We left Georgia to begin the last part of our month long trip, the family vacation in Virginia Beach.
KJ and CT remember the drive to VA and time spent on the beach.
KJ: It was a lot greener and had more fields, there were a lot more cows.
DJ: I remember the giant peach
KJ: Oh yeah! CT – James and the Giant Peach!
The giant peach was a water tower called The Peachoid in Gaffney, SC. Something we weren’t expecting to see on our drive north. I later found out it was featured in House of Cards. We stopped at a friend’s house in North Carolina along the way then eventually made it to the beach house on Sandbridge Beach.
The kids remember Sandbridge Beach and fun at the beach house.
CT: Virginia was fun! Got to spend time with the cousins
KJ: All of our cousins on our father’s side.
CT: I had a lot of fun there. We went to the beach and I got to go boogie boarding again. It was my favorite thing to do at the beach in California until that one time I wiped out and didn’t want to go back to the beach again. But I was brave and faced my fears, yay.
KJ: I remember not being used to the water and sand, it had been a pretty long while. Walking into the water I was like, was this ever this cold? We hung out at the pool at the beach house. I don’t know why a beach house would need a pool, but it was a nice break from the beach. There was a floaty dolphin that you were supposed to be able to ride but was for really tiny kids
CT: Oh yeah, the Evil Dolphin!
KJ: The evil dolphin that kept flipping everyone over.
CT: No one could ride on the dolphin
KJ: Not even the tiniest cousin.
After a few days of swimming and boogie boarding on the beach followed by afternoons in the house’s pool, we decided we needed to get away for the day. We decided on another aquarium, the Virginia Aquarium.
The Virginia Aquarium didn’t have whale sharks, but it was still impressive. Snaking corridors took us from exhibit area to exhibit area with a variety of sea life on view. After we had taken in all the fascinating exhibits in the Bay and Ocean Pavillion, we walked over to the Marsh Pavillion.
The path across to the other pavilion took us on a nature trail with various observation areas and what looked like a totally awesome Adventure Park. We didn’t have time to try any of the zip lines or the rope and platform climbing trails above our heads. Instead, we continued to the Marsh Pavilion where we saw river otters, snakes, frogs, crabs, and seahorses. We walked through the macro marsh and checked out the mammal and bird exhibits. Nearly all of the cousins crammed into the hurricane simulator together. After some shopping in both gift shops, we headed out to dinner.
Dinner was at Captain Groovy’s Grill and Raw Bar, a seafood restaurant in Norfolk. We sat outside out on the porch near the front door. Inside the restaurant, you could view menu items written on chalkboards, warm wood tables and chairs, and a long bar. The porch had a fish market/fishing shack theme with hanging barn lights and eclectic art. The food was delicious, and I fell in love with their logo. I bought a hat and a t-shirt adorned with the funky sunglasses wearing fish.
KJ: I remember the Virginia Aquarium, that was amazing. I remember that we went to the outdoor area. It was a nice day.
CT: We all did the hurricane machine, except Katelyn.
DJ: There was an adventure rope thing but we didn’t do it, just walked through to the other pavilion. We didn’t have time because we were going to dinner at Captain Groovy’s,
KJ: The fish place!
CT: I remember why you got the hat because it was a fish with sunglasses.
DJ: Yeah, I loved it. Don’t know why I love the fish with sunglasses.
CT: Because he’s a gangster fish.
DJ: No, he was a cool lookin’ fish, not a gangster fish!
CT: You add some sunglasses and bam instant MLG.
DJ: They see me rollin’ they hatin’
We laughed for quite a while about that. My kids crack me up.
After our fantastic meal, we headed back to the beach house. The kids reminded me that we had yet to see the ghost crabs that come out at night on the beach. The night before we left, we got flashlights and walked down to the beach. The full moon provided a little bit of additional light so we could walk a bit on the shore without our flashlights on. The evening was the Atlantic ghost crab’s time to take over the shore. These small sand colored crabs, with a large fiddler crab-like claw, would scuttle en masse as we walked by. We could catch a better glimpse of them with the flashlight but many of them would rush out of the beam of light or disappear into their burrows.
In the dark, it looked like the beach itself was moving as we approached. Some people will bring a net or a bucket with them to catch the crabs, but we were happy just catching glimpses of them as they froze for a moment in the light of the flashlight then fled for the cover of night. Fireworks started farther down the beach from us. The kids played in the rolling surf, beams from their flashlights bouncing on the water, while we watched the small circles of fireworks along the distant shore. We then had to head back since we had a long drive ahead of us the next day. We walked back chattering about the great view and the cute crabs. The kids had thoroughly enjoyed their Sandbridge vacation.
But our vacation was not over yet. We got back on the road and heading to Washington DC