Day 23 – Virginia Beach, Virginia

It was a brutal two-hour drive from Fort Lee to Virginia Beach on freeways and roads with very light traffic. Most of the freeways on this side of the country appear to be carved our of forests so there’s not a lot to see – just stands of trees on either side of you. And the trees are really, really tall. Guess I should have taken a picture, huh? But, here we are in beautiful, sunny, warm, Virginia Beach.

We’re staying at the Four Points by Sheraton because this is where the reunion is being held. This one is better, however, because we’re not far from Naval Air Station Oceana where fighter jets are flying, making lots of noise during the day. Diane loves it, and I don’t mind at all. We feel protected.

As I was checking in our friends Jack and Nancy, from San Antonio, TX, were just on their way out to eat lunch so they waited for us to get parked so we could join them. We took a slow walk up the street to a Mexican restaurant were I ate my usual Camerones ala Diabla and let me tell you, they were over the top diablo. Very hot. Made my eyeballs sweat.

This is Nancy and Diane. Didn’t get a picture of Jack because he walks too slow.

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Lunch was very good. When done, we walked slowly back to the hotel, visiting as we went. Jack had quadruple bypass surgery 10 months ago and isn’t in a mood to push things too hard which is fine with me. Slow is perfectly OK.

The temperature here, at 4:21 pm, is 71 and there are people walking the boardwalk along the beach in shorts and flip flops. There are some surfers frolicking in the waves, too. So, we have entertainment without going anywhere. We’re watching them from the 5th floor of the hotel where the temp is probably 65.

Diane enjoying the salt air and wave noise. this was good until someone, I’m not saying it was guy, lit a cigar up wind (north) from us. Ruined her zen moment.

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The view straight out from our porch.

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View looking south from the porch.

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View looking north from the porch.

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This is a 9-story facility but the top 4 floors were damaged by hurricane Matthew so we’re technically on the top floor. Our room is very small but comfy, nothing like we had at Fort Lee. That was exceptional.

While sitting on the porch, minding our own business, this ferry showed up just outside the surf line. When he first showed up he was riding very low in the water, almost to the top of the freeboard along the sides. When he let he was riding about 4-5 feet higher in the water.

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It only stayed out there for about 10 minutes, then left. We thought it might be some sort of dredge, moving sand from a nearby harbor and dumping it just off the beach. The more I thought about it, however, the more convinced I blame that it’s not a dredge, but a Honduran ferry transporting visitors to the Virginia coast. I can’t confirm this, however, because we never say anyone jump over the side. But, the boat obviously got lighter, so the passengers must have exited undetected somehow and worked their way in amongst the 20-30 people walking on the boardwalk. They’re very tricky, I’m told, and after having not seen it with my own eyes, I believe it. They just sneak right in, unseen. I don’t think they even wet. It’s amazing.

Now I must reminisce a bit, all the way back to yesterday when we visit Cedric for the last time on this trip. We got him a chicken teriyaki Subway sandwich and a Mr. Pibbs for his supper. He was a little sad to see us go, and we were a little sad to be going, but it was time.

As we drove up to the barracks, which really are barracks at all, but small 2-man condos, we were presented with this interesting sight in the sky. It was very brilliant from, I think, the setting sun shining on the clouds in just the perfect way.

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We joked, smiled, and laughed. It was a very good parting visit. Cedric is going to do just fine during his Navy career, no matter how long or short it may be.

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When we walked away, back to the car, this sunset greeted us. It was like an omen – Red sun at night, Sailor’s delight. Heard that one?

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Tomorrow the reunion starts and runs through the weekend. We’ll be here until Tuesday morning. On that day we must get up about 3 am so we can get the car returned to the airport in time to catch a 7-something flight home.

That’s going to be fun.

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