Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Urbanna Urbanna

We spent the other day dodging rain drops and exploring the great little town of Urbanna, VA - when I say little I really mean it - they have a 25 cent trolley which we rode around town to get the lay of the land, but you can easily walk the main downtown area since it's all of two well maybe one and a half streets!!! But it packs a lot into a little area!!
The Trolley In Urbanna
Our View of Urbanna from the Anchorage

We woke to torrential downpours that nearly capsized our dinghy with water but after there was no more rain left in the heavens, the sun started to break through which was our sign to get off our butts and get into town before round two descended on us courtesy of the passing Hurricane Bill. We bailed out the dink, met September Song at the dock and hopped on the town trolley for a ride. We passed through the "historic district" which when we first heard of it evoked memories of Savannah, Charleston and Richmond - not so much!! There are a few old homes and buildings around town including Rosegill which is an estate that was built by Ralph Wormeley in the early 1700's (Urbanna Creek was formerly known as Wormeley Creek in the late 1600's after Ralph), Lansdowne House which was formerly owned by Ralph Wormeley III, the Marble House and the old County Courthouse which is now the Middlesex County Women's Club - but "historic district" I think is a slight stretch.

That being said, Urbanna is a real throw back little town - we walked around and found an old general store complete with wooden bench chairs in the shoe department, old rolling ladders for reaching upper merchandise and sales people that seemed to fit right in if you get my drift! In the local marine, auto and farm store (no you can't make this up) one of the old guys wanted to know if we were off of them big trawlers in the harbor - guess our legend precedes us - or more likely there's just not that much to talk about in Mayberry, I mean Urbanna!! One of the highlight's though was Marshall's Drugstore and Five and Dime with a good old fashioned soda counter where we all indulged in some root beer floats!!! Last time I did that I think I was 12 but heh who said you can't go back - in Urbanna you sure can!!
Very Tasty Root Beer Floats
ps Since I had the camera I also got a picture of our dinner joint from the night before Olivia's - isn't she a thing of beauty!!!

The real surprise of the day was a little hidden store called Taste - whenever we see a sign for gourmet foods, Stephanie and I have to go in - it's like there is a gravitational pull or something. Glad we did!!! What an amazing gem of a store - as we entered one of the sales girls was heading out to the grocery store but told us to just yell for Kelly who could take care of us. That's OK we were good on our own as we entered a fantasy land filled with lots of gourmet delicacies to taste and try - wickles (wicked good spicy pickles which are just about the best thing ever), cream cheese with blackberry jalapeno compote, hand pressed olive oil and sicilian dipping bread, and cream cheese rolled in a citrus black pepper crust were just a few of the delicacies we indulged in. Doug and Stephanie also partook of the bloody mary mixes while Bob and I went back for seconds on our favorites - OK we are cruisers and were a little hungry. The girls who ran the store were awesome - they were having a ball and wanted us to try everything. We picked up a few goodies and put a small dent in the cruising kitty while we waited for the jumbalaya that was cooking out back to be done - yum - had to have some of that for the boat too! They invited us back that afternoon for the wine tasting - have you met us yet - OK!!!! Unfortunately it poured that whole afternoon and as much as we love wine (and I bet their's didn't even come out of a box), we weren't up for the trek by dinghy and then on foot into town for sips of wine we knew we couldn't afford to buy!! And besides we don't do glass on the boat so I guess we're stuck with bag in the box wine!!! Life could be worse!
The Entrance to Taste
Taste was a Gourmet Candyland

Yesterday after a few showers we set out for a new anchorage in the Corrotoman River which one of the locals had told us about - we were in search of a beach with real sand and not mud and when he told us there was one just like that up the Corrotoman, off we went!!! Not only the September Song boat dogs but sun pig was also desperately in need of a beach day! The trip over from Urbanna was pretty short but the scenery up the Corrotoman River was to die for - beautiful rolling hills, lots of lush forest and some really pretty homes along the banks of the river. We headed up the eastern branch of the river and came to one very kewl spot - a little harbor tucked in back of a sandy beach just big enough for our two boats (or so we thought!)
Corrotoman Anchorage
By 11:00 am Doug and I were on the beach with our chairs, cooler and beach paraphernalia and we were soon joined by the SS crew -
Tammy and Doug Get Setup on the Beach

I'm not sure I have ever seen such pure unadulterated bliss as Cassie and Godiva displayed having jumped off the tender into the water to find themselves on a great little beach with minnows for Cassie to chase and sand for Godiva to roll around in on her ball (except maybe my face when I got to wiggle my toes in actual sand!!!)
Cassie Can't Even Wait for the Dinghy to Beach Before Jumping into the Water
Godiva Shows How Excited She is to be on a Beach
We had a couple hours before we were descended upon by the Sunday afternoon dog and party gang - when I say boatloads of people started to unload from little go fasts, I do mean boatloads!! Did I mention this was a pretty small beach - really just a jut of sand that would become smaller as the afternoon wore on and the tide rolled in!!! Have you ever heard about the joke - how many elephants can you fit in a VW??? well that about summed the afternoon up but everyone got along and had a great time.
The Beach Gets Smaller and the Group Gets Bigger
Cassie and Godiva had new friends to play with as well, a black lab named Chatham who seriously went tubing around the harbor by himself when his female human companion fell off, a labradoodle named Lark and some other big dog (breed unknown at least to me) named Nautica all joined us for the afternoon!!! It was a little crowded but lots of fun and as we left to head back to the boats, we knew that tomorrow was Monday and we'd have the beach all to ourselves!!!
Three of the Four Crew Members of September Song Relax at the Beach

But the afternoon was far from over - lots of sun and fun left in the day. Back on Gypsies we dropped our hula lounger overboard (it is one of Doug's coolest gadgets - it's a floating circular contraption with four mesh seats so you can sit in the water and drink holders so you can indulge in adult libations while cooling off!) and we proceeded to turn on the tunes and hang out in the nice cool clean water of the harbor! It is obviously a sight as every boat that came by started howling and waving at us!! SS joined us for a relaxing aquatic afternoon/evening!! I know some people get used to swimming in muddy rivers but for me it's so nice to be back in a place where the water is clean enough to feel like you want to go swimming!!!

After a morning of baking (muffins and cookies) - can you believe it - me??? we headed out in the dinks to do some serious exploration of the Corrotoman River - the eastern branch where we are anchored was absolutely beautiful with lots of little creeks and tributaries to wander around in. The shoreline is dotted with neat homes full of porches and patios and boat docks with stairs climbing at every conceivable angle up to the houses on the hills.
Stairway to Heaven

Bald eagles circled overhead while blue herons dotted the shores and fish kept jumping right next to and in front of the dinghy - one nearly gave me a coronary it jumped so close to my head at a time when the river and surrounding woods was completely quiet!!! We kept waiting for one of them to jump right in our boat - now I wonder if you need a fishing license for that?? Gee occifer I swear they all just jumped right in my boat.....

A quiet afternoon back on our deserted beach with a great book, some cheese and crackers and a few coldies
Afternoon Snacks on the Beach
and we are about to get ready to head over to September Song for Mexican night. Can you say margaritas anyone (of course not for me but it sounds good!!)

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