Summer is over. The days are getting shorter. It’s time to pull out those nice memories from time spent at the beach. After featuring designtripper on Maine (USA), here is the interview of a mom blogger, fan of the All-American summer vacation in Virginia Beach (USA). Meet Chantale P., mother of extra-cutie little Keira-Mae, the source of endless inspiration on her witty blog The Adventures of Skinny Mini Kiki. Their entire vacation is featured on 3 big posts on her blog. Here is a special excerpt for BozAround.
Meet the Skinny Mini Kiki family
My name is Chantale P. and I am a designer working at Orage ski-wear label, and a blogger on The Adventures of Skinny Mini Kiki. I live with my French Canadian husband Claude and our 6yo daughter Keira-Mae in a lovely suburb of Montreal, Canada. We are a mixed family and my daughter is of Korean, French and Irish heritage.
Share your last family summer vacation
As our daughter is still very much into princesses, pirates and the like, we try to head to places where there are at least 1 or 2 attractions for children and a beach to appease all of us. For the past 3 years, we have been on road trips to Virginia Beach, USA. It is roughly 14 hours by car (!!) from Montreal and we break it up in 2 days.
Although Virginia Beach has many trappings of a very touristy location, it’s a great place to take small children. The beaches are relatively clean and well kept and there are several attractions that even the adults will enjoy. If you manage to stay at a hotel on Atlantic Avenue (right beside the beach), then you will enjoy Beach Street USA where there is free music and entertainment every night during the summer months!
PLAY in VIRGINIA BEACH
Keira-Mae always looks forward to the theme-park Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, about an hour’s drive from Virginia Beach. I recommend you take the Discover Ticket which gives you access to both Busch Gardens and Water Country USA for 7 days.
Believe me, it gets incredibly hot over there and you will end up desperate to dive into any pool of water that you see! Water Country USA is about 1 or 2 exits after Busch Gardens. Keira-Mae loved this water themed park! From the man-made surfs at Surfer Bay to her absolute fave, the Hubba Hubba Highway which is a long winding river pool with a current that pushes and pulls you along..
Another attraction is the Aquarium & Marine Science Center. It’s not a big aquarium but it’s a good place to head out to when the weather turns rainy. There is even a boat excursion with several options from dolphin watching to cruising the saltwater marsh creek. There are several museums close by including the Chrysler Museum of art in Norfolk.
To be honest, what everyone loves to do is spend time at the beach. The water is warm and when the tide is low, it’s a safe place for the kids to play in the water. There are several bike rentals available for rides on the boardwalk. Eco tourism is big in Virginia Beach and you can kayak out on the ocean for dolphin watching etc. In fact, every morning we were there last year, I saw dolphins swimming close to the beach shore. There is also a big surf culture in Virginia Beach and there are several offers of surf camps and lessons available.
EAT in VIRGINIA BEACH
We like to eat at Boston Market rotisserie. It offers a healthier alternative to fast food joints. There is also PF Changs downtown. Oh I hear a lot of you groaning at this choice! But we don’t have this chain in Canada and I just like the way the waiter mixes up the tangy sauce in front of us when we sit down. I also think you can’t go wrong with noodles for the kids. This is a very popular hot spot though! Reserve in advance.
If you’re on Atlantic Avenue (Beach Street USA), there are several pizza joints to satisfy the kids. We were surprised by and loved Abbey Road Pub located at 25th and Pacific Avenue. The name and decor may seem cheesy but the burgers are really terrific!
For a great seafood dinner and if you’re lucky enough to get someone to look after the kids, head on over to Catch 31, located at the Hilton Hotel (between 33rd and 30th streets, on Atlantic Avenue). You can either sit comfortably inside or ask to be seated on their terrace facing the ocean.
SLEEP in VIRGINIA BEACH
The best is to rent a condo or home near the beach. There are also many hotel choices, some with a kitchenette which comes in very handy with the kids. Another plus of a hotel right by the beach? No need to bring a huge cooler to the beach! A small one with enough water to last for a few hours and snacks will do. Also, no need to try to find and rush to a public washroom with desperate kids needing to go! If you pick a spot right beside your hotel, you need only to head back to your room to use a clean washroom. Ah..
SHOP in VIRGINIA BEACH
What to bring home? Nothing but good memories & a relaxed spirit! If you go and have managed to avoid buying & bringing home all the tacky souvenirs, I salute.
May you always keep your beautiful smile on, Keira-Mae! Stay tuned for more adventures…