Friday, May 23, 2008

Virginia Beach

Last weekend (May 18-21) we got to go to Virginia Beach for #1's softball tournament. We had been looking forward to and saving for it for so long I can't believe it is all over :o(
We had super great weather, and a nice time as a family.
We left the house at 3:30am Friday. I had been up since 11:30pm because Baby J just wasn't letting me sleep, so we were all pretty tired. We flew first to WA DC, and then to Richmond, VA. After getting our car and luggage we started driving to the beach. Our original plan had been to go to an aquarium because it was supposed to be a rainy day. It was pretty yucky as we landed and started to drive, but the closer we got the nicer it got. We saw signs for Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. We decided to stop at the visitor's center for a bathroom break and see what there was around there. By the time we pulled in and parked the sun was coming out and it was getting a little muggy so we all decided to put on shorts and look around. It turned out to be a really great time! We took the "free" tour of Colonial Williamsburg, which means we didn't pay $37 a person to see in all of the buildings. Instead we walked around the streets, through the gardens, and visited the farm animals. Big J got the biggest kick out of the horse drawn carriages, sticks, and mud puddles. He got to run around (tried to join a few school groups) and get the wiggles out after a long day of travel. When Big J started to get tired, we continued to drive to VA Beach. After a nap for everyone we went to the beach (no pictures of that because they were taken on a camera with FILM, can you imagine?), and then to the welcome party for the softball teams.
Saturday morning we were up early for a 8:30 game. We grabbed some breakfast and headed to the field. Big J watched some of the games, (they played 4) but mostly he had apple slices for snacks and found rocks. I think his favorite thing was hot dog for lunch. By the time we left that day, Big J was filthy but I think he had fun. #1's team lost their first 3 games which were kinda like practice, not counted in the tournament. Their last game of the day they won, which was good because it was the start of the actual tournament, with double elimination. After showers for all, we went to dinner at a seafood buffet.
Sunday morning we didn't have a game until 10:00am, but of course Big J thought we should all be up at 6:30! The sunrise from the beach coming in his window didn't help much. After we packed up we went to a 7-11 and grabbed some donuts and juice for the beach. We have some great pictures of James playing on the beach on flickr. He found some cool seaweed and I found some shells, but in the end, Big J wanted to keep two rocks. That was his highlight of the beach, two rocks. We had absolutly beautiful weather. #1 played really well on Sunday and had some good hits. They played 5 more games and finished 3rd place in the lower tournament. Big J felt pretty comfortable around the fields at that point and proceeded to mooch food (rice krispie treat, strawberries, bottles of water) from other teams and our own team, anyone who had a cooler. I was keeping book, and everyone assured me he was more than welcome. I was a tad embarassed, but he charmed everyone with his grin and stayed where I could see him. The team was driving back that night, and we had to get to Richmond, so we decided to eat together at a local Bennigan's. That was a huge mistake. When we arrived at 4:45 on a Sunday evening, there were no other guests except two men at the bar. After giving our orders, we sat and waited for almost an hour for our appetizers. They had a 3 for $9.99 deal-appetizer, dinner, and dessert, which most of us took advantage of. No one had had a drink refill by the time we got appetizers. I finally took my cup to the bar after waiting to see someone for almost 40 minutes! Our dessert came at 7:00 and it took over 20 minutes from giving the waiter our cash/credit cards to get back change/receipts. Now when I say we went in as a team, there were 16 of us, but that isn't too terrible, is it? When we finally left at almost 7:30 (most people were super mad, and the manager was less than sympathetic) there were two more patrons in the restaurant. Poor people, I hope they got to leave by 10:00pm! (#1 found a bag of marajuana in the bathroom, nice). That was just the beginning of our adventure that night. We got back into Richmond at 9:30 and checked into our hotel. I noticed when we got in the room that it sounded like water was running, but figured someone next door was showering. We decided that #1 would bring in all of our luggage in so we could be all packed up that night for our 7:30am flight and I would get Big J (who was absolutly FILTHY) a quick bath. As I went into the bathroom I noticed the shower had been left on low and was pointed out of the tub, so the floor was flooded. I asked #1 who was on a trip in to ask the front desk for a few extra towels. (He had to track down the font desk girl in the parking lot who was hanging out with her friends who were taking in a nip). I put the shower head back into the tub and ran a shallow amount of warm water for his quick bath. I put him in, and then tried to turn the tub wouldn't shut off. It just turned to cold and continued to run. I sent #1 back out to tell the great desk clerk and tried to quickly bathe James before the water turned icy. By the time the girl came in, Big J was shrieking because I was trying to rinse off the soap in a cold bath. She assured me she could fix the tub as the handle came off in her hand. She did get the water off, and I proceeded to put Big J to bed. It is now past 10:00pm. He finally calmed down and fell asleep. #1 went in to take his shower and it wouldn't turn back on. This time I went to go find answers. The best they could do for us was send in a handyman to "fix" the tub, which he didn't. At 11:00pm we finally gave up and rinsed off in the sink. They said maybe they could find another room for us, but Big J was finally asleep, and it would have been a smoking room-no thanks.
We were up at 5:00am to get to the airport. When we got to the ticket counter the lady informed us there were no flights to either WA DC or Dayton that morning. She looked at our computer print out and showed a rather embarassed #1 that the flight was at 7:30pm. I had to admit I cried right then and there. The thought of over 12 hours in the airport with a rather cranky Big J really kinda was hard to face. After we all collected our thoughts we went back to the rental car place and checked our car out again, went back to the lovely hotel and asked for our room back (thankfully the lady at the front desk didn't even remember we had checked out and simply handed our keys back to us) and slept until 9:30! Everyone felt better then. We got some brochures and decided to visit a local zoo. It turned out to be a great day. The zoo probably wasn't the best for the animals (wide open cages with little to no natural habitat) but it was excellent for Big J. All the animals were up close and he even got to feed some of them. It wasn't a huge zoo, but we had a great time. Big J's favorite part was the ducks...most of which look like the ones we see daily here in Xenia! After the zoo we grabbed some dinner by the airport and headed back once again. Big J was a real trooper and we made it back to Xenia about 12:30am Tuesday. The extra and unexpected day only cost $18 more than we had budgeted including the zoo, gas, and meals! That was a huge blessing. Overall it was a great trip!

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