAT got everybody's attention..(Sure got mine! laughs E.) He had to play golf and missed it...You might have to wait a few days, Sparky is crafting up a storm, but check back and see us soon...More fabulous nature happening in Bradenton, FL, too! Bye......


  1. Cannot believe you biked two days in that Virginia heat. Boy are you a trooper. Great picture of the Nationals game. I don't watch baseball and only sort of understand the game but I think being there in person would be lots of fun. Simply fabulous picture of Kelly with you. So nice that you can spend time with your daughters.

  2. Looks like are having too much fun again, Even in Ontario its pretty hot and humid 88f with humidity feels like 99F and I love it !