Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake Bay, Virginia - Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday, July 2, 2009

We checked into the Townplace Suites by Marriott on Cleveland Street.  We then went with our friends (the Ws) to Norfolk, VA. Its a downtown area with nice buildings and a waterfront scene. It's similar to the Bayfront area in Miami. We had lunch at Granby's Deli across from C's office.  After, we walked around a bit and went to an Arcade. It's a place where artists have small studios and exhibit their art for all to enjoy. C met us there for a bit and then went back to work.

During this time, there was a Harborfest on the Elizabeth River and they were setting up for it. We saw the large ornate ships that came in for the event and they appeared to be the same ones that were in Charleston that we saw on the way to Fort Sumter.  We walked around and then watched the kids run though the fountain and get soaked.  Then we walked to the Nauticus Museum and the impressive Battleship Wisconsin docked there. We saw jellyfish swimming right off the bridge by the entrance of the museum.

On the way back to W's house, we went to Chesapeake Bay and crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It was amazing and is the largest estuary in the U.S.  Dad had been looking forward to seeing it for a few days.

Note:  There was a toll when we arrived at the bridge. Dad was shocked to hear that the toll was $12.00. He kept asking the woman, "Are you sure?" She was annoyed by Dad's response to the cost of the toll. Then to annoy her further, he asked if he had to pay another $12.00 on the way back. She was horrified.  Alex was even more horrified as he claimed that it was going to cost $24.00 to cross this bridge. " In the end, he thought it was work the $24 although it is very pricey when you just want to go across and back within 15 minutes.
We went back to W's house as they were having a BBQ in our honor (at least I think it was).  It was great as they invite some family and neighbor friends.  There were lots of kids for our kids, so they had a great time.  C grilled and A made the corn and cole slaw. Everything was delicious and the company was fantastic. We had a wonderful time. A neighbor made Mojitos and we had great conversation as  the girls put on a "show" and the boys played football. When it was time to say goodbye, the boys exchanged email addresses and wanted to keep in touch.

While talking, A and I discovered that she knew L and V from St. Theresa. They also told us to try to go to Charlottesville and Monticello (the home of Thomas Jefferson). They also encouraged us to take a scenic drive through the mountains in West Virginia. We mentioned that we weren't sure if we'd stop in Williamsburg. They thought it would be great to stop and see it.

As we said our goodbyes, we thank them for their hospitality and generosity. Hasta la proxima we said along with a big hug for all.  These trips are extra special when you get to visit family or friends.  This was a highlight of the trip.

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