Life and Times

Life and Times from 2019

Life and Times from 2018

Life and Times from 2017

Life and Times from 2016

Life and Times from 2015

Life and Times from 2014

Life and Times from 2013

Life and Times from 2012

Life and Times from 2011

Life and Times from 2010

Life and Times from 2009

Life and Times from 2008

Life and Times from 2007

Life and Times from 2006

Life and Times from 2005

Life and Times from 2004

Life and Times from 2003

Life and Times from 2002

Life and Times from 2000

Virginia Beach 2005

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 2

The second day was a bit of a wash.  Things didn’t quite go as I’d hoped, but they went well enough.  First thing I did was get up at 4:00 AM to watch and photograph the sunrise.  So I grabbed my tripod, set it up, hooked up Big Mavica, and went out on my balcony.  I wasn’t planning on making a Photography set out of this, because I already have not only onebut two photography sets covering the sunrise at Virginia Beach.  But nonetheless, I was out with the tripod and the whole setup, ready to capture some vibrant stills.

But first, I had to make a mark somewhere to indicate that this was the beginning of the second day.  This is what we call a low-tech method for marking the date.  With the camera on the tripod, I held my arm out in front of the camera, holding up two fingers.  A quick flick of the button with the other hand, and the date was marked, with a photo of my hand indicating that this was “Day Two”.

Having marked the date, it was out to the balcony.  In photographing the sunrise, I realized quite early on that I was a bit too early, and there would be quite some time before the camera would be able to find the first rays of sunlight, even with long exposures.  Eventually, I did find some sunlight.  However, I soon realized that something was wrong, as the photos were coming out with the sky in a royal blue color for a much longer time than I was expecting.  Once the sun got up a little further, I realized what was going on.  It was cloudy!  What a shame.  As a result, the sun’s rise above the horizon was a little bit less than spectacular on this particular morning.  The sun just appeared as a fuzzy pink dot in the sky.


 

 

 


The sun was up, but this was destined to be a very gray day.

The sun was up, but this was destined to be a very gray day.

The sun was up, but this was destined to be a very gray day.


After the sun was up, I went back to bed for a couple of hours, and then woke up refreshed.  This was a necessary sleep, since I didn’t get quite enough sleep the night before due to the excitement of being at the beach, staying out late photographing, plus wanting to get the sunrise in the morning.

Waking up, however, I discovered to my dismay that not only was it still cloudy, but it was raining – and not just a little drizzle.  It was putting out some serious rain, which put a damper on my plans for the day to an extent, though I was able to adjust my plans.  But first, I went down to the lobby, with the intent of finding out where I could get a newspaper.  As it turns out, the Travelodge provides a complimentary copy of The Virginian-Pilot (the local newspaper) for all guests.  Cool!

Since it was raining, and since it was Tuesday, after reading the newspaper, I decided to find a public library so I could post a Journal entry, and check out whatever new stuff went onto Homestarrunner.com on Monday (turns out a cartoon called A Folky Tale was released, featuring a guy named Saddy Dumpington).  I asked the desk attendant at the Travelodge where the nearest public library was.  I got great directions.  Turn at 17th Street, and it will be a few blocks up on your right.

The problem with those directions wasn’t the giver.  It was the receiver.  I followed the directions, turning at 17th Street, and without realizing it, drove right past the library.  And I kept going!  I went WAY out of the way, as 17th Street turned into Virginia Beach Boulevard and kept on going.  An interesting landmark on the way, though, was this store under construction.  The sign in large pink neon said “Fetish”, with “Adult Boutique” underneath it.  At least we know they’re not shy about what they will be selling.

I ended up stopping at a Crown gas station for directions, after having gone way the heck out of my way and then turning back around.  I found out at that time that I did pass it, and that it was next to something I did notice – a few stations for emergency responders (I want to say police and ambulance).  And I found the library.  So I parked, registered for a library card (they offer an Internet-only card), and I was online!  Besides checking Homestarrunner.com, I also wrote a Journal entry.  It’s dated August 23, 2005, and is entitled “Vacation: So far, so good, but it’s raining today.

Afterwards, I returned to my hotel, finding a space to get the car into.  By the way, the parking at the Travelodge is something of a challenge, since you are maneuvering in a very tight space, parking under and around the building.  But unlike when I checked in, this time I got a spot near the pool, which had a lot more maneuvering room than my first spot, near the boardwalk.

And now, off to see the strip!  I didn’t put on any sunscreen since it was raining, and grabbed my umbrella.  I wandered south on Atlantic Avenue, checking out various shops and things along the way.  I also made an important discovery.  To discover the strip, you really only need to walk maybe six blocks in either direction from your hotel (if that), because after that, the strip starts to repeat itself.  There are a few different classes of stores on the strip.  There are stores that sell souvenirs and beach crap, stores that offer henna tattoos, oxygen bars, little convenience stores, and restaurants for seafood and pizza.  Then they start to repeat.  Seriously.  The places had the same exact names, no less.  I walked south on the strip, and found another “Holiday Department Store”.  I also found three “Sunsations” stores.  It all repeats.

Speaking of the Holiday Department Store, I have “Part 2” in the rude signs saga for you.  First of all, the sign about the boxes was still there.  Let me remind you:

Break Yer Damn Boxes.
If the box is taped shut, it is not broken down.
If the box has plastic ties wrapped around it, it is not broken down.
If the box is full of merchandise, it is most certainly not broken down.
If you think wood is box, you are mistaken.  Wood and box are both made from tree, but wood is not box.
If wood is in the box, the box is not broken down.
Empty boxes do not belong in the stock room.  They go outside.  (They do not go outside by themselves.  You must take them outside.)
Empty boxes are to be broken down and placed outside in the recycling bin.
No member of the management or staff in this Holiday Department Store wants to clean up your damn mess.  Take responsibility for your work.  Your job is classified as “unskilled labor” in the real world.  It says a lot about you personally if you are not good at this type of work.  And you are not above unskilled labor, even if you are smart, strong, pretty, or older than your co-workers.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
THE HOLIDAY DEPARTMENT STORE MANAGEMENT TEAM.

Then I also found this one, on the door of a stock room.  It’s just as bad, but at least it is mostly functional:

The Boys’ Stock Room

Gender roles predetermined by nature dictate that this stock room is the boys’ stock room.  Many of the items inside are heavy and awkward, and the organization system is regimented.  For the most part, the items stocked herein are manly things, not to be trifled with by females.  Nevertheless, women are welcome in the boys’ stock room, and will only bring honor upon themselves by completing tasks which originate from within.

1. Holiday tags go on the shelves.  Occasionally, other items go on the shelves, too, but only so long as Adam, Mikey, or Jissan say it is ok.

2. NO “F” ING UP THE HANGERS.  If you are not certain as to whether or not you’ve been “f” ing up the hangers, then you probably did.  Stop it.  They are arranged by size and function.  Plastic hooks are segregated from metal hooks.  White hangers always end up in the trash because Adam always throws them there.  Shorts hangers are organized by size and go on the bottom.  See special posting next to the hangers for further details.

3. Green bags go on the white Coppertone rack.  Nothing else goes on that rack.

4. Taffy is stacked between the green bags and the Table/Shelf.  We can fit up to 32 boxes of taffy in this space, but it has to be stacked properly.  Be gentle with the taffy boxes.

5. Umbrellas go on top of the table shelf.  BU-50s on the left ($12.98 Umbrellas), $4.88 Umbrellas in the middle, and BU-36 ($9.98 Umbrellas) on the right.  Nothing else goes on the table shelf.

6. Crap that we don’t use or don’t want to use (like shoes and snow globes) goes under the table shelf, but only so long as Adam, Mikey, or Jissan says its ok.

7. Body boards go up top.  Mikey, Adam, and Jissan reserve the right to arrange the body boards any way we want to.  Carefully [sic] using the ladder, because it is probably broken.

8. The shelves on the left are devoted to shoes.  If you have to do shoes, then you are the “SHOEBITCH.”  Do not screw up the rest of the stock room just because you get stuck doing shoes.  Shoe boxes are not allowed on the floor without permission from Adam, Mikey, or Jissan.  Shoes are supposed to stay inside the boxes and out of sight.  The boys do not even want to think about shoes, and we should not have to look at them in our stockroom.

9. Skateboards go beside the shelves, stacked up flush against the shelves no more than 8 boxes high.  Both types of skateboards ($12.98 and $16.98 are stacked on top of one another.)

10. Mini-skateboards go behind the skateboards.

11. Strollers go beside the mini-skateboards.

12. Five-position chairs ($9.98 Chairs) go beside the mini-skateboards.  No more than 5 boxes, stacked on top of one another.

13. Two-position chairs ($7.98 Chairs) go beside the five-position chairs.  No more than 5 boxes, stacked on top of one another.

14. Skimboards are immediately to the left as you enter the stockroom.  They are segregated according to size and wood quality.

15. EMPTY BOXES AND TRASH DO NOT GO IN THE BOYS’ STOCK ROOM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

And this is why I could never work at this store, no matter how desperate I was.  While the sign quoted above is mostly functional, there’s still the “shoebitch” reference (how flattering), and the open admission that the ladder is unsafe.  And this sign, like the other one, is in plain view of customers.  I did not have to wander into any restricted areas to find these signs.  Additionally, note the introduction.  Gender roles are actually determined by society, not nature.  Nature determines sex, like why men have that little hole in the front of their underwear and women don’t.  Society determines gender roles.  And that #15 on there ought to have a footnote tacked onto it that should say, “See condescending sign on the fire exit door for information on what to do with boxes.”


You never know what you'll find in those Virginia Beach souvenir shops.  In this case, a "big, gross bug" sought refuge from the rain on one of the racks at the Holiday Department Store.

You never know what you’ll find in those Virginia Beach souvenir shops.  In this case, a “big, gross bug” sought refuge from the rain on one of the racks at the Holiday Department Store.


More of those obnoxious parking signs, this one at the Dairy Queen at 17th and Atlantic.  And the standard issue sign was apparently not enough, as there's a second threatening sign underneath.

More of those obnoxious parking signs, this one at the Dairy Queen at 17th and Atlantic.  And the standard issue sign was apparently not enough, as there’s a second threatening sign underneath.


Misspelling?

Misspelling?


The sun also came out, but due to lack of sunscreen, I continued to hold my umbrella up, to keep the sun off.  It worked, too.  I came back just as white as I was when I started.

Otherwise, after visiting a number of shops on the strip, and passing what appeared to be a small abandoned amusement park, I turned, walked one block west, and walked north on Pacific Avenue.  This part was mainly to get some bus photos.  I saw some interesting buses at other times in my trip, and this was the time for bus photography as I walked back.  Unfortunately, there were no Gillig Phantom or Gillig Low Floor buses along Pacific Avenue.  All I got was a photo of #947, which is an Orion V, like I got last year.

While on Pacific, I stopped at the 17th Street Surf Shop.  The building appeared fairly new, and was selling surfing equipment, clothes, and shoes.  Nice place.  Surprising, though, was how serious they were about their parking lot.  Yes, they have the usual standard-issue park-here-and-we’ll-tow-you sign.


And here's the sign.

And here’s the sign.


But they also employ someone whose sole reason for existence at the store is to monitor the parking lot.  They write down the license numbers of everyone who comes into the lot, and if someone doesn’t come into the store after parking, they call the towing company, and they’re outta there.  Of course, the reason is that they don’t want people to use their lot for beach parking, but still, that’s more serious than I expected.


I thought this was a cute little sign on top of a storm drain on Pacific Avenue, while at the same time reminding people not to dump whatever into the storm drains.

I thought this was a cute little sign on top of a storm drain on Pacific Avenue, while at the same time reminding people not to dump whatever into the storm drains.


Of all the private-parking signs that I saw, this one was the most amusing, mostly due to it being for a church.

Of all the private-parking signs that I saw, this one was the most amusing, mostly due to it being for a church.


And then from there, back to the hotel.  At the hotel, the housekeepers had just finished doing my room, and so I stayed a while and took it easy.  I propped the door to the balcony open so as to get the sea breezes and sounds of the ocean, and turned on the TV to see what’s on.  I ended up finding a showing of the movie First Kid, starring Sinbad and Brock Pierce.  It’s a funny and suspenseful movie, and of course, it’s neat to see DC in movies.  I also saw what I believe to be a Metrobus GMC RTS bus in a shot of Pennsylvania Avenue, and then I definitely saw some sort of Flxible Metro (still running in the current fleet) in a different shot.  Neat seeing Metrobus in a movie.

And after the movie, I did some photographing from the balcony as the sun went down…


Despite the clouds, wind, and rain, the beach was still well attended.

Despite the clouds, wind, and rain, the beach was still well attended.


Two vehicles for the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service were on the beach, but I had no idea what they were doing at this time...

Two vehicles for the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service were on the beach, but I had no idea what they were doing at this time…


And the beach is beautiful as always as natural light gives way to the orange-colored light from the lampposts along the boardwalk.  And the beach is beautiful as always as natural light gives way to the orange-colored light from the lampposts along the boardwalk.

And the beach is beautiful as always as natural light gives way to the orange-colored light from the lampposts along the boardwalk.


The clouds continued to cast their shadow on the land, even as the sun dipped beneath the horizon.

The clouds continued to cast their shadow on the land, even as the sun dipped beneath the horizon.


After that, I went hunting for grub, and didn’t do too well in finding some.  I didn’t want Mexican food again.  I didn’t want Italian (which one can get just about anywhere).  I wanted seafood.  I wanted fish.  So I went walking down Atlantic Avenue, looking for the elusive food.  By this time it had also started raining again, and raining hard.  Talk about a wet and nasty walk.  My flip-flops were going “squish squish” with every step, as they’d absorbed a lot of water from this walk.  I ended up walking south on Atlantic Avenue for a long distance – far further than I’d ever gone before.  On the way, the idea that the strip basically repeats itself every few blocks became quite apparent once again.  I saw a couple of Sunsations locations, a second Holiday Department Store (the one I’ve referenced in the past was across the street from the Travelodge, with the haunted house above it – this one is several blocks down from it), numerous Italian restaurants, some other restaurants, but nothing that looked too appealing to me.  I did, however, stop at a number of the shops.  I was apparently being quite picky this particular evening.  I eventually got tired of walking southbound, and realized that I had gone VERY far from my hotel (which was at 19th and Atlantic) and didn’t feel like walking through all that distance again in the pouring rain to get back where I needed to be.  So I crossed the street, and caught a northbound VB Wave trolley bus to backtrack my steps.  I want to say I caught the bus at 11th and Atlantic.  So I paid my $1.00 fare into the machine, and I was off!  We sat for a while at one spot along the route (who knows why – perhaps to get on schedule?), but I eventually got off the bus at 25th Street.  This brought me down near the Ocean Holiday, which was the hotel where I’d stayed in 2000 and 2004.  And, having gone down that far, I continued again in the same direction as before – south.  This would send me back in the direction of my hotel, which worked out.

I ended up finding Pier 23 Restaurant, which was a little seafood buffet.  Not a bad place.  Good food, and friendly server.  Only downside: Mirrored walls.  I cannot stand restaurants where all the walls are mirrors.  I always say it’s not shameful to have a small space if it’s properly decorated.  I just don’t like the idea of seeing an image of myself eating in every direction I look.  Not a pleasant thing.

After that, I continued on Atlantic Avenue back to the Travelodge.  On the way, I found a true diamond in the rough – Flipper McCoy’s, which is an arcade on Atlantic Avenue that is just too cool for words.  They have the modern arcade games that all the kids are playing these days, but then what really made me feel all warm inside was their massive collection of vintage video games!  And everything was just a quarter to play.  They had Ms. Pac-Man.  They had regular Pac-Man (the original!).  They had Jr. Pac-Man (that was a challenging game!).  They also had Burgertime and many other classics.  Also add two different kinds of skee ball, a bunch of pool tables and such, and another personal favorite of mine, the “Spin to Win” game with the vertical wheel that you control by rolling blue rubber balls down a little ramp and into different slots to win tickets (game starts with “You’ve got to spin to win!” and gives the wheel a full spin).  All in all, I had fun.  I definitely would love to spend more time in that place.

And then it was back to the hotel.  It had stopped raining by this point, and so I took a very short walk on the beach.  And when I say “very short”, I mean VERY short.  The walk mainly consisted of walking down to the ocean, letting the water lap at my feet, and then going back to my hotel, stopping on the way to rinse the sand off of my feet, since by that time, I was tired.  When I got back to my hotel, I almost immediately went to bed.  And upon getting into bed, I fell asleep so quickly that I didn’t even turn off the TV set.  And thus while I was asleep, Nick at Nite turned back into Nickelodeon, with its highly-annoying cocktail of children’s fare.  It makes me long for the good old days when most of Nickelodeon’s programming was not made in-house (think Today’s Special for a moment – that was a classic show!).

Comments are closed.

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4

Part 2