Alina Sewing and Design
Hello friends!

Back in August, Cowboy was stationed at the naval hospital in Portsmouth, VA. He’s already halfway through his fourth year of medical school (ALREADY…I can’t believe it!), meaning we’ll be moving in less than 8 months. We (yes…it is a team effort) have to do residency at a naval training hospital since the Navy is paying for med school (bless them), so we’ll be moving to one of three places: Portsmouth, VA, San Diego, or Bethesda, MD (right outside of Washington D.C.). So since fourth-years are in charge of scheduling their own rotations (you start to focus on what your specialty will be, so you get to make the decisions about what you want to learn about in fourth year, for the most part), Cowboy planned two away rotations–one in Portsmouth and one in San Diego. I got to join him for a week and a half in Virginia and I never have shared any pictures! So, without further ado…

Downtown Norfolk; Taken from the ferry that crosses the bay between Norfolk and Portsmouth. If we ended up stationed at the Portsmouth hospital, we would most likely live in Ghent, a sweet little neighborhood just north of downtown Norfolk.
On the waterwalk in downtown Norfolk.

At the end of the waterfront, in the Armed Forces Memorial, there’s a display of letters. These 20 letters are real and were written by soldiers who lost their lives. 
We took a moonlight cruise tour on the American Rover in the bay–this area has a lot of history to it and I highly recommend taking this tour!
Cruisin’…happy 10 months of marriage to this amazing man today!
We visited several area beaches, including Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Bay Beach (which is where we are in this picture!)
Chesapeake Bay homes…yes, I would live in someone’s above-garage apartment just to live in this neighborhood.
Virginia Beach! Much too touristy for my likes (even though I WAS a tourist)…I only came here a couple of times!

Well, I only came a couple of times until I discovered the non-tourist, residential beaches…where the people who live there spend their summers. MUCH better.
Be careful though, because they’re still public beaches and you’re bound to find a couple of crazies…
Cowboy was working during the weekdays, so I got to do lots of exploring on my own! I spent an afternoon back at Chesapeake Bay. Oh yeah, that’s the Coast Guard…something we don’t see often in KS. 😉
I also spent my days exploring the neighborhoods…I was delighted to find and visit this community farm market just blocks from the neighborhood we really liked!
While they grow most of their produce elsewhere, they also have a small garden in the back. The owner saw me taking pictures, approached me to find out which publication I worked for (HA!!!) and then proceeded to give me a private tour of the place. She was great and had already gotten me to agree to being a volunteer if/when we move there! 🙂
Oh yes…we also returned to Virginia Beach for me to run a little race on the boardwalk. Excuse the blurry pictures…I handed my husband the camera and put it in automatic for him…shutter speed too slow. 🙂

After the race, we explored the boardwalk and had breakfast at a sweet joint recommended by the locals. 
We were planning on spending the rest of the day biking and kayaking, but the weather had a different idea…so, we drove up to Washington D.C. for the weekend!!
We drove up to Washington D.C. on Saturday afternoon and spent the night at the Navy Lodge just south of the National Mall. So, Sunday we walked all over the National Mall, up to Arlington, over to the White House, etc. We tried to do as much as we could before heading back to Portsmouth that night!

The National Gallery of Art
Our massive Capitol building!
Cowboy humored me and let me peruse the Botanical Gardens, even though we were on a tight schedule that day. Do you see the shoes (or lack thereof) I am wearing? Yeah…forgot my running shoes when we packed small bags for D.C.  Seven miles, 8 hours (including a few hours of pouring rain and no umbrella) and ONLY ONE MEAL later, I was a tiny bit cranky, so it’s nice to remember how happy I was to stop there. Keepin’ it real. 😀 
I wouldn’t mind working in the Capitol if I could walk past the Botanical Gardens every day.
WWII Memorial, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background!
Good ‘ol President Lincoln and his memorial.
The reflecting pool has been under construction since last year, so it was partially drained, but it was cool nonetheless. And check out those clouds!
We stopped into the NMAH Smithsonian to see Julia Child’s kitchen exhibit!  This was one of my favorites.
Everything in the exhibit, with the exception of the floors and walls, was all removed from her home and donated to the Smithsonian. Everything is placed exactly like it was in her kitchen!
Washington Memorial
No big deal, just the back of the White House.
And the front. 🙂
Sunset over the bay, taken from Norfolk of Portsmouth. That tall building in the center is the naval hospital where Cowboy would be for residency if we got stationed there!

I took SO many pictures while we there, it’s hard to scale down and just show you this many. But, this is a pretty good sampling and we had a great time! It was great to know that we would be 100% OK with living in either of these places, come June! 
Speaking of which, I mentioned that Cowboy is out in San Diego, our third potential location, right now. I get to join him soon, so I’m very excited about that!
I also found out that The Queen Bee Market is happening while I’m out there and I am STOKED!!!! It makes my handmade-loving heart so happy.
Does anyone else have anything I should absolutely do/see while I’m out there? We’re staying on Coronado Island and plan on seeing the obvious “must-see” places, but are there any local joints we shouldn’t miss??


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