It is nice to be able to say that vacationing with the kids is getting easier. At 8 and 11, there are no diaper bags, no strollers, no tantrums, no chasing them around the airport, no crying on the plane. I don't miss those days. Not that I ever did that much traveling with them when they were babies. We don't need to travel to see our immediate family, we were tired and broke, and frankly, we didn't see much point.
Not that we never did it. We did. We went to Niagra Falls when LT was only 6 months old. I still remember trying to chase Trouble down in the hotel lobby while holding LT in my arms. Trouble got a spanking for that one, to which he screamed in indignation, "You don't do that to me!" Seriously, what three-year-old has that kind of confidence and assurity?
And we went to visit Polly in CA when LT was about 2.Trouble had a terrible asthma attack after visiting Sea World and he managed to slam his tooth into the sink and kill the root. We had a good time, but it was a lot of work.
We were going to drive to Virginia and at the last minute decided to fly.Unfortunately, our 6AM flight was canceled. We should have been in Virginia at 9AM. Instead we arrived at 4PM. It really didn't save us much time on the way down.And we landed in Virginia in the midst of a heat wave. Walking out of the airport was like walking into an oven. I knew we were headed south, but I didn't plan on landing in southern Florida.
Our first night there was a terrible thunderstorm. Somehow Blackstone and the kids slept through it, but it woke me up. I heard the power go on and off a few times. I mentioned it to Brandon the next day who had missed the entire thing. Turns out we were one of the few units in the resort that had power. We were truly lucky to be one of the few that was hooked into the generator for some reason. There was a point in time when I would have said we're never that lucky, but I can't say that any more. We've been pretty lucky lately.
The second night, we heard our first real warning from the Emergency Broadcast System. Blackstone told the kids, "Oh, it's nothing, just a test," because honestly, they are always tests in RI. Maybe in my lifetime there have been some real warnings, but in my entire life I have never heard a real emergency broadcast. This was a tornado warning. Pretty scary to us Yankees who know nothing about tornados. It did sound lke it was going to be quite a storm and we actually hunkered down in the bathroom for a while, but the storm split and missed us entirely.Like I said, I can't say we're not lucky any more.
We stayed around the corner from Water Country and down the street from Busch Gardens. We managed to tour both theme parks, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Jamestown and Virginia Beach. The days we toured the theme parks we had to head back to the resort between 2 and 5 to avoid heat stroke in the 100+ degree temperatures. We did a ghost tour of Williamsburg at night. I enjoy a good ghost tour and the idea of touring the town in the heat of the afternoon had me swooning like a southern belle. (It could happen!) The boys did their share of complaining about the historic sites and tours, but they enjoyed it in spite of themselves. Trouble gave our tour guide for the ghost tour a real workout. He was just full of comments and questions.
Virginia Beach reminded me of Myrtle Beach. They're both so built up you can drive down the coastal street and never see the ocean. As someone who has grown up on the beaches in RI, seeing Myrtle Beach was a shock. I had no frame of reference for seeing hotels actually sitting right on the beach, one on top of the other, entirely blocking the view of the ocean. If you weren't staying at a hotel on the beach, you had to pay to park in some tiny lot and find the small part of the beach that was designated as public access. Not that you don't have to pay to park at the beach in RI, but they are huge lots, and very little of the beaches are actually private. Much is owned by the state or towns, so it's more of a public park. I see now how spoiled I am, to be able to walk the sea wall, or choose between any number of beaches to visit, or just drive the coast line and enjoy the view.
Still, the trip was amazing, in spite of the heat, the canceled flight, the tornado scare. I would definitely recommend a trip to Williamsburg.