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Virginia Beach Vacation

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 2

After the long drive to Virginia Beach, I kind of took a bit to just crash for a moment.  I had a soda on the balcony.  I turned on the TV.  I watched it for a little bit.  I basically took some time to relax for a while, get my bearings, and figure out what I wanted to do.

I ended up deciding to go on a walk up the boardwalk to the fishing pier.  The fishing pier is some distance away from the Ocean Holiday.  It really does look a ways off in the distance when you’re standing at the Ocean Holiday.  But I decided that a walk was just what the doctor ordered, and off I went.  On my first day at the beach, the wind was really strong.  That made things interesting, indeed.  Still, I grabbed my camera bag and a freshly recharged Big Mavica, and headed out.


This building, not far from the Ocean Holiday, has quite an interesting paint job.  The grass actually reaches all the way up to the building.  What looks like a sidewalk is actually painted onto the wall.  The bushes are painted on as well.  The striped roof and the sky?  Also painted on.  It definitely makes an interesting impression.

This building, not far from the Ocean Holiday, has quite an interesting paint job.  The grass actually reaches all the way up to the building.  What looks like a sidewalk is actually painted onto the wall.  The bushes are painted on as well.  The striped roof and the sky?  Also painted on.  It definitely makes an interesting impression.


Meanwhile, from ground level, the beach is quite noticeably wider than it was in 2000.

Meanwhile, from ground level, the beach is quite noticeably wider than it was in 2000.


Between the buildings and the main boardwalk, a bike path runs along the length of the strip.  The signage here is for cyclists, not only using regular bicycles, but also multi-seat pedaled vehicles.  Bikes are the only thing allowed on the path, and bicyclists need to take care not to run any pedestrians over.  Between the buildings and the main boardwalk, a bike path runs along the length of the strip.  The signage here is for cyclists, not only using regular bicycles, but also multi-seat pedaled vehicles.  Bikes are the only thing allowed on the path, and bicyclists need to take care not to run any pedestrians over.

Between the buildings and the main boardwalk, a bike path runs along the length of the strip.  The signage here is for cyclists, not only using regular bicycles, but also multi-seat pedaled vehicles.  Bikes are the only thing allowed on the path, and bicyclists need to take care not to run any pedestrians over.


Meanwhile, a new hotel is being erected along the strip!  This will be a Fairfield Inn in the end, and from what I could tell from the outside, it's going to be nice looking.

Meanwhile, a new hotel is being erected along the strip!  This will be a Fairfield Inn in the end, and from what I could tell from the outside, it’s going to be nice looking.


A surprise!  I did not expect to find a Howard Johnson's hotel.  This was such a surprise to me because a previous vintage Howard Johnson's had existed on the strip in Virginia Beach for many years, and was demolished in 2001.  This hotel is definitely older than 2001, but I have no idea what this place used to be.

A surprise!  I did not expect to find a Howard Johnson’s hotel.  This was such a surprise to me because a previous vintage Howard Johnson’s had existed on the strip in Virginia Beach for many years, and was demolished in 2001.  This hotel is definitely older than 2001, but I have no idea what this place used to be.


As you can see, I've made some progress!  The Ocean Holiday is actually out of sight well down the boardwalk.

As you can see, I’ve made some progress!  The Ocean Holiday is actually out of sight well down the boardwalk.


As I got closer to the fishing pier, a few amusement park-style areas came up.

This thing has riders on both ends, and goes around and around REALLY fast.

This thing has riders on both ends, and goes around and around REALLY fast.


This one has a very tropical theme, with its obviously-fake palms and monkeys and such.

This one has a very tropical theme, with its obviously-fake palms and monkeys and such.


A Ferris wheel!

A Ferris wheel!


A carousel!  Listen to the music – so festive!  That is, of course, if you can hear it over the wind, which was pretty strong.


As I got close to the pier, I found warning signs advising people not to get too close to the pier, presumably for safety purposes.  As I got close to the pier, I found warning signs advising people not to get too close to the pier, presumably for safety purposes.

As I got close to the pier, I found warning signs advising people not to get too close to the pier, presumably for safety purposes.


We're here!

We’re here!


As you can see, this is a serious operation.  There are businesses on this pier closer in, and there is an admission fee to access the pier, which varies depending on whether you're there to just look or to fish.  Notice how the buildings are sitting directly on the pier.  As you can see, this is a serious operation.  There are businesses on this pier closer in, and there is an admission fee to access the pier, which varies depending on whether you're there to just look or to fish.  Notice how the buildings are sitting directly on the pier.

As you can see, this is a serious operation.  There are businesses on this pier closer in, and there is an admission fee to access the pier, which varies depending on whether you’re there to just look or to fish.  Notice how the buildings are sitting directly on the pier.


Take a look at these pictures, and you can see just how far out the pier goes, going a considerable distance from the boardwalk in the process of walking to the end of the pier.


All the while that I'm taking pictures, the pier is hopping!  Lots of people are fishing off the sides of the pier, catching all kinds of stuff.  All the while that I'm taking pictures, the pier is hopping!  Lots of people are fishing off the sides of the pier, catching all kinds of stuff.

All the while that I’m taking pictures, the pier is hopping!  Lots of people are fishing off the sides of the pier, catching all kinds of stuff.

All the while that I'm taking pictures, the pier is hopping!  Lots of people are fishing off the sides of the pier, catching all kinds of stuff.


One gentleman caught a skate!  He ended up throwing the skate back, but not before first making sure to remove the hook.

One gentleman caught a skate!  He ended up throwing the skate back, but not before first making sure to remove the hook.


As you can see, this is a long pier, made all the more evident when you're right on top of it, seen at left at the shoreside end of the pier, and at right looking from the far end of the pier.  The very tip of the pier appeared to be of recent construction - I don't know if it's a planned reconfiguration of the end of the pier (it fanned out just slightly at the end), or whether this is repairing damage from Hurricane Isabel the year before, which hit Virginia Beach directly.  As you can see, this is a long pier, made all the more evident when you're right on top of it, seen at left at the shoreside end of the pier, and at right looking from the far end of the pier.  The very tip of the pier appeared to be of recent construction - I don't know if it's a planned reconfiguration of the end of the pier (it fanned out just slightly at the end), or whether this is repairing damage from Hurricane Isabel the year before, which hit Virginia Beach directly.

As you can see, this is a long pier, made all the more evident when you’re right on top of it, seen at left at the shoreside end of the pier, and at right looking from the far end of the pier.  The very tip of the pier appeared to be of recent construction – I don’t know if it’s a planned reconfiguration of the end of the pier (it fanned out just slightly at the end), or whether this is repairing damage from Hurricane Isabel the year before, which hit Virginia Beach directly.


What an interesting cloud!  I love it how you can see the sunlight radiating out from behind the cloud.  This day was nearly perfectly clear, with only the occasional cloud here and there.

What an interesting cloud!  I love it how you can see the sunlight radiating out from behind the cloud.  This day was nearly perfectly clear, with only the occasional cloud here and there.


Coming back from the pier, we find some people simply walking the beach near the water, leaving their footprints in the sand behind them.

Coming back from the pier, we find some people simply walking the beach near the water, leaving their footprints in the sand behind them.


We also find a boy trying to do a little surfing on the waves as they come ashore.  Sadly, the waves weren't really sufficient to get some good surfing.  The waves were really calm on this trip - noticeably calmer than I'm used to at the ocean.

We also find a boy trying to do a little surfing on the waves as they come ashore.  Sadly, the waves weren’t really sufficient to get some good surfing.  The waves were really calm on this trip – noticeably calmer than I’m used to at the ocean.


A cigarette vending machine?  I didn't think any of these existed anymore.  Before this, I had not seen a cigarette vending machine in about twelve years - back when we still lived in Arkansas.  As you can see, the machine is still meticulously maintained, judging by the recent Kool logo on the front of it.

A cigarette vending machine?  I didn’t think any of these existed anymore.  Before this, I had not seen a cigarette vending machine in about twelve years – back when we still lived in Arkansas.  As you can see, the machine is still meticulously maintained, judging by the recent Kool logo on the front of it.

A cigarette vending machine?  I didn't think any of these existed anymore.  Before this, I had not seen a cigarette vending machine in about twelve years - back when we still lived in Arkansas.  As you can see, the machine is still meticulously maintained, judging by the recent Kool logo on the front of it.


As a side note, this is the front desk of the Ocean Holiday.  The fire panel is that red box at right.

As a side note, this is the front desk of the Ocean Holiday.  The fire panel is that red box at right.

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Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5

Part 2