Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sometimes You Need to Get Away

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." -
Isak Dinesen

I've always believed that quote to be true and this past Thursday thru Sunday certainly proved that. My mini-vacation to Virginia Beach was a success! As I mentioned before, VA Beach is kind of like a second home to me. It is the place I spent every single Summer growing up - all the way through my early twenties. The drive down to the beach was full of nostalgia. From the way it felt to drive through the tunnel to where we stopped for lunch. I was so excited for this much-needed trip.

I got a lot of time on this trip to just think. Away from the computer and work desk and traffic and social media, this was life. Days full of moments of life felt in every aspect.

My mind was clear. I felt alive. I was happy. I was me.

My heart is bursting at the seams to write about those things. So, while I prepare those thoughts, here's a little of what my Virginia Beach journey looked like:

Let me start off by saying that I've been to a lot of different U.S. beaches/vacationing spots and Virginia Beach will always [minus California] be my favorite beach to visit. It has everything I could want in a beach: hotels, an amazing boardwalk, nightlife, tons of restaurants, history, attractions!

Upon arriving in VA Beach Thursday afternoon, we checked in to the Marriott Courtyard on 37th and Atlantic, then headed to the beach to put our toes in the water.

After showering, getting ready, and doing a little more balcony people watching, we walked a few blocks to dinner at Doughboy's! Doughboy's is a VB "must" in my opinion if you like delicious pizza! I ended up going with the Mediterranean pizza and it was literally one of the best pizzas I have ever had. [Note: Be sure to pick up the little Sunny Day Guide in your hotel or on the street. It is full of coupons!]

The rest of the night was spent on the balcony, enjoying the ocean breeze and doing a lot of people watching on the boardwalk.

On Friday, after enjoying a light, yummy breakfast in our hotel, I walked a little bit of "The Strip" and looked in some shops. I don't care how cliche and gimmicky those beach stores are - I still love them. Then, we headed out to the beach for a day of fun in the sun. The weather was perfect!

That night, we decided to walk the boardwalk to one of the newer VB spots, Neptune's Park on 31st Street. At that point, we didn't have a good plan so we aimlessly walked around trying to decide where to go for dinner and settled on a buffet. My family never went to the buffets growing up, so why we went this weekend, I'll never know, ha.

Let me just say that I am a seafood junkie so eating anything other than seafood or Doughboy's at the beach, just wasn't an option. Although the food at King of the Sea [the buffet we went to] wasn't the greatest, I got my seafood :)

After stuffing our tummies, we headed back to Neptune's Park for a live band! They played tons of fun cover songs and lots of dancing was involved. There was a nice breeze off the coast and the weather was so perfect for the last evening of the Summer! I ended the night with a killer run. Killer. I actually beat my best mile time which I set back in 10th grade and hadn't been able to beat until now! I was so ecstatic and feeling good so I sat on the boardwalk to stare out at the ocean of blackness as I cooled off. Another great night it was.

Mind-clearing can work wonders, friends!

The final day, Saturday, was full of decent waves for the East Coast. I woke up that morning to watch the sunrise [again.] Seriously, who AM I? As the sun rose into the sky, surfboards filled the water :) First, we spent some time by the pool/waterfalls. The rest of the day we were out in the salty Atlantic challenging those waves and, boy, was it a rush! I've always felt so alive and at peace in the ocean.

For dinner that night, we went to the far South end of "The Strip" toward Rudee Inlet to a place called "Big Sam's." It was definitely one of those "hole in the wall, local" spots but aren't those always the best? This one sure was! Get this - it was the only place we went to that actually had a wait! It was right on the water and the smell of seafood was in the air! I got the Oysters Rockefeller! So yum! If you're like me and love everything about surfing, sit in the first booth and you'll be with Kelly Slater ;)

We left and enjoyed a tasty ice cream treat because you have to get ice cream at the beach, right? I couldn't believe how exhausted I was [and how sunburned my lips were!] so I was about ready for bed once we got back to the hotel and I packed up. I enjoyed one last sunrise the next morning before driving back to Northern Virginia...

So, there you have it - some of the happenings of my reunion with Virginia Beach. I'll never get enough of that place. It comforts me, rejuvenates me, and brings me back to what is important.


Katie said...

looks like you had a wonderful time here :) You had perfect weather & I have lived here for 2 years and not had that pizza! I must try it. Glad you found peace and rejuvenation at the beach...it sure is a wonderful place huh?

Haley W. said...

So glad that you had such a great time!! That Mediterranean pizza looks DELISH..omg. Love me some feta cheese...ha!

Oh, and I'm with you on believing that quote wholeheartedly. It is SO true!

Have a great day, lady! xo

Michelle said...

Your pictures are so pretty!

LAUREN said...

I'm with Haley ^^ that feta looks orgasmic!

Looks and sounds like you had a wonderful getaway!

Wish I could eat seafood... because it sounds like they had some great places to eat. But because I can't, then Doughboy's it would be!

Kelsey said...

Looks like you had a very relaxing weekend!That pizza looks amazing and I love the first picture of you driving.

Katie said...

Who is WE?! ;) ;)

So glad you had a nice time. I adore that quote too!

Hilary said...

Haha...I was wondering the same thing. Who is the WE you speak of?? :)

Dreams Do Come True said...

glad you had a great trip. love all the pics and the food pictures have made me hungry.

Dreams Do Come True


Britt said...

Your trip sounds amazing!! What a wonderful break from reality. It sounds like it is just what you needed.

Dinner in the first booth with Kelly Slater? Sign me up! What a hottie!

Holly said...

My family used to vacation there all.the.time! Every year for years! I don't remember how many, but it's been years since I've been there. I might have to take Shawn! Or we can go sometimes! I love roadtrips!

Raquel said...

Sounds like you had such an amazing time! I absolutely LOVE VA beach too! Who did you go with? :)

Brianna said...

So jealous of your weekend!! Looks amazing! I've never been to VA Beach, which is super disappointing seeing as ALL of my family lives back east in DC so I have no excuse (: Maybe next summer!!

Jane said...

That looks perfect. Absolutely, perfect.

Tricia said...

Ahhh....your weekend sounds just like something I need. So happy you had a great time! My brother lives right outside VA Beach, and has for the last 20 years. Definitely a great spot! The weather looked gorgeous! :)

bailey k. said...

I love the photos! My sister-in-law lives in VA beach, so I've had the blessing of visiting there a few times. It's such a pretty place!!

I recently started a new link party on my blog that is exclusively for traveling and experiencing different places. If you could hop on over and link this post or any other 'traveling' post, I would be so grateful! Thanks so much!


Aspiring Kennedy said...

These photos are making me realize that we have to get in as many beach vacations as we can before winter settles in. Gorgeous!

Emily said...

(obviously, i'm just now catching up on your blog)... hence all the comments ;) gorgeous pictures -- i actually lived in virginia beach from age 1-4, and i haven't been back!! but your post REALLY makes me want to visit!! i'll have to plan a trip ;)

city said...

thanks for sharing..