Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 5: Virginia Beach

On this day a lot of people worked out in the hotel gym, and there was some good vegging time just hanging out together. We ate a huge brunch at the hotel restaurant.  Mark and I even managed to get some time alone when all the kids all went back up to the room together.  We drank more coffee and just talked, enjoying each other's company and the quiet. Sometime later, we took off for the beach. 
What do you think everyone is pointing at??  We'd been there less than an hour when we saw people looking and pointing, and then there was this sort of hush over the beach.  Here's what the fuss was about...
a couple dolphins gave us a little show!  I am not ashamed to say I was jumping up and down like a child.

After a couple hours at the beach we found a Chinese buffet (that had WONDERFUL sushi, among other things) and ate and ate and ate.  I don't know when I've seen kids eat like I saw that night. 

There might have been some other activity we did that night, but if there was, I sure can't remember it.  I need to get these days documented because the memory is fading fast.

Day 5:  rest, exercise, big breakfast, water, sun, dophins!, Chinese buffet. 

Day 4: Washington DC

As you can see, people were petering out, so we only had two things planned for Day 4:  The Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery.  First we packed up our bags, cleaned up, and I made egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches (interesting job to do on a desk in a hotel) for supper in the car heading out of DC.  For lunch, we found a Taco Bell so that GaĆ«l could get some more American culture.  And then we took one last Metro ride into DC. 
As it turns out, Joel and I opted out of the museum.  I had a bad first minute which clued me in to the fact I would not be able to handle the whole experience.  It's a good thing it happened that way too, because it was no place for a 7-year old.  We told the others we'd just be waiting for them whenever they were finished.   First, we sat out on some benches and tried to take pictures of the birds.  Joel was a little irritated at them for not staying put so his little point-and-shoot could do its thing.  And when a security guard called him "Babe" and asked him to climb down from the wall, he was even more bothered!

Then we walked around a bit--back to the Washington Memorial which delighted Joel. We found a souvenir shop and bought a $5 packet of 4 special documents (the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address) on parchment paper.  He was thrilled.  Later, when we sat against the wall of the museum, watching people and talking, talking, talking, he said, "Mom, thanks for buying stuff for me."  When I said he was welcome, he said, "I'm not just talking about today, Mom, I mean my whole life!"

The kids and Mark came out of the Holocaust Museum very sober and filled with questions. 
After a detour to McDonald's to find drinks for $1, we got back on the Metro to go visit Arlington.  We got there just in time to hot-foot it up the hill to the tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the last changing-of-the-guard ceremony.  Sam and I had a huge laugh when we heard an overweight man call out to his wife, "Sharon, I'm gonna need some of that powder tonight!"
The man in the purple shirt is the man who unashamedly said that. 

We walked out at closing time (the lighting at that time of day...magical) and rode the Metro back to our van.  Once in the van we settled in for a 3-hour drive to Hampton, Virginia.  We ate our sandwiches for supper.  They hit the spot, especially after 4 or 5 days in a row of ham sandwiches. 

At the hotel, we plopped down our bags and crawled into bed.  

Day 4:  emotional, intense, touching, long...