Home » 2009 Southeast Coast Trip

Friends' House in Virginia Beach, VA

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 4:00pm by Lolo
373 miles and 6.5 hours from our last stop - 2 night stay


Dona & Scott with their Beach BuggyDona & Scott with their Beach BuggyFortunately Donna and Scott are the type of friends upon whose doorstep you can arrive at dinner time, because that's exactly what we did.

Our friendship went way back to a time before either of us had children. Then we both got pregnant—Donna and I that is, not Herb and Scott—at the same time (both times) and each of us produced two wonderful sons who got along as well as their parents did. It was perfect. There was someone for everyone. Now the boys were all fully grown and going off to college. Our lives always seemed to parallel each other. Their boys were even going to the same college together (William & Mary) as ours had chosen to do as well (Williams College). Our visit felt like we had never been apart.

We had been to Virginia Beach several times in the past, even before the Bleakleys moved here. There is a truly wonderful state park located right on the Chesapeake Bay near the bridge called First Landing State Park that we have stayed at several times in the past. Besides a lovely beach on the Bay it has miles of hiking and biking trails along lagoons, forested dunes, and bald cypress swamps. It’s one of the few places north of the Carolinas where the trees are draped with Spanish moss. This time, however, we were camping in the Bleakley’s driveway, a full-service campground with home-cooked meals and an open bar. They had a wonderful setup—a beautiful piece of property right on an inlet leading out to Chesapeake Bay, with their own dock to keep their boat at. And, it was also in easy biking distance to both First Landing State Park as well as the Atlantic Ocean beaches of Virginia Beach.

The "Scott Land"The "Scott Land"We certainly made the most of our one full-day together. In the morning, the adults bike rode along the Cape Henry Trail in First Landing State Park while the boys ran it. This really is one of my favorite trails. The soft surface is perfect for running and the scenery as it meanders alongside a cypress swamp through a Spanish moss draped forest makes you forget that you are actually exercising.

We decided to spend the afternoon at the beach, which was just a short bike ride away. Donna and Scott, however, were going to ride their new toy to the beach: a golf cart. We loaded it up with beach chairs, towels, and a giant cooler and set off. I couldn’t stop laughing the entire ride. Every time I looked at them, all I could think of was Fred and Wilma Flintstone. The beach was great fun, and had a perfect surf to play in.

Andrew and Lolo on Jet SkiAndrew and Lolo on Jet SkiThe day wasn’t over yet. Scott still had some more fun toys to play with. He showed Andrew and Tommy how to drive his pair of jet skis and set them loose. They had a great time whizzing around the bay. We skipped the kayaks and went directly to Scott’s newest and largest toy, the Scottland, his 45 foot Carver. We grabbed some wine and hors d’oeuvres and headed out to sea – or at least to the bay. The boys met us on the jet skis and Andrew took me on a wild ride, which was very invigorating.

After dinner that night, we played another rowdy game of Catch Phrase, an old Bleakley/Gaidus classic. The previous night had resulted in a squeaker of a victory for the Gaiduses, or at least that’s the way I remember it. For this evening’s play, we broke up families and played the kids against the parents. Quicker reflexes and less wine consumption won the day, and the adults suffered a humiliating defeat.

The next morning we said goodbye to the Bleakleys and headed on home. Visiting with them had been a perfect way to wind down our trip.


Camping in the DrivewayCamping in the DrivewayFriend's house along a lagoon in Virginia Beach

Friends' House in Virginia Beach location map in "high definition"

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