Norfolk Stories and Tips

How I managed to have a stress-free Christmas

Beautiful buildings Photo, Norfolk, Virginia

I had been, for some time now, wanting to do like many others and get away for Christmas. Like many others, I started to dread Christmas and all the merriment that went along with it. I knew that I shouldn’t think, “Oh, no, it was just Christmas” on the day we celebrate the Lord’s birth.

I had once been this highly organized person who had cookies ready to go, Christmas cards out by November 15, the house decorated by November 1st, and presents done and wrapped in plenty of time for Christmas. Instead I haven’t decorated for Christmas in 3 years, I am lucky if I have cards out December 1st, and I am pillaging and plundering like the Vikings on the Capitol One commercial for last minute gifts. My cooking is also been limited to Pillsbury slice and baking cookies. Thank goodness for them.

As I became older, I started thinking Christmas was back around before I even had time to put away my Christmas cards from the previous year. I used to think it was due to my becoming less and less organized. Then I realized that it was due to the fact that by mid summer, stores already had Christmas ornaments sandwiched in between beach towels and suntan lotion. The taunts of “only 150 shopping days left before Christmas” were maddening. So it was the retailers who forced me into this “oh my gosh it is summer and I am not nowhere even ready for Christmas” syndrome. Right now I am sure some doctor is working on the symptoms and the pill companies are coming up with a pill to cure you. This in turn has left me disorganized and stressed out.

This year I decided no more. No longer would I be weeping in October at the thought of not being ready for Christmas and no more wondering how I could get Scotty to beam me up and all the places I needed to be Christmas. One day I decided to look around and see where the Lion King would be playing. I was ecstatic when I saw it would be in Norfolk at Christmas. I quickly purchased my ticket and reserved my room at the Marriott. I knew this Christmas would be different. Only problem is now I have used up my quota of John seeing the Lion King and I plan on being in NYC November 2007 for the 10th anniversary. Seriously if any igougo pals would love to meet up in NYC to see the Lion King, let me know.

So back to my original train of though. How did this Christmas with just me and my hubby work out? Despite the few snafoos…very well thank you. Granted we did have bad food, closed botanical gardens, rain, and John got shaving cream in his eye. But over all it went very well, I wasn’t stressed, and I am ready to face the New Year much more organized and ready to have a great Christmas next year. Only next year I hope to spend it at historical Williamsburg. It is rumored to be quite spectacular at Christmas.

I found Norfolk to be quite a charming city. I am very proud to be a G.R.I.T. (girl raised in the south) so I enjoy sharing the beauty of my home state of NC and the beautiful states that surround me. So I am very glad to share Norfolk with you.

There is so much to see and do in this wonderful city. There is a rich military history here, and it would be a perfect place for military reunion planners. There is Nauticus, the National Maritime Center. Here you will find a science center, interactive theaters, traveling exhibits, and next-door climb aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. There are Civil War Trails, the Armed Forces Memorial, the MacArthur Memorial, Hampton Roads Navel Museum, and Fort Norfolk to name a few.

Down on the waterside you will find restaurants, shopping, boats tours, and museums. Throughout the city you will find art museums, beautiful churches, historical buildings, and botanical gardens. For family fun make sure to check out the Virginia Zoo. For the shop-a-holic you will find a variety of stores from antiques, one of a kind boutiques, or stop in at the MacArthur Center. Here you will find more than 60 stores including Nordstom, Dillards, Pottery Barn, and Forever 21. And in November and December take a whirl around their outdoor ice skating rink. Foodies will find everything from ethnic selections, Nuevo cuisine, new twists on old favorite, real down south cooking, and the always-welcome comfort food.

Take a break and enjoy the surrounding cities that make up the area known as the Hampton Roads area. Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Newport News are all within close range. Go out abit further and discover historical Williamsburg.

Norfolk is an up and comer to the cruising scene. Several cruise lines are bringing their ships into this port city including Holland America, Carnival, and Radisson. For more information on that go to If you’re cruising from here, then this is the perfect place for a pre or post stay.

In 2007, there were will be a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown. Celebrations are scheduled throughout the year in the surrounding areas. For information on that please go to

If you are looking for a cruise package, short weekend jaunt, or any other vacation then make sure to visit Norfolk. This city is such a gem and I am sure you will agree with me once you visit her. For more information go to You can thank me later!

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