19 May 2011


UGH! If this is really Thursday, then that means JA and LE have to leave the beach tomorrow. NO! It's too soon. We've barely begun to run and giggle, and chase the waves.

We loved our afternoon at Croatan Beach yesterday. Both kiddos finally fell in love with the sand, letting it envelop and encrust them while giggling and shouting. Croatan is a quieter beach than the Boardwalk area. The houses are spectacular, in the way real-lfe family houses should be. We want to move in. Almost any house will do. Can we rent here next year? Can we walk to Grommet Park from here? Can we stay here 24/7/365?

I was explaining to four-year old JA that we were going to a new beach. That OBC is on Virginia Beach, and we were taking a short drive to Croatan Beach. He said, Actually, this is Atlantic Beach. Well, technically this beach is on the Atlantic Ocean... I dropped my argument deciding to be impressed that he knows about the Atlantic Ocean. He remembers so much of what he's told.Today he informed his daddy that he wanted to go into the sea.

Last night CA and I hung out in 711 while JE and MA went to dinner at Catch 31. It was raining when they left, and then there was a downpour. Good thing the concierge has umbrellas. They enjoyed a fantastic dinner and a couple of hours of relaxation away from the kiddos.

I've been waging war on the smokers. There're smokers on both sides of our room. The guy in 702a blatantly smokes in his room and our shared foyer reeks of stale smoke. On the other side--703--they smoke on the balcony, which I guess is legal. But, they leave their putrid ashtray on the balcony all the time, and our large window overlooks their balcony! A very weird set-up.

We've had the maintenance people up two different times and they spray Febreze and apologize. We think that's as far as the management goes in trying to curtail the smoking, because it continues. The rules state that if you smoke in your room, you'll be charged a $250 fee for ozone treatment. Seems like 702a has decided smoking is worth $250 for a week.

I'm pretty sure that smoking in hotel rooms is controlled by city of Virginia Beach statutes, and I'm guessing the hotel management has a duty to police it. I'm not that much of a rabble-rouser, but if I was to be here for more than a week, I'd be having serious discussions about smoker-containment with the OBC management. Definitely has dampened our desire to buy a timeshare here.

Today has been perfect weather-wise, and activity-wise. The kiddos are very happy here, which keeps the 4 adults very happy, too. I told CA there'll be tears tomorrow, and he said he hoped I wouldn't cry for too long... JA and LE are NOT going to be ready for a 5-hour drive back to D.C. They love it here.

Each day we've ended up at some point in time at Starbucks at 31st and Pacific. The kiddos are still naive enough to be satisfied with a cup of iced water with a straw... This morning I actually had 4 shots of espresso before 10:00am...

Some mornings we've eaten a simple breakfast in our rooms, and some mornings we've breakfasted at Pocahontas--where we'll begin our day tomorrow. Some days we've had a restaurant lunch, and some days we've skipped lunch and opted for an early restaurant dinner. Every day we let the choices ebb and flow, with the moods and needs of the kiddos. We've spent very little time shopping, and very little time in the cars. We've had tons of beach time, and just the right amount of kid-time.

No complaints. We're having a fantastic beach vacation.

Today has been great vacation-wise. CA and I started our day at Starbucks with the NY Times and espresso. The rest of our crew caught up with us at 9:30am, but it took us until after 10:00am to secure our surrey bike for our ride down the Boardwalk. The bicycle rental place outside the OBC just never opened, and the one at 31st Street had to be negotiated with to get the pricing competitive with what we've paid in the past. Still, traveling down the Boardwalk together pedaling that surrey is one of the most fun group activities of our week. It gets us where we want to go, entertains us, and we even get a bit of exercise with the pedaling.

We had lunch again today at 11th Street Taphouse. The location is perfect for Grommet Park and our biking expedition, and the food is very good.

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