Thursday, June 28, 2012

Virginia Beach Vacation

Last week I ventured to VA Beach with my wife and kids.  The people along the strip and inside shops and restaurants were some of the friendliest people I have had the good fortune of meeting while on a vacation.

This was the first time that we were able to take our children to the ocean, and they really loved it.  Even after the long ten hour trip, we headed straight to the ocean and jumped waves.  My son kept a smile from ear-to-ear as the tide came in with harsh, pounding waves that could knock your feet out from beneath you.  It simply amazed me at how quickly we no longer felt tired and found ourselves at ease and relaxed on the sandy beach.

We had rented a room in Norfolk a couple months prior, and since it was on the beach, too, we thought we'd spend more time in Norfolk than Virginia Beach.  However, Norfolk's beach was nasty with dead crabs and fish everywhere.  The water had lots of seaweed and clutter, too, so we returned to Virginia Beach each day.  The beauty of Norfolk's beach, though, came early morning as the sun rose on the horizon.  To our surprise, we watched adult dolphins feeding with their babies.

Back at Virginia Beach, late one evening while we were walking the Boardwalk, we were approached by a young lady with Gold Key Resorts.  She asked how our vacation was going, and the next thing we knew, she was hitting us up with a well-planned "Time-Share" sales pitch.  Normally, I run from such things, but we were promised four tickets to a dolphin site-seeing boat ride the next day and a 3 day-2 night hotel stay to use over the next year.  So, during the hottest part of the next day, we sat in a nicely air-conditioned hotel and listened to the Time-Share pitch.  We turned down the investment, but we did receive the gifts promised to us.

The next day we went to Rudee Flipper boat and spent over an hour on the ocean.  For about thirty minutes, we never saw a dolphin, and I began to wonder if we would.  However, after we got past all the busy parts of the beach and where fewer boats were, dolphins seemed to be everywhere.  My wife took dozens of pictures.  We saw a lot of baby dolphins, too.  Some places in the water were schools of dolphins, and by the time we returned to shore, we probably saw over 100 dolphins in total.  It was a fantastic time and something I hope to do again soon.  These are memories to last a lifetime.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RIP, Ray Bradbury

It is sad to hear that one of the greatest science fiction writers has passed away.  Ray Bradbury was a great influence on me and my early writings.  I read The Martian Chronicles when I was a teenager and immediately knew that I wanted to create worlds and stories of my own.  I have, but with a much different flavor than he so secretly mixed.

Bradbury had a wonderfully unique way of phrasing his sentences with depth and wonder.  The stories he told were visual as you read.  That's how he became a stellar author.

RIP, Ray Bradbury.  We lost a great man today, but your work lives on.