Saturday, October 1, 2011

Relaxing at Virginia Beach

When people ask what we did on vacation, I can pretty honestly say, "Just about nothing." And it was perfect.

We left on Saturday, September 10th, and drove about 6 hours to Charleston, West Virginia. We stayed the night in a hotel (cheap - thanks to Hotwire) and then drove the rest of the way on Sunday. We wiled away the drive time listening to "Reason for God" by Timothy Keller and snacking on trail mix - Bryce drove and I crocheted.
View from our hotel balcony
At Virginia Beach we stayed at SpringHill Suites right on the boardwalk. Our room had a balcony overlooking the ocean. They had a free breakfast buffet. Yes - I felt royally spoiled. (We got a really good deal on the hotel, thanks to Bryce's brother's Marriott affiliation - basically scored 4 nights for the price of 1. Yes!)

Virginia Beach can be pretty congested and busy but thanks to the fact that it wasn't peak season, it really wasn't that crazy. The beach wasn't packed. We were joined by mostly retired couples and some younger families.

Four days at the beach. Every day look pretty much like this: get up around 8, stroll down to breakfast, lounge in the room for a little bit, mozy out to the beach for a few hours, shower and walk somewhere for lunch, lay around in the hotel room for the rest of the afternoon and early evening (Bryce working on music and Jana crocheting/watching HGTV or reading), eat dinner in the hotel room (we packed sloppy joes and turkey wraps in order to save money on eating out) and then take a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk or beach before going back up to the room for more relaxing until an early bedtime.

Can it get any better than that?

Bryce bought a beach umbrella (since it was ridiculously expensive to rent them) and we joked that it saved our marriage. I laid in the sun (dug a hole in the sand underneath the beach towel for my little bump) and read. Bryce sat on a chair in the shade. He finds no joy in laying out; I just love basking in the warmth of the sun. So, thank you, Umbrella, for enabling us to enjoy the beach together. We also spent time in the water. Bryce did some body surfing and I tried not to get jostled around too much. The temperature was in the 80's the whole time we were there - some rain in the afternoons but perfect sun & breeze in the mornings.

I was able to "pop" over to Regent University for a quick visit with my dear friend Charity. So glad to be able to experience a little bit of her world!

We checked out of the hotel on Thursday morning and headed west. Bryce's friends, the Condrey's, live in Richmond, Virginia. We stopped there for lunch and fellowship - enjoyed chef salad (Bryce's favorite) and met their horses & goats. After visiting for most of the afternoon, we left for Lexington, Virginia to see my grandparents.
"Deck Mountain"
It was wonderful to spend time on the mountain - visiting, eating delicious food and resting. We ate dinner Thursday night and chatted until bedtime. Saturday morning we drove to an orchard to pick up apples (brought a bunch home with us - delicious!) and stopped for lunch on the way back. I needed a nap in the afternoon and Bryce read out on the deck (he is a mountain man at heart, I tell ya).
My grandparents at the orchard
After dinner, my great-aunt and great-uncle (who also live on the mountain) came up for cake and coffee. We had dessert with this same group three years ago when Bryce and I took a road trip while we were dating, so it was neat to come full circle - this time we have been married for two years and there's a baby on the way.

Saturday found us driving back home, an 8.5 hour trek. Bryce even let me drive for about 2 hours in the afternoon while he dozed (so I must not have been making him too nervous). We are so thankful for God's provision of a wonderful vacation together - our first one since the honeymoon and our last one children-less.

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