A Day at Virginia Beach
Virginia - June 12, 2010
We took pictures at Virginia Beach.

Vi and I tried to make it by sunrise at Sandbridge Beach -- well-known for being a quiet beach with its vacation homes instead of multistory hotels -- which was 40 minutes away from our hotel. We arrived ten minutes late and so we only managed to catch a glimpse of the beautiful orange orb of the sun just above the horizon. By the time we got out of the parking lot and walked towards the beach, the sun had stayed hidden behind some clouds.

Still, it was a picture of serenity. We hardly found signs of human activity in the nearly empty beach -- either the people who went there kept it pristine or Nature is self-cleaning during the early pre-dawn hours. We were joined only by young couples here and there and later a group of about ten young kids probably from college who straddled in somewhat groggily. The youth getting up so early is in itself a sight to see as is one of Nature’s more majestic displays, that of the sun rising from the sea.

At noon, Vi stayed in the hotel while I went back to the beach with Cody, our 17-year old son. This time we went to Ocean Front which was only 10 minutes away. But due to the lateness in the day, we had difficulty finding parking. We circled in the streets again and again and at some point our son said it was twelve o’clock. He sounded tired and was ready to give up.

I, too, was growing frustrated. What kept me going was remembering that our son has been to the beach only once in his life -- in Massachusetts when he was three years old -- and so for all practical purposes has never experienced the sea. I felt inept and wanted to make up for it.

While driving I was telling him how in my youth I got all excited whenever the family went to the beach. We’d stay in the water for hours under the blazing hot sun until our skins turned red and hurt to the touch. I was telling him this to fight off his boredom.

Eventually, I parked the car farther than I wanted and we walked about a mile under the hot sun to the beach.

Once there, I told him he could take off his shoes and leave them with me in the shade under the pier. He started wading in knee-deep waters. I asked if the water was cold. He said yes, but not too cold. He waded slowly to and fro, feeling the current swaying around his legs and the sandy bottom under his feet. He sat on the sand where the waves lapped. He looked in the distance. He watched people on his left, then to his right. After a while, he stood up, walked back to me, and taking off his shirt said, “We should do this more often.” He then headed back to sea.

Hearing him say that was more than relief -- it was gratification. And so when we were getting ready to leave and he was saying the sand inside his shoes felt weird, I had the very distinct feeling that I got more than I came for.

Click on a picture to enlarge.
Sunrise at Sandbridge Beach.
Vi took this picture.
Vi took this picture.
Vi took this picture.
Vi took this picture.
Vi took this picture.
Free public parking at Sandbridge Market. Vi took this picture.
Noontime at Ocean Front.
Cody at Virginia Beach.
A little girl keeps Cody company.
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