Trip to Maine '12

Virginia Beach, VA Day 3

We enjoyed a leisurely morning and then hooked up the trailer to take it to Firestone. We pulled out of the campground 11:00 and drove the 2 miles to the Firestone Store. We unhooked the trailer in the parking lot and left it there. The tires were being delivered by overnight carrier and would hopefully arrive sometime between 10 and 2. In the meantime we would have to entertain ourselves while we waited. Our first order of business was to catch a quick lunch and head out Shore Dr. away from the resort strip. We passed this beautiful building on the hill--The Cavalier Hotel. Since her historic opening in 1927, The Cavalier Hotel has been a beacon of sophistication, style, and leisure on Virginia Beach.

 
 
Not too far down the road was Fort Story--a Joint Expeditionary Military Base.

 
 
The base housed two lighthouses and other points of interest that we wanted to see. We had to access the base through the checkpoint where we had to undergo a thorough car search. We had to open every compartment, hood, and trunk. They went through everything with a fine-toothed comb. We passed the inspection and with a show of our ID, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance, we were allowed to proceed onto the base. We were given strict instructions on what we could and could not do, and a pass to display on our window. After all that, we were on our way. Driving into the base, we first noticed the original Old Cape Henry Lighthouse erected in 1791. It was built during the term of George Washington, to replace inland fires which were lit to direct ships around or to the cape.

 
 
This landmark has marked the Chespeake Bay entrance for over 200 years. The stone used for the lighthouse came from the same quarry that supplied the White House, Capitol, and Mt. Vernon.

 
 
In 1881, the New Cape Henry lighthouse was erected. It is one of the tallest cast-iron lighthouses in the U.S.

 
 
(It is an optical illusion that the lighthouse is broken in two... it's just the way the stripes line up on the sides.)

 
 
This beautiful black and white structure has a large fresnel lens and beautiful ornate door.

 
 
We were allowed to take a walk on the boardwalk over the dunes to view the beach, but we were not allowed on it.

 
 
From the platform, we could see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel off to the north and the cargo ships that were anchored in the bay.

 
 
To the south, we could look down the beach toward the Rudee Inlet. The tour boat, Rocket, was out for a ride and coming down the shoreline.

 
 
As it slowly motored by, we could see dolphins jumping in the wake of the boat. From the boardwalk, looking inland, we could see the "old" and "new" standing side-by-side.

 
 
After we had our fill of the beach, we walked over to the Cape Henry Memorial.

 
 
There we found the First Landing Cross, which bears witness to what is believed to be the first landing of the country's earliest settlers in the New World in 1607. Their first night was spent on this site before moving to Jamestown.

 
 
We spent about an hour on the base and then headed back down to Rudee Inlet and the beach. We took Auggie for a short walk along the jetty at the inlet and watched all the people fishing there. It was now about 1:30 and we still hadn't heard from the Firestone guys that the tires had arrived, so we proceeded to kill some time by sitting in the AC of the truck and doing some reading. Around 2:30, we decided to walk over to the beach and see what was going on with the Surfing Competition. It was a much nicer day on the beach today compared to yesterday with partly cloudy skies and temps in the low 80's. However, it was quite humid and there was much less wind today, making smaller waves for the surfers. Still, there were a lot of surfers waiting for the waves.

 
 
the competition was still entertaining to watch. Today we watched the girls, the "old pros" on longboards, and the body boarders.

 
 
We sat for about an hour or so watching the spectators as much as the surfers.

 
 
The beach was very busy today with spectators.

 
 
The boardwalk was filled with people as well. Lots of people were enjoying the day at the beach.

 
 
A guy came by and asked if we would complete a survey while we were sitting in the bleachers. We filled it out and both received free t-shirts for our trouble. Around 4:00, we headed back to town to make a quick stop at the grocery store before picking up the trailer. Firestone called to say it was finally ready. Thank goodness! It was a long day of worrying about whether the tries would arrive and get installed today. Once back in the campground, we re-set up camp and left the truck attached to the trailer for a quick get-away in the morning. Around 6:00, the rain clouds moved back in and it looked like rain, so Auggie and I took a long walk and ended up at the Dog Park. By the time we got back to the campsite, he was all worn out! We had salmon for dinner and relaxed the evening away. Tomorrow the Outer Banks of North Carolina....with an eye on the hurricanes brewing in the Atlantic.

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