Virginia Beach – Hotel View
Image by pixonomy
We landed a bit before noon on Saturday and rented a car to drive from the Norfolk airport to our hotel in Virginia Beach. Our first stop was to be brunch at Big Sam’s, which is known for shrimp and grits. Unfortunately, we arrived at Big Sam’s around 11:09am and they stopped serving breakfast at 11:00am. So we drove over to a place called Surf Rider Grill and had a seafood lunch. I had a great grilled tuna sandwich and Maura had a crab cake sandwich. The crab cakes were very impressive, just real crab not a bunch of filler and junk. Following lunch we crashed at our hotel for an afternoon siesta. We woke around 6pm to darkening skies (photo above) and rain. Within an hour or two it was full on thunder, lightening, and tornado warning. We ventured out to Waterman’s Surfside Grille around 8pm. Had another great seafood meal. This time I had parmesan and peppercorn flounder. Waterman’s is famous for their Orange Crush cocktails so we had to try one of those. Fresh squeezed OJ, orange vodka, triple sec, and sprite. I only had one but I’m a fan!
Sunday morning we woke to an amazing sunny day. The storm the prior night seemed to have cleared everything out, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. So we kicked off the day with a 4-mile run along the beach followed by a great meal at Charlie’s Seafood Restaurant. Charlie’s has been in business for 62 years and has clearly perfected the recipe for hush puppies and She Crab soup — delicious! Following lunch we opted for a hike in the First Landing State Park. The plan was to hike/walk the 6.1 mile Cape Henry Trail. Oddly enough we thought this was a loop and discovered at the end of the 6.1 miles we had another 6 miles return trip — so a very long hike! Fortunately, it was pretty much flat and many parts had boardwalks. Still it took most of Sunday afternoon and left us pretty beat. We dragged ourselves back to the hotel and in search of dinner. It seems by Sunday night Virginia Beach was in full Spring Break mode. There was a massive mob at Waterman’s for the annual "Crush Festival". People were literally falling down drunk and riding their beach cruisers into light poles. Very hilarious if not a bit frightening. Our favorite line was listening to a girl trying to talk on her cell phone while riding her bike, "What?! Where am I? I’m drunk!". Fortunately, we were able to find a restaurant off the beach that was not overrun by the hordes of alcohol-infused zombie college kids. It was an old school steak place, Black Angus, that has been in business for 58 years. Solid steak and cocktails with requisite red decor and comfy cushioned seats that swiveled. And that was it for Sunday. I’d hoped to hit a few bars or clubs, but the scene really seemed out of hand.
Since our flight didn’t leave until late Monday night we were able to pack in another day of activity. I skipped the morning jog and tried to get some color sitting on our balcony. We checked out around noon and headed for Cape Charles, VA. Cape Charles sits on the Virginia side of the Delmarva Peninsula near the southern tip. It was a little freaky driving across the very long Chesapeake Bay Tunnel/Bridge, but we eventually made it over. Cape Charles was a great little day trip. According to Wikipedia, Cape Charles was founded in 1884 as a planned community by railroad and ferry interests. Cape Charles was, for many years, the terminal for passenger and car ferry service across the bay to Norfolk and Hampton. The last ferry left Cape Charles in 1953. I’m guessing that perhaps that was the start of its decline. There are some beautiful old houses and interesting storefronts, but it seemed very quiet. We ended up having lunch at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, which was surprisingly good for place so far off the beaten path. Perhaps Monday is just a slow day for Cape Charles. Well whatever the case we had a fun afternoon exploring the town and soaking in our last few hours of warm weather before heading back to NYC. All-in-all it was a good trip. If the price was right I would recommend it.