Most years, I take several girls' trips, but this year, time got away from me. I visited Black Mountain in January with friends from my teaching days, but I’ve been in a drought since then.

That’s why when my sister and I planned an October trip to see my aunt and cousins in Virginia, I had to tag on a trip with a girlfriend who lives nearby. After my sister flew home, I stayed on to connect with my friend Stephie.

We two travel well together; we had lots of practice sharing a room for four nights a week when we facilitated leadership classes in our corporate days. My husband says he knows when I’m with Stephie because I never stop laughing. Good for the soul, I’d say.

We fill our days with catching up, shopping, walking, reading, wining and dining, and the occasional bicycle ride. Rain or shine, we have fun by adjusting our selection of activities.

Day one, we drove to the Eastern Shore. On previous girls’ and couples’ trips, we’d spent time in Wintergreen in the Virginia mountains, Williamsburg and Nags Head. A repeat of any of those would have been just as much fun, but we chose to explore somewhere new to both of us.

We stayed three nights in Cape Charles in a room overlooking the Chesapeake Bay and arrived in time for lunch at the Cape Charles Coffee House on the first day. With time to kill before check-in, guess what we did? We shopped, of course. We wandered in and out of a few boutiques, and I came home with a birthday gift for my sister and earrings and a top for myself.

By then, it was check-in time at The Northampton Hotel where we had a cozy room and a porch complete with a chair swing. We had mild temperatures, so we opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed cocktail hour on our porch before heading to the Shanty for a seafood dinner. The oysters were amazing, as were the scallops I ordered. In fact, the oysters were so good, we had to return for another round for our final lunch.

Day two, we drove north to Onancock where we admired the quaint architecture and did a bit more shopping. A stop at The Cape Charles Brewery for lunch and a beer paved the way for a nap before dinner at The Hook at Harvey, another seafood restaurant overlooking the bay.

Day three dawned clear and crisp, perfect for a brisk walk to breakfast at Rayfield Pharmacy which was like a step back in time to the lunch counter at Woolworth’s. On the walk back, we couldn’t resist a stop at Peach Street Books, an independent bookshop housed in a refurbished gas station. The way they categorized their books was unique, and I was enchanted with two sections titled “For Writers” and “About Writers.”

Arms filled with books, we returned to the hotel not to read, but to ride bikes. Since they were beach cruisers, we felt fortunate that our ride was flat with the exception of the small bridge we had to cross to return to the Shanty for oysters for lunch.

Close to sunset, we climbed the narrow stairs to the widow’s walk at our hotel and then drank wine on the porch. Dinner was at The Oyster Farm at Kings Creek.

The last morning, we combined breakfast with books by returning to Peach Street Books for bagels and coffee before it was time to head home. Another perfect trip is in the books, and I’m already thinking of what we’ll do next year.

Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest and on Amazon. Contact her at inkpenn119@gmail.com, follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/KathyManosPennAuthor/, and/or read her blogs at https://theinkpenn.blogspot.com/.

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