Clickinwalk 2015: Virginia Beach

Sunday was the Clickinwalk, a worldwide annual Clickinmoms event (though even non-members are welcome to participate). I decided to attend the Virginia Beach meeting this year, instead of hosting in Fredericksburg like I did last time. I wanted to be just an attendee and I wanted to go somewhere new to me. Virginia Beach attracted me because I haven’t seen any ocean in a couple of years and I’ve only seen the Atlantic once, barely, long, long ago.

I last saw Virginia Beach fifteen years ago!  I found the photos in my album from that visit, August 31, 2000. Robert took this one. Ha ha! I remember we didn’t bother stepping onto the beach that day. We’d just moved here to Virginia, after living in southern California (me for 29 years, Robert for almost a decade) and I figured we’d come back again soon enough. WEB 2015-04-27-virginiabeachlongago-001

Little did I know I wouldn’t make it back to Virginia Beach until deciding to join the Virginia Beach Clickinwalk this year. We started out in the Virginia Aquarium because it was raining. (I was very miffed the weather threatened my plans to see the ocean!) But after lunch at Mahi Mah’s (yum!) the clouds began breaking up and we walked down the boardwalk, onto the sand by the fishing pier, and to the nearby amusement park. Even after saying goodbye to my new Virginia Beach area photographer friends, I stayed longer. I was enjoying the ocean air, the noise of the waves, the beach sights, and that wide open, relaxing expanse of water.

Now, grab your favorite beverage or snack and get comfy, because this is going to be one of the longest photo shares I’ve ever done.

The Virginia Aquarium is not as large as the Baltimore Aquarium, but it has some unique features, including an awesome tunnel through a tank so we can walk under fish and be surrounded by them. We could get up close to many fascinating creatures.

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This is only one fish, swimming close to the surface of the water in its dark tank.

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The rays swam around their large pool vigorously and we could watch from several vantage points, include above and, here, from the side, through a glass wall. The lighting was nice too!

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The quote by John Muir above the globe in the next photo says, “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

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The Virginia Aquarium has multiple attractions in more than one building, with a wooded path between them. We visited the otters in the second building.

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I took the next two photos soon after lunch, when the sun was just beginning to appear.

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Here’s how we often looked during the Clickinwalk. They’re photographing the ferris wheel at the little amusement park near the beach. As I’m more of a people and event photographer, whenever I go on a photowalk, I’m always compelled to turn around and photograph my fellow photographers.

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Next is the first photo I took after saying goodbye to my new friends, on my way back to the beach. Look how blue the sky became! I’m so glad I didn’t let the morning rain deter me.

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Yes, I love the ocean. I need to visit it more often.

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There were some interesting sights at the beach, as I said. Horses, even!

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This large statue is part of a war memorial. Just off the boardwalk, she faces the ocean. Her plaque below her feet says, “I am the Norwegian Lady. I stand here as my sister before me to wish all men of the sea safe return home. In memoriam to the souls the sea did call to peace eternally and in appreciation to all who braved its perils in freedom’s cause. To the citizens of Norway on this twenty-fifth liberation day in May 1970 by the citizens of Virginia Beach, Virginia.”

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I even got some good exercise on this day, as I walked briskly up the boardwalk all the way to 32nd Street to see King Neptune and then back down to 9th Street where I had parked.

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I’m so glad I chose Virginia Beach for this Clickinwalk and did not give up due to the weather forecast.  I met a very friendly group of wonderful photographers who welcomed me to join them again. They get together in their area quite often. I can’t make the trip as often as they meet, but I’m thinking a few times a year is doable. And there’s something about the ocean.  I must get there more often. This 8 hour day in Virginia Beach was worth putting up with crazy truck drivers who speed past me before sunrise in the pouring rain and the the slow Sunday evening traffic on 95N that makes the 2.5 hour drive almost 4 hours. I did stop on the way home, but between Richmond and Fredericksburg I rarely reached 50 mph. But I don’t think about the traffic when I remember this trip. I think of things you saw in the photos above.

If you’re not too tired from all that scrolling, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.  Thank you for visiting!

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