Like many of our trips, with just 3 days notice, The World Traveling Family took off to a new land, well...at least for us!
We started out by driving through Kentucky, then Tennessee, then North Carolina where we stayed for 2 days in Asheville, NC and Winston Salem, NC. We discovered beautiful mountains, some great fried chicken, a giant sea "shell" and one very amazing park, but boy was I excited to reach our first beach destination, Virginia Beach, VA!
The cutest "shell station" in North Carolina
Driving out to our hotel, Holiday Inn Express, on the Virginia Beach boardwalk was quite the experience! There's nothing like driving through a tunnel, and then driving down a road and parking your car right on the edge of the United States, even better the hotel was everything and more than I expected!
Walking in, the lobby and the restaurant in the rear were mostly glass, so you could see the beautiful Virginia Beach right away. But we arrived there late enough that we had to eat dinner, so our beach-going would have to wait until morning. But first, we had to check into our room!
We stayed up on the 8th floor, and I'm so glad we did! Just look at this view...
The room itself was also super nice and very roomy for the price! But my favorite part of the room was the sound of the waves crashing every time we opened our balcony door. I had trouble getting Hailee to come inside! But after sanitizing and getting slightly unpacked, we headed down to Watermans Surfside Grille (it has outdoor seating!) which was just a short walk down the boardwalk from the back entrance of our hotel!
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were immediately seated, right next to the beach, and we ordered something new for Hailee to try, calamari! If you read my last Instagram post, you know she almost ate the entire plate, but the few pieces T and I got were the best calamari we've ever had, and we've had a LOT.
Random fact: when I lived in China, there was a fried calamari stand right outside of my door, and I've loved it ever since!
Watermans has all kinds of unusual (in a cool way!) beverages, fresh seafood and a great kids menu, but what made it even better was the people that worked there. Our particular waiter, was super friendly and attentive that by the end, he even had Hailee talking which is a feat in itself!
Back to the food though!
I ordered the very delicious lobster and a double order of mashed potatoes, which ended up being the BEST mashed potatoes I've ever had.
Thomas ordered scallops, shrimp, mashed potatoes and fresh veggies.
After we finished eating, we walked back down the boardwalk toward our hotel but we decided to make a couple of stops first. The first stop we made was at the end of the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, where they had a couple of small local shops. We ended up buying a few t-shirts here, and also a bucket and pail for Hailee.
Words of advice, if you like to save money or you are claustrophobic, I don't recommend shopping at the first store you come to on the pier. We ended up paying way more money on a few t-shirts ($80 for 3 and the pail), than we did later on just by shopping across the street from our hotel. The store across the street from the Holiday Inn Express had 5 t'shirts for $25.00, and many other souvenirs as well!
Now about the claustrophobic comment... I am a plus size person, but Hailee and Thomas are not, and there were many aisles that even they couldn't walk in.
So, my recommendation is to save your money and shop not on the pier.
The second stop we made was to a place that we actually have near our home back in Kentucky, Dairy Queen! So why would I want stop at this particular one? Well first of all, it's all outdoors, no indoor seating whatsoever, but why wouldn't you want to go to a dairy queen on a beach that looks like this?
(This photo is not mine, I was too busy eating my ice cream to take a picture apparently!)
After finishing our ice cream, we made it back to our room. It felt really good to be in bed that night.
The next morning we woke up, and like many children would, Hailee was SO ready to go to the beach. So what did we do at about 7:00 in the morning? We watched the sun rise on the ocean, while IN the ocean!
Made for some pretty good picture taking, if I do say so myself!
After we finished at the beach, we showered off, and stopped at one final destination before ending our time at Virginia Beach. Which was the t-shirt shop I mentioned previously, across the street from Holiday Inn Express. It was pretty much your typical touristy t-shirt shop that you'd find at any tourist destination, but I've found that I actually prefer those! So we bought t-shirts for all of us, plus our family and friends back home for less than $40.00, compared to the $80 we paid on the pier.
So folks, that's it! That's our 24 hour trip to Virginia Beach, VA! I hope you've enjoyed reliving it with me, and stayed tuned for our next post, which will continue our journey from Kentucky to the Outer Banks, NC.
Love your family. Stay Safe. Be Kind.