Norfolk Botanical Gardens (aka Plan C)

My favorite boy toy and I did some serious wandering last weekend.  We put the boys into the kennel as we knew we’d be leaving early and getting home way late.  Their Daddy took them in Friday afternoon – they were so eager to get to doggie day care they ran off without even looking back at him.  For sure, they didn’t miss us.

It took us four hours to get from our house to Chesapeake, Virginia, which is almost directly east of us.  Two hours to drive, an hour for breakfast after we were on the road for a while, and an hour waiting in traffic!  And that was the alternate route too – the first route we tried was backed up even worse.

Notice that the bridge is up? Had to wait for that too.

The game plan was to do some antiquing and then do one or two other things.  I really wanted to see the Norfolk Botanical Gardens; my boy toy was quite unenthused about it so we left it as Plan C.  I figured I could always go back later by myself.

So off we went antiquing.  We went to a store called the Home Emporium.  The reviews we read said it had unique stuff, great prices, but was a dump and in a dumpy neighborhood.  Well it was all of that.  But my husband found some things for his still life photography and was quite happy with it.

After a quick lunch, we tried to program into the GPS a historical village called Strawberry Banke.  It was in a town called Portsmouth which was in the same general area.  We finally had to look it up on the Internet.  Um, it was in Portsmouth alright.  Portsmouth New Hampshire, not Portsmouth Virginia.  Okay, scratch Plan B.

So the botanical gardens it was and we had a lovely time.

This sign set the expectation when we entered the grounds.
It worked too.

The day was clear, warm without being hot, a gentle breeze, and a beautiful sky.  We took a tram ride to see what all was there, then we took a pontoon boat ride on the lake.

By the way, we didn’t have to pay for admission.  Our membership at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens had reciprocity here and we were treated like any other member.  Sweet!

A great blue heron seen from the boat.

We saw so much on the lake, from seagulls swooping into the water to a bald eagle attacking an osprey that was fishing in its territory.

This was actually the seagull and not the osprey.
The colors were similar from the back though.

Although I have a lot of pictures from what we saw on the water, there was so much more there.  We saw three different brides and their families, there for wedding ceremonies.  We saw butterflies, spiders, flowers of all type, and walked along a boardwalk that overlooked the lake.

Cormorants are such odd looking birds.
They run on top of the water as they launch themselves into the air.

Since our plans were loosey goosey, I didn’t contact Patti at A New Day Dawns to let her know we were in her part of the world.  I felt bad about it as I’d like to get together with her, but I didn’t think we’d pull it off.

Found along the boardwalk.

So. . . guess who sat across from us on the pontoon?  And guess who was getting on the tram right behind us?  As my husband said, what are the odds you’d run into her and her husband?  Apparently 100% was my answer.

The ultimate in bumps on a log.

So Patti and I met!  We chatted for a few minutes on the tram ride and will try to get together another time.  If you’d like to see her pictures from that lovely day, head on over to here.

The day didn’t go as planned, but it was a wonderful day regardless.  Artistic inspirations, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and the chance to meet a friend – it certainly was a day to remember and a memory to savor.

Anyone’s life truly lived consists of work, sunshine,
exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.
Lillie Langtry

Norfolk Botanical Gardens Virginia

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I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at

26 Comments Leave a comment

    • I’m not sure why the cranes were there – it was off into the water and might have been a normal part of shipping. And yeah, the GPS did drive us nuts with recalculating! Glad you liked the photos.

    • It settled into a really fun day, but not for a while. And that sign was a hoot! We couldn’t help laughing and relaxing as soon as we saw it. Those turtles were great, but if you saw the photo you’d be pretty surprised. They’re way far away and not very distinctive. Hooray for a lot of pixels and some good Photoshop skills to bring up the detail and colors.

  1. Thanks for the link back. :) I didn’t realize you were on the boat at the same time! Not til I saw the picture of the great blue heron and thought–he hadn’t moved! lol Was that the craziest meeting, and on our first visit there in 30+ years of living here?

    • It sure was fun to meet you! What a great story. Yes, we were on the other side of the boat. I had to shoot behind you in a very short window to get some of those pictures.

    • Heidi – thank you so much. I’m getting so comments like this that I’m thinking of ramping up the photos. It seems we’re all starved for some beauty and laughter (have to get some more beagle stories). I’m glad you enjoyed them!

    • I think that would be a GREAT photo for your blog (the chronic illness / energy healer one). I’ll send it to you when I have a chance to remove the watermark.

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