In our last Experience Friday post, I talked about our exciting indoor skydiving adventure. You will all be glad to know my back stopped hurting shortly after and the agonizing ab soreness (apparently I was a bit tense) finally subsided after a few days. Who knew sitting up in bed or rolling over during the night could be excruciating? To date, indoor skydiving has been the best ab workout I have ever done. ~smile~ Expensive, but I am convinced I am a mere ten skydiving sessions away from a rock solid midsection. (They should really advertise that feature.)
The indoor skydiving was fun, and having been removed from it for a few weeks, I do want to do it again – lighter and more prepared – but, again. And, even though we chose Virginia Beach because we wanted to go to iFly, we also went for… the food. Eric and I cannot seem to vacation without excellent cuisine. Sure, we could fly to Italy for a week and see amazing sights… OR we could drive a few hours east and eat as much awesome food as possible. ~smile~
Okay, so I am sure we did not spend as much on this trip as we would have on an international excursion, but we did eat – a lot. It did not help my weight loss efforts in the least, but I am afraid I just did not care. It was worth it for five days. The more amazing ethnic food I eat, the better-rounded person I will be. That is why I do it. ~smile~
As is not atypical with us, Eric and I ended up leaving our home about two or three hours later than we originally planned. Since we did not have specific plans that evening, I was not terribly stressed about our leisurely departure, which I am sure Eric appreciated as I am usually a frustrated, growling monster when leave late for a trip. The problem with leaving late this time is it put us in Norfolk during rush hour which was NOT a treat. The big city people can call me a wimp all day long. I was reminded during that thirty minute mile why I love my little town.
Finally, we made it! We wheeled our bags into the room and Eric did what he always does. He headed over to the thermostat and turned it as cold as he could get it. He loves to transform his hotel rooms into igloos – another one of the many reasons I love him. ~smile~ Sadly, this particular hotel did not believe beach lovers should want their rooms to get any cooler than, say, 76 degrees; so, we had a terrific excuse not to spend much time there!
The first night we dined on some amazing Latin American food at Mojito Café, bought some taffy from Forbes Candies, and ended the evening with some frozen yogurt. I knew our hotel could not be but so bad if it had a Sweet Frog attached to the front!
The next morning, I felt fine but I am not so sure my sweet hubby got much rest. The heat made it impossible for him to get comfortable (we like to sleep around 69 degrees). Still, he powered through as he always does. We had a leisurely anniversary morning and then headed over to Abbey Road – a local restaurant recommended to us by my oldest and dearest friend, Lauran. Word to the wise, if you do not like the Beatles, get over it and eat there anyway! Yes, there are pictures of the Beatles everywhere and they play nothing but Beatles music (which did not bother me as I was probably the only ten-year-old in the early nineties obsessed with them); but, regardless of the atmosphere, the food was amazing. I have enjoyed my share of fish tacos, but I am still thinking about the ones I had there. Nothing beats fresh seafood.
Latin American food – check! Charming ode to the Beatles – check!
After we flew at iFly, we decided to round out our anniversary in the only way that could possibly work for us – with Thai food. Thai Arroy to be exact. Lauran may or may not have indicated that Thai Arroy is the best Thai food outside of Thailand, so we had to check it out – and it did not disappoint. Eric considers himself a bit of a Thai food aficionado and even he was thrilled with the experience. Green curry, pineapple fried rice, crispy spring rolls, coconut ice cream with fried bananas, and several Thai ice teas later, we were fat and happy.
We Pause this Feeding Frenzy to Buy Toilet Paper and Walk on the Beach
We left the restaurant with a smile on our faces, headed to the local CVS to buy toilet paper since our hotel would not bring us any after asking them twice (no, not kidding), and then headed back for another too warm evening in our hotel room. Before we crashed for the evening, we did take a lovely barefoot walk down the beach. For those of you who know me, you know there are few pleasures I value more than being on the beach.
Late Check-out? Nope!
Generally, Eric will request a late checkout when we’re together, but he was beyond ready to get out of that hot room. So, we packed up the car and started heading to Richmond. Before we left town, however, we had to have one more culinary experience. Asahi Restaurant (Korean) – it was yet another yummy suggestion by the lovely Lauran. I have to give her props. She did not steer us wrong in the food department. She was three for three!
Short Pump – My New Home Away from Home
After our tummies were full, we drove a couple hours towards Short Pump, VA on the outskirts of Richmond. My brief synopsis of Short Pump: awesome! I could live there. Seriously, tomorrow. It was clean. The traffic was not too bad. It has an amazing mall, and basically every restaurant I could ever need is lined up in a perfect three mile row. And our hotel was clean, cold, and amazing (thank you, Residence Inn!).
For the sake of time, I will give you the short version. ~smile~ Friday night, Burger Bach. Yum! Amazing dipping sauces available to go with their fries. Saturday morning, pool time! Saturday for lunch, Pie Five! Pizza! My love language. Saturday afternoon, a stroll through the outstanding Short Pump Mall. It reminded me of an amusement park without the rides! No motion sickness here! In there, we stopped at a lovely shop called Oil & Vinegar (which sells… oil and vinegar – but amazing varieties!).
Saturday night: Texas de Brazil – a Brazilian Steakhouse! (My very first experience at one!) I am convinced there is one of these on every corner in Heaven. Maybe two. Imagine the most amazing salad bar ever conceived in the human mind followed by angelic beings bringing you perfectly seasoned meats on a skewer – as much as you would like. It was one of the most exciting food experiences I have ever had the privilege to enjoy. The only downside was I could not seem to get unfull. At one-o’clock in the morning I was still stuffed to the gills, but it was so worth it!
The last morning included continental breakfast, miniature golf at Bogey’s Miniature Golf Course, another quick dip in the pool, and then it was time to bid our tenth anniversary vacation farewell. Sad, but we were both ready to see our puppy! We packed the car but did not leave without one last Thai meal to round out the weekend at Tara Thai.
Five days, eight amazing restaurants, the beach, indoor skydiving, and a moolatte from Dairy Queen – it was a great trip. I might be sad it is over if it were not restaurant week here. Thankful for tasty culinary treats everywhere we go!
Do Not Neglect to Celebrate Your Milestones!
We could have “enjoyed” a more economical trip if we had settled for fast food, but we wanted to give the big one-zero anniversary the attention it deserved. ~smile~ Once in a while, even the tightest fisted among us need to splurge in life. Celebrate. Take pictures and hold memories dear to our hearts. Some of the best times I have ever had with Eric included a short road trip and a few good restaurants. ~smile~
When those special anniversaries come around in your future marriage, treat them as the big deals they are! Five years! Awesome! Ten years! Terrific! Twenty years! We made it! Even if you have to say no to some lesser experiences along the way, make sure you save and invest in celebrating those precious milestones. I think you will be glad you did. ~smile~
How do you want to spend your tenth anniversary? It may be closer than you think!