I am happy to report that we survived our longest ever car ride, and with the dog! Between audio books-- which are so great!-- the occasional DVD, a little music, and sometimes just quiet, the ride really was not too bad at all. First up, Cape Charles, Virginia. We rented a big beautiful house in the center of town. I say town with a grain of salt. There was much less to do than we had anticipated, but we determined to make the most of it. Our favorite thing?
The golf cart.
I know, right? 600 + miles to the Virginia coast and they're still talking about riding that silly golf cart all over town!
The beach was a short walk (or cart ride) from the house. Ethan and my Dad, Grampy, enjoyed this spot overlooking the dunes and ocean. (My parents were with us for a few days before heading down to Florida.)
Jonah and Dad on the pier -- poor, poor doggie...Ryder no likey the pier. No, no likey at all. That pitiful dog whimpered and pulled his hardest to get solid ground back under his feet!
Caleb and I spotted these guys from the same pier on a separate walk down to the beach. They totally freak me out! But they're kinda cool at the same time. Maybe.
There was a big park a block from the house which we enjoyed. Tennis, anyone? The kids kept begging Mimi and Grampy to take them to the park over and over (in the cart of course) because they all loved tennis so much-- I think I see more tennis camp in our near future!
Go, Isabelle, gooooooo! She is lightning fast! And she can hit that ball, too!
One of the reasons we rent a house is because we need more space, and we save lots of money by avoiding having to eat out at every single meal. I guess I also like to tinker around other people's kitchens, ha. It was fun to make breakfast for my Dad, who is also an early riser like me, and each subsequent shift when the next person/child awoke. Maybe I should've left out a tip jar or something!
I guess I get my need for speed from my Mom! =)
It was super cold and rainy one day, and since the library was just around the corner, we stopped in to ask if they would let us borrow some things for the day. They did, and it was so neat! We rented a movie and got a zillion books and just hung out all day-- it was a relaxing and fun day!
Next up was Virginia Beach and Norfolk...here we are about to cross the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge-- 17 miles of bridge and tunnel spanning the entire bay- what a trip!
There's just water everywhere the eye can see. Poor Ryder. He just knew we were not on "solid ground" Still not a fan-- he whined and drooled the entire way across. On the way back through, Ethan and I spotted one lonely little dolphin dive into the water-- if I'd blinked I'd have missed it for sure. Dolphins have always been my thing, and I think God put that one right there just for us to see.
It was super cold and windy the first day in Virginia Beach, but we walked along the boardwalk anyway. There were a handful of fellow brave souls...at least it wasn't crowded! An otherwise adorable Little Someone may have been having a major tyrant/fit approximately 2.7 seconds prior to this photo being taken. Without any prompting or cajoling on my part, big brother swooped her up and, well, problem solved. I really think I just have the best children in the whole entire world! No offense... ;)
We found ourselves driving toward the (insert-name-I-can't-remember-here) Lighthouse, only to find out that you have to get government clearance at the army base before entering the compound, which houses the lighthouse. That was both humbling and exciting at the same time-- the soldiers check your license and registration, the entire inside of your vehicle, including the hood and trunk and dashboard compartments. Okay, so maybe the part that was slightly humbling was that I keep certain items handy in that dash compartment. Girl items. Ahem. Moving on.
This was a frigid look-out point on the base. We saw a few tanks and other army-type things around us, so the boys were happy. Oops- just realized I didn't get an actual photo of the lighthouse. It looked pretty much like every other lighthouse I've seen, so...I think I won't beat myself up about it.
And then the day we'd all been waiting for, the one thing we'd wanted to do but the weather hadn't been cooperating...we had the perfect day for the BEACH! See Caleb off the left, in the ocean? Yeah, that's pretty much where he stayed the entire time we were there, and that water was FREEZING! I was Worst Mother of the Year by going easy on the sunscreen, and poor thing has been peeling and shedding like a snake all week. Me too, which I don't think has ever happened in my entire life-- not too much fun.
Okay, so Caleb got out of the water for this...
This was the very first time we've ever let the kids get whatever they wanted- anything!- at Dairy Queen, right on the beach. Honestly, that stuff gets super expensive so this was a big deal. Wow, Isabelle, you really splurged there, ha! She was so, so happy with her little chocolate dipped chocolate ice cream cone- that's all she had been talking about for days!
Our last night in Virginia Beach we decided we wanted seafood, especially after a long day at the beach. We walked out of the first place, which seemed like a KFC but for fish, and found what I was afraid was going to be a dark, drab little seafood joint and totally fell in love with the place. Funny how that happens. It was Surf Riders, in case you decide to visit. Definitely worth a look if you're in the area.
Anyhoo. We got home super late and poor Ryder needed to be walked, so I never got pictures of the kids in front of the gorgeous hotel. The first night, Bill took the boys to the fitness center, which they just loved! Especially Caleb. The girls were relaxing, taking baths. There was a little games court, and a large pond with a fountain, and a beautiful formal rose garden, so we walked all around. It was hands sown one of the most beautiful places I've stayed at.
The drive home was especially long, but we made the best of it again, and it really wasn't too bad. The next day was gorgeous and warm (like we thought VA was going to be!), and we were excited for Caleb's first baseball game with his new league. He's in the Majors this year, and that literally makes me queasy because that's a lot of pressure! He played great, and in the 5th inning his team came alive and they ended up turning the game around and winning.
Since we were still technically on vacation, we thought we needed celebratory ice cream cones for lunch. =)
I just have to include this one...Isabelle has become very self aware lately and she is obsessed with brushing her hair. I thought this was the sweetest thing.