Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vacation Recap: Virginia Beach, August 2012

For our anniversary each year, Justin and I attempt to make a trip to the beach. This tradition arose out of celebration of our beach elopement at Holden Beach, NC on August 17, 2009. In years past, we've visited Virginia Beach (while we still lived in MI, since Justin's travel points allowed us to stay there and it was close enough to an airport), and last year, the Persian Gulf. This year, our travel budget was tight so we decided to do VA beach again since a) we loved it last time, and b) we had the last of Justin's travel points to use up at a hotel making the trip very affordable.

We stayed at the Westin VA Beach Town Center, which was free with the travel points. It is actually located about a 15 minute drive from the beach, which we didn't mind since we were able to drive there so we had the car (YAY living in Virginia!).

The hotel was beautiful, with clean, updated and spacious rooms located in a town center with plenty of restaurants. Although we didn't end up eating there, there was an Irish Pub, a Ruth's Chris Steak House, and many others.

We arrived on Thursday 8/16 in the evening and went to bed since it was so late. Friday, the day of our anniversary, we headed straight to the beach in the morning where after 3 hours in the sun, I learned that NoAd sun screen SPF 30 does not, in fact, prevent sunburn (maybe it's just me.. ). Besides the painful sunburn, we had a relaxing and beautiful sunny day on the beach, laying in the sun (bad idea in hind sight, see point about sun screen), and enjoying the waves. The water seemed much cooler than what I'm used to in the East Coast but perhaps I was spoiled at the Persian Gulf.

Before heading to dinner, we decided to hit up some mini golf. We found a Pirate-themed location, aptly named "Pirate's Paradise."

Fishing our lost golf ball out of the water. Which only happened once. I swear. 

Our walk to dinner

Justin had done some research and found a Beatles-themed restaurant on the ocean, called RockFish, so of course we had our anniversary dinner there. If you want to make me a customer, just theme your establishment with the Beatles memorabilia and I'm there. There was quite a wait, and the food was either hit or miss. We had some hushpuppies which had too much cheese and were a bit chewy, but the crab cakes and caesar salad were amazing. Also, score one for the awesome memorabilia.

I didn't get a picture of them, but there were some awesome muppet-looking replicas of John, Paul, George and Ringo which I WILL BUY some day when I am rich and don't know what to do with all my money. Ahem.

Saturday we decided to surprise Dylan with a trip to Busch Gardens, about an hour from our hotel. Oh.MAN. When we arrived, Justin and Dylan immediately rushed to a ride right by the lockers so I just followed along. As I was strapped in, I then realized it was the "Apollo." Nine traumatic drops later during which I may or may not have uttered some phrases inappropriate for small children, the ride was over. It was terrifying but SO FUN. Dylan loved playing the carnival games to win a Pokemon stuffed animal. Games were 3 for $5 and I think we played 9 games before winning a Pokemon that was likely worth $0.50 but hey, it's the fun that counts, right? We enjoyed some shows, including the 'Pet Shenanigans' one where trained cats and dogs and rats and so on perform tricks to a stage act. The BEST part was when Dylan was selected to go on stage to give the mathematical parrot a multiplication problem. HOW AWESOME was that? Dylan received a stuffed parrot for his participation and we even got moved to the first row since he would be in the show (they picked Dylan out and let him know before the show started).

I think this photo perfectly captures our personalities: happy go-lucky Justin, anxious me, and nonchalant Dylan. 

We got to see beautiful bald eagles and wolves in the animal section of the theme park, and enjoy the multi "cultures" represented at the park (the term "culture" being used loosely here- that is, if you count slapping some bratwurst on a baked pretzel and lederhosen on a server and calling yourself Germany). We rode a few more rides, played a few more games, enjoyed some "German" food and some beer from the "Irish" pub, and a 4D pirate short movie that starred Leslie Nielsen and had a guest appearance by Rodney Dangerfield, of all people.

The day at Busch Gardens ended with a gorgeously presented fireworks display set to music from "around the world." We were in awe of the amazing colors and lights, and I could see the excitement in Dylan's eyes.

The next day was stormy but that did not ruin our plans to revisit our favorite Beatles-themed VA Beach restaurant, Abbey Road.

Check out the suh-weet art on the side of the building.

Excuse the photo quality, low lighting + my phone camera=bad pictures.

This is our all-time favorite Beatles restaurant (having not been to Liverpool or anything, yet). They have memorabilia EVERYWHERE, an amazing beer selection from around the world (NO QUOTES THIS TIME, term NOT being used loosely here) and great food. I haven't been there during a live performance but they do offer live music and Beatles covers on Friday and Saturday evenings. I cannot wait to go there again and HIGHLY recommend.

Due to the storms, we wrapped up a trip with a visit to the local mall and movie theater where we saw Ice Age: Continental Drift (cute movie, I personally think it was the best Ice Age yet).

We had a wonderful time in Virginia Beach celebrating our anniversary and can't wait to plan next year's beach trip- wherever it takes us.

Note: No links or mentions were sponsored in any way, I am just sharing where we went and what we did on our trip. 

No comments:

Post a Comment