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My Van Life: Day 46

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Ruther Glen, VA – Virginia Beach, VA – Swansboro, NC

Today was glorious because today...Was a beach day. This California girl was absolutely overjoyed. I will caveat this joyous day by saying I woke up on top of the covers, once again, although thankfully this time I was not completely sweating just perfectly comfortable lying there contemplating getting up at that ungodly hour. I tossed and turned for a bit, opened my eyes, closed them, the typical song and dance so many of us perform every morning, before remembering where we were (in a random rest stop somewhere in Virginia in case you forget like I clearly did) and decided to finally get up.

We completed our morning routine, deciding to leave the bed down for the day in case either of us felt like taking a midday nap – we were quite clearly tired when we made that decision - although now looking back, it actually was a wise decision. We had only about 2.5 hours of driving ahead of us this morning so we hopped to it, pausing briefly so Adam could take his daily 9:30am call and I could utilize the facilities. Then we were back on the road driving toward the beach!

Originally we planned on visiting False Cape State Park after finding it online on the list of favorable Virginia State Beaches but unfortunately upon arrival we saw numerous signs indicating dogs were not allowed, not even in the car (?!?!?) Now, that’s a new one. I can’t say I’ve seen such explicit signage forbidding dogs even if they stay in the car? MY car at that?! The good news is we noticed another little beach area only a few miles down the road that we passed on the way in to False Cape. Little Island Park had a massive parking lot and was only $5 for all day parking. While it sucks having to pay for parking all the time, comparatively speaking that wasn’t too bad.

We posted up in the $5 lot which was nice and quiet and very private. We practically had a whole section of the lot to ourselves. We were able to open up the slider and the back doors and while it was extremely hot today (88 felt like 97 kind of day), it was a lot more bearable, pleasant even, with the doors open and our mini fans blasting. There was a nice ocean breeze that swept in every so often and kept that fresh air circulating. Granted we did get a few flying friends into the van but that’s the tradeoff for having the doors open unfortunately.

After working on my blog and making lunch, I decided to pack up and head to the beach while Adam worked. It was decently crowded at the beach but not to the point of being unable to find a nice, secluded and quiet spot to lay out and read. I alternated between laying in the sun for 10 minutes reading and getting up and walking along the beach, letting the cool water rush over me and regulate my body temperate. When I first landed on the beach I was absolutely dripping sweat. I thought there was no way I was going to be able to make it even an hour there but three hours later I walked away feeling sun kissed and refreshed. In that moment I was reminded why I love the beach so much. I could stand and stare at the waves crashing on the shore all day long. It’s intoxicatingly peaceful and I’m grateful to have been able to enjoy this beautiful beach all the way across the country in Virginia Beach. Which is beautiful by the way!

So many sweet beach homes lined the waterfront. Lots of people out and about enjoying the day and the sunshine. Overall it felt like a clean, happy little beach town. Not the run down and dirty kind many get used to seeing. I walked back to the van, sun kissed and drunk with the pleasure of three hours spent in the sun, changed out of my swimsuit and hopped in the drivers seat. We decided to drive to our next destination in North Carolina. It was about a 3.5 hour drive so unfortunately I did more nighttime driving than I traditionally like but we made it. Adam found a great camping spot right next to a boat launch but it was about two miles down a one lane road in the forest with absolutely no one around. We didn’t see a single car along the two mile drive nor at the campsite. Honestly it was spooky. I couldn’t do it. Maybe if we’d arrived in the daytime it would have been different, I'm sure it would have been different, but nevertheless it wasn't daytime so we turned around and headed for the nearest Walmart in town. A well lit Walmart at that. It looked like a beautiful campsite but I just wasn’t feeling it. I’m a scaredy cat okay! I feel much more secure in this Walmart parking lot surrounded by other cars even if it’s incredibly loud with people doing yardwork at 11:30pm. Welcome to North Carolina.

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