Friday, June 27, 2014

Driving Tanks Across the Country: Part 4

If you missed the previous parts, here are some links:

Day 10:

Grig was really nice and let me sleep in. He took Kevin out when he woke up, and I got to sleep in for the first time on our trip. It was wonderful! I felt a lot better after that. I had been getting up at 7:30ish (which is 5:30ish normal time for us). 

So, I woke up and then we got ready for church at 1:00 p.m. Knowing that we would be stopping by Grig's grandpa's grave and his grandma's house after church, I made sure that I grabbed the camera.

It was fun to go to Grig's ward and meet a lot of his friends from his youth. Kevin fell asleep during Sacrament Meeting, and then I let his grandma hold him for the rest of the meeting. She took the sleeping baby to Young Women's with her, and we had an excellent couple of lessons in the next to classes. When Grig went to pick up Kevin, he found him awake and surrounded by teen-aged girls. I think he was a big hit.

After church we drove to Grig's grandma's house, and to my horror I discovered that though I brought the camera, I hadn't grabbed its battery out of its charger, so we don't have any pictures to show, but we still had a good time talking to Kevin's great-grandma. After we visited for a while (and she fed us excellent strawberry shortcake on lemon cake), we went to the cemetery and visited the grave of her husband. Neither Kevin nor I have ever met his grandpa, but it was fun to listen to Grig's Utah sister, brother, and he tell stories about things that they remembered.

Grig had an emotional time of it. He really misses his grandpa.

We went home and made another campfire. We didn't stay up as late this time though, because we had to get up early in the morning to go to the beach again. (Thus we never managed to go swimming in their creek or river. The river was always too high when we wanted to go anyway.)

Day 11:

This was now Monday, July 16. We got up pretty early and while Grig's mom and dad were getting the van, we got all the stuff ready to go to the beach. We left about 10:30 and went to Richmond to pick up Grig's sister so she could come with us (she had work off until Wednesday). 

That was fantastic, because now all of Grig's family was with us except for Havelock who wasn't able to come due to work.

We made it to Virginia Beach about 2:00, and there we split into two groups. The first group (including us) went to the aquarium they have there, while the other group went straight to the beach. 

Right after Grig and I were married, we went to this aquarium and I love it! They have a shallow pool where you can touch clipped stingray. They are clipped so they don't stick you and injure people. It doesn't hurt them, it's like clipping fingernails. They feel like wet baloney, and last time we had one sidling up to us to be touched like a friendly, slippery puppy. We were looking forward to Kevin seeing the rays.

The first thing we saw was a turtle display.

They were very cute. The aquarium also had a walk-in area where you were surrounded by fish on all sides, including above you. They had some pretty neat varieties of fish as well. As they swam over your head, it almost felt as though you were underwater.

Admiring the fish.
 Kevin really enjoyed himself, as did I.

 We had Grig's mom with us, his sister and brother-in-law from Utah, and his other brother that will be coming to live with us soon. When we got to stingray petting pool, I got to touch the stingray, but they never came close enough to the surface for Kevin to touch them. However, he enjoyed getting wet, so he still had a good time. He also got to touch horseshoe crabs later, so that made up for it.

We went to their second building to see the otters, but they were asleep. About that time, they were closing, so we went through this area that made us feel like we were in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
Kevin riding a giant snake
The statue at the entrance.
 Then, we went to the beach to meet the rest of our group and Grig's aunt. I love the beach. I've only been to it about four times in my life, so it is still very exciting for me. Counting Friday, this is Kevin's second time at the beach. We took him out in the water for a while, but then he just wanted to play in the sand. Most of our pictures come from Grig's mom who took pictures of him while we were out swimming.

Eventually, we emerged from the water and I was surprised when he was willing to let me bury him in sand and give him a tail.

Our little merman.
 As the hours ticked away, the sky turned beautiful colors in the sunset. Kevin posed nicely for me while I practiced my photography.
 Eventually, Grig's aunt had to leave. It was a lot of fun to see her, and we had a good time finding sand-fleas and crabs with her.

About that time, we decided it was getting dark, so we cleaned up, changed, and went to see J at the gift shop.

She was super excited to see Kevin again, and immediately she scooped him up and asked him to give her 'some sugah' and planted a kiss on his cheek. He was content and began to point at things and ask "This?" She ran him around the shop and said, "J has something for you." She then handed him a little ball. We browsed the store while she made a big deal over him.

A few minutes later, she came back with a cool little wood carving of a heron and said, "You should of seen him when we passed this! His eyes lit up and he started whistling." Then she had to hand Kevin back to me while she took care of some customers. When she finished, I asked, "Are you sure we can't pay for this?"

She shot me another mock-glare and said, "Kevin, you tell your mamma that she's being naughty. J can give you presents if she wants to!"

So I subsided and then Kevin began to chew on the bird's beak (he's been teething). J didn't like that, so she got him a little rubber bracelet for him to chew on. She told me, "You put that bird on a shelf so he can have it when he gets older, okay?" I agreed and Kevin happily chewed on the bracelet. We talked to her for a few more minutes, exchanged information, and went away with a few other things that we bought.

After it turned dark, one half of our group headed home, while the other group stayed and hunted ghost crabs.
 The picture above is of a ghost crab that we found earlier in the day. It was a tiny one, but after dark we were able to find huge ones. However, we don't have any pictures because my battery died about this time. One of them pinched me, and it hurt a little bit, but we still had a good time catching them and then letting them go. They scuttled around everywhere, and we chased them by the light of our flashlights. It was really neat. I was glad we stayed a little longer. We drove back while watching an electric storm in the sky. It was a really nice trip.

Day 12:

 This was the last full day in Virginia. Grig's brother thought his flight to Utah wasn't until the next morning, but half-way through the afternoon we found out that he was supposed to be there in an hour. He quickly scrambled to put the last of his luggage together, we took a quick family picture, and then Grig's dad drove him to the airport. He missed his flight, but caught a later one and was able to make it.

The quick family picture
 We went out and visited a few of Grig's friends and spent time with family. Later, we chased fireflies and put them in a jar. I accidentally squished one a little bit so its light wouldn't go out, which was nice for Kevin because then he could see it light up. I don't think I irreparably damaged him, and then we later let them go again.

 We stayed up kind of late because Grig's sister and brother-in-law were leaving in the middle of the night, but eventually I had to go to bed. We had a pretty long drive the next day and we wanted to leave fairly early.

Tomorrow starts our return trip to Utah via Idaho (to collect the dog and the snake). Thanks for taking this long journey with us! Final part is up: Part 5


  1. So fun! And yet I feel a bit sad Grig lives so far away from all this fun :/ I identify a lot. The treasures of home.

    J is hliarious. I'll be laughing about that for a while.

    I would love the beach if I weren't terrified of it :/ It sounds like you guys went to a rural part of Virginia. I am sooo fascinated with colonial history. I want to go over there to see Washington's estate, Jefferson's place, etc. SOunds like you guys had a awesome trip!

    1. We were talking about road-tripping with you next year and we decided it would be a lot of fun. Not sure if it would work out, but we thought we would enjoy your company!

  2. it would be fun :) :) I bet we would road trip well together. We have a family reunion (Jeff's side) planned fir next June in Nauvoo (Jeff's family lives in Missouri.) We are pinching our pennies so we can.afford the gas :/ our van gets 12/gallon on average.

    1. We will have to discuss this more. After all, Nauvoo is on our way ;).