Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back from the beach.

There are days I think my kids are the most ungrateful little wretches (wrech? retch?) in town. Seriously. This week they topped their all time record I'm sure with the amount of whining, complaining and begging they did. That's not to say we didn't have fun, but a pair (or 4) of earplugs would have come in quite handy.

Our family loves the beach. The sound of the waves, the sun, the sand, just the whole idea of being on a beach makes us happy. This past week was no exception. We arrived on Monday afternoon after a stop at the Ripley's Believe it or Not somewhere around Lightfoot, across the street from the Chili's we had lunch at. Mmmm, Chili's. And true to form, we spent several hours at the beach in the late afternoon most days, followed by a late dinner around 9 p.m. when it would finally get dark. And of course ice cream on the boardwalk. It's the fault of summer in a high (to us) latitude where the days just go on and on, but we enjoyed it. One evening brought the Beach Street performers, another washed out the Wednesday fireworks with a big old rain storm, but most days we walked the strip, swam in the pool, got sandy and ate way too much food at odd hours. That's beach week. And also true to form we took a day off in the middle of the week to do something else, the Virginia Aquarium and the opening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on IMAX and in 3D (the wand battle at the end). Awesome.
My dad arrived later in the week, so we saved Jungle Golf and the Rudee Rocket for then. Actually, we did Jungle Golf in the morning, but like all things at the beach it came with a heavy price tag. To make it attractive though, they allow you to play as many rounds as you like before 6 p.m. We managed three rounds of 18 holes that day. The Rudee Rocket starts at Rudee Inlet and is a speedboat that trips out to the Cape Henry lighthouses and back, with a stop to watch dolphins. A total blast and highly recommended.
So after much boogie boarding and too many silly souvenirs bought, we returned home. But like our stop at Ripleys on the way down, today we detoured to Jamestown via the Colonial Parkway. I thoroughly enjoy the Parkway, it's a gorgeous drive and a vivid reminder of what we had in our backyard when we lived in Newport News. Jamestown was a pleasant stop, something I really wanted to see again especially with its 400th anniversary this year. I still can't fathom how the Susan Constant held 50+ passengers and 17 crew, even though we walked on her replica. I really would have liked to see the archaelogical excavation site of the true Jamestown, that would have been amazing.
But back to the whining bit: Jonathon wanted to do Pirate mini golf immediately after the 54 holes of Jungle golf.... Katherine wanted to do "Old Tyme Photos" and Busch Gardens... we didn't let them go on the fair rides (you know, the $6/person mini log flume)... pieces of junk and weapons were begged for... clothing was drooled over... there wasn't enough time on the beach... I wouldn't let them have french fries at every meal... blah blah blah. My youngest child had the gall to tell me I NEVER let him do ANYTHING fun. Ever. Thank goodness I had fun anyway because if I'd been in a bad mood he'd have been strapped to the roof of the car for the ride home.
Ian came home red as a lobster and sick, I came home sick but nice and pale thanks to my giant floppy hat, the kids (aside from the sore voices from whining so much) are just fine. We really like beach week and look forward to next time. Of course, I can't forget to thank my parents who set it all up and picked up the room tab too. Next time hopefully we'll head back to Sandbridge and maybe, just maybe, we'll get to chip in. Can't wait.

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