“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
The last two days of vacation are always so bittersweet. I just want to live them up and enjoy every moment because I know it will all be over soon and that we will have to head back to reality. The beach is my happy place and it was really hard to say goodbye to Virginia Beach this year.The realization that we won't see the ocean again for another year, and that when we do all four of my kids will be another year older, always hits me so hard! I told Grant that somehow some way we will live near the beach one day. Life is just so much happier at the beach!
The last two days of our Virginia Beach family vacation were crammed full of all the things we wanted to do one last time before we had to leave. Here's the last installment of our vacation recap. (I can't believe I actually finished this year! I'm chalking it up as a win!)
Day 7 was our last full day of vacation. (Boo.) After breakfast we spent most of our day at the beach. Thankfully they lifted the ban from swimming in the ocean that morning. Just for the record Day 7 is apparently when my kids start to get bored with being at the beach all the time!
Liam quickly fell asleep for his nap on the beach and Grant, Dylan and Lexie headed out to boogie board. The waves were pretty rough that day so Lily stayed on the beach with me. She played in the surf and built sandcastles all afternoon. Yet again only a few people were on the beach. It turned out to be a really great day!
We went back to our hotel suite around dinner time. After showering and getting ready for the evening we went out to eat at our favorite Virginia Beach restaurant (The Raven) then snapped a few pictures on the beach. (I shared those in The Kids Behind the Blog post earlier this month.)
That evening we rented a family bike and pedaled the entire length of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Along the way we stopped at a few playgrounds, checked out statues along the Boardwalk, visited the giant King Neptune statue and paused for a few minutes to listen to the orchestra play movie themes in the park by the beach. Pedaling that bike is quite a workout but it's one of my favorite traditions!
After we returned the bike we went for a ride on the Virginia Beach ferris wheel. (Liam slept through it and Dylan refused to pose for a picture.)
We ended our evening with Dippin' Dots then trudged back to the hotel to pack up. We were all feeling so bummed about having to go home after having such a great day. By the time I had everything packed up and ready to go everyone was sleeping. I sat on the balcony for a while just enjoying the ocean breeze and the sound of the waves.
It's tradition for me to wake up to watch the sunrise on our last morning at the beach. It's usually by myself but this year Grant, Dylan and Lily joined me. Grant and Dylan eventually headed back to bed after the initial sunrise but Lily stayed awake to watch the entire process. I'm not a morning person but it's my favorite morning of the entire year. The beauty of the sunrise over the beach always takes my breath away!
After the sunrise I always grab a beach chair, a book and a cup of coffee and head down to the beach for an hour. I leave the kids in the hotel suite with Grant and enjoy an hour alone at my most favorite place on Earth. I'm not going to lie: I adore my family but I look forward to that moment on every trip. It's my most peaceful morning of the year!
I eventually headed back up and woke up Dylan, Lexie and Lily and told them to put on their swimsuits. We never visited the hotel's outdoor pool on any of our trips so I figured this would be a good time! Sure enough it's completely empty early in the morning!
I had a great time with my three oldest kids! Unfortunately the fun was short-lived. We had to head back up to the hotel suite to get dressed, wake up Liam and Grant and grab some breakfast.
We had to rush to load up the cart and it took three trips to the SUV to get everything crammed in. And just like that our trip was over. We had to say goodbye to the ocean for another year.
Despite the rocky start with my untimely illness we had a wonderful family vacation! I always said we wouldn't be one of those families who returns to the same beach every year but I have a feeling we'll be spending time at Virginia Beach again next year. We just love it there and it has quickly become my family's favorite vacation spot!
Virginia Beach 2016...that's a wrap!!!
I do want to cry when I reflect on our trip. I miss the beach. I miss the slower lifestyle. I miss not having to run from one activity or obligation to another. I miss our entire family being together all the time and how everyone was so relaxed and happy. But it was a really good trip and just looking through our pictures makes me smile. We made some incredible memories together this year!
Let's Be Friends!