Virginia Beach

December 28th and 29th, 2015



Virginia Beach is a nice enough city but not our cup of tea.  Nice restaurants and boutique shops line the posh streets a couple of blocks from our hotel and the beach and the Boardwalk are really nice but it’s atmosphere lacked the casual warmth of OC.  I know, apples and oranges.

I was too exhausted to care the first night and crashed.  The following day we walked all around the area near the beach.

The boardwalk is colorful and fun with lots of interesting characters and artistic creations.

The day we landed we walked for a few hours and enjoyed watching about 200 (in all) surfers frolicking and flipping in the waves and admired the fabulous statues along the route.

This is King Neptune, a magnificent statue conquering the center of the Boardwalk.

We met several very interesting people from different states and assorted countries and walked with some for a while; they told me about their dogs and doted on Zuma who felt the whole thing was just what she needed after hours in the van.  She is truly a patient traveler.

What a nice way to spend a mild evening right before New Year’s Eve!

The following morning I opened the curtains in the hotel room and SURPRISE!  I called the desk about the SPIT on the windows.  Not just spit. GOBS.  They said they would look into it.  Some people clearly had a spitting contest against the windows.  It was disgusting.  Then, I went out to the car for about 10 minutes to fetch some groceries and came back to find our hotel room door open.  I surmised housekeeping opened the door, saw Zuma and bolted without shutting the door.  For some people she may as well be a velocoraptor.  I was shaken as Zuma, my purse, money and credit cards, camera and laptop were all in full view.  I took a few deep breaths and called the desk.  Most importantly, Zuma was there without me.  They said they would look into it. Nothing.

We gave it a try but after two days we decided two days in Virginia Beach was enough.  There isn’t really much there for us.  If you’re able to dine and shop, it’s a fun place but for our needs, we can’t rationalize staying on.  Plus, our goal is to head further south.

It was time to exit.

We left Virginia Beach on the 28th and began to make our way our way to Wilmington, NC, a 4 1/2 hour drive.

December 29th, 2015

The first big hurdle this morning was crossing the Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel which is a bridge that goes underwater into a tunnel, back up to a bridge and then down again and up again.  Seriously, I thought I was going to shat myself.  When we went down for the second time, I was like (aloud), Bloody Hell, are you serious?

There is no stopping and no turning back.  The tractor trailers whip along and the wind up there was frantic that day.  For someone like me, a claustrophobic who doesn’t like heights/bridges and especially despises underground travel, it was a bit of a nightmare.

tunnel/bridge pix

I patted myself on the back for stepping galloping out of my comfort zone.  We got through it.  We were on the final stage of the bridge and a tractor trailer was on the opposite side of our lane, it had experienced some catastrophic injury and literally had crashed and burned.  It was a twisted mass of black metal.  We couldn’t stop, we had to keep going.  Here I was worried about getting a flat tire. Thank you, Blanca, for making it through that scary crossing. Blanca was a true champ.  So was Zu.

pix from cell ‘phone of bridge approach and the bridge tunnel.

This leg of the trip was a true test of emotional endurance for me as I don’t like driving, especially in foul weather.  Not long after we set out, it began to rain. Then it poured.  Then, when I thought it couldn’t rain any harder, it came down in buckets.  Then in garbage cans.  Seriously.  I had the wipers on full blast and pondered whether or not they may fly off at some point.  I have never seen rain like it and wanted desperately to get off the highway but there were no exits where I was and the shoulder was miniscule.  Cars were in the ditch.  I was terrified of hydroplaning but Blanca held onto the road and we slogged along.  The speed limit was 70 mph but the rain was torrential and even the tractor trailers joined me at 40 mph; we all had our 4 way flashers on.  There was little shoulder to pull over to so I decided it was safer to keep plodding along, as scary as it was.

Zuma was snuggled on her puffy bed behind me, both paws over her head as she doesn’t like rain.  The only good thing I can say about the drive was that I got to see cotton fields.  I imagined the slaves of days gone by working in them, forced into labor by the owners of the large homes at the back of lengthy driveways.

Along the side of the road were multiple carcasses of what appeared to be possums:  splayed out with their bellies exposed and their arms and legs twisted into hideous poses, exposing all like shameless Playboy models.  Poor things.

Leaving Virginia and entering North Carolina, the rain slowed and then stopped.  The skies brightened and the sun came out.

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