Trip to Maine '12

Virginia Beach, VA Day 2

It rained most of yesterday, all night long, and most of this morning. Rainy day=laundry day. Bob did some research on new trailer tires and got that all set up to get them replaced tomorrow. That took him all of the morning. I did the laundry in the nicest laundry facility that I've seen in any campground that we've been to. Auggie got his morning walk in during a time when it wasn't pouring down rain. Bob cooked us our usual Sunday egg breakfast this morning because we were traveling yesterday. Around noon, the rain stopped and the sky started breaking up, letting the blue sky show through. We decided to take a ride down to the waterfront and check out the 50th Annual Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championships which takes place all week long. We found a place to park at the waterfront near the Rudee Inlet.

 
 
The Inlet, where there was a huge marina, is home to a large fleet of sportfishing boats of all kinds and sizes next to the Beach Fishing Center.

 
 
In August, the boats participate in the 4-day Virginia Beach Billfish Tournament. Today the wind was out of the north and the surf was up causing huge waves to roll into the inlet. We saw one large sportfishing boat leave while we were walking over from the parking lot. While we stood at the Inlet, we saw another one arrive. It was quite treacherous entering the Inlet with the waves rolling into the entrance. While we stood on the beach another boat left. It was exciting to watch and made us think that we've never want to do that!

 
 
From there, we walked over to the beach to check out the surfers. We entered at the Grommet Island Park entrance--the nation's first fully handicap accessible beach park. It offers 15,000 square feet of activities accessible to everyone, regardless of ability.

 
 
The Junior Pro Surfers were in the middle of their first heats and they were catching some great waves. The surf was really rolling in!

 
 
It was misting and windy on the beach and not many spectators had come out to watch the action.

 
 
We watched for awhile and then took a walk down the famous Boardwalk. The Virginia Beach-- 3 mile long-- Boardwalk parallels its beautiful pristine beach and the hotels that line the water.

 
 
Alongside the boardwalk is a bike path. A local told us that there is no alcohol allowed on the beach and therefore very little trash and rowdiness. The beach is a real treasure with beautiful sand.

 
 
There are three music stages along the boardwalk where outdoor entertainment can be seen most nights in the summer. They also have fireworks on some nights. At this time of the day, there were very few people on the beach and walking the boardwalk. I'm sure the weather had something to do with it. We walked about 1 1/2 miles (halfway) to the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier where we discovered that it was $2 to walk out onto the pier, $8 to fish.

 
 
It wasn't a very nice day to take a stroll out on the pier so we turned around to walk back. Our parking meter was set to expire soon anyway.

 
 
We walked back down the boardwalk to the car and decided to take a drive along Beach Street USA (Atlantic Avenue between 17th and 25th Streets).

 
 
On a nice day, street performers would be found here entertaining the tourists, but it wasn't so today. The tourists traffic was very light.

 
 
We drove slowly down Atlantic Avenue to take everything in. There were blocks and blocks of souvenir shops and restaurants along the street. On 31st Street, we found King Neptune--a 34 foot tall cast bronze statue of the mythological sea god. The commanding figure is the centerpiece of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival in September.

 
 
We drove to the end of Atlantic Avenue and then turned around to make a stop at the Lighthouse Bar and Grill back on 12th St. Parking is a real issue most days, but we were very lucky to find a parking space on the street both times. We walked a block to the Lighthouse Bar and ordered a beer and some calamari.

 
 
By this time the sun was peeking out and blue sky was showing through the clouds. More people were taking advantage of the beach. There are lots of opportunities to rent bikes, family bikes, and blades along the boardwalk. Many families were utilizing those "family bikes" on the bike path now that the day's weather had improved.

 
 
We enjoyed our beer and calamari and got back in the car to return to the campground. Things had finally started to dry out from the rain and everything was not such a mudhole anymore. Once we got back, I took Auggie for a nice long walk which he enjoyed. I'm sure he had "cabin fever" just like us. We made some reservations for this coming week in the Outer Banks and did some research on campgrounds in North and South Carolina. One of the distinctive things about this campground from all the reviews we've read and now from our own experience, is the roar of the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets that fly overhead. It is the "sound of freedom" as the locals affectionately call them. We saw and heard them this afternoon over the beach and again over the campground later in the day. The roar is deafening as they take off and land from the Naval Air Station Oceana here in Virginia Beach. The Air Station is just around the corner from us. They are pretty cool to see! After dinner, Auggie, Bob, and I took our evening walk before dark. Tomorrow we have to take the trailer from the campground and deliver it to the Firestone Dealer down the road around 10 AM so they can replace all four tires on the trailer. So far we've had two tires that have failed. Bob doesn't want to mess around with defective Chinese tires any more and worry about a blowout while on the road. It's a matter of having "peace of mind" and good tires. While the tires are being replaced, the 3 of us will do more sightseeing in the area. The weather forecast is for a better day tomorrow.

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