Welcome To Hampton Roads, Y’all! « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowWelcome To Hampton Roads, Y’all!

Welcome To Hampton Roads, Y’all!
Published on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 by

This week I am happy to be the featured Blog Trotter!  Bloggers from all over the world have given fun tours of their hometowns on Blog Trotting, so be sure to visit their site for some great local information and photos.

My hometown?  Being from a Navy family, I’ve got many.  But we are now deeply rooted in the Hampton Roads Community in Virginia.  I live in Norfolk, but am surrounded by cities such as Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Williamsburg and Poquoson.

Just last week I popped my head in to my son’s room and asked him a question.  He immediately laughed at me (make that MOCKED me?) and said, “Did you just say Y’all?!”  Yes, you will hear “y’all” in my hometown.  But y’all don’t mind, right?

As Wikipedia states, Hampton Roads is “one of the world’s biggest natural harbors, and incorporates the mouths of the Elizabeth River and James River with several smaller rivers and itself empties into the Chesapeake Bay near its mouth leading to the Atlantic Ocean.”

Bottom line, we are surrounded by water.  Tidal waters, the Atlantic ocean, the Chesapeake Bay– all beautiful and full of wildlife.  I see red tailed hawks, white egrets, blue herons and even eagles flying over my neighborhood.  I’ve learned fish can truly fly – at least in the claws of a hungry osprey!

osprey picture

While visiting Norfolk, be sure to spend a few hours in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  The gardens are spectacular, the World of Wonder Children’s Garden can’t be beat and the boat rides are a lot of fun.  The gardens are also home to a pair of American Eagles who raise their young in front of an internationally viewed Eagle Cam!

botanical gardens

We have the largest Naval Station in the world that supports 75 ships, aircraft, hangars and the largest concentration of Navy forces just about anywhere.  Don’t go grocery shopping on military payday if you are in a rush!  And don’t be surprised when several Navy jets fly overhead, causing your teeth to rattle.

John F. Kennedy

In Virginia Beach it is completely normal to hold a conversation outside with several pauses as the roar of a jet interrupts you.  Personally, “I Love Jet Noise” because these brave pilots are training for that moment when they just might be saving our lives.  My father was a Navy pilot and I am deeply proud of every military branch in the United States.

I love jet noise.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel connects our mainland to the amazing Eastern Shore.  At 17.6 miles long, this tunnel is one of the seven man-made wonders of the world.  The view is spectacular and worth the $12 toll simply for this unique experience.  Notice the aircraft carrier in the picture?  Drivers are in the tunnel underneath that floating city!

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

If you love history, you will certainly enjoy a visit to nearby Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown.  We have battlefields and history galore in Hampton Roads.  There isn’t a single school child that has not taken a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg. And while you are there, be sure to visit Busch Gardens and ride my favorite metal coaster, the Lochness Monster!

lochness monster picture

The Virginia Beach oceanfront is a popular tourist attraction, with it’s public beaches, hotels and shops.

Virginia Beach Strip

But the locals know of a quieter beach just down from “the Strip”….. shhhh we won’t tell!  In addition to surfers on our beaches you will also find skimmers.  Like my son!

air skim

Did I mention the blue crabs?  You will find crab pots in almost every body of water you drive by.  Hard working crabbers run their boats daily from pot to pot looking for their hard earned crustacean catch.  There is nothing better than a blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay in my book.  Find the biggest Jimmy you can, dip the meat in vinegar, then Old Bay Seasoning and enjoy!

Or even better, ask for directions to Eddie’s Chesapeake Bay Crab House in Chesapeake.  This is the only place I know where they dip a whole hard shell crab in batter and deep fry it.  As you pick your crab you take pieces of the batter from the outside of the shell.  Heaven.  Pure heaven, y’all!

deep fried hard shell crab

mom blog

  • It's funny. Thanks the author!

  • Wow! This is great timing. We are visiting Virginia Beach for two days in September as we make our way down to Pigeon Forge for our annual vacation. Sure wish I could get that tip on the quieter beach!!! *wink* BEG *wink*. Haha.

    Great post! I love Blog-Trotting! I am a newbie, but totally hooked!

    • That is AWESOME that you will be visiting! OK… I'm gonna spill!

      Here is my secret. You need to go to Little Island in Sandbridge. It is a longer drive but OH so worth it. It's where the locals go, it is clean, has a bath house, food, a pier you can walk on for free (with shoes!) and ample parking. Even if you get there and have a bit of a wait in line, it is WORTH IT.

      If you have a local you can get directions from, tell them this:

      Go down Princess Anne Road towards the court house. When you are at the end of Princess Anne Road (right after the courts) turn left. Continue until you see Princess Anne Road on the right – there is a 7-11 on the corner. (I know, ANOTHER Princess Anne Road… just trust me) After you turn right at the 7-11, keep going straight straight straight. You will finally hit the beach – turn right at the fire station on Sandpiper Road. It is NOT the main road right along the ocean, it is the second one in. Now, keep going straight until you see it a good ways up on the left – it is a big parking lot where they are taking money, it is right after a huge cluster of colorful condos – you just can't miss it.


  • Missy_Schmidt

    Hi, Katherine! Way to share! I manage the Hampton Roads regional blog http://SmartRegion.org… interested in sharing stories there? Message me: contact@hrp.org thx

    • What a GREAT blog you have! I'll email! 🙂 Getting ready for bed… might not be able to catch up until this weekend, but I'll be in touch!

  • Katherine, I too love the sound of Navy Jets. My husband was a Navy airman when we met and he used to take me to the flight line at Miramar where he was stationed so we could watch his Tomcats take off and land. The area you live in looks gorgeous! I really love the photos and descriptions. What a lovely post!

    • Hi Linda! My mom has stories of Miramar… I was born in San Diego. Dad flew an F8. I would have been amazing, seeing the Tomcats take off. One of my dad's old friends found film he took of the F8's taking off a pitching air craft carrier – he had the film put on DVD and sent it…. i can't imagine these pilots landing on air craft carriers…. ! GO NAVY!

      • My son was flown off a carrier when he was in the Indian Ocean because his father was very ill. He said he never experienced anything more terrifying in his life! I can't imagine doing that every day! Still, they do, and do it so beautifully!

  • Oh wow! Looks like so much fun!! That roller-coaster looks amazing!!


    • That coaster isn't one of those new super fast rides… I will try any roller coaster but the newer ones just aren't as fun to me. They go so fast you can't see where you are going – you almost don't have time to have fun. What is great about the Lochness is you go up this big hill slowly and have an amazing view of water and trees. Then you get a HUGE FAST drop and immediately turn and end up on the loops… SO SO FUN… you get that bottom out feeling and then the thrill of the loops. 🙂 Love old coasters!

  • Happy blog trotting day to you!! Super tour- that osprey picture is amazing!!!

    • I'm so glad you came trotting by! One thing I had planned to mention but ran out of room was that we have a Pungo Strawberry Festival. I went to your blog and saw YUMMY strawberries…!! YUM!

  • Now that looks and sounds like a FABULOUS place to live! I spent a summer in North Carolina when I was 16 years old, and I STILL say Ya'll as a result of that!

    • Y'all is VERY addicting!!! We may not be deep south but the Southern sure has seeped it's way up here. Grits and gravy? Oh YEA!

  • Ron

    Congrats on being selected for Blog Trotter!

    Great tour and faaaaaabulous photos. Especially the one of the eagle. WOW…what a great capture!

    Never been to Virgina, but everthing I hear about it sounds like an awesome place to live.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Ron, you should come visit!!! Virginia has everything from the beaches to the DC area to mountains and all kinds of water. It is so pretty here. 🙂

  • Not long after I moved to Maryland, I drove through the Bay Bridge Tunnel and was so impressed. I'm a Kansas girl, after all, tunnels are pretty scarce in that area. 🙂 Since then I've been down that way a number of times and I've always thought it was so beautiful.

    Also, those crabs are making me hungry!

    Fantastic tour and photos! Thanks for being a part of BlogTrotting!

    • I love going through the blogtrotting list… amazing people in amazing places.

      The tunnel IS awesome, isn't it!? Sad for some of those flattened seagulls… but seriously it is quite an experience being on top of all that ocean!

  • mep

    Looks like there is something for everyone — flowers, water, crabs, flying fish.

    Loved your tour!

  • Sheila

    Oh great, now I'm hungry for crab!!!!!! Beautiful post, great pics! My husband would be in his glory if he could see an osprey swipe a fish like that.

    over from blogtrotting.

  • It sounds like such a beautiful area! We are talking about taking our girls to Colonial Williamsburg when they get a little older.

    • I haven't been there as an adult and really need to when it is cooler. The boys have been there for school and my daughter will go I believe in fifth grade… it would be neat if she knew the place before she went. I DO love where we live – sometimes I forget people pay money to come here – and when I remember I say a little prayer of thanks. But EVERY state has so many amazing things to see. One day I would love to retire and drive an RV all over!

  • I need a vacation so badly. And your pictures made me want to run away and hide in those botanical gardens.

  • I so need to start my roadtrip…!

    Gorgeous pics 🙂

    • I'm heading out there now, I'll swing up and pick you up.

  • Dvilleoysters

    Great pictures, especially the blue crab!

    The Best Chesapeake Bay Oysters are grown on our family farm!

    Quality & Sustainability


  • I'm coming for a visit, I hope you got rid of that couch.

    Great pictures, you make your hometown sound lovely.

  • I wanna come visit!!!

    Everything sounds so magnificent….especially the whole deep friend crab. YUM!

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  • Diana

    Wow, sounds like such a fun and interesting place to live! Been a long time since I was on a coaster — migraines prevent me from doing that anymore — but that Lochness Monster looks like a sweet ride! Wheeeee! LOL! Thank you for sharing your area with us! I truly enjoyed visiting you! =)

    • Diana, thanks for stopping by! I know what you mean about riding stuff. So far I can still handle the Lochness… but other rides make me so dizzy I get sick! I used to go on ALL that stuff…. but now I am just…. old. Sigh!

  • I spent some time in your area a couple of years back and really loved it but really, ya'll? Being from the east Texas Gulf region I feel just a tad offended. We feel like we have a patent on ya'll. You must not say it right there. Or at least not as often or as in as many places or something.

    • NO WAY!!! People across the country from the South say Y'all!?!?! All kidding aside, I had no idea! I would honestly love to hear what regions say it the most. I wonder if it has become an “American” thing rather than a regional thing. Of course I really can't see someone from New Jersey saying it…. but who knows! OK, I promise not t say y'all on my blog again… after all, I used to live in Fort Worth! 🙂

  • lisanoel03

    sounds like a awesome place!!!

    • I really do love living here… you can escape to an area with trees camping or go out into the sunshine on a beautiful sandy beach!

  • Missy_Schmidt

    • Ranked fifth in a list of the largest 100 metropolitan areas with the most salary growth for people with a degree and sixth in a list of the top 350 metro areas as best for job growth;

    • Ranked among the country’s 20 strongest metro areas in economic performance, according to analysis by the Brookings Institution, during the Great Recession;

    • Tied for 7th overall as the “Happiest Metro Area” based on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index;

    • Ranked by Forbes as the 34th out of the 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) overall for “less stress” which examined quality of life factors; ranking 33rd in median home price drop, 37th in unemployment rate, 18th in quality of life, 32nd in air quality, 19th in sunny days per year and 20th in population density;

    • Ranked in top 5 of best places to buy a home by Zillow.com, highlighting the longest pleasure beach in the world and multiple military bases with steady jobs and

    • Ranked 4th in metros where incomes for educated workers are growing the fastest by Payscale, handily outpacing the national growth for college grads.

  • Ranked among the country’s 20 strongest metro areas in economic performance, according to analysis by the Brookings Institution, during the Great Recession;

  • Beautiful

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