My Review of Jamestown Virginia

22 Jul

If you’ve never been to Jamestown, you’re missing out on one of the greatest places Virginia has to offer. It is hands down one of my favorite places to go for fishing and swimming. Read on to find out just how cool Jamestown is.

There are two options to get to Jamestown. You can drive the whole way, or you can take the ferry. I strongly recommend taking the ferry, as that is an adventure in and of itself. When all the vehicles are situated on the ferry, you can get out of your car and enjoy the view of the James River and the birds, plus take an obligatory ferry selfie. One of the ferries has a top level you can walk out on as well, for an even better view. There’s even a bathroom on board in case you need to go.  The ferry runs all day and night too, so you can ride the ferry home after spending all day across the river.

While there are many things to do in Jamestown, such as go to the museum, rent a boat, or ride your bicycle on the bike path, I  only go there for two reasons: to go swimming and to fish. By the way, you can buy bait at the James City County Marina if you forgot to on your way to the river.

There’s multiple areas to park to view the river, but only a couple parking areas for those wishing to go swimming. These parking spots fill up fast, so you’ll want to leave early to guarantee you’ll have a parking spot. Make sure you bring all your fishing gear/towels/food with you before walking to the beach, because you may have to walk along the shore for awhile before you find an area that looks good.

I recommend wearing shoes in the water, only because there are rocks and sticks that could cut your feet. I’ve seen tiny jellyfish in the water as well at certain times of the year, but none of them have ever stung me. Be sure to check out all the seashells on the shore. While you won’t find giant seashells at Jamestown, it definitely has its share of shells.

Don’t expect the water to be cold in the summer, remember this is not the ocean. The water can be quite warm, actually, and that’s probably the only thing I don’t like about Jamestown. However, once you go there for yourself and see the picturesque scenery Jamestown and the James River has to offer, you’ll find that it outweighs any negatives.

Jamestown is such a peaceful place, I can’t quite describe it in words. It’s just a happy place that I always want to be at when I can. I could spend hours just walking along the shoreline, fishing, swimming, and soaking up the sun.

My Review of Virginia Beach

20 Jul

I’ve been to Virginia Beach on numerous occasions, being as it is less than a two hour trip from home. While I haven’t been to the beach in a year, I think I know enough about it to write a review. This post details my experience at Virginia Beach.

I’ll start with the parking. Expect to pay at least $10-$20 to park at Virginia Beach. There are several parking lots to choose from, and some are cheaper than others, so make sure to drive around before deciding where you’ll park. You will also probably have to put a parking pass in a visible area of your vehicle while you are at the beach, to prove that you paid for your parking spot.

The beach itself is your standard oceanfront beach. There are lifeguards on duty, at least in the summertime, to help keep you safe. Don’t be surprised if a lifeguard yells at you for swimming too close to the fishing pier. Then again, why would you?

Have you always wanted to take your picture in front of a palm tree? Palm trees are everywhere in Virginia Beach. Several sculptures line the beach as well, including the famous King Neptune statue. There’s no shortage of photo opportunities at Virginia Beach, from the novice to the professional.

During the summer, the beach does get pretty crowded. However, the beachfront is large enough that you should be able to find space to put your beach towel/umbrella/cooler/etc. There is a rinse station to help get the sand off before venturing back to your car or to the boardwalk. Making a vacation out of it? There are plenty of hotels right on the ocean, and some less expensive options further from the beach.

There are plenty of places to shop at on the boardwalk. Even with a minimal shopping budget, you should be able to walk away with a couple things. There’s even a store where everything they sell is $5 or less. I got a really nice “Virginia Beach” shirt at one of the shops for $10 I believe, a couple years ago, and it’s still in great condition. I got a free mug from Sunsations one year, but I’m not sure if they’re still offering that promo or not. If you’re hungry while you’re on the boardwalk, make sure to try the chocolate peanut butter custard!

There’s no shortage of places to eat at, either. Of course, there are plenty of seafood restaurants. Don’t worry if you hate seafood, because there’s pizza places as well. Expect to pay more for food than you normally would. My husband and I spent around $20 on a single Subway sub when we took a spontaneous day trip to the beach awhile back.

Virginia Beach even posts a seasonal carnival known as Atlantic Fun Park, complete with multiple rides (including a ferris wheel), carnival games, and more. I had the most delicious salt and vinegar french fries I’ve ever eaten there.

What To Do When It’s Too Hot Outside

19 Jul

Well, it’s another HOT day in the south, and that’s putting it lightly. When I got around to letting my dog Bella out to use the bathroom and take out the trash, the harsh heat hit me immediately. It’s that kind of heat that makes it hard to breathe, let alone be outside comfortably for any amount of time.

When it’s hot like this, I usually find something to do indoors. Sometimes it’s watching YouTube, or listening to music. I might even catch up on some house cleaning. Baking a dessert sounds tempting, but then I remember turning on the oven only makes the air conditioner work twice as hard to keep up with keeping it cool in here.

Of course, there’s always the beach, which is thankfully only about an hour or two away from me, but you know the traffic’s going to be terrible on such a hot day. Then there’s the crowds, and finding a spot to swim.

What are some activities you like to do when it’s just too hot to enjoy the outdoors? Let me know in the comments below, or tell me on Twitter!

My Favorite Spaghetti Recipe

17 Jul

If there was any food that never gets old for me, it would be spaghetti. It makes sense, considering the fact that my great grandmother on my mom’s side was from Sicily. There’s probably no greater comfort food in my opinion. The carbs, coupled with a flavorful tomato sauce, always hit the spot. Here’s a simple spaghetti recipe that will feed a small family (or, in my case, my husband and I) for at least a couple days.

Ingredients
One box vermicelli or angel hair pasta
A jar of your favorite tomato sauce
One pound of ground beef
Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Brown your ground beef in a skillet. Tip: My ground beef is usually frozen when I decide to make spaghetti, so I simply put a small amount of water in the bottom of the skillet to help prevent the meat from burning/sticking to the bottom of the pan. Just make sure you break up the ground beef every so often.

2. While the ground beef is browning, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break the pasta in half, and cook it according the directions on the box.

3. Drain the fat from the ground beef.

4. Add the tomato sauce to the ground beef, bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat. Cook it until it looks “done.” It doesn’t usually take more than ten minutes for me. In order to reduce the acidity in the tomato sauce, you may want to add a small amount of sugar- half a teaspoon should do.

5. Drain your pasta, and serve your spaghetti with Parmesan cheese on top.

Keep the leftovers in the fridge. I usually try to eat mine within two to three days at most.

Note: Some people like to mix all of the pasta with the sauce, however, I like to control how much sauce I put on top of my pasta.

Spring Mist Poem

17 Jul

I wrote a poem called “Spring Mist” when I was a teenager. I still really like this poem, so I wanted to post it on my blog. The poem is property of valiablogs.wordpress.com.

Spring Mist

The birds chirping begins the spring day, nature’s alarm clock that never fades.

The fish bask in the morning mist, waiting for a tangible ray of the sun.

The mist casts a shield around the morning, blurring the chaos and making life simple.

Rich Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

16 Jul

I’ve been looking for the best microwave mug cake recipe forever. I finally found a non-eggy, not spongy mug cake recipe that actually has the texture of cake!

I recommend that you make your mug cake in a bowl, not a mug, to avoid any messes due to the cake overflowing out of the mug while it cooks. Also, I think the cake just looks more appealing in a bowl, and it reminds me of those Betty Crocker Warm Delights, which are what introduced me to mug cakes in the first place!

Please note, I originally found this recipe on allrecipes.com. I put the measurements in tablespoons and teaspoons to make measuring your ingredients easier. If you make this mug cake recipe, let me know what you think!

Rich Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

Ingredients
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Measure out the dry ingredients in a cereal-sized bowl suitable for microwaving in, and stir them all together.

2. Measure out the wet ingredients into the same bowl, and mix well.

3. Microwave the cake for around a minute and 45 seconds. The cake is done when it is not gooey in the middle. Be careful, no one likes an over-baked mug cake!

4. Mix in some canned frosting, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc. (optional)

My Bird Photos

15 Jul

I love taking pictures of birds! I wanted to share some of my favorite bird pictures I’ve taken. These pictures were taken in trees in my own backyard with a professional camera. Please note, these photos are property of valiablogs.wordpress.com. You must ask for permission to use them on your own website. Thank you.

Property of valiablogs.wordpress.com

Property of valiablogs.wordpress.com

Property of valiablogs.wordpress.com

Property of valiablogs.wordpress.com

Property of valiablogs.wordpress.com