14 May 2011


As JA has complained, we were traveling for hours and hours and hours. The Omaha contingent started out on a 7:00am flight to Minneapolis on Friday, then onto D.C. by plane, picking up a rental car at Dulles and driving 5 hours to Virginia Beach.

CA and I started from Woodstock on Thursday morning, not very early, driving to Ashland, OH, just short of our Huntington, WV goal. Friday's drive was beautiful and long. We arrived at VA Beach about 6:30pm--and proceeded to check into two hotels--Ocean Beach Club for a Friday-to-Friday week's stay, and then a Courtyard Marriott for our first night. Tonight JE's family will use the studio and tomorrow they'll vacate our studio at OBC and move into a one-bedroom for a Saturday-to-Saturday week.They actually leave on Friday, May 20th, so we'll stay one extra night in their one-bedroom.

By 7:30pm, everyone is at the beach, hungry, and happy to have feet-on-the-ground. We make an obvious choice for pizza at Pi-zzeria, catty-corner across Atlantic from the Ocean Beach Club.

First I give JA a whirlwind tour of the resort, beach, and boardwalk... He's fascinated by the surrey bikes built for 4 - 8 people, 2 to 4 pedalers. They each have a red and white-striped surrey canvas covering which catches his attention. And, he's thrilled that we can walk to the pizza place! Amazing! He's in for a treat when he realizes how many places we can walk to.

Pizza is great, as are the salads we all opt for--a day or two of road food makes salads very tempting.

Before long, CA and I drive to the Courtyard for the night and the others attempt to settle into a long sleep, all in one room at the OBC. CA and I have a more successful night of sleep than they do. While both kids and adults are wiped-out from their travels, the new surroundings make for a fitful night of sleep.

We're meeting at Pocahontas for breakfast Saturday a.m. It's, again, catty-corner across from OBC, but in all our visits to VA Beach we've never eaten at this iconic beach-front restaurant. It's a fun diner atmosphere, crammed (neatly) with tables, and a menu that touches on just about every breakfast diner delicacy. Something for everyone.

Even before CA and I arrive this morning, JA hits a wall. He's exhausted. More exhausted than hungry, so MA takes him back to the room where he actually drops off to sleep. He's never a napper, but all this traveling, etc. has him wiped.

The rest of us eat waffles, an omelet, eggs Benedict, and a breakfast sandwich... The food is great, and no one rushes us. A very fine beach breakfast. We'll be back. They do a huge business here and still manage to be gracious and pleasant.

We eventually get everyone checked-in and resettle in our rooms. Our plans are loose for today as we adjust our bodies and minds to beach-time. CA and I do some grocery shopping on foot and re-acquaint ourselves with neighborhood shops we discovered last spring. We pin-point Starbucks and a local coffee house for future reference.

Eventually we walk the boardwalk with JA and LE--south toward King Neptune and the music. This is Beach Music Weekend, so 31st street beach is a bit crowded with paid seating on the sand, and free standing-room-only on the boardwalk. JA loves music, so we check it all out.There's also a charity wine tasting event queuing up on the Atlantic Avenue side of the 31st Street music pavilion.

After awhile, we cut over to Starbucks for a snack and beverage. Cake Pops and water for the kids and coffee beverages for the adults. Before long we're back at OBC and figuring out whether or not we'll need dinner tonight.

JE's family goes to the grocery store and settles in to eat in their condo, while CA and I drive to Surf Rider on 32nd and Laskin. We ate here our first night last May. The crab cakes are legendary. This is definitely a local place, but we guess that many savvy tourists eat here, too. I love my Caesar Salad with a crab cake on top, while CA eats his crab cake sandwich wishing he'd gotten the same as me. I share my salad, because I'm a generous kind of gal.

We've had a full first day. There's lots to look forward to as we re-acquaint and investigate, and show JE's family the highlights of life at the beach.

The weatherman has promised rain, rain, rain, but so far we've lucked out. The skies are intermittently overcast, but the sun manages to peek through and the cooler air feels very, very fine. Can't beat the tantalizing beach breezes, no matter the temperature.

I love the beach!

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