March 7th, 2014 by Teresa Diaz
King Neptune by Pasquale
Finally springing forward! We thought it would never get here but tomorrow night is the time Americans get to claim another hour of light at the end of each day. What will you do with your extra daylight? Hike? Bike? Fish? Surf? The possibilities are endless in this wonderful city of Virginia Beach. That’s why millions come visit every year! Yes, that was supposed to be millions with an “m”!
From our fantastic beaches and boardwalk to our amazing parks, waterways and attractions, we proudly hosted 5.9 million overnight visitors in 2012. Will you be one of our guests this year? We’d love to have you. Maybe you’re one of our 477,000 residents? Lucky you! You live in a city visitors from across the nation, and around the globe, hope to visit this year.
We Live the Life in Virginia Beach, and others want to live it too. We welcome them all. So when’s the last time you sent a postcard from your hometown? Tell someone today how lucky you are. Happy Spring!
March 1st, 2014 by Mike Halperin
Dr. Ken Neill & his 24.22 lb. state record tautog.
Virginia Beach is a premier vacation destination where world-class saltwater fishing is readily available. I’d even bet my favorite rod and reel on it! If you don’t believe me, just check out the catch and release data in today’s blog from the recently concluded 2013 Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.
Anyone fishing in Virginia Beach is able to participate in the state sponsored Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament. The Tournament is free and open to anglers of all ages without regard to location of residence. Anglers earning citation awards have a choice of a handsome wall plaque or colorful award certificate to commemorate their catch. A Junior Anglers Program is also offered including special awards for youth anglers.
One of the author's fishing citations
The past year accounted for many outstanding catches and species runs, all of which are summarized in the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament end of year summary report. Fishing trends are easy to see as well as species likely to optimize an angler’s chances for success this year.
Red Drum by Duane Raver
Nice speckled trout!
To borrow a phrase from ice hockey, last year’s fishing “hat trick” consisted of white marlin, speckled trout and red drum. White marlin releases led all other citations with 1337 awards, followed by speckled trout in second place with 1249 citations including 555 weight awards and 694 releases. Red drum, also known as “channel bass,” anchored 3rd place with 993 releases. Together, accounting for approximately half of all 2013 citation awards, white marlin, speckled trout and red drum provide a perfect target for anyone seeking a Tournament citation award this season.
Cary Wolfe & his record 74 lb. striped bass
Striped bass had the fourth highest total with 111 weighed fish and 83 releases. The largest bass of the year was 57 pounds. Tautog, frequently referred to as blackfish or “tog”, accounted for 117 weight and 61 release citations. The largest “tog” was a whopping 21 pounds, 6 ounces! Blueline tilefish and black sea bass were close behind with 177 and 95 weight citations respectively.
If those fish don’t get you excited, tarpon, sailfish, swordfish, tuna, sheepshead, Spanish and king mackerel, flounder and Norfolk spot are just some of a wide variety of fish available seasonally to challenge any angler’s skills.
In 2013 there were a total of 5264 citations, including 1670 weighed fish and 3594 releases.* Kudos to the anglers who released their prize to fight another day!
How does Virginia Beach provide this type of outstanding fishing? When a resort city is ideally situated adjacent to Chesapeake Bay, faces the Atlantic Ocean, and has three saltwater inlets with ocean and backwater access, saltwater fishing opportunities abound.
Virginia Beach also offers an ideal venue for every fisherman and every budget – piers, surf, head boats or charter boats as well as three boat ramps for those who want to be their own captain.
Come as you are to enjoy the sun, sand and surf and be as relaxed or determined as you desire in pursuing the wide seasonal variety of world-class fish in Virginia Beach waters. There is no better value-added getaway than a fishing vacation at the Beach! Hope to see you on the water.
Wishing you tight lines and hard strikes,
* Captain’s Log: Citation numbers remain subject to upward change should any weigh stations submit late reports.
February 28th, 2014 by Katherine Jackson
The last post for February – and soon we’ll be welcoming Spring and then, at last, Summer!!! It’s been a particularly harsh winter for many people so we are fully expecting that Virginia Beach is going to hit record visitor numbers this year. Will you be in our company? We hope so. Our 2014 Travel Planner is available for download right here
This week we have a special treat from blogger Katherine Jackson. She discovered and has written about a little sea treasure she recently happened upon on a beach walk. Her photos of this discovery are amazing so sit back and enjoy!!!
Patience and Persistence Bring Gifts from the Sea
Inspired by walks on the beach, Anne Morrow Lindbergh shared her insights on topics ranging from love and marriage to the benefits of seeking a simpler life in her beloved book titled Gift from the Sea. In one passage she writes, “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. To dig for treasures shows not only impatience and greed, but lack of faith. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea.”
A few weeks ago, walking on the beach at low tide, I got a special gift from the sea. At first it looked like a tangle of grass, but as we approached, we saw a handsome seahorse wriggling on the damp sand where a receding wave had stranded him. He was about six inches long and close to the color of the sand. I later learned that seahorses can change color to hide from predators. This is only the third seahorse I have seen in more than thirty years of walking on Virginia Beach.
The first one I found was long-dead, at rest near the foot of a dune. I gave him a prominent place on my shell mirror. The second seahorse I saw was alive and also stranded, so after we admired him, we released him back to the ocean. In writing this post, I learned that seahorses are classified as fish even though they swim upright, propelling and steering themselves with tiny fins – one on their back, one on their belly, and one behind each cheek. They rapidly flutter their fins, but they’re notoriously slow swimmers. They wrap their prehensile tail around a piece of seaweed and hang out for days, eating constantly, sometimes as many as three thousand tiny creatures a day. Seahorses typically mate for life, and they’re one of the few species in which the male bears the offspring. The female places eggs in his roomy front pouch. One source I read described how seahorses dance each day with their partner, entwining their tails and twirling like ice skaters across the ocean floor. Collecting a live seahorse just wouldn’t be right, so we returned this little guy to the ocean. I was happy as I imagined him swimming slowly but eagerly in search of his companion. We were lucky – and he was lucky – that we came upon him before a sea gull gulped down a delicacy. As Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh and an aviator herself, advises, “One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can only collect a few.” In Virginia Beach, two low tides each day provide opportunities to look for new gifts from the sea. I agree with Lindbergh that patience and faith reward the persistent beachcomber.
Here is a photo of Katherine’s fabulous shell mirror; the seahorse on this mirror is NOT the seahorse Katherine recently found – he was happily returned to the sea!
Photos courtesy of Katherine Jackson
February 21st, 2014 by Teresa Diaz
We’re gearing up for another busy weekend in Virginia Beach. Here are just a few of the fun things going on:
2013 show pic courtesy of Greenberg's Train & Toy Show Facebook page
On Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22 & 23, the country’s largest train and toy show returns to the Virginia Beach Convention Center (VBCC). Greenberg’s Train & Toy Show offers hundreds of tables of trains for sale, huge operating model train layouts, free seminars, activities for the kids and more. What a way to spend a day of fun for the whole family! And here’s the best part: children under the age of 12 are free with paying adult. Adult tickets are $8 for both days. Show hours each day are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, click here.
Insider’s tip: Parking is always FREE @ the VBCC!!!
Courtesy of VOW Bridal website
It’s here…..THE bridal event of the year! The Vow Bridal Event is a celebration of the area’s finest wedding professionals. This Sunday, February 23, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Virginia Beach Convention Center Ballroom will be a feast for the senses with couture runway shows, a tastings marketplace, unique ideas and more. Vendors representing more than 100 companies will be on site for wedding planning advice, samples and bridal offers galore. Come down for the fun and stay for inspiration, contacts and hopefully, you’ll win one of the many fabulous prizes being offered. This is the one bridal show you won’t want to miss!
Register here to register in advance for a discount on admission.
And again, parking is always FREE at the VBCC!!!
Engage via social media during the show for a chance to win AMAZING prizes
2014 Vow Bridal Event Social Media Contest
Presented by Madison Jewelers
Join in the Conversation! #vowbridalevent
To Enter for a chance to win one of these amazing prizes, Just use #vowbridalevent in your FB posts and Tweets and we will be picking our favorite tweets and statuses throughout the show. We will Tweet or FB comment winners to pick up their prize before the end of the show.
Head to the Social Media booth during the event for more info!
1. One night stay in a Deluxe Guestroom and tickets for 2 to the Wedding Showcase in Duck N.C. at Sanderling Resort on March 14 or 15th 2014 Value $139
2. Over $1,000 in services from the Wedding Professionals of Wayside Village Shops
A: $200 off Flowers when booked for floral event service with Isha Foss Events
B: Free Sweetheart Table Design and implementation with purchase of DOC package with Antonia Christianson Events Value $200
C: Complimentary thank you notes with a wedding invitation order of $500 or more form RSVP STATIONERY
D: 1 30 x 20 Canvas Print of your choice with your 4 hour Photo Booth Rental from Boardwalk Photo Booth Company
E: $75 Discount off of the Standard Plus Package with Rev. Ken Lane
F: Complimentary Pie Display with catering services booked through Sweetwater Cuisine
G: Complimentary Bridal Hair with 4 or more attendant hair or make up booking with Kristal Lane
3. David’s Bridal $100 Gift Certificate
4. $300 off coupon from Two Rivers Country Club in Williamsburg
5. Eyelash enhancements from Eye Deux Value $300
6. Microdermabrasion treatment from Skin Oasis Value $150
7. Gift Basket from Dave & Buster’s Value $50
8. $200 Bridal Bouquet from Graceful Designs LLC
9. $25 gift certificate from Table 7
10. Free Engagement Session and One Engagement photo with ACM Photography courtesy of Creative Catering of Virginia. Value $500
Rules: Brides Must be Present to Win! Employees & Families of Vow Show Vendors & Advertisers are not eligible. Restrictions apply. There is no cash value. Vow Bride Magazine is the final judge on determining the winners of all prizes and you must be an engaged bride to qualify
February 17th, 2014 by Sherry Friel
This past winter, I found myself so immersed seasonal holiday activities, my camera stayed in its bag for what seemed like months. By the time February hit, I couldn’t escape that perpetual feeling that something was missing. And then it occurred to me the role photography plays in my life: It is my source of balance. I am happiest with my camera in hand, and my eyes scouting around for beauty. Flowers and nature have always been the most compelling sources of inspiration for me, and this season, for one reason or another, I let that inspiration fall into dormancy. But not for long! I soon found myself fascinated with the ice and snow that visited Virginia Beach recently.
What struck me the second day of being snowed in was the gorgeous way the white snow crystals traced the fragmented beauty of tree branches. Now, I love trees even in the winter because without leaves one can truly see the skeletal, miracle network of branches and nature’s symmetry at work. The snow, like the leaves, highlights the complexities of nature’s art in a way that is truly mesmerizing. So I took hundreds of photographs at every angle. When I uploaded these images into my computer, it was delight all over again after seeing how the browns and whites contrasted against the unbelievably blueness of the sky. Wow!
Another source of photographic inspiration was the way my son and his friend tackled the snow projects of their dreams with persistence and true teamwork. From snowmen to igloos to snowball fights, they managed to achieve it all while racing against the knowledge that the snow would melt soon. They wasted not one minute and I enjoyed documenting every aspect of their precious, albeit short-lived snow days.
Read the rest of this entry »
February 14th, 2014 by Teresa Diaz
It’s Valentine’s Day and LOVE is definitely in the Virginia Beach air!
According to the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the effect travel has on our lives is very real. Their research shows that travel boosts romance, makes couples closer and that traveling keeps you young. Or at least healthier. That’s the finding of a new study linking travel to decreased risks of heart attack and depression and even the promotion of brain health.
The Global Commission on Aging and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, in partnership with USTA, has released research that shows travel offers the same sort of physical and cognitive benefits as crossword puzzles or museum visits.
According to the study:
· Women who vacationed every six years or less had a significantly higher risk of developing a heart attack or coronary death compared with women who vacationed at least twice a year.
· Men who did not take an annual vacation were shown to have a 20% higher risk of death and about a 30% greater risk of death from heart disease.
· Benefits of travel are almost immediate. After only a day or two, 89% of respondents saw significant drops in stress.
The study also noted that 59% of Americans dream of traveling during their retirement, and that the most impactful trips are those spent with family and friends.
Bottom line? To stay healthy and happy, relax and travel regularly. One one of the best places in the world to do both is in Virginia Beach where we Live the Life every day! Hope to see you soon!!