It’s early Monday morning, the traffic is offensive on the HRBT, and you have a smile on your face.
You’re heading back to Norfolk from Hampton after a long and delicious weekend. You begin to wonder why you hadn’t done this sooner. On the seat next to you is a growler from Bull Island Brewery and a pair of topsiders from Benton Knight Clothiers. A present for your niece from Hampton Stationery flashes bright and pink in the rearview mirror. An assortment of cupcakes from the Grey Goose fills the car with redolence.
Friday 7:30 pm
The goblet of Green Flash sits on the bar at Taphouse, and the slow braised lamb shank osso bucco rests next to it. You think of the way the wind smelled on Fort Wool this afternoon. The Ms. Hampton II rested at the dock with cold beer. The waves jogged towards the bridge-tunnel like haiku.
Friday 9:30 pm
The night is a little chilly, so the fire is going at Conch & Bucket while you sip wine underneath the wisteria vines. You recognize there will be some tough decisions Sunday morning when the savage howl of brunch comes echoing across the Hampton River.
Or maybe Friday starts with a pizza at Venture Kitchen that tastes like a stately Southern mansion. Or maybe you sneak attack your friend’s Bibimbap while covetously guarding your sashimi at Musasi. Maybe you end the night the middle of a grind sandwich under the moon on the dance floor at Marker 20. Maybe you end it honky tonking to a Nashville band at Taphouse. Maybe you end it at the hotel pool, and that growler of beer doesn’t make it back to Norfolk.
Saturday 1:30 pm
How many trips to the gym are in the half dozen Glazed Doughnuts you just demolished? You think about space, time, the epic curve of the universe, the insignificance of humanity, and the brutal struggle of the first slaves in America. You decide you will always visit museums in sets of two, like you do with the Air and Space Center and the Hampton History Museum.
Saturday 7:30 p.m.
You wonder how your previous opinion of Hampton ever formed. You feel lucky the owner of La Bodega is chipper enough to tinkle the ivories for you. You also feel lucky you can guzzle cheap beer and watch sportsball at Stillwater Tavern. What is the bartender’s name at Goody’s? The one who makes you the best Reuben ever? Your legs feel good because you haven’t been in the car since Friday afternoon when you pulled into the Crowne Plaza.
Maybe Saturday starts with a paddle down the Hampton River to the Barking Dog. Maybe you snag a glistening fish sandwich at the Hampton Seafood. Maybe you end the night with a large pizza pie or a veal parm at Papa Ciccio’s.
Sunday 10:30 a.m.
You feel good about the switch to the B&B comfort of the Magnolia House Inn. The sun wakes up slowly across downtown Hampton. You stroll through the marina and the park, tracing the gentle curves of the river. You gaze towards the point where Blackbeard’s head was stuck on a pike, and decide to head over to Emancipation Oak where Booker T. Washington was a student. The walk gets your blood flowing, so you decide on a whim to shoot nine holes with loaner clubs at The Woodlands. This leads to a nap, and you dream of container ships singing songs across the Bay.
At this point you’ve wasted two hours of your weekend on Zillow casing Little England, Pasture Point, and all properties in between. You had half your brunch at Venture, and the other half at Conch & Bucket. Nobody called you crazy. They understood. Do you really have to go back to Norfolk tomorrow? You never got to try lunch at either Taphouse or Venture. You never rode the carousel or slurped oysters at Oyster Alley. You didn’t make it to that yoga class. You stop and think: Has this all really been possible in one weekend? Did you really do all that in one neighborhood?
The thought is fleeting because all you want is more. Before you realize what you are doing you’ve sent your boss an email, saying you won’t make it to work on Monday because you’re “sick.” The night is young, the fire is lit, and the future’s looking bright.
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About the sponsor of this article: Rose & Womble Realty Co. was born and bred in Hampton Roads – our owners live and work here in the Seven Cities. We are a family owned and operated business – with multiple generations working at all levels, from agents to managers. Our agents have access to the owners for guidance and advice. Our mangers meet regularly with the owners, face-to-face, to discuss real estate in Hampton Roads. Our Board of Directors members are consistently asked to speak about local real estate issues. The leadership within the company is LOCAL – not out of state – but right here in Hampton Roads.