The colossal statue of King Neptune on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Compare Neptune's size to the bike rider!

Compare Neptune’s size to the bike rider!

September of 2005 saw the grand unveiling of an awesome sight on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Where 31st Street intersects Atlantic Avenue, a 34′ tall bronze statue of the famous King Neptune gazes over the city as he emerges from the depths of the sea. Well, OK, he maybe isn’t coming out of the sea but he is sure impressive!

The artwork is the masterpiece of artist Paul DiPasquale’ a well known sculptor from Richmond, Virginia. Neptune grips his trident in his right hand while he “palms” a huge sea turtle in his left hand. He is surrounded by many other seas creatures, including dolphins and a massive octopus. The details in both Neptune and the sea creatures are breathtaking. This statue is adjacent to Neptune’s Park, site of many events held on the beach during both the summer season and the off season as well.

Neptune and his turtle

Neptune and his turtle

The octopus on the statue base

The octopus on the statue base

A trip to meet King Neptune is a must when you visit Virginia Beach, Virginia. You will be impressed!

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Virginia Beach Steak & Shake falls way short in quality of service

We were very disappointed with our stop at the Steak and Shake at 1676 General Booth Blvd.in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Sher and I were with our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter looking for a place to grab a bite of lunch. Normally we enjoy Steak and Shake. This restaurant fell far short of the usual good service provided by this chain.

The problems began with the “host” who thought our party of five was a party of two, thus giving two tables to larger parties who arrived after us. Once seated (rather crowded in a booth designed for four) our waitress took our drink orders. After a long wait, drinks arrived. Two of our four shakes were not even close to what was ordered. The waitress took the drinks  back after she took our food order.

As served, very thin patties, no lettuce, tomato or onion

As served, very thin patties, no lettuce, tomato or onion

The food took a long time to arrive, and our son’s double came plain without the fixings as was ordered. He said bring the tomato, lettuce and onion on a plate instead of sending the sandwich back. The meat patties were also very very thin, much thinner than normal. (See picture)

Sher never did get her shake during the time we all ate. The waitress said that she had to get the reorder in line and it took that long. Hmm…You would think that a mistake would be corrected first.

This restaurant opened in September of 2015, Management better sharpen things up if it wants to stay open. As of now, I would have to say avoid the Steak and Shake on General Booth Blvd. in Virginia Beach.

Fun at Virginia Beach beaches

Sometimes the weather conditions can be a little rough for enjoying the boardwalk and beaches at Virginia Beach. However the city has added features to the beach scene that provide families the opportunity to use the beach even on cool and blustery days.

A unique beach park and playground

A unique beach park and playground

A imaginative park design

A imaginative park design

There have been many additions to the beach since our last visit. The Grommet Island park and playground has really nice  playground equipment with some whimsical features. Our granddaughter enjoyed playing in this park when we went to the beach during a recent trip to visit our family.

A blustery day

A blustery day

A few folks enjoying the boardwalk

A few folks enjoying the boardwalk

We liked seeing the pelicans flying overhead

 

Virginia Beach Virginia KOA is nearly a perfect campground

Trademark big chair near the office/store

Trademark big chair near the office/store

The KOA at Virginia Beach provided Sher and I a perfect place to stay and share with our family over the past July 4th holiday weekend. I was pleased that we were able to get a spot over the holiday, and doubly pleased with the location of our camping space.  We were placed in a spot on the first row next to the store/pools and other amenities. This gave us an easy, short walk to the pool!

Our spot was a pull through with all utilities, including cable TV and a very strong WiFi connection. The parking was level for our 24′ Thor Four Winds. There was a picnic table and permanent fire ring. Our only problem with the site came with the rain that hit a couple of times. Our site drainage was poor and we had quite a puddle outside our door until it slowly drained away. Our site was long enough to allow our family to park their car behind our RV. All in all the site was very nice.

Our comfortable site for five nights

Our comfortable site for five nights

Office and store

Office and store

The KOA has a lot of great amenities that we enjoyed with our 5 year old granddaughter. She stayed with us for the week days while our son and daughter-in-law worked. We loved the two (yes, two) swimming pools. They were crystal clean and had a lifeguard on duty during the day. Pool chemical levels were checked every hour with results posted publicly for all to see.

In addition to the pools the grounds had a huge sand pile to play on/in. Measuring at least 20′ X 20′ and a full 3′ deep, this pile of fine beach sand with buckets, shovels and other toys made for a great place to let kids play while adults sat in the shade under a huge umbrella. There was a large inflatable slide and bouncing pad next to the sand pile. Other traditional playground equipment was scattered around the park.

Convenient covered bus stop: runs all day every 20 minutes

Convenient covered bus stop: runs all day every 20 minutes

One fantastic feature of this park is the local city bus stop right on the grounds. For a mere $4 you can ride the “trolley” to and from the Boardwalk at the beaches of Virginia Beach. The day pass is good for 24 hours, the busses come by every 20 minutes and run from early morning to late at night. No need to drive your tow vehicle to the expensive beach side parking lots: take the bus!

We thoroughly enjoyed our five day stay at this KOA. We bought the KOA Value Kard to get the substantial savings offered. Our family had a ball with us. We used the fire pit, roasted hot dogs and introduced our granddaughter to s’mores. An added plus to this RV park is the security gate. Sher and I felt very safe in this park.

Be sure to check out the KOA website Virginia Beach for reservations and more information.

BJ’s Carolina Cafe was a good stop

My "catch of the day" with cornbread, hand cut fries and slaw.

My “catch of the day” with cornbread, hand cut fries and slaw.

Sher and I were on our way to Kitty Hawk from Va Beach with our family and hit some very slow traffic. Seems like lots of folks were on their way to the Outer Banks that Saturday. We stopped at a place named BJ’s Carolina Cafe to eat and hopefully the traffic would be cleared when we were done.

BJ’s Carolina Cafe was a great stop for us. This family oriented cafe had a diverse menu that had something for each one of our party. The service was friendly, albeit a bit slow. However we were not in a rush and freshly prepared hot food is always worth a little wait.

BJ’s Carolina Cafe is located in Currituck County, North Carolina on Highway 158. Check their website for details.

Enjoying Virginia Beach and Norfolk

Sher and I are enjoying our visit to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. We have spent some time with or son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. We have also been out some doing the “tourist” type stuff as well.

We are looking forward to taking a dolphin watching cruise to see these beautiful creatures in the wild. I’ve talked to the folks at Rudee Tours in Virginia Beach and can’t wait to set out on this adventure! I’ll post a full report after our cruise.

Today we drove down to Norfolk and saw the waterfront area. There is a large commercial building under re-construction with completion due in 2017 (according to the signs). When we lived here decades ago we enjoyed a restaurant in this facility. Hopefully it or a similar one will be back when the project is completed.

If you see us driving around in our Four Winds motorhome give us a honk and a wave!

Virginia’s Eastern Shore aka southern Delmarva

Looking back towards Va Beach from the first tunnel island.

Looking back towards Va Beach from the first tunnel island.

Today we headed north from Virginia Beach across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnels to what is called the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The spit of land that forms the east side of Chesapeake Bay is also called Delmarva because it is made up of portions of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

The Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel was amazing to cross. This is a toll bridge: it cost us $19 in toll one way for our motorhome. There are actually two tunnels and miles of bridges crossing the water where the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay meet. There are two bridges wth two lanes each direction merging into two way traffic in the tunnels. It has been called one of the engineering marvels of the world. I have to say the construction of the thousands of concrete piers supporting the road decks is a marvel to see.

The trip north up Highway 13 this morning was quite an eye opener. The rural nature of the area was immediately obvious. There were huge wheat and corn fields as well as lots of smaller fruit and vegatable plots. Both Purdue and Tyson had massive chicken processing plants and there were many farms that had chicken finishing buildings.

We checked out a few different campgrounds on our way and have ended up in Tom’s Cove Park campground on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. We’ll probably be here a day or two. It is hot this afternoon so we will take a walk down to the water later when things cool off a bit.

There are supposed to be wild ponies on this island somewhere. We’ll do some looking into them while we are here.

Lighthouse at Fort Story as seen from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

Lighthouse at Fort Story as seen from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

 

 

Fishing pier at the restaurant stop on the bridge

Fishing pier at the restaurant stop on the bridge

Our coach parked at a "Scenic viewpoint" on Fishermans Island National Wildlife Preserve just at landfall from the CBBT

Our coach parked at a “Scenic viewpoint” on Fishermans Island National Wildlife Preserve just at landfall from the CBBT

Hit the Virginia Beach beach

Surf was too high here to swim

Surf was too high here to swim

We made a quick trip to the Coatan Beach south of the main drag next to the boardwalk. The surf was so heavy here that no swimming was allowed, only surfing. Swimming was allowed further north up the shore line.

We also drove up the strip and were surprised at all of the new stores and hotels that have been constructed since we were here last a couple of years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

A few surfers enjoying the waves

A few surfers enjoying the waves

Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake

This structure is a drawbridge

This structure is a drawbridge

Today we drove around the area going to some yard sales. We had good luck finding things that will sell at some of our shows later this summer.

We also had a great time driving around the Norfolk and surrounding areas. Our son drove us so Sher and I could sit back and enjoy the scenery.

We really had a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the large cargo ships

One of the large cargo ships

 

A couple of "Tall Ships" in the Norfolk Harbor

A couple of “Tall Ships” in the Norfolk Harbor

Enjoying our time with family at Virginia Beach

IMG_3212We are enjoying our time with our son, daughter-in-law and our grand-daughter. We are parked on the street next to their house.

Today is supposed to be the last day of rain for awhile. There has been tons of rain the past few days which has led to flooding of some streets. A couple of boys were out in the rain yesterday with their boogie boards having a great time in the half a foot of water in the next street.