Celebrate An Unconventional Labor Day Today

I have a different interpretation of Labor Day, which I hope many of you share.

Instead of glorifying unions, why not honor those who truly labor for or have labored for us?

First and foremost, mothers were patient enough and brave enough to deliver us into this world and spend countless years raising us, especially with the help of fathers. (Be grateful for your mommas!)

Second, we should use this day to commemorate the lives lost to organized labor a la communism, especially those in Asia, Africa, Cuba, and former USSR. (This figure totals over 100 million.) Although my late maternal grandpa was lucky to survive 18 months in one of Stalin’s gulags, the effects of forced labor left him distraught, broken, and fearful of the world. (Equal sharing of misery shouldn’t be celebrated.)

Lastly, honor workers/laborers (small business owners, their staff,etc) who work diligently to ensure that millions don’t feel the negative effects of high regulations and those who work diligently in the name of competition–not force. (My dad has done more as a general contractor for nearly 30 years by bringing so much joy to his clients.) Whether you own or work for a business like a restaurant, start-up company, etc., don’t discount the labor of love encouraged by free enterprise, innovation, and ingenuity.

Happy Labor Day!

Angling Right: Deep-Sea Fishing in Virginia Beach

I apologize for not keeping up with my ‘Angling Right’ posts of late! As a young professional in politics, I lead quite a busy life. Nevertheless, I do my best to allow time to enjoy the finer things in life like fishing.

I spent this past weekend down in in the Hampton Roads area of my adopted home state Virginia–specifically Norfolk and Virginia Beach. While there, I had the opportunity to go deep-sea fishing with my dad and my sister. I haven’t been deep-sea fishing since summer 2011 (I was still living in California then), so I was excited to board a deep-sea fishing charter and let loose.

Deep-sea fishing is more challenging and difficult than freshwater fishing, but is equally fun to participate in.

For purposes of affordability and higher likelihood of catching fish, we opted for Rudee Inlet Charters. Since we came before Labor Day, we paid $40.00/person for a half-day trip aboard the Rudee Angler. Our rate included a saltwater fishing license, tackle, bait, weights, and rods.

Here are the schedule and corresponding rates:

SUMMER:  Memorial Day – Labor Day, 1/2 day trips, everyday 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:30pm-5:30pm.  Adults $40.00  Kids age 4 to 11 $29.00

July – Mid August, Night fishing every  Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday from 6:00pm – 9:30pm.   Adults $35.00  Kids age 4 to 11 $29.00

Every Thursday June thru August 17 hr. Offshore Trip  3AM- 8PM  $200.00 per person. This trip is limited to 35 anglers. Reservations Required!

SPRING AND FALL:  3/4 day trips from 8:00am – 2:00pm  Adults $70.00  Kids age 4 to 11 $60.00

Full day trips from 8:00am – 5:00pm  Adults $90.00  Kids age 4 to 11 $80.00  Reservations recommended on this trip!

WINTER:  Every Saturday, Deep drop 17 hour trips 3:00am – 8:00pm  $200.00 per person. Reservations are required for this trip as we limit the number of anglers to 35!

Rudee Inlet Charters is located on 200 Winston-Salem Avenue in Virginia Beach. Below is a shot of Rudee Inlet from the Rudee Angler:

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Rudee Inlet

 

Here is our final catch!

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Our final catch: two croakers and a bluefish.

My dad did quite well for himself. He caught two decent-sized croakers but had to throw back about 9 smaller croakers since they didn’t meet the 12″ requirement.

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Of the three of us, my dad ended up the victor with his 18″ croaker and 13″ croaker.

It was my sister’s first time deep-sea fishing, and she did quite well for herself.

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It was my sister’s first time deep-sea fishing, and she caught this beautiful 16″ bluefish thanks to the help of boat mate James!

During August, you can catch the following species: Cobia, Red and Black Drum, Bluefish, Croaker, Trout, Flounder Croaker, Spot, Trout, Taug, Spadfish, Spanish Mackeral.

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Bluefish

And yes, I did catch a croaker! (Alas, it was too small to keep.)

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Here was my catch. Sadly, I couldn’t keep this croaker because it was just shy of 12″.

Before you decide to go deep-sea fishing in Virginia Beach, note several things:

1) If you’re prone to motion sickness, bring some Dramamine with you. I had a bad experience deep-sea fishing in Mazatlan, Mexico, in 2007 that led me to associate deep-sea fishing with seasickness.  I was spared seasickness this trip, which made my experience FAR more enjoyable. Don’t miss out on good fishing if motion sickness can be avoided!

2) Wake up early and be punctual. Fishing charters generally board 30 minutes before take-off. Make sure you arrive early for morning or afternoon trips. Trips are on a first come, first serve basis.

3) Protect yourself and keep hydrated. Looks can be deceiving with respect to weather. Even if it’s cloudy, bring sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Your body will thank you!

4) Tip the shipmates. They bait your line and are hilarious to boot. Don’t be cheap!

5) Have fun! Deep-sea fishing is intense and produces less dividends than freshwater fishing, but it’s not entirely worthless. Even if you don’t catch any fish, enjoy sweeping views of the ocean and breathe in some fresh air.

 

With summer winding down, I’ll be taking a break from fishing and spending more time around firearms. (Details forthcoming!)

I’ll have two more ‘Angling Right’ posts this year: one in late November and another in mid-December. Stay tuned!

NRA News Appearance: Richmond Times-Dispatch Article on DC Gun Ban Repeal

I appeared on NRA News’ Cam and Company Show with my friend Cameron Edwards this past Monday. Here’s the link to the segment.

Virginia Shooting Sports Association’s blog wrote about my appearance below:

Over the weekend, Leadership Institute Northeast Regional Field Coordinator Gabby Hoffman had an Op/Ed in the Richmond Times Dispatch making the case for repealing the ban on carrying handguns in Washington D.C.  In the opinion piece, Hoffman wrote about how Virginia’s concealed handgun law has made the Commonwealth a safer place, and how crime has dropped at the same time gun sales have increased exponentially in the last six years:

If D.C. adopts gun laws similar to those of Virginia, the nation’s capital will witness a reduction in crime when law-abiding residents are permitted to conceal-carry.

Hoffman spoke with NRANewsCam Edwards on Monday and talked in more detail about how D.C.’s residents would benefit if the City Council adopted a carry ordinance similar to Virginia.

 

 

Look Out for My Debut in Richmond-Times Dispatch on August 10th

Credit: Facebook

Hi everyone!

In case you missed my announcement last week, I’ll be published in Richmond-Times Dispatch for the first time this Sunday, August 10th, 2014. RTD is the second-highest circulated state publication in Virginia right after the The Virginian-Pilot. (Interestingly enough, the editorial board has a conservative-libertarian bent.) I couldn’t be more thrilled for the opportunity to have an article published in this outlet!

My article will be featured in the “Editorial, Commentary & Letters” page. It will focus on guns–specifically the recent Palmer v. DC ruling overturning the handgun ban in the nation’s capital.  I’ll post the link here on my blog when it’s published. (I hope to regularly submit content to RTD!)

You can find my articles at Counter Cultured, Townhall.com, and here on my personal blog.

Thanks for reading!

-Gabriella

D.C. Consultant Class Needs To Put A Muzzle On This Guy

The idiotic tweet of the day goes to Brian Walsh, whose Twitter bio reads: “Former House/Senate/Campaign Flack & all-around sports fan – Partner of Singer Bonjean Strategies – opinions are my own.”

He tweeted, “Giving millions of dollars to the Senate Conservatives Fund is like handing a loaded gun to a person with mental retardation. Let’s call it.”

wth

The same people calling for GOP “unity” are the same individuals disparaging conservative activists. (In case you haven’t noticed, there is a civil war in the GOP.) This is absolutely distasteful and insulting to those who suffer from mental illness. Additionally, using a poorly worded analogy involving someone not mentally equipped to handle guns in order to criticize a group is downright inappropriate.

In a September 2013 article in US News, Walsh bashed Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action. Apparently, he worked at Heritage Foundation.

 

Brian Walsh has some explaining to do. Will the D.C. consultant class hold him accountable?

D.C. is the ‘Coolest’ City in the U.S.

Washington, D.C., is the coolest city in the U.S. according to Forbes.com.

Forbes relied on Sperling’s BestPlaces to measure and determine a city’s “cool” factor:

To compile our list of America’s Coolest Cities, Sperling’s helped us calculate entertainment options per capita in each metro area. This metric essentially measures ways you might spend a Saturday, quantifying the availability of professional and college sports events, zoos and aquariums, golf courses, ski areas, and National parks, among others. It also factors in art and cultural options, measuring the presence of theater and musical performances as well as local museums.

As a denizen of the D.C. metro area, I can definitely attest to this. Yes, this area attracts egomaniacs and bureaucrats–yet you can be above the corruption and lead a normal life here. There are so many cool things to do, places to see, and great food/entertainment options to enjoy.

Whether you love it or hate it, you can’t deny that this metro area is fascinating.

Virginia Wine, Oh-So Fine

“…wine [is] a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”
Benjamin Franklin, The Posthumous and Other Writings of Benjamin Franklin … Volume 1 of 2

When I’m not immersed in politics, I enjoy what my adopted home state has to offer.

Apart from being a gateway to Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia has a lot of great places to visit and things to do. (Yes, there’s a world beyond the concrete jungle.) That’s why I decided to venture out to Wine Country this past weekend.

One of the Commonwealth’s best hidden secrets is Wine Country. (Disclaimer: I’m not a wine expert; I’m just a connoisseur. All subsequent thoughts are purely subjective.) This was my third time visiting vineyards in Virginia. Since moving to Virginia in June 2012, I’ve been to Rappahannock Cellars near Front Royal (May 2013), Doukenie Winery, and Hillsborough Vineyards (August 2013). All these vineyards were unique and had individual appeal. I wouldn’t recommend going to Front Royal to sample wine–I found Rappahannock’s wine tasting option to be pricey and its premises to be too small. (Good wine, but certainly not worth the drive or price.) The other locations, both based in Purcellville, were reasonable and had better amenities for guests.

This past weekend, I visited Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia–an hour drive from Alexandria and Arlington. Middleburg and the surrounding areas comprise Virginia Wine Country. (I hear that Charlottesville is also a great spot. I hope to sample wine there in the future!)

For $10, you get to sample about 10-11 varieties of red and white wine. (One wine–called Schitz and Giggels–is chuckle-worthy.) Also, this winery popularized the Norton grape:

Of particular interest to Chrysalis Vineyards is the native American grape, Norton (sometimes also known as Cynthiana). Recognized among North American varieties for its unique ability to produce premium quality red wines, the Norton was internationally recognized in the 1800’s as the source of distinctively robust reds with overtones of berry and pitted fruits. Today the Norton is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, and a key element of the Chrysalis Vineyards program is to restore this grape to its position of eminence among fine wines. Presently we have the largest planting of Norton in the world.

Overall, I was impressed with this vineyard and its amenities (which included picnic areas and corn hole.)  Below are pictures:

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Complimentary wine glass you keep after wine tasting

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Grapes!

You might be thinking, “Virginia has wine?” Growing up in California, I was in disbelief to hear that Virginia had good wine. However, this August 2013 article in Forbes put things into perspective and made a convincing case in dubbing Virginia the “East Coast Napa Valley”:

Over the past 30 years winemakers have steadily notched improvements. Virginia currently ranks fifth in the number of wineries in the nation and is also the nation’s fifth largest wine grape producer. As of 2012, the Virginia wine industry employs more than 4,700 individuals and contributes almost $750 million to the Virginia economy annually. More importantly, Virginia wines are surprising critics, winning awards and fans across the globe. World-renowned U.K. based wine critic Steven Spurrier characterized Virginia as a “national contender, producing wines of bright fresh character that call for a second glass.” In blind tastings the wines consistently beat out candidates from other parts of the globe (read about the Breakfast of Champions tasting here). Virginia has momentum, but concerns over grape supply, distribution and growth demands will keep things interesting. Yet, it’s a safe bet that the combination of strategic vision from the Cases and local winemaking zeal will keep the energy headed in the right direction—straight for the tipping point.

If you ever make it out to Virginia and want something fun to do, I recommend checking out the wine scene in Northern Virginia.

Check out Virginia is for Lovers and VirginiaWine.org to learn more about the Commonwealth’s wine selection!