It's been a while, long time no see. And to go over everything that's been happening the past 3 weeks would be long and hard. So, let's stick with the big stuff, and the good stuff. The beach.
VA Beach! Great Wolf Lodge! Our vacation for the summer. My dad couldn't go... Ian couldn't go... Katherine missed half of it. But we plugged on, three kids, me and my mom and had Katherine join us midweek. We stayed at the Springhill Suites at Virginia Beach and give it a bunch of thumbs up (the breakfast is pretty good), then moved to GWL in Williamsburg and gave it another bunch of thumbs up (we had a Kids Cabin). We have been to plenty of places and yet the beach is still our #1 choice for relaxing and having fun on vacation. I wish I could give a day-by-day rundown but that's unrealistic, so know that we played in the sand, jumped in the water, ate until we were stuffed (The Raven gets top marks), biked the board walk, walked the strip, indulged in custard, took in some Beach Street shows, ran the Hall of Mirrors, explored the VA Aquarium with its new Restless Planet section, touched mantas, had dolphins chase us, oh and did this:
Nicholas had no desire to dress up until the pirate-in-charge said he could use the cool sword.
OK, I do have to mention the Rudee Rocket and our dolphin watching. Every morning and throughout the day you can spot dolphins just off the beach. They are the Atlantic Coastal dolphins, a bottlenose. The Rudee Rocket speedboat passes tourist beaches and ends at the Cape Henry lighthouse. Along the way we met pod after pod of dolphins. Since we arrived just minutes before the boat was leaving the dock, we sat in the two rows at the back and ended up with the best view as the boat sped up and dolphins followed and leapt through the wake. Very awesome especially as one group riding the waves was 2 adults and one little guy in the middle trying its hardest to keep up.
On the way back, the captain took us farther out to sea and opened up the engine. Every passenger got soaked as we crossed the wind and the spray crashed over the sides. Over and over again, with the heat drying us between soakings we returned to the dock with a thin layer of salt covering our faces. Tons of fun.
I said we went to the Aquarium, one of our favorite places.
Isn't my mom awesome? That's her on the right.
Yeah, we love Virginia Beach.
We moved on to Great Wolf Lodge for a couple nights. The place is designed to lose children in. For several hours we just didn't see them. They were at the water park or doing MagiQuest or in Katherine's case, getting a massage. The wrist bands received at registration work as door keys (and credit cards in my case), so the kids had the run of the place... along with every other kid. In the evening Katherine and whoever wanted to join her in the 10-18 age group could hang out in gr8_space until 11 p.m.
Our little trip was well worth the expense. I'm looking forward to next year's.