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Norfolk, Cookies, and Helicopters...

Yesterday, LTJG Ryan Yonkman received his shiny wings of gold. As requested by his awesome wife Mary, I prepared an extra special Box of Sunshine to take to today’s celebration. Ryan and Mary are heading to Norfolk, Virginia soon, and I do believe I speak for the better half of Pensacola when I say that they will be dearly missed.

On her amazing blog tulips and flight suits, Mary is always writing helpful posts geared towards transitional couples in the military. I figured that since I spent an entire summer living in the Hampton Roads area I could help make their transition a little easier and share a list of fun Norfolk places that make me smile.

So, here it is:


As new residents in the City Norfolk, it is required that you check out both the Nauticus on Waterside Drive and the Chrysler Museum of Art. These are two key Norfolk places. Think of it as a sort of initiation into the city. While downtown, also peruse through Towne Point Park and take a picture with the Mermaids.

If you are ever feeling a little green, you should visit the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The first time I visited Norfolk a friend took me to check it out. The gardens are gorgeous! It’s a great place to spend a lazy afternoon and it may even provide some inspiration on what to plant in your new backyard.

Other forms of entertainment include the Naro Cinema on Colley. This is a fun theater. Will and I went on weekly roommate dates here. Also, Fest Events is a great site to help you keep up with all that is going on in the Hampton Roads area. Upcoming Fest Events include the Acoustic Music Festival, Harbor Party and Seafood Feast, and the Towne Point Virginia Wine Festival.


The Market at Harbor Heights was my absolute favorite grocery store, D’egg Diner is a great breakfast spot, Bodega is a wonderful little tapas place, Machismo is the best burrito bar in town, and the Freemason Abbey Restaurant and Pasha are both top notch places to have a nice dinner date.

If you ever find yourself across the bay in Hampton, make sure that you try Jason’s Deli. I wish we had one of these here in Pensacola. Everything at Jason's is so yummy and you get free ice cream! Speaking of ice cream, you absolutely must try an ice cream cone from Doumar’s Cones and Barbeque. It has been in its current location since 1934, and best of all, they have grilled cheese!  

Also, you will love, love, love the Pagoda Tea House. It is a lovely waterfront landmark that is surrounded by an oriental garden. I used to play shows here every month. It is run by the sweetest Moroccan family. When you drop in, make sure to tell Az hi for me!

Finally, you will definitely want to try the Big Easy Grill and Oyster Bar. It has New Orleans style food and a swanky little bar downstairs. It seemed that on weekend nights regardless of what we would do, we always ended up at the Big Easy.


In terms of churches, I really liked First Presbyterian Church on Colonial Avenue. A friend of mine invited me to the 9:00 contemporary service, and I ended up really enjoying it. Out of all of the churches that I attended while there, this one seemed the most like home. It is a younger congregation, an outreach focused church, and the pastor is an excellent speaker.


I think that covers most of it. Congratulations Ryan and Mary! I hope you find this useful. Pensacola isn’t going to be quite the same without you. I know that the two of you will love your time spent in Norfolk.

Also, I have posted new videos of my music which you can check out (here)...

I hope that everyone is having a  fantastic Saturday! Below I have posted a few of my favorite Norfolk photos. Enjoy!


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Reader Comments (2)

you are the sweetest ever tanya!! a belated thank you for this -- i will come back time & time again to find out next spot to eat or thing to do... now all we need is for you to come visit and show us around!! :)

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermary

I've been lying awake in bed all night and as my mind was wandering I started thinking about writing a blog. I decided to read some other blogs to help me make my decision and I came across this post and I just had to say, several of the places and events you mentioned are also favorites of my friends and I; and that picture of the USS Wisconsin is my #1 most favorite sight in Norfolk. The first time I saw it I was walking by there with Colin and I had to stop and look at it for few minutes.

August 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

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