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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Destination: Virginia Beach!

Before I start, I need to say two things: 1) This post, first and foremost, is for my family and friends. There are a TON of pics in this post, and they are mainly of us. To see ALL of them though, you will need to click on the “View Full Album” links that follow Cindy’s, MHG’s and Nic & I’s fun in the sun pics. 2) The second reason I wrote it, is to remember our day forever (and to remember the kick-butt stores we shopped at). If anyone is headed there next, I will list the stores and their addresses for you as well, later on in this post (awesome memorabilia, super cheap prices!)

With that being said, we FINALLY made it to Virginia Beach! THIS is another reason why I am so ok with fulltime RVing. Yes, I realize I could see VA Beach were I in any other sort of living arrangement, but had we not purchased our RV, we would still be stuck in the Rocky Mountains (probably washing away as we speak). Also, were we in any other living arrangement, we wouldn’t be saving the money that we are now, so we wouldn’t be able to afford going anywhere. So really, we couldn’t see VA Beach in any other living arrangement, lol! Now that we live in an RV, we have the ability to see whatever we want (around where we stay…unless we’re on the road…then whatever is on the way). This past weekend it was VA Beach. A couple weekends from now it’ll be D.C. (hopefully). It’s been a slow start for us. We’ve been here in VA for a tad bit over 3 months now, but we’ve been settling in, doing some work on the RV, and getting used to this new life. We’ve finally come out of our shells to test the water and take advantage of the opportunities this new life allows us. Eventually, we’ll be driving out of Virginia seeing stuff along our way to New Mexico. This rocks! To anybody on the fence about making the transition to full-timing, DO IT!!!

Now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s get this started! We headed out of here at 8am on Saturday, September 21, 2013, the LAST day of Summer! (I was adamant on visiting the beach during the summer. We barely made that deadline!)

VA Beach Exit Sign

Right before we hit Norfolk, we had to drive through an underwater tunnel. It was kinda scary looking at the GPS, while in said tunnel, and seeing that we were completely surrounded by water! Coming out of the tunnel, I looked to the right and saw some cool ships in the harbor.

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By 10am, there was perfectly luscious and hot sand between our toes!

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Such a beautiful sight. For as far as my eyes could see, there was gorgeous blue water. No land. Just water. For. Miles. It was just what the doctor ordered! The smell of that glorious, salty water wafted through the air. The sounds of seagulls squawking and waves crashing on the beach rang through my ears. My girls ran in towards the sea and ran even faster, squealing with pure delight (and sheer terror in Cindy’s case), away from it as the waves chased after them. It was music to my ears. It was as if Mother Nature wrote a masterpiece of a symphony and it was allllllllllllll for me. It was absolute perfection.

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For hours, we body surfed, built sand castles, squealed with glee as salty water rushed over our bodies, buried ourselves in sand…or waves, swam until our limbs fell off, baked under the Virginia sun, and savored every second of Summer’s last day, with MUCH delight!!! I have never seen so many smiles in one day (especially from Ahdoo)!!!

Ahdoo Girls VAb   Me Girls VAb

ahdoo mhg castles

This was MHG and Cindy’s first time visiting the ocean. Cindy HATED the water. It scared her too much because of how loud it was.

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On the other hand, MHG LOVED the water, but she was terrified of drowning. So, regardless of whether she was with me or Ahdoo, she spent her time in the waves like this:

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Cindy, completely content to stay as far away from the shore as possible, spent her time playing in the sand, running through the sand and trying to catch seagulls.

cindy sand play   Cindy beach goofin'   Cindy seagull

Here’s Cindy’s fun in the sun pics. Click on the link down to the right that says “View Full Album” to see the rest.

Here’s MHG’s fun in the sun pics.

Here’s Ahdoo and I’s fun in the sun pics.

We got hungry after a while and walked the short walk back to the truck. We had parked off of 16th street at the Catholic High School. They charged us $5 to be there until 2am. I had packed us a lunch to save some money. (Good thing too. The clothes were cheap. The food was NOT!) Eventually, we made our way to the pier to check it out. We found a penny smashing machine (YAY!) that made a Virginia Beach stamped penny (I collect those) and decided against walking down the pier after we found out it isn’t free. It was only $2 a person, but we figured we’d only be on it for a couple minutes (cuz of the girls’ short attention spans, lol!) and it wasn’t worth paying for that.

ahdoo mhg pier

We checked out the beach on the other side of the pier and “attempted” some beach Yoga. *Btw, I have a newfound respect for people who do Yoga in the sand. It is NOT easy.* MHG and I were falling out of poses left and right. It was hilarious to watch, I’m sure.

MHG Standing splits me vab standing pigeon me w1 mhg tree mhg w1 me vab tree

The wind picked up and started to blow some dark clouds our way. Cindy had fallen asleep the second we got done eating lunch, so Ahdoo and I took turns pushing her in the stroller. (The 2 of us had to carry it in the sand though.) After our pathetic attempt at beach Yoga, we decided that we’d take advantage of her nap and go shopping. I had wanted to get a couple articles of clothing memorabilia. We made our way to the beachfront stores and struck gold with a couple of them!

First store up was “Beachwear Outlet” located at 1522 Atlantic Avenue, VA Beach, VA 23451. Here, I got 2 boho dresses, a  VA Beach tank top and a gorgeous boho top. All of this for $30. The 1 dress alone was $50, marked down to $10. The other articles of clothing (minus the tank top) would’ve sold for similar prices. I would HIGHLY ADVISE you to try your clothes on first though. I was confident that the white strapless dress would fit perfect, but it’s easily a size too big. I wear a Medium, so for you smaller folks, I’m not even sure if they’d have a size small enough? The pink tank top was only $2. Yay! The beaded halter top is hands down my favorite! I saw it in the window (thought it was a dress cuz it must’ve been paired with a skirt) and instantly fell in love. I really didn’t look too much into it, thinking it was at least $75…later, when we ventured into the store, I found it on clearance marked down from $55 to $6. I love outlets! Anyways, you get the idea of prices. The store sold primarily clothing, some other memorabilia, very little jewelry and beach towels. The employees were helpful and polite. I’ll definitely check them out again when we return.

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My Husband was on a mission to find some pirate flags. Upon the suggestion of a store clerk in a different store, we found “Pacific Beachwear”. They are located at 1820 Atlantic Ave. They sold even more clothing, their prices weren’t as cheap, but they sold flags (and those were cheap at $8 each). The staff was SUPER helpful and incredibly friendly. We managed to find Cindy a tie-dye VA Beach t-shirt and a tie-dye VA Beach hoodie. The shirt was $6 and the hoodie was $50 marked down to $15. Woohoo!

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The Flags say: “The Time Flies When You’re Having Rum”, “The Beating Will Continue Until Morale Improves” and “Surrender The Booty!” My Husband is currently using them as sun shades under the awning, lol. If we ever came off as unfriendly before…we definitely do now. I’m never gonna make any friends… Cindy’s hoodie will probably fit til she’s 10, lol! The t-shirt is her current size…so it won’t fit much longer. :(

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Hands down, the coolest thing purchased was MHG’s shirt. She patiently followed us through the stores as we all picked out things for ourselves, but she just couldn’t find anything she really liked. The store had a guy posted up front with a stand. He did professional airbrushing. She was about to lose hope until she saw the airbrusher artists’ work. Lo and behold, on the side of his stand, there was a shirt that said “Laney” with a Monster High Skullette underneath. She instantly found what was meant to be. This guy has got some seriously mad skills!!! $15 for his services and $6 for the t-shirt that we bought separately. He put her name at the top. Added bonus: He was quite personable and FAST. He whipped this out easily in 15 minutes.

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shirt blurred w info

If you like his work, want something yourself, but you can’t make your way to Pacific Beachwear to meet him in person, his contact info is as follows: LAFNSUN@Netscape.net and https://facebook.com/LAFNSUN. I would recommend him to the Moon and back. In fact, Nic and I are contemplating going back soon to see Uncle Sal again, check out the beach and see Brian to make all 4 of us more shirts! (We wanna get MHG another one in an even bigger size.)

It started pouring down rain as Brian finished up her shirt. After he provided us with its care instructions, we safely tucked it away (along with all our other purchases) inside about 3 other bags, and enjoyed a lovely walk back to the truck in the downpour. We definitely had a long day in lots of water, lol! We took a quick drive past the King Neptune statue at 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue. I so badly wanted to get out and go see it, but we were already buckled in (carseats and all) and we didn’t wanna look for more parking…not to mention pay to park again. It was such an amazing statue! I would love to find a miniature replica of it to put on display here inside “Hope”!

King Neptune Statue

The perfect ending to our perfect day was definitely getting to meet Uncle Sal. He is the girls’ paternal Great-Great Uncle and a Great-Great guy!!! (He is my father-in-laws Mother’s Brother.) I’m so glad to have finally been able to meet him! He was the most perfect Italian gentleman with all the feistiness of the men in this family! He treated us to Olive Garden. The food was stellar, my wine (Moscato) was delicious and getting to know him was absolutely icing on the cake. Cindy warmed up to him pretty quickly and enjoyed making faces bath and forth with him at dinner. He even tried teaching MHG some new Italian words, but she couldn’t keep up with him, lol! (He even tried telling me that he couldn’t speak it anymore…could’ve fooled me!!!) Nic was happy to have gotten to see him again. The last time was 2 years ago. I am really looking forward to visiting him in the near future before we head out of here. (P.S. He’s worse than Nic when it comes to taking pictures. He kept sticking his tongue out at me right before I hit click, lol. So ornery.)

Us with Sal

Nic Sal

After we dropped Uncle Sal back off at home, we said our “I love you’s!”, kissed him goodbye and Nic drove us the 2 hours home through torrential rain. It was a really long day, but one of the best days EVER! Absolutely everything was perfect and I really hope we get to do it again!!! I’m so glad we fulltime RV!!! The girls and I would’ve never been able to meet that sweet, sweet man if it weren’t for our home on wheels, nor would the girls have been able to step foot in the Atlantic Ocean. Thank you “Hope” and especially thank you Ahdoo for making this special, memorable day possible! You’re the best!

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That night…I dreamt of Italian-singing Mermaids…

Owl Family Signature

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