My great nephew and Edi’s grandson, Chris, was getting married in Virginia Beach and we attended the event; great nephew, Tim, rode with us. We left Edi’s around 7:00 on Wednesday, May 11th, and headed out. It was an uneventful day of driving with our stopping at Best Western Plus Columbus located in Pickerington, OH. The remainder of the drive was completed the next day, May 12th. We checked into the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel, settled into our room, and met Edi’s granddaughter, Casey, for dinner around 7:00 in the hotel restaurant.
Casey came back to our room and we sat on our balcony facing the waterfront; it was relaxing and peaceful…even with a volleyball game being played on the beach.
Once we got ready and downstairs on Friday, the 13th, it was time to head toward the waterfront downtown for the Victory Rover Naval Base Cruise; this was something Brian, my nephew, had made reservations for all of us. There was quite a group of us: Edi, Casey, great nephew Sam, great nephew Tim, great niece Lauren and her husband Randy with their 3 children, Brian, his friend Heather, Brian’s father Larry and his wife Cindy. While we cruised the waters of the Elizabeth River we were given a history of Virginia Beach which is one of the world’s busiest sea ports including the world’s largest naval base, home of the Atlantic Fleet. After the cruise, Edi took in the naval museum while Casey, Tim, Sam, and I did a self guided tour of the USS Wisconsin.
It was a very enjoyable experience. The five of us headed back toward the hotel and decided to have lunch at a place directly across the street. However, they were not open so we ventured next door to a Chinese place; the food was okay. Back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding rehearsal and beer/pizza party at Dana’s and Chris place that evening. Brian had a problem with his one leg so Edi and I went to his room to see if we could discover what might have been wrong. We went across the street to the pharmacy where Edi purchased a cold/hot pack along with an elastic bandage which she wrapped around his leg; he said it did feel better with the wrap. Edi had to be at the rehearsal so Casey and I went with her and watched the proceedings.
The three of us ventured to the beer/pizza party where we spent a few hours in conversations while drinking wine. Went back to the hotel and crashed for the night.
There was nothing planned for Saturday, the 14th, until the wedding at 6:30. We went to a nails place across the street called Nails Only where all of us got a manicure and Edi also got a pedicure. After making ourselves beautiful, we drove to the boardwalk along the ocean to find a place for lunch. And we did! We ate at Ocean Eddie’s Seafood; they were quite busy so it took awhile for our food to come but, once it did arrive, it was very tasty.
However, all our time was “eaten up” waiting for the food so we proceeded back to the hotel in order to relax before going to the wedding. Lauren, Randy, and the kids came up to the room for a visit. Around 4:00, they left so we could get ready. Edi had to be at the location by 5:30 so I drove her over, dropped her off, and returned to the hotel. Casey and I drove to the wedding. It was a fantastic night; the wedding was beautiful! The reception was inside the hall; there was a buffet dinner with very good food, great toasts made, and dancing.
Around 10:00, we left to take Lauren, Randy, and the kids back to where they were staying. Since we were using Brian’s van, we got back to the venue as the reception dance was breaking up; around 11:30. We dropped Casey off at the bar across from the hotel; she was going to connect with the rest of the wedding party. What a wonderful evening!
Sunday Brian met us at the hotel restaurant for breakfast around 9:00. Casey and Tim (who was going to spend the next week at Casey’s) had checked out and left before we went to the dining room. After breakfast, we gathered our things and checked out. We were headed to Sumter, SC where Casey and her husband, Dan, live. We checked into the Comfort Suites and drove over to Casey’s. I had never met Dan before so got introduced to him. Casey gave us a tour of their home. Casey and Dan fixed us a dinner of steak and baked potato; everything was delicious. It was getting late so we headed back to our hotel.
We checked out of our hotel; Casey and Tim met us at IHOP for breakfast. And then we journeyed to Swan Lake Iris Gardens, home to all eight known species of swan and some of the most intensive plantings of Japanese Iris in the US. The beautiful gardens are located in Sumter and has free admission. We walked thru the gardens and admired all the beautiful plants, sculptures, and swans residing or playing in the water.
After we completed our walk, we said good bye to Casey and Tim; our next destination was Crossville, TN for a visit with our niece, Tammy, and her husband. There was roadwork on the way so we were delayed because of having to wait/crawl along; it did not help that there was an accident which caused us to wait 20 minutes or more without moving while the road was cleared. Arrived in Crossville around 4:00; checked in to the Holiday Inn & Express and headed to Tammy’s home. After greeting us, Tammy provided us with a tour of their house and surrounding yard. Curt came home from golfing; we visited at the kitchen counter while Tammy fixed our evening meal.
Both of us were tired so it was not a late night; we planned the next day with Tammy/Curt and went back to our hotel.
In the morning, we rose and went to Tammy’s for a breakfast of fresh pumpkin scones plus coffee. Tammy and Curt gave us a tour of the area which is filled with many golf courses. Really enjoyed visiting Ozone Falls Natural Area where we took a path to a wonderful water fall. Because we wanted to be on the road by mid-afternoon so we could get 4 or 5 hours of driving completed on our journey home, we did not drive to any other scenic park. We did stop at Landscape Solutions which had lots of plants plus garden gifts. It was fun to look at everything.
Lunch was at Cancun Restaurant where we received very good Mexican food. And then on the road again with both of us hoping we did not encounter any more road work. We stopped for the night at Mount Vernon, IL where we got a room at the Comfort Suites. Edi was not feeling well so we ventured to Bob Evans where we ordered bowls of soup. Back to the hotel where she laid down for a “nap” at 7:30; she got up around 8:30, got ready for and went to bed. My evening was spent reading and looking at messages on my iPad.
The morning of the 18th, after having breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we headed toward St. Louis and home. Edi called her daughter, who lives in O’Fallon on the opposite side of St. Louis from where we were currently driving, and it was decided we would stop at her place for a very short visit. The morning traffic was heavy in St. Louis which meant very slow driving. Arrived at Vicki’s, got a cup of coffee, and looked at her new living room floor that her husband had laid down…it looks quite nice. Only stayed about 30 minutes and onward to Marion, IA where Edi lives. We stopped at a nursery outside of St. Louis and WalMart where I looked for annuals to be planted in my pots. Dropped Edi at her home and took off for Shellsburg, stopping at HyVee DrugTown on the way, for more plants. Arrived home and was greeted by my two girls, Beauty and Cutie. Another great trip!