The past five weeks in Virginia Beach have been so busy they have flown by. We were able to catch up with many of our Virginia Beach friends and enjoyed visiting with them. Our friend Shannon Townsend rode by on her bike and visited us while we were in First Landing State Park. We later attended their son, Sam's soccer game. Since they were going out of town for the weekend we were able to dog sit their dog Mocha who we used to watch all the time. We went to dinner with Bruce and Audra Stewart who surprised us by also inviting Steve and Linda White. Later in our stay we meet Steve and Linda at one of our favorite Italian restaurants for a nice dinner. Unfortunately we had to visit our friend Bob Loomis at the hospital and then later in rehab while he recuperated from a broken femur. Josie was able to have lunch with his wife Kathy one afternoon and then again when our friend Renee Hudgins came into town from her new home in central Virginia. We had a great breakfast with Pat and Bob Joseph, the couple who introduced Josie to me 24 years ago. We also were able to visit with Linda Nopper and her parents Bill and Joanne one morning and then we had a nice lunch with Linda and Brooks a few weeks later. I was able to have lunch with the ladies I worked with for so many years, Bonnie Jennifer and Dee one afternoon. It was great catching up with them and seeing what was going on with them and their families. Josie's sister and her husband Rich came down from Delaware for a few days and we had a great time with them. Then Josie's daughter Cathy and her husband Scott joined us for a long weekend and we all met the Josephs for lunch at Bubba's, one of our favorite hangouts. Later that evening we had dinner with Cathy and Scott, Aaron Decker and Leon and Laura Hoots for what we thought would be our last get together. But the next day we were all able to meet for an impromptu get together at Pleasure House Brewery. A good time was had by all drinking Bourbon Barrel Stout.
Josie also spent a few days at the Haddad household catching up with all the activities of Alex, Izzy, Eli and Livi. Livi also came over and spent a night in the RV while I was out of town. It was amazing how much they had grown in the past two years.
One evening we picked up our friend Aaron Decker and met Mike and Martha Weirich and Terri and Matt Albright at a Tides baseball game that was rained out by a powerful thunderstorm. Aaron and I were able to get back to see the Tides in a playoff game the next week.
Aaron and I were able to tailgate with Missy up in Charlottesville at two UVA football games. On one of those trips Aaron and I drove up to a very foggy Blue Ridge Parkway and birded our way down to Bold Rock Cidery and Taproom for lunch. We also went to two ODU football games and tailgated with Leon and Laura.
The weather turned nasty off and on for almost two weeks, with high winds and heavy rain. Luckily hurricane Joaquin turned to the east and we did not have to leave early. Aaron and I tried to do some birding on the Eastern Shore of Virginia but after a few hours the wind and rain returned so we had to retreat to the nearby Hooters. Despite the bad weather I was able to play a lot of golf with all of my retired teaching buddies.
We are so blessed to have so many good friends here in Virginia. We treasure our friendships with them and love them all.