Travel to Virginia (Battle of Bull Run, Jamestown, and Virginia Beach)

Recently, I decided to leave with my husband on his business trip to Manassas, Virginia. A lot has happened these last 5 months, with mom’s stroke, then my surgeries, just life issues always coming at us, and even though I was fighting pain and trying to walk, I was so over this cold weather and really needed a change of scenery, so we decided to go for it. We hesitated whether to drive or fly but ended up having to drive. (At least I could get out to stretch and could wear a tens unit without TSA thinking I was packing a bomb. 😁)

In my husband’s 30 yrs, he hadn’t been to this particular city and was meeting with a new company. So, we decided that it might be nice to also drive a little further to Virginia Beach, after his meetings, just to check out the area.

We have been part of a ministry, for many years, called Operation Blessing that gives to those in need here and overseas, and had watched some beautiful testimonies through the years on the Christian Network CBN. So, we also thought it’d be interesting to visit the studios as well as see Regent University there. The campus was beautiful with it’s colonial style buildings and brick paved pathways.

Video of the campus here: https://youtu.be/dlHcI_kGA2k

We knew the weather wouldn’t be as warm as we would like but the two full days we had there (in Virginia Beach) still were warmer than at home.

There happened to be a St. Patrick’s Day marathon run (along the boardwalk) that we could view from our balcony, and we also enjoyed some great seafood while there. We even visited our first Trader Joe’s where we picked up a few things. The employees were so helpful there!

The wind was pretty fierce when we first arrived, and we were pelted with sand as we tried walking along the boardwalk. I noticed horses along the beach and felt sorry for them.

When we first arrived, we heard, then felt, the thunderous jets flying overhead from the nearby Oceana Naval Air Station.

This is where fighter jet pilots are trained and boy what a rush it was hearing them fly overhead, one right after another. Since my husband works for the Navy, later on, we decided to go on the base to view some of those jet fighters.

We also viewed many a ship using the ocean like a highway.

Each day there were large cargo ships lined up along the horizon; more than we’ve ever seen on any coast.

On the last night, I managed to catch some magnificent sunsets with the sky continually changing by the minute.

Since the trip came up rather suddenly, we hadn’t realized that major Civil War battle sites were literally 7 minutes from our first hotel in Manassas, VA. Both the first and second battles of Bull Run took place here.

The grounds provided some beautiful views stretching out to the horizon and it was sobering to think how many lives were lost on the very land we were walking. There was a free museum there as well as a self guided driving tour. We got out at one point and walked a few miles down a trail noticing points of interest.

I thought it was interesting that the northerners had a different name for the battle than the southerners.

Wiki: The First Battle of Bull Run (the name used by Union forces), also known as the First Battle of Manassas[1] (the name used by Confederate forces), was fought on July 21, 1861 in Prince William County, Virginia, just north of the city of Manassas and about 25 miles west-southwest of Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the American Civil War.”


And it was just sad to think that this war cost some 3,000 Union casualties, as well as 1,750 Confederate deaths.


Later, as we drove away from Manassas, I mentioned to my husband I thought Jamestown might be near. I looked down at the map and realized we were then only 20 minutes away, so we took a slight detour and at last minute, toured the Jamestown settlement. Again, I learned many facts I had not realized before.

Check out our Jamestown video link here:

https://youtu.be/IPCVR6xrSqI

So, we saw a lot for the short time we were there and our 12.5 looong drive home took us more southerly through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and Smokies. Then, we came home to find our refrigerator had gone out, again, like it had 7 years ago. What a welcome home. 😞

*For more travel videos and pics across the country, check out our YouTube Channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCB07TgWeL-brVsLv–C7yYA

or see Instagram highlight video “Midwest to VA” : @Thentherestwo

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Mission BBQ Restaurant Speaks Patriotism

Mission BBQ Restaurant Speaks Patriotism

We seem to eat a lot of BBQ where we live.

We. love. it.

AND, we are very picky about our BBQ, so I was both curious, and a little apprehensive about it.

We hadn’t heard of this particular restaurant; then again, we hadn’t been to the Patuxent River, MD, area in years.

Outside the restaurant, there was a nice patio area with picnic bench style seating.

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I really wasn’t expecting the interior to look the way it did, but Mission BBQ screamed absolute patriotism from the minute we walked in!

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I guess that’s to be expected being right across the street from the Patuxent Naval Air Station, not sure about the other locations.

NEVER have I seen so much, military paraphernalia, under one roof, aside from military museums.

I had a hard time eating as I didn’t know where to look first..it was all so interesting.

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I wanted to take it all in and look at everything.

Every square inch had something interesting to read or look at.

Mission BBQ

This was at our booth.

Missions BBQ plaque in honor of Sgt. Paul Fisher KIA

There were interesting articles, captivating pictures, even clever ways of displaying items; including, recognizing our community heroes like police, firemen, etc.

Missions BBQ honoring community

I love ANY PLACE that pays tribute to our great men and women of the military as well as those who support our community. [Hence my previous article  referring to my military family.]


You can choose a variety of smoked meats placed on or off the bun, lean or fatter cuts.

You then have a seat and wait for it to come out.

I chose the leaner beef brisket, (just the meat) while

the hubs had the brisket sandwich with fries as his side.

My side was the mac-n-cheese…IT WAS DELISH!

Probably the best/creamiest/cheesiest macaroni I’ve EVER had at a restaurant, for real.

(And I’m very picky about my mac-n-cheese!) 🙂

My meal also came with a piece of cornbread. I guess I missed that part when ordering.

The brisket had that Texas, oak, smoked flavor like you cooked it around the campfire.

Mission BBQ menu is here: http://mission-bbq.com/menu

They even have a gluten-free menu.

How did I miss getting a picture of our food, though! 😦

So, here’s some images for you: FOOD and SAUCES


Our history was on the walls, the tables and booths.

And of course, I had to find the Marine Corps emblem imbedded among several branches on our table.

Marine Corps insignia in the table at Mission BBQ

Even the cardboard caddy holding the six, different, choices of sauce, recognized the MIA and POWs.

Some of my favs were the KC Classic, and the more vinegar based Carolina.

Mission BBQ Sauces

They had a blend of spices and speciality sauces, up by the drink station, too, that I found to be so yummy.

Mission BBQ and recognizing POW MIA

Did you know National POW/MIA  is recognized on the third Friday of every September?

I guess I had forgotten when that was. My own Uncle Terry had been MIA for decades. (I hope to share that story, soon.)

Terry A. Hoffman MIA 1968 USMC


Coming back from the men’s restroom, my husband said, “You should see what’s in the guys’ room.”. He told me the walls were plastered with 1940 pin-up girls

not surprised there,

but then mentioned that the Farrah Fawcett’s poster was hanging above the men’s urinal.

Once again, NOT surprised.

For you young kids…it’s ICONIC.

That poster probably hung in just about every, young, teenage boy’s room across America!

Including my husband’s. (It was the only poster he ever had.) 🙂

So, naturally I wanted to see what was in us gals’ restroom.

I was trying to guess,

I thought, TOP GUN images FOR SURE!

As I rounded the corner looking for my restroom, guess whose face was peering down at me?

Tom Cruise in Top Gun fighter plane

Yep, Tom Cruise in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

We actually had jets flying overhead as we walked into the restaurant. I just love the sound of those things.

Later on, I noticed a few pilots had walked in.

They’re unmistakable aren’t they?

Once inside my restroom…

But of course…I should’ve guessed.

Lots women sending their lovers off to war with a kiss. Also infamous poses.

women sending their men off to war with kisses

 I was trying to imagine what they must’ve been feeling when those pictures were snapped.


The manager at Mission BBQ was going around visiting with people, and I noticed how he greeted patrons like they were family. I overheard him sharing about the restaurants and other cities where they have locations.

So, I’d recommend it. It’s a fun and interesting place with great food to boot.

Mission BBQ Restaurant

I was glad to see homage paid to all our military, and community service workers,

for once,

so for that fact alone, I would eat there.

Do you have a Mission BBQ near you or a favorite BBQ restaurant you like to visit?