May 20, 2017
We spent all day in Portsmouth. My plan was the usual for Sunday, find a Church and a good place for Sunday breakfast and grocery shopping. The church was a beautiful 100 year old Gothic style, but unfortunately the Mass schedule had changed and the next Mass in the combined parish was 5 miles and two hours away. So I tried to find the grocery store. I got pretty lost but eventually found it and got most of what we needed. Then back in downtown Portsmouth found a nice coffee shop/ café. Nothing good enough to take back to John on the boat, but tasty. All of the above on my bicycle.
Portsmouth looks like it has seen hard times, the poor sister to Norfolk but is really trying to revive its downtown area and refurbish its old homes After taking the groceries back to the boat I decided to catch the ferry to Norfolk for the afternoon.
With my bicycle I got a good look at Norfolk. It is much more modern and looks more prosperous, but still has some lovely old homes that have been preserved. I’m reading a book about Thomas Jefferson which explained that Norfolk was a thriving seaport in colonial times that was burned to the ground on orders of the Virginia Convention so that the British governor of Virginia couldn’t take refuge in the city after being driven out of Williamsburg. Today it is the main port of the US Navy and there are aircraft carriers and destroyers and other ships everywhere. I also found another aquatic creature all over the town. The mascot of the town is the mermaid and about 20 years ago they had 200 mermaids cast, “adopted” and decorated and they are all over the town.
John spent all day working and then watching the golf tournament so I made him walk to dinner. The next morning after he had found a UPS store to notarize some documents for the sale of the White River ranch, and mail them, we decided to head north.