So after the enlightening adventures of Colonial Williamsburg Miss Mercy and the Mad Farmer built in a travel day before heading to Monticello. Because we live in Kansas, which geographically is as far from an Ocean as you can get, it seemed like a no-brainer to go to the beach. It was decided that we would go to Cape Charles, VA. Cape Charles is not too far away from Williamsburg, VA and not too far from Charlottesville, where Monticello is located, so it was going to be a relatively short drive to the beach and a reasonable drive to Charlottesville. Driving to the Cape would also allow us to drive over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
In case you are not familiar with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel it spans the Chesapeake Bay connecting Virginia Beach and the Fisherman Wildlife Refuge on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, replacing a Ferry service that made the crossing until 1964. The Mad Farmer had once driven over the Astoria-Megler Bridge between Astoria, OR and Washington state. The Astoria-Megler bridge spans about four miles over the mouth of the Columbia River and it is definitely an experience traveling over it. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is 17 miles across, including two under-the-ocean tunnels that span a mile each so ships can traverse the bay. The Farmer can safely say that traveling across the bridge is a unique experience, traveling at 55 mph along a two lane highway under the ocean is very different. Miss Mercy seemed to enjoy it, so that part of the trip was a success.
One side note, the CBBT website at the time we looked it up was a few years out-of-date. It said that if you were making a day trip that the one-way toll across the bridge was $14.00 and the return trip would only be $6.00. Turns out several years ago they changed that so that you only get a discount if you sign up for the Virginia EZ-Pass toll payment system. You have to do that in the state, they won’t let you sign up online if you are out-of-state so just be aware of the tolls.
So the cool part about crossing the bridge is that you eventually end up at Cape Charles, VA, which is located on the Chesapeake Bay.
Cape Charles is an excellent place to spend some time. The bay shelters Cape Charles from direct exposure to the Atlantic and in June the weather was perfect. There is something about the ocean, especially a warm, breezy, ocean day that warms a Parrothead’s heart and the rest of him as well. In case you missed it somehow, between shark fins on the Farmers’s fence posts and the backyard bar named “Key Midwest”, the Mad Farmer is a Parrothead of long-standing. How is it that a ocean-loving Parrothead wanna-be beach bum lives in Kansas you ask? That is a mystery for the ages yet to be explored. Take it on faith, a good day at the beach is always welcome.
So after a wonderful afternoon at the beach we brushed the sand off our feet (it was super hot sand, if you care to know – Note to Mad Farmer Self: buy new flip-flops before going to the beach again). Miss Mercy piloted us back across the Bay Bridge and we headed to Charlottesville and our Airbnb reservation for the night prior to our tour of Monticello the next day.
Next up: Monticello