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A new book offers its readers a unique Virginia Beach bucket list

Writer Toni Guagenti is the author of the new 100 Things to Do in Virginia Beach Before You Die. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Writer Toni Guagenti is the author of the new 100 Things to Do in Virginia Beach Before You Die. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE

OCEANFRONT — A new bucket list for the Beach is coming in book form – 100 Things to Do in Virginia Beach Before You Die.

The new book was penned by Toni Guagenti, a writer who also serves as media manager for Mayor Will Sessoms.

Guagenti spoke with The Independent News recently at the Belvedere Coffee Shop & Diner, a favorite haunt that made the book. 

Picks from the southern part of the city include some well-known events, like the annual Pungo Strawberry Festival. 

And there are some specific spots, such as False Cape State Park between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Blue Pete’s Restaurant in Pungo and Monk’s Place in Creeds. 

Plus, of course:

“Everybody should watch the sunrise in Sandbridge,” the author noted.

Guagenti, an Ohio native, came to Virginia Beach from a newspaper gig in Maryland to cover this city for The Virginian-Pilot.

She eventually worked with the Local News on Cable partnership that involved The Pilot and ran the 757 section at the newspaper, which involved working with young writers, some of whom she knows to this day.

Guagenti was among the journalists laid off by The Pilot in 2009, and she pursued teaching and worked for a government contractor before eventually coming to work for the mayor.

And she wrote.

While working on this project, Guagenti recalled the friends who showed her around here.

“There were things they wanted me to know about,” she said. “They wanted me to know this wasn’t just some beach town.”

She worked on the book this summer when she wasn’t busy with elections, and she had goals for the text.

“I wanted to introduce them to so many places that even if you live here, you don’t know that some of them exist,” she said.

Her work as a journalist and for the mayor helped give the book breadth, she noted.

“I’ve been able to visit and explore a lot of places, and I wanted to tell people about it,” Guagenti said. 

“If you go out and do one of these things, you’re going to also find something that isn’t in the book.”

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100 Things to Do in Virginia Beach Before You Die is available for preorder at amazon.com, and it also available from Guagenti, who can be reached via tguagenti@gmail.com or via the Facebook page for the book.  A book release celebration is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 7, and Doc Taylor’s, 207 23rd Street. Books will be available for $16.


© 2016 Pungo Publishing Co. LLC

The Independent News

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