I hope that I always travel with my family. I hope that as my sisters and I start to get married and have kids that we keep the tradition alive that my parents instilled in us of the importance of taking time out of your busy day-to-day life to spend time with family. When I was young, we almost never spent Thanksgiving at home. That was our annual family vacation, always alternating between going on a cruise and going to Disney World. I am so grateful for all of the places that my parents took us to and allowed us to explore over the years. This summer they rented a large house in northern Michigan on the lake for all of us to go to for a week, and I can’t wait!
This past summer two of my younger sisters had a dance competition in Virginia Beach, so we decided to make a whole trip out of it. We were all able to go except for one of my sisters who had to work. It would have been a perfect trip if she could have been there, too.
The drive from Michigan to Virginia is about 8.5 hours, so we broke it up a bit by stopping for the night at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. My mom and I are not fans of rides at all, but we heard this theme park had a lot more than just rides, so we were all pretty excited.
Now like I said, I am not a theme park fan, but this place was awesome. Very clean, tons of shows, great food/drinks, unreal people watching, and a few rides that I actually didn’t hate. The best part was probably just running around with my sisters all day getting to act like kids again.
After a very, very long day, we finally left to drive the remaining 1.5 hours to the condo we would be staying at for the next week. We were all very pleasantly surprised when we got there. It was in a large complex right on the ocean and adjacent to a long boardwalk with any and every bar, restaurant, and shop you could ever want. And it was only about 5 minutes from the convention center where my sisters would be dancing periodically throughout the week. A perfect location!
I am not joking when I say that the only things my week consisted of were running (I was training for a 1/2 marathon at that point), laying on the beach, swimming in the ocean, eating/drinking AMAZING things (who knew VB would have some of the best seafood and cocktails I’ve ever had in my whole life?!), and spending a ton of time with my family. One day we also went dolphin watching on a small boat which was fun. But the majority of our time was certainly spent on the beach. I got such a good tan and want it back super bad right about now that it’s March in Michigan.
Although I do love to cook at home, it is certainly a nice treat to eat out every night and get to try whatever you want to eat/drink, solely depending on what you are in the mood for. I think I had fresh fish every single day and had quite a few “crushes” – a local drink mainly consisting of fresh fruit juice, alcohol, and super tiny crushed ice. They were amazing, and my favorite was definitely the key lime pie flavor. One night I did a test to see how similar it tasted to the actual dessert by taking a sip of my drink and then a bite of my pie, and I swear it was the same exact flavor.
The sunsets were also absolutely breathtaking. I am not a morning person (especially on vacation), so I never got to see the sunrise, but I heard from others that it was even better.
One of the nights we were there, there was a huge storm. There is not much in life I love more than a big storm. My dad and I got stuck in it when we went to pick up my younger sisters, but once all five of us were back in our condo, we made popcorn, put Parenthood on, and opened our porch door to hear/watch the rain. It was such a cool night.
My cousin lives in the area so we also got to see her one night. We were all really close when we were little, but lost touch when we all started to live in different spots. So it was great to catch up with her and see the beautiful adult she has turned into.
My sisters and I are really close, but it’s rare that we ever get so many days in a row together. And as much as I love owning my own home and being an independent adult, once it a while it’s really nice to go on a vacation where you don’t have to be the decision-maker. My dad took care of all of the logistics and plans like he used to do when we were little, and I really didn’t have to think about a thing. I am so blessed to have parents that work so hard to get all of us together in one place, just for fun.
On our way home we had to stop at another hotel (because how on earth could anyone drive 8.5 hours straight…..I know I sure can’t), and due to an issue with our room, they ended up giving us an additional room. My sister Sara and I got to split it and we swear it was the honeymoon suite, so I will leave you with this gem.
This was such a great trip (I know that I am a broken record with saying that) that I will remember forever. I would love to go back to Virginia Beach one day, simply for the relaxing beach time and amazing restaurants alone. This trip was also my first time trying Chick-fil-a, which is a very special thing (;. Re-capping this already gets me excited for our next vacation coming up in July!
Do you still go on family vacations? Where is the best place you’ve been with your family?