Last night we walked over to MacArthur (shopping) center where I spent time in the Barnes and Noble while Sue looked elsewhere. This is a reasonably upscale place since it has an Apple store. We ate at a Chili’s there, which we swore off from a decade ago. They have a different menu now and it was pretty good.
We got up today (Saturday) and there were about 100 high school kids wearing the same shirts sitting around on the dock and seawall just across from our boat. A great many more people were 500 feet away along the main street. A number of them were military types and told me that the NATOFest parade started at 10 AM. Those kids by the boat turned out to be about half of a big choir that performed in front of the reviewing stand just before the parade. I went back, told Sue and got my camera and we were off to NATOFest.
I found a good picture taking spot standing alongside a guy from the Romanian embassy in DC. We were about 100 feet up parade from the reviewing stand with all the military brass, so all the participants were on their best behavior. Sue found a good chair nearby sitting by some long time Norfolk people who gave her more information about everything. The parade lasted 1½ hours. It had floats from all NATO countries with marching soldiers from many. It started with Albania and ended with the USA, since alphabetically we’re last.
There were a great many high school bands. I think the largest was from Beaver Creek with just short of 400 members. Pretty impressive in their uniforms with the big white hats, but the front part was so far from the rear along the parade route that by the time the last of them passed I could not be sure they were all playing the same song. We talked to some band members later as they left the Nauticus Museum gate. They wore the same orange shirt. It took three lights for all of them to get across the street.
After the parade all the NATO countries, along with the US command and several other military outfits, had tents set up in the park next door. We collected a lot of brochures for travel to places we have not been. On our list are Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia. I don’t know that we can get to all of these, but we do hope to spend quality time in some of them in the next 10 years.
NATOFest ended at 3, so we returned to the boat for a short rest and walked over to the Freemason old town area. The old homes on Freemason street were the high point, and we walked the entire street. We came back on the more commercial next street over and ended up at the Freemason Abbey restaurant. They named it that because it is in an old church. Several people we ran into on the street recommended it and it was great.
We ended the night walking back to the boat. The best part of all of this is that with all that walking, Sue’s new knee is doing really great and she walks as good as ever. You’d think she was a normal person.