This place is full

I snapped this photo from our table at the Carrot Tree, December 2014. Join us!

I snapped this photo from our table at the Carrot Tree, December 2014. Join us!

“This place is full of absent friends.” Ashleigh Brilliant

The Saturday after Christmas, I met my friend Darla for lunch at the Carrot Tree on Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown. Darla lives in the historic district of Yorktown, and I can’t visit her without thinking: 1. how lucky she is to live in this enchanted little village, and 2. how lucky I am to have a friend who actually lives right here, not just nearby.

We had a lovely meal — tomato basil soup and Quiche Lorraine for me — and then prowled around in the shops until the clock forced us to leave for other obligations.  Darla knows pretty much everyone who runs every business, so there was lots of friendly chatting going on as we browsed among more cute and pretty things than anybody could possibly take home.

Even though “downtown” Yorktown is a tiny (very tiny) place, it has more charm per square inch than any other place I can think of, and we had more than enough to keep us busy during what seemed like a very short afternoon.  It was wonderful!  The only thing missing was you.

Every time I go to the historic part of Yorktown, I think how I should go there more often, and how many people I wish I could bring with me.  During our short time there on Saturday, I thought of so many of you; how you probably would enjoy the afternoon stroll as much as Darla and I did.

So, just as I invited you to visit me on Christmas, so I invite you to visit our home town.  How many places this small can boast a location smack in the middle of a national historic park, a beach, gorgeous hilltop views, a downtown that can be easily walked, free shuttle service to Colonial Williamsburg, and the distinction of being the place where the future USA won their war for independence?

If you were among the many, many friends who were absent on Saturday, come join us in your imagination.  Read up on the interesting story of the British surrender at the Yorktown Victory Center; chat with the friendly shopkeepers on Riverwalk Landing, and stroll quiet streets where people still live in many of the historic homes.

If you overhear two women talking, laughing and exclaiming over how adorable some craft is, or how beautiful some quilt or floral arrangement is, that might be Darla and me.   Be sure to come over and say hi!  We’ll be happy to see you.

Images of Riverwalk Landing (above) and the historic village (below)

Images of Riverwalk Landing (above) and the historic village (below)

Yorktown historic district


  1. Ann

    Julia, I’m looking forward to our stroll through Yorktown later today! I need more coffee now😊😊😊😊

    • Ann, thanks for joining me — I fixed some nice cocoa-laced coffee myself when you mentioned it; I must say, it was helpful. I may eventually drink almost as much coffee as I do tea, at least in the winter! The older I get, the more I appreciate it 😀 though I still have to make it mocha to really enjoy it.

  2. Bobby

    You made me homesick. I love Yorktown. I am happy you got to spend some time in a lovely place with a friend. Nothing much better than that. Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2015.

    • Bobby, you are definitely among the “absent friends” I mentioned. You and Randall lived pretty close to the historic park, even if not right in it. I can see where you would really miss it. The Riverwalk businesses keep changing — hard for a small shop to make a go of it in a little place so far off “the beaten path” — but it’s always fun and the weekend events, concerts and craft fairs are charming. You may have noticed that the Carrot Tree moved to the Riverwalk. They had to move from the Cole Diggs House because the NPS (otherwise known as the federal government) increased their lease too high for them to maintain, or so I heard. Their food is still good but I surely miss the historic location. Jeff and I used to love eating there; it always felt as if we were dining in a colonial home!

  3. Sheila

    Good Monday morning, Julia. What a fun afternoon,good friends sharing time….and such a beautiful setting. 😍 Your photos certainly were a great way for me to visit a quaint tiny town I’ve never been to. Wait a minute, was I there Saturday? Hummmm….

    • Hey, Sheila, maybe you were there with us, at least in spirit. I thought of you often so maybe we had some telepathy going on. 😀

  4. Mary Ellen

    Looks and sounds like a lovely place!

    • Thank you, Mary Ellen! I’m sure to be somewhat biased, but I love it.

  5. bobmielke

    I used to live in Stockton, NJ very close to the Pennsylvania border(50 miles). I would visit New Hope and take pictures of the famous old waterwheel there that still turns. It’s a beautiful, scenic part of our country.

    • I learn so much from the readers of this blog. I don’t remember ever hearing of New Hope, but I looked it up and it does look charming. Pennsylvania is on the short list of places Jeff and I hope to go soon. Maybe we can swing by there and see it firsthand. Thanks for the tip!

      • bobmielke

        If an opportunity ever arises I’d love to visit Williamsburg.

        • Bob, I think you’d really like it. It brings back thoughts of what was good about the past. It’s nice to visit the appealing parts of history without having to live the unappealing ones (although the smell of the horse and oxen droppings in the street is a pungent reminder of how much we overlook when romanticizing the past).

          • bobmielke

            That’s why I’ve fallen in love with our annual renaissance fair in Hillsboro, OR. A look back at a simpler time is good without the hardness endured during the actual period. Medical and dental practices would be sorely primitive back then. We’d quickly miss our modern conveniences, such as toilet paper or the flush toilet itself. Daily bathing would not have been customary back then as well. Still, I enjoy the sounds and sights represented in the period recreation.

            • I always enjoyed going to the Renaissance Fair when we lived in California. There was a big one that was held yearly in our little town, though the people who produced it were not local. I believe they were the same organization that produced the Dickens Fair in San Francisco, which I highly recommend also. They are great places to break away from electronic and virtual entertainment, and have some real-time fun.

  6. Julia, Thanks for the tour. It’s been some time since I visited Colonial Williamsburg. Strange, the thing I remembered most was that the stairs then were not as high as today. They must have been shorter people. Which made it easier for, me, a disabled person to climb them.

    • Alan, I think people were much shorter then, which is one reason why George Washington stood out among the crowd, literally and figuratively. I didn’t notice the steps being shorter but now that you mention it I seem to remember them looking and feeling smaller all around. I never tire of Colonial Williamsburg. While we were living full time in York County, I used to take Matt to the Arc programs (one of the organizations I mentioned at the blog celebration awhile back) and while he was busy with them, I would stroll up and down the streets of Williamsburg as the sun set. The crowds would be gone (most of it closes at 5 pm since they do not have electric lights and so forth) and it was always a wonderful place to walk. The historical authenticity is bound to pose problems for accessibility, although I think that’s improved greatly thanks to the ADA.

      • Julia,
        Your clear description brings me back to the enjoyable and memorable visit I had so many years ago.
        Thanks and Happy New Year,

        • Thank you, Alan! I hope the “quiet corner” is settling in for a peaceful, restful and productive winter. Happy New Year!

  7. MaryAnn

    How sweet to invite me! I will have the quiche, please. Next, a walk along the water; but mostly I want to talk & talk to my “absent friend” YOU! What a treasured vision that brings to mind! Thank you,

    • Mary Ann, remember a plane ticket from SFO or SMF to the east coast is sometimes quite affordable! You are probably in the same position many of us are; the real challenge is finding the time, even more so than the money. But till then we can visit in our imagination. I’m having a cup of tea with you right now. 😀 ❤

  8. Ashleigh Brilliant’s words somehow remind me of Jack Nicholson’s in the movie “As Good as it Gets”: “Sell ‘crazy’ someplace else; we’re all full up here.”

    • And your citation of that quote reminds me of yet another gem from Ashleigh: “It’s hard to love what you don’t understand– but our relationship proves it is possible.” 😀 😀 😀

  9. Sheila

    Julia, as we go about bringing in 2015, I wish for you, Jeff, and Matt a good year, much happiness and many blessings. Your friendship is priceless and you continue to inspire us everyday. HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎉🎉⏰🎊🎊⌚️🙏💤

    • Thank you Sheila! I feel the same about you. BTW I got my favorite ever visit to Club Verandah in the email – Thanks!!! Happy New Year!

  10. There is nothing quite like the joy of time spent with a kindred spirit and dear friend. All the more amazing when done is a beautiful place. Happy New Year, Julia.

    • Thank you, Alys! Happy New Year to you. I am looking forward to having some of the joyful times you describe, in April. 😀

  11. Michael

    Your quote above reminds me of the Twain quip,” I refuse to belong to any club that would accept me as a member.” Or was that Groucho Marx? Not sure why.

    • I have always loved that quip! I think it was Groucho Marx who said it, although I heard it first from Woody Allen.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: