About that time I went on an adventure and it was awesome.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my vacation to Virginia Beach back in 2004 and how I’d love to go there again soon (like this summer!). It can’t be a coincidence that there would be a program through Social Moms “Love the Moment”, which brings me to this post!
Back in 2004, I saw the ocean for the first time. It was late August of that year and I had turned 19 a few months before. I was invited by my friend, whose family gave her permission to bring one friend along, and that very lucky friend was me.
We got there after the sun went down and a storm was brewing out in the distance over the water. It was gorgeous. Our condo was on the third (or fourth?) floor, right on the edge of the beach. My friend and I walked down to the edge of the water and let the little waves splash our feet. Hurricane Charley had made its way up the east coast a few weeks before that so the ocean was still a little dicey. Even though the ocean and I didn’t get along so well, I had a blast the week that we were there. If you’re thinking about visiting VB, here are some ways to make sure you enjoy it to the highest degree.
Try to plan your vacation for the end of the season. Hotels were having discounts, so my friend’s family had more money to play with. There were less people, probably on account of the recent hurricane, so the beach wasn’t so crowded. Even the little shops along the beach-front strip were having huge sales. I did so much shopping while I was there!
Bring lots of extra cash. I bought gifts for my family members because I wished they could have been there with me. I snagged a few things for myself, but my favorite was one of those necklaces with my name written on a grain of rice. The girl who was selling them made it for me, since there wasn’t one already with my name on it. I also got to pick out the tiny vial it was in and a tiny red rose to go in with the rice. I wished I had brought more money with me, since we found so much great art in the shops along the strip, especially from one artist who painted aquatic scenes on driftwood.
Get in the ocean, even if it isn’t your idea of a good time. My friend and her family felt at home in it (they had been there many times before). There wasn’t a riptide alert like there was the morning after we got there, but I thought it was intimidating and a little too wild for me. It took me a while to get the courage to join them out in the deeper water because the waves looked so much bigger out there up close. They told me to dive down under the wave right before it hits you. Well, I tried this a few times and let me tell you what happens if you don’t do it right: I tumbled face down into the sand below the wave and was swept back toward the beach with a sinus cavity full of salt water. Thankfully, salt water doesn’t suck as much as regular water when you get it up your nose, it just slides right back out! I did a lot of lounging on my blanket and listening to music while my friend and her family frolicked in the ocean. Another good thing about salt water: it’s very healing. I had sores on my legs from getting poison ivy earlier that summer and they were completely gone by the end of the week!
I took this from our balcony the morning we went deep sea fishing. No digital camera yet, just a disposable!
Go deep sea fishing early in the morning. We woke up to the sun just beginning to shine over the ocean and the dolphins jumping around, just like in one of those pretty paintings. My friend, her brother, their Grandpa and I got on a boat with a small group of other people and went way out past the beach. I got to see some of the huge Navy ships and even caught some fish. Just make sure to take some Dramamine, even if you don’t normally get motion sickness. Previously, I had never gotten motion sickness, but I did when we were bobbing around out there on the open ocean.
Check out the restaurants! We ate so much while we were there, mostly sea food of course. I think I might have eaten some squid. Luckily, I’m pretty open-minded even when it comes to food, and I’ll try anything once. There are a lot of food adventure opportunities.
Leave plenty of time unscheduled to just explore. One night, my friend and I walked all the way from our hotel down to the boardwalk. We took goofy pictures in a photo booth (unfortunately they were ruined) and went to watch a lawn show with some funny guys who pretended to be Polynesian chieftains. There was a trolly, which we took advantage of a few times, but I preferred walking so I could take everything in.
Go to the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau website to find out about more stuff that I didn’t get to do while I was there!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Virginia Beach blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.