Thursday, May 24, 2018

Beach days...

I grew up about an hour from Virginia Beach, Virginia.  The county I lived in was also richly blessed with brackish rivers that were full of jellyfish.  I'm surprised I never learned how to waterski, since I definitely lived in an area where it would have been easy to do.

When I was very young, I used to love it when my parents or my sisters would take me to Virginia Beach.  Because I was so young, I didn't understand why the waves were so much bigger there than they were at Yorktown or Gloucester Point beaches, both of which were on the York River.  Although the water was salty, it was full of jellyfish and I'd always get stung.  I never had to worry about that in the Atlantic Ocean.  There, the water was too rough for the jellyfish...  It wasn't too rough for the sharks, of course, but I never worried about that.  I never worried about sunburns back then, either, though I definitely got my fair share.

Yesterday, I was hanging out in the Tidewater Flashback Facebook group and it occurred to me to ask the people in that group if they could refresh my memory.  You see, because we lived about an hour or so from Virginia Beach, we'd always go there just for the day.  Mom and Dad would very occasionally book cottages near Nags Head, North Carolina if they wanted to stay longer than a day.  Virginia Beach has public beaches, but my parents always went to a beach that was intended for military patrons.

I remembered we paid to park in the lot after showing our I.D.s, then had access to the clubhouse, which had cabanas and rafts to rent, showers, and a nice snack bar.  I couldn't remember the name of the property, but did remember it was near a tower and it had a lifeguard on duty.  I asked the people in the Flashback group and they said I was thinking of the Naval Officers Beach, which was affiliated with Fort Story.

I think there are still beaches for military folks near Virginia Beach, but that particular property closed some time ago.  I was fondly remembering my time visiting that beach.  I think the last time I went was sometime in the early 1990s.  I think now, they have cottages for rent there.  They look pretty nice.  Maybe someday, we'll get back to Virginia and rent one.  Or maybe not.

I also remember going to the Fort Eustis sand pools when I was a kid.  They had two of them for years, but then closed one.  In 2007, they closed the other one because a child drowned.  Someone in the Flashback group said they were working EMS that day and remembered the tragedy.  It's a pity, because that was a fun place to visit.  They were basically freezing cold manmade lakes with floating docks you could dive off of.  There was sand on the "beaches" and the shower houses were kind of gross.  I still remember a lot of fun picnics there with friends.  Germany actually has some lakes like that, too.  Maybe sometime, I'll convince Bill to visit.  He doesn't like to swim as much as I do.

I've been feeling a little out of sorts lately.  Zane's right front paw, which he had surgery on last year, has been giving him trouble.  It looks like the scar tissue is irritated.  He has another lump on his side, which could be a lymph node or another tumor.  He's acting fine, though.  In fact, he's as chipper as ever.  I still worry about him because he's my baby.  I woke up before 4:00am and immediately started feeling anxious.  I know I should relax and enjoy him.  There will come a day when he truly will be in trouble and my concerns will be legitimate.  It's probably a good thing I didn't become a nurse.

We're going to France again tomorrow... back to Ribeauville.  We're staying in a studio sized apartment because the big one we usually take is spoken for.  It was a last minute decision for us to go.  I just wanted to get out of town again.  I find it's good for my sanity.  Hopefully, the dogs won't bother anyone this time like they did last time.  I have some ideas of new things to do and places to see.  Even though we've been to this part of Alsace several times, we still haven't seen and done it all.  Ribeauville is close enough to Stuttgart that it almost feels like it's part of the area, even though it takes a couple of hours to get there.

Of course... it would be nice if we were near a beach.  I mean a real beach, not a river or a lake.  I would love to take a trip to Croatia and hang out for a week, eating good seafood, lying in the sun with 80 SPF sunscreen, and just chilling out.  But this is the year of the concerts, so I guess I'll just have to be contented with lots of shows.

Maybe later, I will think of something to rant about... or maybe I'll finish my latest book.  For now, here's a boring post, except for those who remember the Tidewater area the way I do.


  1. I learned to water ski in the Delaware Bay back about 1965 or thereabouts. Pulling me was a beautiful 18 foot Chris Craft. I made it on the third try and did it again a little later on. We didn't have boat of our own so I was dependent on those who did and their generosity. I still prefer swimming in salt water.

    1. I have been snow skiing twice, but never went water skiing. I probably would have had more opportunity to water ski.

  2. I've been in the general area three times. Anytime my family vacationed, we would visit any cousins who were in the military and stationed near our destinations. My cousins have been stationed at Yorktown, Cheatham Annex, and Norfolk.

    I was really struck by the beauty of the entire state of Virginia. I've been in forty-one states. Of those forty-one, I find the states of Virginia and Maine to be the most beautiful. I don't know if I would consider the national parks in either state to be any more breathtaking than Yosemite, but almost any given rural point [as well as some but not all urban locations] in either state is gorgeous. Sometime I will share about the night we spent in Capitol Heights, Maryland.

    On one trip, because of someone my cousin worked with in the military whose parent worked for the megalomaniac himself, my family was invited to tour Pat Robertson's studio. Somewhere there's a picture of us with Pat.

    We went to the western part of Virginia as well. Liberty University is a major piece of work.

    1. Liberty isn't as fucked up as Pensacola Christian College is, though. In fact, it's downright liberal by comparison.

    2. I looked up PCC once before after you had mentioned it to me. It's truly insane. Where those loony-tunes colleges are concerned, the smallest ones seem to be the oddest. Ozark Christian College and Ashbury seem to be in about the same league as PCC. Part of Liberty's weirdness is that it is so large to be so backwards. In my estimation it's worse than BYU by far. Bob Jones University is worse still (almost though not so bad as PCC), but it's quite a bit smaller.

    3. Oh... and Hyles Anderson College is pretty wacko, too.

      PCC was founded by BJU grads, I think. They have some similarities.


Comments on older posts will be moderated.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.