Someone recently suggested to Eric that he needed to take a vacation. Probably good advice. He's been working hard this fall and with the move and everything this last summer there wasn't as much time to get away as usual. We'd been meaning to visit our friend, Fr. Mike. Since we didn't actually get any pictures of him this week, here is one from Margaret's baptism to jog your memory.
We got to know Fr. Mike well when he was in seminary at CUA and was assigned to our parish for two years. He's just recently been made a pastor of not one but four parishes in Portsmouth, Virginia. Portsmouth is in the same part of the state as Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. Fr. Mike was an incredible host and took a lot of time out of his busy schedule to entertain us. Here is Joseph enjoying his morning coffee while watching the boats from our hotel window:
Rotten photographer that I am, I didn't manage to take any pictures of any of the really cool boats we saw. Our room was overlooking the Elizabeth River which separates Portsmouth and Norfolk. It's a working harbor full of sailboats, Navy and Coastguard boats, ferries, and all kinds of other stuff. We saw some BIG boats. The first day we woke to a cruise ship coming in to harbor (from Bermuda) and watched it turn around and leave that evening. The ferry landing was just below our window and we rode it over to Norfolk one day for lunch and Joseph and Eric just rode it round trip one night after dark while I got Margaret to sleep. It was only one dollar a ride--pretty cheap entertainment for a three-year-old!
We had beautiful weather and enjoyed walking around historic Portsmouth but we also drove over to Virginia Beach one day. We thought we'd dabble our fingers in the water and go for a nice walk. But the water was still wonderfully warm thanks to the hot weather we've had. It was over eighty degrees outside so Joseph and Eric went for a swim! Joseph was scared of ocean waves back in June but he couldn't get enough this time. He laughed like crazy every time a wave crashed over his head. Eric took him out and held him in deep water and then brought him back on shore for a rest. He warmed up for a minute and then took off crawling down the beach again. He crawled head first into the water and went in deeper with every wave. He got knocked flat on his back once and still loved it. He was pretty sad to leave. We took our little beach bum for a walk on the boardwalk.
We had so much fun that we thought we'd go back Wednesday before leaving town. Unfortunately it began raining just as we left Portsmouth. We took the scenic (and very slow) route home using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Our photography skills really can't do justice to this incredible bridge. It is eighteen miles long and you can only barely see land on either side when you get to the middle.
It goes under water twice so that big boats can get through. The bay is to one side and the Atlantic Ocean to the other. It was pretty awesome. There were folks fishing off the pier at the rest stop and one guy let Joseph reel in his bait. He talked about it all the way home.
Our little trip was a very relaxing few days.
Our internet has been down more than up for several weeks so blogging has really suffered. We're working on a fix and I hope to post a bit more this week!