Virginia Beach 2024

Posted on 05/27/2024 in misc

Trip: 42
Nights: 140-143

What better place for the unofficial start of summer than the beach?

We left after work on Thursday, as it's only a 2-hour drive, so we can beat the Friday traffic and get an extra night of camping. When I made the reservation last fall our site was the only W/E site available this weekend. I was a little concerned that the site would kind of suck, but instead it was kind of perfect. It's across from the camp host and bathrooms, meaning no noisy neighbors across the road. And the neighbors to the sides of us were far enough away and shielded by vegetation that we barely knew they were there. The ocean was a 5 minute walk.

Friday featured a lot of rain, so we went to the Virginia Military Aviation Museum, where we saw an amazing collection of flight capable WW1 and WW2 planes. We got lucky and timed it just right to be there as their P-38 Mustang took off for a maintenance flight.

The volunteers there are super knowledgeable and happy to spend hours talking about military aviation. I'd call it a must visit if you are vacationing in the VA Beach area. Right at the entrance to the museum there is a small park with over a dozen dinosaur sculptures or models. I didn't see a sign or any explanation about why that park exists, but it was a fun 10-minute diversion, and dino obsessed kids could probably spend an hour there. (edit - it is Jerrassic Park.) After the museum we visited a local microbrewery on the way back to the campground. I only had one beer at Reaver Beach Brewing, and it was a nicely balanced IPA. On Friday night we met a high school buddy for dinner. Not a bad day for a beach rainout day. After dinner we sat around the campfire for a bit.

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Saturday was A+ perfect beach weather, sunny, breezy, and about 76F. We got out early and spent a couple of hours chasing birds through the park. I don't think I added any lifers but I did check off a bunch of shorebirds as seen in 2024. After that, we spent the majority of the day relaxing on the beach and reading, before heading out to dinner at our favorite local seafood joint. After dinner it was back to the beach for sunset and then back to the campfire. After the campfire I won our gin rummy match and got my ass kicked in Boggle.

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Sunday was mostly the same as Saturday, except we skipped the AM birding and got to the beach earlier. After dining out at local seafood joints the previous two nights we brought our average dollars per meal number down a bit by cooking at the camper.

First Landing State Park had a different vibe than I've seen in the past. It was very international. I'm not exaggerating when I say english may not have been the predominant language spoken by campers over the weekend. I heard a lot more Spanish than English. I also heard German, Russian, French, and multiple Asian languages. I joked to Michelle that it felt like we were in Puerto Rico with all the salsa music and Spanish we were hearing around us on the beach. It made for a very festive and fun environment.

We had planned to go birding again on Monday morning, but there was a line of heavy storms on the way so we packed out and headed home.

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