When we moved here for Neel's work nine years ago this week, Callum was three. I comforted myself from my sadness over leaving our beloved San Diego with the knowledge that we'd moved so near to another beloved ocean. Growing up, my summer family vacations were spent in the coastal Carolinas, and when we got here, the Atlantic felt comforting, familiar and beloved to me. I want Callum to feel the same way about it. I think he does about any ocean, really. Our actual move across the country was thrilling and somewhat tumultous (now that's a story!). We had Neel with us, in a month-to-month rented condo for a few days before he started work, and then in was just me and Callum on our own.
We just had one car, and it was a little disheartening to drop Neel off at work, but I had a plan. Playing tourist in our new hometown, I took Callum down to the oceanfront for a ride on the Rudee Flipper. We've gone at some point in the summer, usually right at the end, every year since.
It amazes me how many of my friends and neighbors haven't taken advantage of this oceanfront treat. Sometimes we go with friends and sometimes it's just the two of us. Sometimes we take the Rudee Rocket, which is the yellow boat pictured here and is a very different experience (read: fast and loud, but fun!). This year it was just us, and I liked it that way.
It was a little disconcerting to have the woman selling tickets to say immediately to me, "It's pretty choppy out there." before I'd even handed her my credit card.
"Yeah, we're telling everyone that it's really choppy. So if you get seasick at all you may not want to go."
"Are you telling me not to go?"
"No! No! It's just really choppy. You might want to buy some dramamine."
Well, Callum and I don't get seasick, so we forged ahead, but when the woman who took our tickets again mentioned motion sickness pills, I bought a couple and some water on the boat. Rather than spending the trip worrying that we might get sick, Callum and I split an adult dose and that was that.
Once we got on the water, it was choppy for sure, but not that bad.
You definitely had to hold on.
It's wonderful to see your beach and "home" from a different perspective. King Neptune, the "mascot" of Virginia Beach.
The point of the Flipper tours is watching for Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin, and we hadn't made it far down the coastline before they showed up.
What I love about the Flipper is that it's not a "thrill" ride in the usual sense. The trill comes in seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. The Atlantic Bottlenose are naturally curious, and they love the boat. They come up to it and swim alongside. Now that's thrilling!
I've told you all summer how we've been seeing dolphins every time we've gone to the beach. Loads of them. Our trip up the coast took us right to the spot where Callum and I always park our beach chairs and sure enough, that's where the dolphins really came out to play.
The sky was gorgeous as we turned for home. See that band of rain in the middle of the shot? And I swear that's a waterspout trying to form.
Callum got soaked, which was just what he wanted. And we went together again, which was just what I wanted. What a way to end our vacation. I couldn't ask for more.