Monday, July 9, 2012

A Quick Trip to VA Beach`

Hannah and I were blessed to receive a generous graduation gift from Mama's best friend and her family.  The gift was money specifically for us to go to the beach.  Hannah and I love the beach (as does everyone else in our family) and for awhile we had been talking about how we'd love to just go to some beach, somewhere for just a day.  We just missed the beach and all its beauty!  So, thanks to the graduation gift, the work of finding a hotel room in VA Beach, VA began! :)  We looked all over, expedia,, etc. and finally gave the hotel room search over to Daddy!  Because June is prime season for beach-goers all the oceanfront hotels were fairly expensive.    The cheapest oceanfront hotel we could find left us .99 of the money that had been given to us. :)  But we got an ocean front hotel!!!  Woo-hoo!

We decided to have our entire family come to the beach with us the first day (it was originally just going to be Mama, Hannah, and I) because nothing's quite as fun without family!  Then, after spending all day at the beach with our family, everyone but Hannah, Mama, and I, would go back home.  We three would then spend the night at the hotel and the entire next day just relaxing on the beach, or doing whatever we wanted.

Everything worked out perfectly!

So, two Monday's ago, we packed up and headed to the beach!!  I got to drive Dad's truck for the 2+ hour drive with only one mishap (which we don't need to elaborate on :). 

Judah's ready to hit the beach!!

Love those eyes!

 Hannah and Lydia before we left home.

Around 11:30 we pulled into our hotel and checked in, over 3 hours early!
Room 306 was ours and it was a nice room (not the best we've been in but still good).

 Cozy and comfy!

 Once in our room, we settled in.
 Seth taking a breather. :)

 Admiring the ocean front view!

Then we headed down to the beautiful, albeit crowded, beach!!
Hannah, Judah, and I going down to the beach!
I am usually not a fan of all.  They just don't look good and it's usually very obvious that you took the picture yourself.  Well, despite my dislike for self-portraits, I have to take one every now and then to make sure there's real-life documentation that I existed for some family events.  :)

There's our hotel!  
The hotel provided easy access to the was very convenient!

Judah getting re-introduced to the ocean!

 As you can see, the ocean was extremely calm that day...almost to the point it was boring.  (No waves to duck under, just all those "floaty" ones.)  At one point we had everyone in our family out in the ocean (including Judah!)...not a single wave broke on us.

I couldn't get over how calm the ocean was! :)

 Lydia was, by far, the most scared to be in the ocean.  As soon as she had to go just a little bit under a wave (it didn't break on us, but it was taller than we expected) she started crying and wanted out.  She stayed on the beach the rest of the day.

Judah, on the other hand, loved being out in the ocean!!    Here are some pictures of him with Daddy:

 See that "wave" behind Daddy in the right picture?  That was about average for the entire day.  :)

Once back on shore after being out in the ocean with Daddy for a little while, Judah came back and told Mom a huge story about what happened:

It was rather cute!  Half the time you don't understand a word he's saying but he eloquently relates any story he's got to tell anyways.  He can say lots of things of the cutest ones being "tu-tea" a.k.a. cookie. :)  He can say water, Na-na (Hannah), Daddy, Mama, and a variety of other things.

Josiah spent a lot of his time at the beach trying to catch minnows...

Lovin' the beach...
Judah playing in one of the little "water holes" Daddy makes every time we go to the beach.


 One of the various ships that went by that day. :)

Judah attempting to dig in the sand. 


I hope you haven't tired of pictures yet because there's a bunch left still! :)

Daddy has always had a special gift in making "Christmas trees" out of wet sand.  Judah didn't know what to think about the odd structures. :)

Daddy had some helpers building some of his trees!

After a few hours playing in the ocean, Daddy and the boys started throwing a football back and forth.

Soon Weedels joined in the fun!

Since we arrived at the beach around 11:30 we hadn't had time to eat lunch, so Mama brought down some grapes and cinnamon bread as a perfect snack!

This person right here is the one I have the pleasure of calling Daddy...who also happens to be handsome inside as well as out! :)

Seth sat on the beach for about one hour seemingly just digging in the sand...later he showed us what he had been making.  He had made a little underground room with arches just using sand.  It was pretty amazing!

After playing on the beach for a few hours, we decided to go back to our room and eat our lunch (it was around 4 P.M. now).

Mama had packed a ginormous lunch consisting of salad, pasta salad, veggies, cheese and crackers, watermelon, and yogurt and granola.  It was delicious!!

I don't know what it is with all the weird faces I get when I ask them to smile.  :-/

Judah likes to try and be a puppy sometimes...he goes around the house sticking his tongue out and crawling around on all fours.  If you're lucky enough, he'll sometimes even come over and lick you.  :)

After the younger ones were done eating they went up to the pool, and Mama, Daddy, Hannah, Judah, and I kept on eating at our slower pace. :)

As we ate, we saw some massive storm clouds roll in.

This was the view from our room.

This is the view of the clouds further down the beach.  :)

We ran up and got the little ones out of the pool, so they could come watch the storm.  Right as we got back to our room it started pouring and the wind was blowing like crazy.  (This was the same storm that made thousands of people lose power.)

After the storm calmed down a bit we went up to the pool and swam for an hour or two.  Then we all dried off, took showers, and ate dinner!

Papa John's pizza hit the spot perfectly!

After dinner, Daddy and the rest of my siblings prepared to leave.  Mama, Hannah, and I walked down to the lobby with them all and gave lots of hugs and kisses and then waved goodbye until the van was no longer in sight (by now the storm was gone).  Then Mama, Hannah, and I went walking!!  It was a beautiful night and the neon lights from all the shops, as well as the offshore breeze made you never want to stop walking!  We eventually stopped at one of the best dessert spots ever:  Sweet Frog!!  After getting to taste-test some of the yogurts I settled on what I get every time:  Oreo and Cake Batter plus a variety of toppings. :)  We then walked a little further and then went down to the beach.  We walked in silence most of the time, just enjoying the beautiful night and the frozen yogurt.  :)  There was just enough light from the oceanfront buildings to see where we were going and to admire the endless ocean.  VA Beach was still wide awake at 10 P.M.  There were families and single people walking all over the place.  We kept walking a little past our hotel and then went up to the boardwalk and walked the rest of the way "home".  Altogether we walked about 2.5 miles on that beautiful night!  Once we reached the hotel, I didn't want to go in but we did have to go to bed at some point, so we could get up in the morning!

Back in our room, we got comfy and turned the T.V. on.   There was nothing interesting to watch other than the Olympic Trials, so we watched that.  The Olympic Trials was showing the runners, and we actually got to watch Lopez Lomong win first in his race!  I was excited to watch him run because we had just downloaded his book for free (and I had read about half-way through), and now we were watching the real deal on T.V.!  Pretty cool. :)

Hannah was soon begging me to turn of the T.V., so we turned it off and went to sleep!  We were originally planning on leaving our door open and listening to the ocean as we fell asleep, but that didn't work out.  There was a restaurant playing some loud music a little distance away and the ocean was so calm we couldn't hear anything!  So, we gave up that idea and just fell asleep to the lovely sound of the A.C. unit. :)

I woke up with the sun shining directly on my face around 6 A.M.  Hannah was already up doing her devotions:

Soon Mama and I joined her out on our balcony!

The ocean was actually crashing some that morning, so we could actually hear it!  There's nothing like sitting near the ocean, hearing the waves crashing and feeling the wind blow through your hair and the sun warming your face as you do your devotions.  It's just beautiful. :)

After devotions, we went for an early morning jog!  Mama stuck to the boardwalk but Hannah and I ran/walked on the beach for about 2.5 miles.    It was a gorgeous morning and there were lots of people out running as well.  There was a really strong wind going back up the beach, but otherwise the jog was refreshing (even if hard :).  Have I mentioned how much I love the beach?

We walked for a little bit and then met up with Mama who had run around 4 miles on the boardwalk.  Hannah and Mama then stretched and I went up to our room to grab something.  Then I met them back downstairs in the breakfast room.

Breakfast was delicious!  I ate some cereal, muffins, doughnuts, and oatmeal.  I didn't want to stop eating everything it was so good! :)

After breakfast we went up to our room and hung out until 10ish.  Then we started packing up our room and loading the truck up with all of our stuff.  (Check-out was at 11 A.M.)  The staff at the hotel was kind enough to let us leave the truck in the parking deck until 3 P.M. so, after we checked out of our room, we went back down the beach. 

Once on the beach we set up our towels and laid out on the beach.  It was rather crowded but it was still beautiful!  We read books for a good while and then we went for a walk.  When we got back I went and got in the ocean.  Hannah came in too but she didn't want to get too sandy (not being able to shower off) so we stayed waist deep.  I really wanted to go all the way in and ride the waves, but that didn't happen.  :-(  Good thing our family beach trip is in 7 weeks and I can ride the waves then!

After staying in the ocean for a little bit I went and rinsed off using the little shower heads provided on the boardwalk.  Then I came back to the beach and fell asleep. :)  I woke up an hour or two later to Hannah saying it was time to leave.  I had failed to put suntan lotion on my legs so I was bright red and hurting after that nap. :)

We went to the truck and then left to do some shopping.  We went to Lynnhaven Mall and Mama was really excited when we found some stainless steel canteens on sale at Old Navy.  Then we went out to eat at Plaza Azteca!

I managed to set up the camera with the self-timer on to get a quick picture of the three of us before we went in the restaurant:

The restaurant had some really pretty flowers outside!  I saw them and went over to take some pictures of them, and then realized Mama and Hannah were gone.  So I hurried up and went inside...thankfully they waited for me!

Mama ordered enchiladas (pictured above) and Hannah and I split a delicious chicken quesadilla (pictured below).  

The chicken quesidilla was really amazing!!  And the Mexican rice was wonderful as well!  All in all, it was a great meal!!

After dinner was over, we headed back to the truck but not before I grabbed one more picture of the beautiful flowers outside the restaurant:

Then we left for home, arriving around 9:30 P.M.!

Thus ended our wonderful, albeit short trip to the beach!

P.S. - Sorry the blog has been so quiet lately.  It's taken me about a week and a half to do this post! :)