Exciting today

With this view, you can't go wrong! Virginia Beach, September 2013

With this view, you can’t go wrong! Shall we begin with TEA? Virginia Beach, September 2013

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”   A.A. Milne

I love, love, love breakfast, even though I seldom eat it except on Saturdays.  But sometimes I eat breakfast for dinner, at Cracker Barrel or IHOP or Denny’s or even at home.  I’ve also learned to indulge in breakfast when Jeff or Matt is in the hospital, and the rising comes early (with medical rounds seemingly at sun up and uncomfortable chair-beds that make it impossible to sleep well anyway).  Hospital cafeterias do breakfast well, or at least cheaply, and in the hospital, I know that may be the only real meal I get that day.

But my hands-down favorite place for breakfast is the tiny but very popular Belvedere Coffee Shop in Virginia Beach, a place Jeff discovered a few years ago on Trip Advisor, when he wanted to plan a fun weekend for us.  If you go there, be sure to ask for the “honeymoon table” in the corner, with a single seat for two, facing outwards. No matter what you order for breakfast, it will go PERFECTLY with the view you will enjoy there.

Are you a breakfast person? What are your favorites? You have my permission to indulge, today or sometime soon!


  1. Some will be grossed out, but my favorite is a salmon frittata (not discovered, by me, until this century, in Alaska).
    What a beautiful setting for breakfast – I’m so pleased Jeff suggested this, and that you are able to have a few times like this. (all treatment regimen, and no play makes Jack a dull boy)

    • Actually, even though I don’t enjoy seafood, that doesn’t sound bad to me. I think salmon is often eaten (by salmon-lovers, anyway) at breakfast and brunch as well as later in the day. Yes, that was a magical morning. Every time we go to the Boardwalk I end up saying “we should come here more often.”

  2. You have made me SO want to go to the Belvedere Coffee Shop! It sounds very much like my kind of place. Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal also…practically anywhere! As you quoted Pooh, “it’s the same thing!”

    • We will simply have to make it a point to go there next time you visit us in York. I can’t remember whether we’ve ever been to the Boardwalk together. I do remember going out to Dam Neck and you feeding the birds and how freezing cold it was in the wind!

  3. Raynard

    I lived in NJ for 14 years before I moved to Delaware.Fast food to me is so passe. And what’s up with Duncan Donuts serving breakfast? Makes me think of Dr Seuss Green eggs and ham. Or was that my years in the Army eating blank on a shingle lol.Guess its true most daily newspapers are on a sixth grade level and make their way to the bottom of a bird cage.. Lol.BTY way I do remember Payton Place.I was hooked on that 70’s show called Soap and Billy Crystal was on it the same time he was doing Saturday night live.I’ll sneak in there Mary Hartman, Mary Heart man lol..i

    • When Mary Hartman was on, someone actually told me I looked like her! Hmmm, not sure how I feel about that! I agree, the idea of having breakfast at Dunkin Donuts doesn’t really hit me right. It’s like I imagine eating it standing up, nothing but sugar and fat and caffeine!

  4. Raynard

    Forgot to add I love diners and cracker barrel..if we don’t cook for thanksgiving or get invited this year might be home town buffet or golden corral.

    • I love Cracker Barrel; it’s my favorite restaurant. The thing I missed most while we lived in Hawaii and California was Cracker Barrel! They are one of the few restaurants that know how to do cornbread right (everyone else puts TOO MUCH SUGAR and WHITE FLOUR in it!) Now of course they don’t make it in an iron skillet in the true southern tradition, but at least they get the taste right! We catered most of our Thanksgiving meal from Cracker Barrel last year and just filled in with our own traditional sides – it was great. FULL DISCLOSURE: I have a bit of stock in Cracker Barrel! 🙂 I actually love to go to Hometown Buffet or Golden Corral although Jeff doesn’t like it as much as I do. I just love having so many different things to choose. It’s like a church pot luck except you pay your way in instead of bringing a dish or two!

  5. Ann

    Is there any better breakfast than grits, scrambled eggs and lots of bacon?! Especially if someone else cooks and cleans up!😊

    • Absolutely! And since I love to do dishes (really!) I will gladly do the dishes if someone else cooks the breakfast (and I know how to clean an iron skillet without ruining the cure). I like my bacon really crispy (i.e., Jeff says, BURNED) and I like to stir my grits into my scrambled eggs!! If I had to choose between grits and hash browns it would be a tough choice; I have both when I can.

  6. Sheila

    Julia, at 7:30 A.M. it’s going to be so easy to talk breakfast. Last Sunday morning at Willow Tree, Bill grilled country ham, fixed 16 biscuits, and told our friends to ENJOY! It was a very different treat. My most memorable breakfast was in 2012 when we were given the long awaited remission diagnosis for Bill, at MUSC in Charleston. We went to Hominy Grill and celebrated. I had “shrimp and grits” and a Mimosa (orange juice and champagne). I guess our view was “the future”. I love the little spot that you’ve found in Virginia Beach! 🙂

    • Sheila, I can’t remember the last time I had any country ham but it seems MADE for breakfast! When Jeff and I lived in Nashville (or would visit his family in Centerville) back during the years when we paid no attention whatsoever to calories and stayed skinny as rails anyway, we used to eat a lot of country ham with our eggs. I loved the salty taste of it. Jeff used to stir molasses up with butter and just slather it on biscuit after biscuit, something I never found appealing, so I was happy to give him all my biscuits. His mother used to make blackberry or some other kind of jam on the stove each morning and I would love to eat it on toast. I have never had, before or since, jam that was cooked less than an hour before I ate it, but we had it often when his mother cooked for us.

      Sounds like you found a great place to celebrate Bill’s health! I am looking forward to our own “remission” celebration, as well as a 5-year survival “reunion” celebration with Carolyn (who is often here on this blog) and her husband Terry. Carolyn and Jeff used to work together and we all went to church together when our kids were young. Carolyn and Jeff both got diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and are fighting and winning! We have not seen them since early 1990 but it has been great hearing from her on this blog.

      Whenever y’all make it up our direction we will have to go to the Belvedere! 🙂

      • Tell Jeff to “pass them molasses”.

        • Eric, I’m surprised at you! The correct way to say it is “those molasses.” I myself never had even a single molass. 🙂

  7. Ellis Anderson

    I just read this over my morning tea!
    Personal note to you: GREAT talking to you yesterday! Hearing your voice makes me happy! I’m so very appreciative of your encouragement. Just wish there was something concrete I could do for you to uplift you and give you strength through the upcoming surgeries. Please know I’m with you in spirit. I know you have other people who are close to you, but if you ever need to just talk or rant and want a “fresh ear,” call me!!! I love you! ellis

    • Ellis, your support for me has always been very concrete, ever since we met in 1975! I still have all the cards, letters and emails from over the years, and all those times you played my blues away on your guitar have stayed with me. It was beyond great to experience that again a few months ago, and have Jeff finally hear in person what he’s heard described so often! (I can’t believe I forgot to ask you to sing “Sisters of Mercy” or “John Henry Bosworth;” maybe next time!) I shared with my brother your hilarious “sent from my rather impertinent iPhone” line – he has been having the same problem with his not-so-smart phone! Thanks for being here and for staying in touch all these years! Love you too!

  8. Looking good (and nice view too) 😉 I am a lover of breakfast food and we often choose to eat out at ‘all day breakfast’ spots. Well, to be honest more me than Jim but he accommodates me because he’ll eat just about everything, LOL. I would probably order Eggs Benny (no ham) as a treat, but usually just pancakes. I make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes for supper sometimes too (topped with fresh slices strawberries).

    I checked Google maps, whenever we get back to Irvington we can zoom down to pick you up on the way. We’ll have to be early birds to get ahead in line 😀

    • Do you mean Irvington as in Baltimore? Wow, if you come there, you would be CLOSE to our Alexandria home, be sure to give us a shout if you come this way. Do you have family there? Yes, Jeff is much easier to please with food than I am, so it’s nice to have a dining companion who says “whatever” when choosing a place to eat. Since chemo that’s been much harder, of course, but we are looking forward to him someday enjoying food as much as he always did before. Lemon Ricotta Pancakes sound YUMMY! I had some crepes at the Barclay hotel in Philadelphia many, many years ago that were the best I’d ever tasted. I sat there trying to figure out how they made them and came up with the idea that they must have put club soda in the batter. It seems like I tried that at home with only slight improvement; have you ever tried that? My favorite breakfast treat is a nice hot cinnamon roll, but I normally only indulge in them on Christmas morning. Once in awhile if we have overnight guests, Jeff will get the Pillsbury variety and cook them.

      • We got engaged in the garden at the Hope and Glory Inn in Irvington http://www.hopeandglory.com in June of 2000. Jim was invited to mark papers for a professional designation in Charlottesville for a week and we planned an extra week in Virginia. So loved it there and we said we’d come back to that garden on a future wedding milestone, like 15 years..a year and .5 from now 😀 Will absolutely hook up with you if we finally get back.
        Do you have ‘Cinnabon’ in Virginia. They’re in malls. The make giant buns with cream cheese icing on top….tooooooo much for me but they sure smell good in the mall.

        • Wow, Irvington is less than an hour’s drive from our York home, and yet I’ve never heard of it. Jeff and I spend a night at a B&B in Kilmarnock one weekend, and went to a really fun antique store where I saw some vintage Christmas ornaments but didn’t splurge on them since I already have WAY too many ornaments even for two Christmas trees! He sneaked back in there later and bought them without my knowing it and gave them to me as a gift (we went there in November). That inn looks lovely – we will have to try to go there sometime. YES they have had Cinnabons around for a long time, and believe it or not, I have never bought one (the cost combined with the calories just puts them on the no-no list for me) but like you I LOVE the smell. I try to focus on enjoying that!

          • !!!! Less than an hour !!! My gosh, Julia, do take a drive with Jeff. The Hope and Glory has a garden to die for and all cute decor. One of the best spa’s in America is at The Tides Inn. Looked posh, lots of big boats parked at their marina as they are directly on Chesapeake Bay. We biked over there to watch 4th of July fire works, they were insane. Went on and on. We went sailing that day on a private sail boat…Heaven xoK

            That was totally sweet of Jeff to sneak back and gift you the ornaments, knowing that you have so many. Sounds romantic :D. I looked up Kilmarnock 😀 it’s in the SAME county as Irvington…Small world! Both in Lancaster County…WOW

            • Yes, we felt very remote to be so close to home. It’s fun when you can have a getaway feeling without going very far. Those ornaments are, of course, some of my favorites now. The old-time “glass eye” style that were so popular in the 40’s and 50’s. The antique store was also a secondhand store and all the proceeds went to the local animal shelter, so I couldn’t resist buying some stuff there! But the ornaments were a sweet surprise. We definitely should go check out the Hope and Glory, it looks so nice.

  9. merry

    Ahh, Julia…I’ll be right over for breakfast…your diner or Cracker Barrell!~/
    I can skip lunch or supper but not breakfast. And since I’m a Georgia girl…grits/butter, scramble eggs, Biscuits/butter/jam and crispy bacon. I like pancakes or waffles but for supper.:)

    • Same here! I remember my mother sometimes would make pancakes or waffles for supper after church on Sunday nights. I always loved that.

  10. My two favorite breakfasts are a study in contrasts. If I want to go healthy, I eat my daughter’s homemade granola and yogurt with fresh blueberries on top. If I want comfort food, I break out a skillet and fry up “logger’s hash” – scrambling eggs and potatoes together and smothering them in sausage gravy and grated cheddar cheese.

    • Both of those sound wonderful! I guess I’d try for healthy 5-6 times per weeks and go for the comfort food 1-2 per week, except maybe more on special occasions!

  11. I enjoy breakfast food but I don’t like to eat early in the morning. I enjoy breakfast food the most when someone else has made it. 🙂 I would love this little place I am sure. Lets go together one day.

    • Definitely! Maybe we should set a date now so we will have a better chance of getting there SOON. There’s wonderful and inexpensive billeting in the area, and of course there’s always Chez Denton – Sud which is only about a 45 minute drive, if we need “free” lodging!


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