This post was long due. Finally found some time over the weekend to post this. Time flies by and its already a week now since this trip. The trip it self was fun.
Our Group: We were a group of 10. 3 Couples and 4 bachelors.
Travel time: appx 7.5 hrs drive – one way
Distance: appx 440 miles- one way
Vehicles: Chevrolet Uplander & Ford Taurus. The Uplander is sort of a mini van accommodating around 7 people. We couples were on the Uplander and the bachelors were on the other car – Ford Taurus.
We planned to start at around 2 PM on Friday, but somehow as usual we started at around 4 PM. :) The drive was pretty cool. Took some breaks on the way and we reached our destination at around 11.30 PM at night. Since it was a long weekend, we could not get any hotel rooms in Virginia Beach itself at a reasonable price. So, we had booked our rooms in hotels at Norfolk which is around 15 miles from Virginia beach. We stayed at the Hilton Norfolk Airport hotel.
Since we were all hungry, we decided to go out to some place to eat. IHOP was the restaurant of choice, but it was crowded. Finally we had to be happy with Wendy’s drive-in since most of the other restaurants had closed by then.
Day 1 – Saturday. Beach day. We were at the beach by around 11 AM I guess, and the beach was pretty crowded. Here are some snaps of the beach:
VA Beach – Click to Zoom
All along the shoreline there are hotels. Unfortunately we could not get accommodation in one of these hotels. But the rooms have a fantastic view of the sea!
VA Beach – Hotels on the Beach – Click to Zoom
VA Beach – Shoreline -Click to Zoom
Now this is what is called “Sun bath”…
VA Beach – Sun Bath – Click to Zoom
Hmmm…. Nice shot… What say ?
VA Beach – Hmm… Shhhhh!- Click to Zoom
There are lot of amusement rides on the beach – Jet skiing, Para-sailing and the boat ride shown below :
VA Beach – Pirates Boat Ride – Click to Zoom
At around 3 PM in the afternoon, we decided to go for Para-sailing. I was kind of determined to parasail when we first thought about this trip :)… …….. Para-sailing was fun. You must try it at least once in your life time. Here our snap – Me & Chitra
VA Beach – Para-sailing – That’s Me & Chitra – Click to Zoom
Towards the end of the ride, if you request, the operators will give you a dip in ocean. We had a nice dip. :) the water was ice cold, and we got half wet. But we got dried pretty soon since it was sunny. For me, Parasailing was the best part of the entire trip!
After Para-sailing, we spent some more time on the beach, and all of were pretty tired.
We then started back to our hotel & freshened up. We had decided to have food at an near by Indian restaurant called Dawat (also known as Nawab). The Non Veg food was kind of OK, but the Veg food sucked big time. Definitely not a place to go again :)…
Day 2: Sunday. Busch Gardens Amusement Park.
We started at around 10 AM to Busch Gardens Amusement Park. Its located at Williams burg, which is around 1 hr drive from Norfolk.
We had to drive via the Hampton Roads. Its land, then bridge over the ocean followed by a Tunnel under the ocean, bridge again, and then Land. Very beautiful.
Here is a Bridge over the ocean…
Bridge over the ocean – Click to Zoom
And then the Tunnel…
Tunnel under the ocean – Click to Zoom
This is how it looks on Google Earth – Satellite Image….
Google Earth View of bridge and the tunnel – Click to Zoom
As soon as we approached the exit to the Busch Gardens, we were kind of stuck in the traffic. There was a Major crowd…Looked like all roads led to the Busch Gardens….
Traffic to Busch Gardens – Click to Zoom
Busch Gardens Entrance – Click to Zoom
Even though there was major crowd, the Amusement park was well planned to manage such crowds. There was ample parking space, and we did not have major problem parking our vehicles. There were trams to ferry people from the parking lots to the Amusement Park.
The Busch Garden Amusement park at Williams burg is based on “European” theme. The park is divided into different areas named after different European countries. And each of the country has its own set of Rides, Games and Shows.
Here is one of the theatres where shows are held….
One of the theatres in Busch Gardens – Click to Zoom
Busch Garden – Click to Zoom
Since it was very crowded, there was a wait time of around 20 mins to 45 mins on many of the popular rides. We did manage to sit on some of the rides. Here is one of the rides that we enjoyed… called the Dark Kastle. Its a 3D ride. Thrilling…
Dark Kastle – 3D Ride – Click to Zoom
Then we saw one of the shows called Oktoberfest … A dance performance…
OktoberFest Show – Click to Zoom
This was one of the rides.. where the water splashes…
One of the rides – Click to Zoom
The Amusement park is very big, and one would need at least two days to see the entire park and sit on all the rides. Unfortunately we did not have so much of time with us :(. But we did have fun all the time we spent there.
We started back to Norfolk at around 10 PM and reached Norfolk at around 11 PM. Finally found IHOP not so crowded. Had a heavy dinner at IHOP and crashed to bed.
Day 3: Return. Back to Kingsport. Started our journey back home at around 10 AM after having our breakfast at a local fast food joint. We reached Kingsport at around 6 PM in the evening.
All in all, a great memorable trip!