I can't believe we are already half way through July! Why is the time passing so quickly? We have definitely tried to make the most of every passing day. Last month we took our BIG family vacation to Virginia Beach, VA. That's where my son, Gabriel was stationed. This was my second time here, I visited him May of 2014 by myself. I couldn't get over how beautiful it all was and vowed to bring the family back. It was the best vacation we've ever taken. Maybe because its the farthest from home we've ever been, approximately 1,700 miles. Although our trip to San Diego is a close 2nd (1,000 miles), we went there for Gabe's graduation from Marine Corps boot camp in December 2013. Both places were awesome and most importantly we were together as a family. Which is rare lately since Gabe is off doing cool Marine stuff.
We had a blast, we went to the beach and the hotel pool every single day. I'm not a water person at all and I enjoyed every minute of it. Abby, 9, enjoyed the water more than all of us put together though. I don't know where she gets it, but she is one fearless little girl. She has always had a thing about mermaids and I believe she was one in her previous life. She saw people body boarding and decided she wanted to buy one. It only took her a few tries, on her own, to figure it out. She was a pro! I was really proud of her and thankful that she doesn't have the fear of water that I do. But, at the same time, I was so nervous.
When we arrived Gabe and his girlfriend Lex met us at the hotel. This was our first time meeting her. She was instantly part of the family. She fit right in, acting just as crazy as the rest of us! She and Gabe met through her brother who is also in the Marine Corps. She spent a few days with us and also respected our family time together. Which I really appreciated. Points for Lex!
I can't complain about any of the food. We had a variety of dinners.... pizza, Mexican food, pizza, Chinese food and pizza, not just any pizza but NY style pizza. I sure wish I could get a slice or three of some right now!
|My baby boy and I before the concert|
Gabe surprised us with tickets to Farm Bureau Live to see Train! Matt Nathanson an The Fray were the opening acts. They all put on an awesome show!
|Gabe and Lex before the concert|
There are so many things to do up and down the boardwalk and Atlantic Ave. We walked miles and miles the first couple of days. Then we rented a family sized bicycle....which is more work than actually walking. Fun still though. Then we really got wise and bought shuttle passes for $2 each. The shuttle goes up and down Atlantic Ave. all day. There are tons of restaurants, souvenir shops, ice cream shops and fun things to do. We ventured into Norfolk one day to see the sights and eat at Johnny Rockets.
|Stella, Abby and I|
|Taking a break|
My plan was to take my tripod and get some really good family photos, we have never had real photos taken as a family. But, I forgot my tripod in all the excitement of packing. Thankfully though, there were these people walking up and down the beach offering to take family photos. Everyone else kept shooing them away, Gabe even tried to get rid of the guy when he asked us if we wanted our picture taken. I literally had to beg my family to let Finn (the very amateur photographer) take our picture. I was so happy when they finally gave in! $80 later we have lots of "official" family photos. My heart was happy!!
|Excuse the blurriness, its a photo of a photo, I love this picture soooo much!|
|The USS Wisconsin|
|Oceanside Mirror Maze|
|Stella's Henna tattoo|
|Stella, Lex and Abby our last night on the beach, we actually saw dolphins right after this, it was amazing!|
All in all we had a blast! We had perfect timing too, less than 2 weeks after we got home, Gabe deployed for his 2nd time. I feel so blessed to have had the chance to spend some time with him before he left. We'll see where we end up next Summer, although I wouldn't mind going back to this exact same spot!
|I can't wait to go back|
Thank you for stopping by. Hopefully I can get some free time soon so I can turn these pictures into layouts and Project Life pages.