The Good Life Part One: Onancock

     So I have recklessly abandoned my blog for a while. I cannot believe I have not written anything for over a month. Well, it has been for good reason.  We have been very busy, the good kind of busy.  Thus the title of this post, “The good life”.  For me the good life is just being able to enjoy what you are doing.  Oh yes some people enjoy their jobs and other such things, but what I mean is enjoying life the way it was meant to be, taking the time to appreciate nature without the daily rush. Spending time with loved ones, enjoying good conversation amidst gorgeous surroundings with a great glass of wine and fabulous food.  Taking the time to take a walk and savor that which has been created for you.
  
    This describes our most recent adventure.  The first week of June, Eric and I were off to Virginia for kayaking, biking, hiking, beach-combing and food savoring.  We actually stayed in two towns on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, first Onancock and then Chincoteague.  I had never heard of either of these places before I had researched for this trip.  Many years ago when I was about 11 my grandparents took my brother Justin and I to Virginia Beach.  However this time around I wanted something off the beaten path and not as crowded.  I googled “beaches near Virginia Beach” which led me to Chincoteague and the Eastern shore of Virginia.  I came across wineries, small little beach towns, and other unique finds.

     One of the best things about our trip was where we decided to stay.  A fan of bed and breakfasts I was delighted to find the town of Onancock had several, but I believe we chose the best. The Inn at Onancock  was a true gem.  The first week of June happens to be a slower time on the Eastern shore so we had the whole inn to ourselves.  After a later then expected arrival we were welcomed to the home by Joanie, a wonderful women who immediately assisted us in making a reservation at a local restaurant.  The owners Lisa and Kris were out of town for 2 of the three nights we were there but Joanie was a wonderful host as well.   Each morning we had fabulous gourmet breakfasts complete with fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, a scrumptious entree, a sweet, coffee and juices. One morning Joanie made us waffles and placed a blueberry in each individual waffle well! I wished I had taken a picture of it, it was truly beautiful and utterly delicious!  After a day of relaxing or sight seeing the inn also offered a “wine down” service complete with 2 selections of either red or white wine ( they ask your preference before you arrive)  and hors d’oeuvres.




   Breakfasts were served here at 8:30 AM, which for me this was a bit early for vacation. However it did help getting out of bed early, having a hearty breakfast, which enabled us to be ready to go for kayaking or whatever we had planned.  After all our activity, but just a few hours before dinner, we headed back to the inn tired, but ready for a pick me up.  Just down the hall from our room was a set up any coffee lover would appreciate (which we are).  It was a Keurig coffee maker ready to go with all the fixings, and at any time of the day.  This coffee supplied the pick me up we needed, and was a welcomed addition to our stay.  If you ever find yourself on the eastern shore of Virginia I highly recommend the Inn at Onancock. It is first rate. Also if you ever plan to go there off season ask about the cooking classes offered by owner Lisa.  She told us how she was trained in French cuisine by a true Parisian and a personal friend of Julia Child! Below are pics of owners Kris and Lisa and their enviable kitchen!







            




        




     The rooms were also extremely special. Each of the 5 guest suites had a theme based on places the owners had traveled. We chose the Oriental room.  It was furnished with beautiful oriental inspired pieces, 1000 count sheets, and a fabulous en-suite bath complete air jetted tub.  As a hard working nurse my sore muscles relished this luxury.  Nothing here was overlooked.  From the mattresses, sheets, decor, books, to wonderful food, we were pampered all the way.  Some of the extra touches that we loved were the bath salts, the towel warmers, spa robes, the wine down service, and the coffee set up down the hall from our room.



The Oriental Room 


Our spa bath complete with air jetted tub


The Provence room



      Onancock as a town was a quaint and quiet beauty.  It is not the place for someone that needs constant entertainment, but it was perfect for a relaxing getaway.  The week we were staying The Sultana was at port, which was a learning experience touring a replica of a 1700s sailing vessel.  The town also offers art galleries, an old fashioned movie theater (which only plays movies on weekends), great restaurants, and some of the best scenic kayaking I have ever participated in. Onancock sits near the Chesapeake Bay, with tidal creek waters that wind their way inland.  Kayaking through these serene waters was simply wondrous. We saw many birds including bald eagles and falcons.  Paddling through the undisturbed marshes was a highlight.  The water here was like glass and reflexed the white puffy perfect clouds above.



     The Eastern shore of Virginia also offers a wine trail. Approximately thirty minutes from Onancock  are a few wineries to try: Chatham Vineyards and Bloxom Winery.  Make sure to check out the websites before going because each of these are only open on particular days.  We drove out to Bloxom  Winery and were disappointed that it was closed. However Eric looked in the windows just to take a peek and stated that it really looked like a neat place.  Bloxom also offers artisan pizzas on the weekends from their own wood fired pizza oven, which is always a good choice in my book!




      One stand out option for dining in Onancock was Bizzotto’s Gallery and Caffe.  It is a cozy restaurant in an old charming brick building. The inside offered a warm atmosphere and was instantly relaxing after our long journey.  The service was good and we enjoyed our waiter, who was impressed (or slightly scared), by our voracious appetites. He commented on how he had never seen any two people clean their plates so well.  Eric chose the grilled duck breast which was topped with a cherry balsamic reduction and served with risotto and sauteed spinachwhile I had the filet with a chimichurri sauce and grilled prawns and vegetables. Both were delicious.

Eric happy at Bizzotto’s

Blurry but you get the idea
     We spent three nights in Onancock which was just enough to see the sights, kayak, and relax.  Next stop Chincoteague!

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