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Virginia Beach Layover? Yes, Please
My crew and I flew into Norfolk and arrived at about 10am on May 22nd. I had googled things to do in the area because we didn't have to be back at the airport until 5am the next day. My roommate, Brooke, had gone to Virginia Beach a bit before I had gotten there and she said it was nice and that they Lyft ride was cheap. So once we checked in at the hotel, I made my way to my room to change and go see the beach. Earlier the captain had asked if I had any plans for the day and I told him I was thinking about going to the beach, and he said, "but it's going to rain". Out loud I said, "oh man, really?" in disappointment, but inside I was thinking, "and your point is?". I really did not want anyone to go with me, so I said I probably wouldn't go since it was going to rain. But with that, I got my wish and went alone with me, myself, and I.
I was headed to Virginia Beach in a Lyft about 20 minutes later. It was only about 25 minutes away from our hotel and $19. Not bad. The driver was real nice, she talked to me about her husband and how long they had been living in Virginia, how they moved from Utah, and so on. I told her a little bit about myself. Typical, Lyft driver-rider conversations.
Once I got to the beach, it was a little chilly and windy the closer I got to the water. Once the water actually touched my feet, I thought, "oh man, was that captain right. It's freezing out here!" But then again, being from Phoenix, anything below 70 degrees is too cold for me. So I toughed it out, sat down, and started to breathe. It was so nice to feel the sand between my toes and the wind in my hair. It had been awhile since I had been anywhere with a beach.
When I sat down and started to take some deep breaths, it felt warmer like the sun had come out all of a sudden. It was so relaxing. It was almost like my stress about money, my feet hurting, missing home, and everything in my mind just disappeared for a minute. My mind just went completely blank. Then once I realized that it had gone blank, I thought, "wait, was I just thinking about...nothing? Is that even a thing?" But, man did it feel good.
It started to sprinkle on me. The few people that were out there started to leave and pack up all of their things. So I too got up, not to leave, but just to walk. I went a little closer to the water and just walked along where the water and dry sand meet. I thought about my mom, dad, brother, what my dog was tearing up at my moms house, I thought about all kinds of things until the water would come up high enough to touch my feet and...blank. My mind went blank, the water was SO cold. But I just took it, I kept walking and thought "holy shit, this is so cold, oh my gosh".
Meanwhile, it has started to rain harder and harder. I am walking next to the ocean, with rain also pouring down on me. That was a first. It was kind of cool though. Everyone else was leaving and I was just walking..
I saw a pier a ways up from where I had originally walked out onto the beach, so my plan from the beginning was to walk all the way to that. And remember, it is pouring at this point. My straight hair is no longer looking good, it's more like a puff ball. So once I got to the cute little pier, there was a shop with all sorts of things and I thought I'd get an umbrella.
It is just the cutest little shop I've seen and it also sold fudge. So even better. I walked around and looked at all the cute onesies they had for babies, the overly priced t-shirts for sell, and whatnot. I found some umbrellas hidden in the back of the store and they were SO ugly and huge and there was NO way I was spending $27.95 on that thing. I keep on walking around just waiting on the rain to slow down, which it did not look like it was. Then, I come across some hats (and I love hats, especially for bad hair days like the one I had seemed to be having). I found a hat with a mermaid on it that said "forever a mermaid" (so we all know I had to spend $29.99 on THAT - ugh).
Anyways, I buy that stupidly expensive hat, just because there is a mermaid on it. The cashier asked, "do you want to wear it now?", I said, "oh yeah, it cover me from the rain!". She looked at me all weird when I said that. I put the hat on and go outside. The rain. It stopped. AFTER I spent money on the dumb hat. But either way, now that I'm home, I'm glad I bought it.
I finally get out onto the pier (where is it not raining like I thought it would be, EYE ROLL). There were tons of people fishing off the pier and drinking beer, and just relaxing. I walked all the way to the end of it and almost threw up like 10 times because it smelled so badly of fish and guts. I don't like sea food, so it was gross for me. I also saw a man peeling the fish he had just caught, someone putting a fresh worm as bait on the hook..just gross. Anyways, I get to the end of the pier where an old man, in a full on fisherman outfit, was reeling something in. I thought, "oh how cool, I'm gonna get to see him pull in some big fish". He pulled up a stingray. A freaking stingray. Being from Arizona, I guess I was sheltered from things like that because man, I was freaking out. It was so weird for me! And he just left it there, flopping and gasping for air..or water...or whatever stingrays gasp for. Luckily, the guy threw him back in the water so I didn't have to witness death that day.
After smelling all the horrible smells of dead sea animals and whatnot, I wanted a drink and something to eat. There was this cute little bar right off the pier called, Ocean's 14. I made my way, there was only one other couple in the place. It was quite, but it was also like 11:45am. I sat down to order a classic margarita and some chicken queso sliders because why not? And both were incredible by the way.
The bartender was also the manager just waiting on her real bartender to come in for her shift. She was so cute. She asked me a little bit about myself and why I was there, and I asked her a little bit about herself as well. Then we both started talking shit about shitty employees in the restaurant industry (since I knew a little bit from my experience). It was nice to have a conversation with someone I didn't know, about nothing important. I HIGHLY recommend Ocean's 14 and the chicken queso sliders if you're ever in the area.