Monday, November 18, 2019

Newport News by Land

The winds and potential low overcast pushed me to a no go decision for Newport News and it redefined our method of transportation. It was now strictly a ground pound scenario. After many years of flying and reviewing weather information I have long given up the guilt of a cancelled flight, but I still watch how the forecast plays out. I'm a pilot, it's what we do. 
Mary and I decided to take new blue, our new GLC300, and leave old blue my ML320 at home. We headed out around 10am, pointed south along RT. 113, with a planned stop for breakfast at Janets General Store Cafe' located in Onancock, Virginia.

Onancock was founded in 1680 as Port Scarborough before having its name changed to a word derived from“auwannaku', a Native word meaning “foggy place.

The Cafe' is a friendly place with excellent food and service.  Mary had her favorite,orange french toast with a honey orange marmalade syrup, and I had an omelet with bacon, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese. Everything was hot and tasty, it's worth the stop when driving down the peninsula. We plan to visit again soon by flying into Accomack (KMVF) and using a courtesy car for the short ride north(7.5 miles)to the Cafe'. 
The weather was overcast all day today, from Ocean City to the south side of the Bay Bridge Tunnel, there was no relief. The winds moved the SUV from side to side and the Bay Bridge had a speed and vehicle restrictions.

Mary and I checked into our hotel and took some time to relax. We were scheduled to meet up with Susan for dinner at 4:30pm.  Susan picked out a  a new us steakhouse, Schlesingers.  
This steakhouse was upscale, and if the steaks are as good as the restaurant presents we would be in for a treat.  I had an 8oz filet with a baked sweet potato while  Mary had the petite fillet, 6oz, with spinach. Susan had the 8oz filet with steamed broccoli. The steaks were cooked perfect and we all enjoyed our meal. Since we had our fill, it was decided we would all pass on dessert.
The Ferguson Center was just a short drive and we managed to find a very good parking spot close to the parking garage exit. The single parking garage structure is close to the main entrance but the winds really encouraged attendees to hustle along the pavers leading to the entrance.
Clint Black put on an excellent show. He's been at it for thirty years and his interactions with the crowd were just smooth and natural, a true entertainer. I was impressed, he could still bring it with his voice, guitar, and harmonica skills. During the show he did some Willie Nelson, seriously, a perfect imitation.  Some of the other songs he did were in tribute to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard along with some back story on each.
The key to departing the parking garage is to back into your spot. This was learned after multiple shows and struggling to get a break in order to back out. Experience is always a a good teacher.  Traffic moved quickly and within fifteen minutes of leaving the garage we were pulling into the hotel.  Mary and I both passed out, it was along day.


It was nice to sleep in one more morning with no Ziva to wake me.  Our plan was to meet Susan for breakfast at 9:30. We all forgot it was Sunday morning and the crowds instantly reminded us. The wait at the next door Cracker Barrel was only twenty minutes, and the food was worth the wait. Yes, we took some biscuits home. 

The hardest part was now upon us, the goodbyes. I did hear the ladies planning a combined birthday get-away to Las Vegas next September, I'm not sure if I should  be worried or not.  At least I'll be around to bail them out if necessary. Maybe I'll plan a nice flying adventure. 

Mary and I each grabbed a Stewarts root beer for the ride home, along with some snacks.  It was another long three hour drive back to Ocean City. The waves along the Bay Bridge were still pounding, and at one point we watched sea spray blowing on to the bridge deck, it was an awesome sight.
Once home I updated the Ocean City weather only to confirm my original planning.  The sky was overcast 400 and visibility 1 1/2 miles. It was still very windy and raining, I'm happy we decided to drive. Mary and I are already looking forward to the next opportunity to catch a show at the Center and spend time with Susan. 

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