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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Ballet in the Rain...


I awoke this morning to the boom of thunder and the sound of raindrops dancing on my roof. After a long week of new adjustment, the torrential downpour outside of my window is making my bed seemingly all the more inviting.

But alas, the week is not quite over yet and my office calls me in once more. The last four days have been terrific, and if they are any indication of how the next two years will be, then I do believe I am going to thoroughly enjoy being a graduate student. But enough about that, time to grab my umbrella and rain boots. Looks like it’s going to be a ballet in the rain kind of day!

I've a tune in my mind and a smile on my face. It is Friday! Enjoy! Related Posts with Thumbnails


An Ocean and a Rock...


There are some things in life that you just love. They make you smile. They bring a warm feeling to your soul. Lisa Hannigan is one of those things for me. I don't think I ever get tired of hearing this woman sing. Shear beauty. Ever since her "amicable" breakup with Damien Rice, she's become an artist all her own. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.

 Also, I uploaded new videos of my music (here)...


I hope your Thursday is going as well as you wish. Enjoy! Related Posts with Thumbnails


Anna Carrolling...

Last Spring I took a Seminar entitled The Politics of Food. The course discussed every aspect of food from the companies who make the pesticides used to spray the crops, to the marketing of goods in grocery stores, to how the body processes different food components. We based our studies on the works of Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and Upton Sinclair. Farmers, nutritionists, economists, and genetic scientists came and lectured the class on their specialty in the topic of food. It truly was a fascinating course, although I’m pretty sure that at some point in the semester every student developed at least a minute form of othorexia. Let’s just say that during this class vending machine guilt was at its highest rate ever. The seminar was instructed by an English professor, Dr. Gregory Tomso, and his Graduate Teaching Assistant, Anna Carroll.

I think that everyone has an Anna Carroll in their life. Someone you know not even all that well that just sticks with you and makes you smile. A brief interaction, but a lasting impression. 

Anna has a way with words. She’s one of those people who can make even the simplest of sentences sound intelligent. She’s a tremendous storyteller whose digressions are brilliantly entertaining; so good in fact that I’m pretty sure I’ve used her name as a verb. She is absolutely comparable to Rebecca Hertz of NPR’s Snap Judgment. During our breaks she and Julia, another English major in our class, would casually discuss works by Wadsworth, the Bronte sisters, Hemingway, and a whole slew of others. Their attention to detail and theories on story concepts were mind boggling. I often felt I had nothing to add to the conversation, so I’d just sit and listen.

A recent Faceboook invite reminded me that Anna will soon be packing up her bags and heading to the Pacific Northwest.  She was accepted at the University of Oregon and was awarded a full assistantship as a doctoral candidate in the english department. Dr. Anna Carroll. It has a nice ring to it.

She is my proof that it can be done. A Pensacola native can receive their Bachelors and Masters from the University of West Florida and then be granted a full assistantship to a doctoral program at a major university. Anna Carroll, you are hope!

I hope you like the change in location. I’ve only ever heard wonderful things about the state of Oregon.

Have a fantastic Wednesday! Enjoy!

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A Tuesday Melody...

Last month I drove out to Austin, Texas to visit my lovely sister Jessica at her swanky Residence at the Domain apartment that overlooks a Starbucks and an Apple Store. As I peered out the window of her third floor apartment, I noticed a new addition to the row of shops below: Anthropologie. Now I had heard great things about this store, but had never entered one myself. Needless to say I was giddy to head down and check it out. As I entered the store I smiled back to the young red-headed sales clerk, Hilary, and began to take in all that is Anthropologie. As I was perusing through their selection of dresses I heard a voice singing through the speakers overhead. I immediately stopped and asked Jessica if she knew the artist singing the song. She gave me her all too familiar “give me a minute” face and busted out her iPhone 4 to shazam the tune.

Melody Gardot...

As soon as we were back in the apartment I jumped on iTunes and downloaded the song. It’s smooth and jazzy, reminiscent of the greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Nina Simone. I love it.

I’ve deemed it the perfect song for a Tuesday. Enjoy!


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