2018 Virginia Beach Planning

2012 Roadside: NorthStar

We need to know people’s intentions so we can start looking for houses for the 2018 beach adventure.  The time line looks something like this:

  • March: Determine who is going and how many bedrooms are needed
  • Determine potential dates
  • April: Arrange partial bedrooms by age and gender to determine total bedroom requirement.  This is the hardest part since it can have a big impact on a family’s cost.
  • May: Initial budget preparation and obtain deposits

For rough planning purposes assume that each room costs $1600 and that the required deposit will be $950. Food cost is roughly $180 per person.

Here is what we know so far.  Please let us know your intentions.

We had some confusion last year on alcohol purchases.  The rule was that people are responsible for their own alcohol and occasionally the cost got mixed in with family food expense.  I covered some of this myself, but wondering if we’d be better collecting money from drinkers and using that as a separate pool of money for alcohol.  I was thinking $35 per person, but am open to suggestions.  Part of me thinks that people who drink like a fish (like me) need to pay more than people who limit their drinking (like Byron), so maybe two prices ($35/$10)?



2017 Memorial Day Camp Out

Planning is underway up for the 2017 47th annual Phillips Family Memorial Day Camping Trip at World’s End State Park.  We are rapidly evolving with another generation of campers.  We’ll be looking for some help to make sure we pass along some of the old traditions and create some new ones for the next generation.  What are some of the traditions that you remember, and what traditions need more attention or need to emerge?

Camp out dates are Thursday, May 25th through Monday, May 29th, 2017. However, Mark and Brian are probably going up on Wednesday and would welcome anyone who’d like to stay an additional night.   Continue reading 2017 Memorial Day Camp Out

Recipe Index

You will find 20 posts in the category Recipes on this blog.

Jump to A, C, E, F, H, I, M, P, R, S

Spritz Cookies

Great basic butter cookies

These are best made using a cookie press.  They are fun to make and kids love to help with decorating them.  We make tree cookies at Christmas time and decorate them with colored granulated sugar.

Spritz Cookies
Print Recipe
These are basic "Spritz" cookies that use a cookie press to form interesting shapes. The dough can also be rolled out and traditional cookie cutters can be used, but the pressed cookies are thicker and usually not a dry as rolled cookies.
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 10 minutes
Spritz Cookies
Print Recipe
These are basic "Spritz" cookies that use a cookie press to form interesting shapes. The dough can also be rolled out and traditional cookie cutters can be used, but the pressed cookies are thicker and usually not a dry as rolled cookies.
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 dozen cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
10 minutes 10 minutes
Servings: dozen cookies
  1. Place butter and shortening in large mixing bowl. Cream together on medium high speed.
  2. Add sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
  3. Add egg and vanilla; Mix well using medium speed.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add to butter/sugar mixture in three (3) additions; mixing well after each addition. Dough will be stiff. You may need to add more flour to the mixture to ensure that the dough is stiff and not sticky - otherwise it won't work well in the cookie press.
  5. We use a Pampered Chef cookie press. We've tried other manufactures and this one works most consistently and has been long lasting. Please note that we didn't have much luck with the electric models sold by Procter-Silex.
  6. Assemble and fill the cookie press with dough. Select an disc for desired shape.
  7. Press cookies on ungreased, uncoated baking sheet.
  8. Bake at 375° F for 10-12 minutes or until light brown just starts to appear around the edges. Do not overbake.
Recipe Notes

Decorate cookies before baking by brushing them with slightly beaten egg white and adding one of the following:

  1. Sprinkle with white or colored granulated sugar.
  2. Place a nut of chocolate chip on center of cookie.
  3. Decorate with small pieces of candied fruit, chopped nuts, coconut or chocolate sprinkles

When using this egg white glaze you may need to increase baking time by about 1 minute.

(Davis family note: We've never used the egg white and it seems to work out).

You can also decorate cookies after baking by:

  1. Placing a small amount of jam or colored frosting on top.
  2. Brushing tops with sugar glaze then sprinkling with chopped nuts, coconut, decorative candy bits, etc.
  3. Roll warm cookies in powedered sugar.
  4. Dip half of cookie in melted semi-sweet chocolate then sprinkle with ground nuts.
  5. Brush with thin glaze.  Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 4-5 teaspoons hot milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  Mix well.
  6. Make sandwich cookies by placing frosting between two cookies.
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Virginia Beach Menu – 2016

The menu plan is still evolving – and probably will evolve even while we are getting crispy in the sun – but here is where we are as of 6/15/16.

  • SeafoodNightSaturday…………Pizza & Calzone
  • Sunday……………Seafood night.  Need to work on alternative for those not having seafood.
  • Monday………….Montreal Chicken
  • Tuesday…………Mexican Night
  • Wednesday……Smoked pork, ribs, corn on the cob
  • Thursday……….Lasagna
  • Friday…………….Leftovers



James Horner

I’ve been a fan of the music of James Horner since the first time I heard the music of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn in 1982.  That’s long before he became famous for his soundtracks from Titanic, Braveheart, and Avatar.  James Horner died in a solo plane accident on June 22nd, 2015 – a very sad day.

If you’d like to know more about James Horner, or to see a list of the 124 movies soundtracks he composed, see his bio on Wikipedia

Here are two YouTube compilations of some of his hits.  Its over an hour in length and is meant to be played in the background while you are doing something else.

Part I

Part II

Pimento Cheese Spread

Southern Pimento Cheese Spread
Print Recipe
Southern Pimento Cheese Spread
Print Recipe
  1. Place the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, minced jalepeno, and pimento into the large bowl of a mixer. Beat at medium speed, with paddle if possible, until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
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Beach Trip Summary

Beach Trips

Virginia Beach 2008
Virginia Beach 2008

We love the beach!  Here are some of our favorite trips from most recent to as far back as we can remember.

When Jeanne and Mark were young, both the Phillips and the Davis family used to enjoy beach trips, particularly camping at an inland campsite and spending the day at the beach.  We discovered that both families spent many summers at Pine Haven Campground in Sea Isle City, NJ when Jeanne and Mark were in our mid to late teenage years.  Chances are that we were camping the same week of the summer and maybe even ran into each other at the Pavilion listening to the jukebox and hanging out with the other kids.  Wouldn’t that have been interesting if we knew each other in those days.

We continue our tradition, but have moved on to less rustic accommodations.

Continue reading Beach Trip Summary


23 Emotions We All Feel But Don’t Know The Names Of.

1. Sonder: The realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own.

2. Opia: The ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable.

3. Monachopsis: The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

4. Énouement: The bittersweetness of having arrived in the future, seeing how things turn out, but not being able to tell your past self.

5. Vellichor: The strange wistfulness of used bookshops.

6. Rubatosis: The unsettling awareness of your own heartbeat.

7. Kenopsia: The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that is usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet.

8. Mauerbauertraurigkeit: The inexplicable urge to push people away, even close friends who you really like.

9. Jouska: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.

10. Chrysalism: The amniotic tranquility of being indoors during a thunderstorm.

11. Vemödalen: The frustration of photographic something amazing when thousands of identical photos already exist.

12. Anecdoche: A conversation in which everyone is talking, but nobody is listening.

13. Ellipsism: A sadness that you’ll never be able to know how history will turn out.

14. Kuebiko: A state of exhaustion inspired by acts of senseless violence.

15. Lachesism: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire.

16. Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.

17. Adronitis: Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone.

18. Ruckkehrunruhe: The feeling of returning home after an immersive trip only to find it fading rapidly from your awareness.

19. Nodus Tollens: The realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore.

20. Onism: The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time.

21. Liberosis: The desire to care less about things.

22. Altschmerz: Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had – the same boring flaws and anxieties that you’ve been gnawing on for years.

23. Occhiolism: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective