Monday, October 3, 2016

Virginia Beach Family Vacation: The Final Recap

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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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}

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!

Virginia Beach

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!

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Boogie Boarding
Virginia Beach Vacation
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 Virginia Beach Family Vacation
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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.)

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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!

Virginia Beach Boardwalk
Virginia Beach Board walk

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.)

Virginia Beach Ferris Wheel

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.

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{DAY 8}

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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!


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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!

Virginia Beach Family Vacation


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18 comments:

  1. Sounds like it was another incredible trip this year. You took some amazing photos of the sunrise--how nice you were able to relax for some of the morning. I have to admit that my favorite part of vacationing is the slower pace too. It's so nice to spend quality time with family without feeling rushed. Glad you had so much fun!

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    1. Thank you, Annette! We really did. The slower pace was my favorite part!

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  2. Love, love, love and you just made me realize I forgot to do date in the sand photo. Lol! Oh well, I guess I need to head back so I can sneak that shot in :P.

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  3. What gorgeous sunrise pictures! I really need to make it a point to do this the next time we're at the beach. I'm usually all for sleeping as late as possible on vacay, but these pictures make it look like it's totally worth it!

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    1. Oh, I'm all for sleeping late, too. I just like to sneak in that one day of getting up early for the sunrise and it's always worth it!

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  4. I'm so impressed that day seven is when the beach doesn't hold it's appeal for as long. We go to the beach and I'm lucky if we get two hours before it's old news!
    That sunrise!!! It's funny, when we're on vacation I always wake up early to watch the sun come up. There's just something so magical about it. And, I love that you get to slip away for an hour! I'm totally borrowing that idea on our next trip.

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    1. That's so funny! Lily and I are definitely the beach lovers in our family. We could stay there all day! I definitely think you should borrow that idea the next time you go to the beach. It's one of my favorite traditions now!

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  5. Sounds absolutely amazing. The sunrise photos are breathtaking and my Alexandra has that Sophia the First dress too 😉

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  6. Beautiful pictures! Family vacations are the best! I'm glad you guys got to escape "normal life" for a bit. You made memories your kids will always cherish!

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  7. I love all of these vacation recaps. <3 These pics are so gorgeous!

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  8. Looks like everyone had a wonderful time! Beautiful family and pictures too, thanks for sharing!

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  9. Oh, I love the ocean! I don't get to visit nearly as often as I'd like. I've never been to any beaches on the East Coast, but it's on my list of places to visit!

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  10. Virginia beach is one of my favorite places in life. I absolutely love it over there! I have family that lives over there too and I am always sad to leave.

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  11. It looks like you all had the best time. I love that Liam just napped when he needed it. Connor goes, goes, goes and crashed the moment he has to sit still for any longer than 5 minutes.

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  12. I love the sunrise pictures!! We also like to rent those bikes and ride them on the boardwalk. We did it twice this year - in FL and NJ!

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  13. The picture of Liam asleep with his toes in the sand is just about the sweetest thing ever! Looks like a great last day at the beach. I am loving those sunrise pictures. GORGEOUS and so worth the early wake up time.

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  14. The sunrise pictures just take my breath away. Stunning!

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