Friday, October 13, 2017

Exploring Virginia Beach

Going to a place I've never been is always exciting. It doesn't have to be some far off exotic place. Every place has it's on vibe and adventures.

Last October my mom and I decided to take a trip the following October while my stepdad was away on a work trip. We didn't have a clue where we were going but we knew we wanted to go some place neither of us had ever been. The beach was a location we were looking at because my mom had never experienced the beach with Hensley. After a little research we decided on Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

It wasn't super far away and neither of us had ever been! The pictures online looked so pretty and there seemed to be a lot to see and do!

Hensley had a break from school the same week so it worked out perfectly!! I have never been on a vacation with my mom just us (and Hensley). We were all super excited!

We went through Hensley and I's very first tunnel!!!

 When we arrived our room wasn't ready for us to check in and we were all so ready to get on the beach! It was a huge difference for us compared to our beaches here in NC. The beach was HUGE! So much sand before reaching the ocean! 

I don't know how we got so lucky with the weather. It was BEAUTIFUL! 75 and sunny all week long!!! We couldn't have asked for better!

We did a little search of events in the area before we left and found out that we would catch the last few days of the sandcastle festival! The days before we arrived you could see the artists actually building, which would have been amazing!!! But, we were happy to be able to walk through and see the finished art works!!

The details on these were AMAZING!

All the pieces had a plaque next to it about the artist and a little about the inspiration for the piece. Some were fun while others were more deep in meaning. They were all so diverse. 

This was one of our very favorites! It had a bible verse on it and the details in carving our the script lettering was just phenomenal!

This last one was a show stopper for sure. On one side it had these hands with some quotes and as you walked around it became a tree stump with a whole entire little fairy like town inside!

I couldn't forget this one! It was very funny!!!!! A scene from a therapist office with a peanut as the patient! We all feel little nuts at times!!!

You truly had to experience this in person to really see and appreciate all the thought and hard work that went into this! I really hope this is something we can come back to in years to come and see all the new ideas!!

Our view from our room was amazing! The boardwalk was always fun for people watching!!!

After a busy day of traveling and fun we headed to dinner to relax!

It was so nice to spend some quality time with my mom. She was so happy to be there and most of all to have Hensley there!

We took a little stroll to the pier and did a little shopping! It was a little chilly and breezy and we drank the BEST hot apple cider I've ever had!!!

Hensley and my mom are both early risers. If I have the chance to sleep in I'm always going to take it. I was really glad I got up early on day two! They had already visited the breakfast buffet before I even rolled over, but this view was worth rolling out of bed for!

I couldn't narrow it down to one, or even two! It was such a beautiful morning!!!

On day two we decided to head to the aquarium that was local. We have been to the one in our town as well as the one at Fort Fisher NC. We were excited to see what this one had to offer and it did not disappoint!

The stingrays were such an awesome site. We learned a lot about them and even got to touch a few!

These two are always clowning around!

The aquarium was amazing. I am so glad we went and got to experience it.

When we walked out of the aquarium Hensley found this painted rock. These have become popular lately where people will paint or write messages on rocks and leave them in places for people to find. It's really done to brighten people's day. Each area has a Facebook page where you can post when you find a rock so whomever painted it can see who discovered it! It's really a cool community.
Hensley was so excited because this was the first one he found and it simply said "Smile" and boy did he!!!

 Lunch and some rest and we were back at it again!!!

Arcade time! Hensley makes it a point to visit one wherever he goes! 

Virginia Beach not only has beautiful's sunsets are pretty awesome too!

 We had spent many evenings out walking around which was super fun. I didn't take any photos, just enjoyed the moment. Everyone there seemed to get out and enjoyed the evenings. Lots of people running, riding bikes, and roller skating. It seems like a place where it's so beautiful people enjoy getting out and being active!

I did snap this one during a giant pink moon. There were a ton of people out on the beach to see it. Hensley and I had took a walk down the boardwalk just the two of us. He rode his scooter and we looked at the boats and watch the big pink moon rise!

Day three and it was our final day. Hensley really wanted to go to the really huge new skate park they had built there....upon arriving we found out we forgot his helmet and would need to go buy one. Off to Walmart and Target!!! Once arriving he decided he would much rather roller blade! We had seen tons of people on the boardwalk at night doing it and he was excited to try it! 

Had to try on some masks while we were there!!

We grabbed some lunch and Hensley and I decided to head out to the spend the entire afternoon on the beach together and this will go down in history as one of my most favorite memories of all time with him.

It was quiet on the beach. The water and weather were the perfect temperature. Every single things felt right and we really connected and played and laughed. I will forever cherish this memory with him. It made my heart happy and thankful for being there in that moment.

We found a horseshoe crab that had washed up on shore. He wasn't dead but he wasn't far from it. It was sad but also very neat to see one on the beach and be able to really look at it. 

I took a ton of photos Hensley playing in the waves. I had a lot of flashbacks of him as a little tiny boy playing in the ocean. We have never missed a summer at the beach and these are the memories I hold dear. He doesn't go on roller coasters or big water slides. He is a cautious in many ways, however for some reason he has never feared the ocean. The bigger the waves the better! He is always down to venture far out with his Daddy to walk on the sandbar or dive deep under the waves! I love that all his fears fade away when he is at the beach! 

This day is now one of my most treasured memories!

After a much needed chill session we took a long evening walk with my mom. Hensley tested out his roller blades and we found a really cool park at the end of the boardwalk.

FYI Hensley was being a real PILL during this photo!

We weren't suppose to go home until the next morning BUT Andy was coming home from out of town working earlier then expected and we figured it would be nice to head out early. 

Hard to say good bye to such a beautiful place. I hope to return one day, I know Andy would love it here. 

It was a great experience to be here with my mom. It's always nice to get away and recharge. 
We literally laughed until we cried on the way home that night. The moon was full as well and HUGE and it was beautiful to see all the way home. I'll never forget getting lost, the never ending one lane highway and stopping at random gas stations for cheetos!