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03 November 2015 @ 10:44 am
I'd been planning to get down to Norfolk and Virginia Beach to do some volksmarch events. My friend, Lynn, was hosting a storytelling house concert in Norfolk the weekend before last, so that provided a perfect excuse.

The downtown Norfolk walk was a mixed bag. There was a long, dullish stretch going up to Doumar's, which is known for having the oldest ice-cream cone machine in Virginia. I can't question that claim, but I will say that their vanilla ice cream is pretty dreadful. (I often order vanilla at these sorts of places, because it is more of a quality test. Looking at yelp after the fact suggests that people seem to like the butter pecan.) The better parts of the walk involved historic houses (and churches) and, of course, the waterfront. The overall highlight was definitely the Armed Forces Memorial, which has reproductions of letters sent by soldiers from various wars (from the American Revolution through Vietnam) shortly before they were killed. It's both moving and tasteful.

As for the house concert, Lynn opened with an entertaining story about a ghost tour in Savannah gone wrong. Then Kim Weitkamp told two sets. The first was about aging and laps and relationships and all that good sort of everything and nothing but warm and cozy. The second set was the more seasonal one, with a really creepy piece about a man who unknowingly married a boo-hag, followed by the story of a cemetery keeper and his fate. All in all, it was an excellent concert and well worth the trip.
In the morning, I drove over the Virginia Beach and, despite somewhat gloomy weather, did the volksmarch there. The section along the boardwalk (really a concrete path) was excellent, especially as I do love walking along the ocean front. But it was a long ways to and from that section and, other than briefly passing the aquarium and watching the harbor seals swimming in their outdoor tank, that was just tedious.

I also got stuck in fairly horrendous traffic on the way back, just crawling along most of the way from Williamsburg to Richmond and then again from Spotsylvania to Occoquan. It took a good hour and a half longer driving home than it had driving down.