If you’ve listened to any country music in the last 20 years, you’ve probably heard a song that goes “If you wanna hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”
We planned to spend just a couple days – maximum – in Hampton Roads before continuing south on the ICW. Buy some provisions, some fuel, a little propane and fill the water tanks, and we’d be on our way.
But then I (Keith) suddenly had a need for medical care – emergency surgery for a detached retina – and a little storm called “Matthew” seemed to have the mid-Atlantic coast in mind as a good place to visit. Suddenly Hampton. VA became our temporary home while we sorted things out, and we’ve been here since October the 4th. We’re calling it our personal velcro harbor – we just can’t get free.
So let’s look at the good side. We accidentally landed where the City Piers are new, strong, and sheltered from storm winds and surge. One of the country’s leading retinal surgeons practices right here, and took me in instantly. And the fourth annual Hampton Snowbird Rendezvous was happening right there on the docks where we were tied up. Snowbirds. You know, folks that can’t handle the cold in the north, so they run away from it. Folks like us!
And to top it all off, downtown Hampton is just lovely. Particularly a street – just a block from the City Piers – called Queen’s Way. Restaurants, bars, shops, etc. No crowds that we saw, but friendly people who say hello to strangers and just a general feeling of relaxed, gentle fall living.
We hven’t done half the things we’d thought we would by now. There’s the Virginia Air & Space Museum (which we may make it to yet), and a neat restored 1913 carousel that we plan to ride (only $1). Forts to tour, nearby historical sites like Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg… The list goes on.
We’re ready to move on, it’s true. Our boat is starting to feel more like a small apartment than a vessel, and I fear we may have a garden growing on the bottom due to lack of movement. Over the last couple of days boats have been leaving in droves, and it’s hard to stand on the docks, watching new friends and old depart while we wait here.
We’ve got itchy feet, that’s certain. We’re hoping my next eye check-up will say there’s no reason we must stay close, and if so, we’ll begin a slow migration again, following in the wake of the hundreds of boats that have already departed in the last couple days. The ICW is crowded right now, and our preferred route to North Carolina – the Dismal Swamp Canal – is closed for the rest of the fall due to damage from Matthew. Waiting for the crowd to thin isn’t a bad thing either.
But we want to move south again.
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