Thursday 20th November. Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Nell was up and off to work long before I stirred. Jim's schedule however, allows for a little more flexibility. He took the day off today, and took me on a tour of the Norfolk/ Virginia Beach area. Last night's rain had passed, and today was a perfect day. There literally wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the forecast predicted the same for the next few days, with highs in the low seventies. That, and the view from my hosts' deck reaffirmed my decision to head south along the coast. Who knows, I might just get some use out of my short pants before I head to England!

the view from Jim and Nell's deck.

As we drove, I saw constant reminders of the Hurricane that swept through here two months ago. Many homes showed signs of minor damage. Workmen could be seen on roofs, fixing fences or replacing siding. A local seaside park had been converted into a temporary dumping ground for fallen tress, lumber and garden waste. The pier, two miles away from Jim and Nell's had been all but destroyed, and a number of heavy timber pilons from that pier had been tossed onto the beach in front of their home.

This is the pier two miles away, where the pilons that are on Jim and Nell's beach came from. The destruction and possible reconstruction of the pier, have become very emotional issues.

We paid three bucks each for the privilege of climbing the ninety foot tall Cape Henry lighthouse, built in 1792. The climb wasn't as tough as Jim had expected, and he didn't have too much trouble fitting through the hole in the floor. That Atkins diet must be working! Funnily enough, I didn't get a shot of the old lighthouse that we climbed, but did get photos of the newer lighthouse that was built to replace it. The view, as you may be able to appreciate from the photos, was gorgeous.

Jim and I after climbing up this 1792 lighthouse. The newer lighthouse, as seen from the old one..

I don't know which I found funnier; the fact that the Virginia Beach authorities felt it necessary to put up 'no swearing' signs, or the fact that they designed the signs in such a manner as you see. Either way, it was apparently an attempt to clean up Virgina Beach as a family destination, not a Spring Break destination for hooligans. According to Jim, it's worked.

No swearing in Virginia Beach. Jim and Nell had to help me out of the buffet after I ate slightly too much...again!.

Jim and I stopped off at the gym in the afternoon. It was good to get a bit of exercise, and especially to work up an appetite for dinner. We met Jim and Nells' daughter and her family at the Golden Corral, a huge buffet restaurant. It's a big call, but I'd almost say it was the most extensive, impressive buffet I've been to... at least for a long time. Of course, I made a pig of myself, and had to be assisted from the restaurant by my helpful hosts.

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