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Monday, October 10, 2011

Virginia Beach in the Fall

We kicked off our trip to Virginia Beach with a stop at Jackson's Great-Aunt Lil's house!  Jackson had a good nap in the car and then we had a nice visit with Lil and some yummy snacks :)  Jackson also got this super-cute apron while we were there--perfect in which for him to carry his tools!

We left Lil's and drove about 45 minutes to the beach, checked into our hotel, Doubletree Virginia Beach, and then headed to find some dinner.  We ate at Qdoba and then ran next door to pick up a few groceries to keep in the room.  

The next morning we headed down to the beach!!!  Jackson was so excited to finally get to the actual beach and to get to play in the sand!  Our hotel was not beachfront--it was about a mile from the beach :(  We went ahead and walked it this first day, but scoped out the parking situation as we walked.  We ended up finding an excellent little FREE spot to park in the rest of the days :)  Jackson got right to work with his bucket and shovel.  He had NO interest in going in the water :(  
 I checked out a bunch of books about the beach before our trip, and Jackson loved reading about making sandcastles, so he was thrilled to have Daddy help him build a few!
 We also built a road for Jackson's little trucks to drive down!
 After playing at the beach for a bit we walked down the boardwalk to play at the playground at Neptune's Park.  Jackson LOVED that!  We walked back to the hotel...and had no nap :(  We did spend the afternoon at the pool before just hanging out in the room for the rest of the evening.  Jackson ate some dinner and Josh and I ordered pizza from this pizza place we found a couple of years ago that has yummy pizza and delicious garlic knots!  

Since Jackson had gone to bed late Sunday night, woken up early Monday morning, not napped Monday afternoon, and spent lots of time in the pool and outside, this was how stories before bed ended (at 6:55pm):
On Tuesday morning we took Jackson bowling for the first time!  We went to an AMF lane, and it was GREAT!  Jackson LOVED it!  He and Josh were mostly bowling buddies--they were such a cute team!  We did use bumpers, but Jackson beat me in each game...
 We used a Groupon for two hours of bowling, and Jackson only petered out at the tail end.  BUT, we got to use this awesome dinosaur slide helper:
 Jackson really got a kick out of being able to bowl more on his own!
 Due to the no nap situation on Monday and Jackson not sleeping well at all the first two nights, we decided Jackson has outgrown the Pack-n-Play!  What a sad story (and inconvenient time to discover it...) :(  We just bit the bullet and laid him down for his nap in the second big bed in our room!  He fell asleep and did great!!! We were SOOO proud of him!!!  He slept in his own bed for the rest of the trip.  He did fall out once each night, but didn't seem traumatized...
 After his great Big Boy Nap, we went to the beach in the afternoon.  I forgot what a beautiful time of day it is to be at the beach!  This time we drove to our newly discovered parking spot and walked to the part of the beach near the fun playground Jackson liked so much the day before.  This worked out great because Jackson could go back and forth between the playground and the beach, and Josh and I just had to settle our stuff once.  
We went back to the hotel, got Jackson cleaned up, and then we walked a few blocks down the street to Beach Bully BBQ--SOOO good!  We LOVED our food, and the atmosphere was pretty cute too!
On Wednesday morning we went to the pool at the hotel before Josh got ready to go golfing!  Jackson and I hung around the hotel--playing with trucks and reading books in the lobby--until it was naptime.  Once nap was over and Josh was back, we headed to the playground we discovered last year: Grommet Island.  Jackson had fun, but it was more fun last year when he had a playmate :(
 A big storm was rolling in as we left the playground!  We managed to get through dinner and back to the hotel before it really started pouring!  I must admit we went back to Beach Bully BBQ for dinner because it was THAT good!!!  
 On Thursday I redeemed one of my favorite Hanukkah presents from this past year: 24 Hours Off-Duty While at the Beach!!!  I wanted to spend the day with Josh and Jackson, but not be in charge of the routine aspects...or the chasing... ;)  We all headed to the beach and Jackson and Josh alternated between the playground and the sand while I relaxed in my beach chair with a book :)  It was heaven!  We even got to see a bunch of dolphins playing out in the ocean!  After a good naptime, we went to the pool before getting ready to go down and eat dinner at Max & Erma's (the restaurant in our hotel).  We had a yummy and relaxing dinner before heading to the boardwalk for a nice walk and some more play time at the playground.  Jackson was the most excited about making sandcastles before we got to the beach, but the playground at Neptune's Park was definitely his favorite thing!  After playing at the playground, we went back to Max & Erma's for dessert--they have an all you can eat ice cream sundae bar!!!
 Clearly, we all enjoyed THAT!

Friday was our last day :(  We went to the playground in the morning and then Josh took Jackson to the pool while I finished up packing.  Jackson was pretty tired out, so we ended up eating an early lunch and hitting the road a bit earlier than we had planned.  

We had SUCH a good time--these fall trips to the beach are SO nice!  I really liked the Sunday-Friday schedule we were on.  The hotel was busy, but not overly so.  I didn't feel like Jackson was a nuisance if we wanted to hang out in the lobby or anything, so it was relaxing to just hang out there.  We still prefer to stay beachfront since our favorite thing is walking on the boardwalk, but this was a good lesson to learn in the fall rather than the summer...

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