Random Thoughts Thursday Virginia Version

I have been meaning to write a post about my recent trip to Virginia.


For as long as I can remember, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Let me correct this, it has been my favorite holiday after turning 13/14 (obviously Christmas had that slot). I think it became my favorite holiday because it is “easier”. Well . . . easier if you are not the one planning, cooking, and cleaning after the Thanksgiving feast.

Since my mother’s passing about eight years ago, going home for holidays (especially Thanksgiving) has been bittersweet. Not sure if I have mentioned my mother’s passing on this blog. Eight years ago my mother checked herself into the ER after having an allergic reaction that caused her tongue to expand to the point that she could not breathe on her own. The doctors induced a coma and she was in that state for about four days. Then she was fine. The tongue swelling went down, and she was chatting and making jokes. The doctors said that she had made a full recovery, were going to transfer her from the ICU to general care and release her in 24 hours. Then, the unexpected happened. She suffered an embolism, and that was it. It was such a painful experience being in the hospital room while the doctors were trying to pump life into her.

Ok, what does all of this mean for my feelings about Thanksgiving? Every year since 1992, my mom’s house pretty much was ground zero for our family’s Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas brunches. Oh and she went all out for Christmas brunch because she prepared both breakfast and dinner items. Man, I can still taste her sausage, egg, and cheese casserole. Even eight years after her passing, Thanksgiving does not feel the same, and I do not really go home for Christmas. Now, Thanksgiving is typically hosted by one of my aunts (this year my cousin hosted Thanksgiving dinner and did a great job). From what I hear, last year the family did not have the big Christmas brunch – everyone kind of did their own thing. When I go to Va., I stay with my sister-aunt, who is a great hostess, but it still does not feel like home. Oh, I call my mother’s youngest sister my sister-aunt because she’s only 12 years older than me. Although Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, sometimes it is a bit tough to get through it.

This year’s Thanksgiving was not too bad. For the most part, I had a nice time this time around. Since this Thanksgiving was a bit extended, the husband and I stayed in Va. for about 6 days. Normally, I stay in Va for about three days. I had a chance to do some tourist things with my husband, which was nice.

I think the husband and I have inadvertently started a tradition by having breakfast at Waffle House after arriving in Norfolk, Va.

Another pre-Thanksgiving tradition. Hitting up Bonefish Grill


Basically, we come here on Thanksgiving “eve” to take advantage of a generous happy hour and very yummy ‘bang bang shrimp’. No seriously, if you ever stop by a Bonefish Grill, you must get the bang bang shrimp (or whatever the real name of the dish is called). 

Oh, the mussels’ broth is pretty damn amazing

We roll deep for our Thanksgiving festivities. 


On Black Friday, I meet up with some friends. Well, actually, I was a bit crabby before meeting up with folks because I did not really feel like going out. I figured that we would go get a couple of beers at a brewery in Norfolk and Uber back to my aunt’s house in Portsmouth. Funny, how things change after a few beers, gin-sodas, and shots. 

O’Connor Brewing Company

After having shots, my high school friends and I were like “Fuck it. Let’s sing karaoke”. I gotta say that I had a blast and was glad that I powered through my crankiness. I guess booze does help.

The next day, I took the hubby to the “fake” Jamestown Settlement historical site, which is a few miles away from the actual site.


On the “Susan Constant” one of the first ships that landed at Jamestown

The historical site does a lot of reenactments; however, I did have a problem with one of the reenactments. Were there white, blond-haired, and blue-eyed Native American back in the 1600s? Maybe I missed that day in my fifth grade Virginian history class.


That said, the turkey that the “Native Americans” were preparing looked and smelled really nice. 

The following day (I guess that would have been Sunday) was super rainy and nasty. For most of the day,  we pretty much chilled at my aunt’s house drinking screwmosas (vodka, champagne, and a liiiiiiiitle bit of orange juice). Somewhat inebriated, I was like LET’S DO SIP AND PAINT.


Boy, do they move fast and take their sipping and painting seriously at Muse. Come to think about it, I think we were the only ones really sipping. The husband and I split a bottle of wine and had a couple of beers while paining. The sip and paints that I’ve attended in NYC were far easier than this one. I think the NYC sip and paint events tend to focus more on the sipping than the painting.

At one point, the instructor was moving so fast that I painted my nails.


I will say this past trip was one of the better Va trips that I had in quite some time. Not like, the previous ones were bad. Since I normally stay for three to four days, I get so overwhelmed because I have to fit so much in a few days so I was nice to spread things out this time. Maybe going forward, I should extend my Thanksgiving time in Va. from Wednesday to Monday. Let’s see how it goes next year.


Because of the bad weather, the trip back to NYC was so scary and bumping, especially the landing. Usually, you have to fly in one of those small planes when flying from NYC to Norfolk, Va. Let’s just say that I was very nervous about the landing. On a few recent occasions, I have been quite nervous about landings. One of my friends was telling me that she did not get nervous about flying until she became married and that nervousness intensified once she had children (especially if she and husband are flying without the kids). I mentioned this observation to a few more folks, and they said that they have the same feeling about flying after getting married and having kids. 

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  1. I’m so sorry to hear that your mom passed in such a traumatizing and unexpected manner. I’m sure going home for the holidays can be emotionally tough but I’m glad to hear your visit went well this year.


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