So, on to Virginia Beach!
A bit of background here: KH’s basic experience with the ocean has been surf lessons in northern California. Mine has been all up and down the east coast, and some southern CA beaches. Very different.
I was going to introduce him to the joys of the ocean.
We checked in at the hotel, and he decided I needed a cap before I could go out in the sun. Oh, and we didn’t bring beach towels. And he had refused to buy a bathing suit, saying exercise shorts would do fine. So we went shopping first. I got a baseball cap and a beach “dress”, he got a pair of sandals, and we both got cheap beach towels. As usual, shopping with him involves looking at everything in the store, and I have learned to curb my impatience for the most part. (Shopping for me involves running in, grabbing what I want, and getting out, except for rare exceptions). While waiting for the cashier to ring us up, I say, suspiciously, “you’re going in, right?” “Maybe.”
Disappointment, recovery. Whenever Joel said “maybe” he meant “no, but I don’t have the balls to tell you that yet.” KH does NOT have a problem saying “no.”
Back to the hotel room, lotion up, grab the things we need.
BEACH! We spread our stuff out, and he is going to get some sun. Ok, I will check out the water. It is wooooooooonderful. I make it back to the towel, and I sit on my beloved and give him a kiss.
*drip* “are you coming in?” “I just got comfortable!” *drip* “I think you should come in.” “I need the sun!” *drip* “the water is fabulous.” “you’re DRIPPING on me!” *drip* “yes, yes, I am.” ”FINE!”
It went like this:
KH: ”It’s COLD”
Me: ”Are you KIDDING me? This is 80 degree water! this is BATHWATER!”
KH: ”WHOSE BATH?”
*a few minutes go buy*
KH: ”I don’t like how this tastes!”
*a bit later*
KH: ”Look! Another wave! Over there, another big wave!”
KH: ”ok, we can do this for a while longer”
*we finally return to our towels to smoke*
KH: I want a house on the BEACH!
It was a joy and a delight. I need the ocean from time to time, and it had been 4 years since I had been in it. (Exchange of the day: Me: “Can’t you feel it cleansing your soul?” KH: “yes, but I’m kind of salty…” Me: ”Oh, it cleanses the SOUL. Leaves the body a bit crusty.”) And watching him fall in love with splashing in the salt-water was deeply satisfying.
Dinner time. Right across from out hotel was a restaurant called “The Raven.” I was intrigued. I said so to my beloved, in so many words. ”Let’s eat there,” I said. ”It intrigues me.” He, however, wanted to make sure I had looked at every single other restaurant on Atlantic Avenue. So we went for a bit of a walk. Several blocks away, we see something that MIGHT be interesting, but no. There is a line. My beloved will NOT wait for a table. Another couple of blocks and we can turn back. ”Can we check out the Raven now?” “Why are you obsessed with the Raven?” “I don’t know. It intrigues me.” “It only intrigues you because it’s called The Raven!” ”So?”
We walk back to the Raven. We walk in. He gives the gift shop a glance-around, and finds it to his liking, and we enter the restaurant. To be greeted with “Smoking or Non-smoking?” OMG WTF THIS CAN STILL HAPPEN??? ”Yes,” our hostess says. ”We have two completely separate ventilation systems.”
We sit. The menu is standard USian fare: Steaks and burgers and grilled chicken, everything with the house specialty of sauteed fresh mushrooms. The food comes and it is VERY well done. I look at KH and say “I TOLD you this place intrigued me!” (uhm, yes. I will, in fact, say “I told you so” WITH GLEE when I am right. Fuck off.)
He just looked at me and said “yes. I am learning to trust my wife.”
After dinner we spent a good hour in the gift shop, examining EVERYTHING while KH tried to get me interested in t-shirt after t-shirt so he could buy me one. I finally found a black babydoll with “The Raven” and a Raven on it in rhinestones or whatever shit is cheaper than rhinestones on t-shirts but still sparkles. I kept pointing out that I had limited space to bring things back to Vienna AND that I had JUST GOTTEN RID of buttloads of t-shirts in the pre-packing binge. He just said “so you need to start stocking up again.” Hmph.
We took a long, long walk on the boardwalk, bought fudge and laughed at the crap in the souvenir shops, examined the rides but didn’t go on any. He tried to take pictures of the city lit up at night from the Boardwalk, but didn’t think they would come out. Finally, we went back to the room and went to sleep around midnight.
And that was our less-than-24-hour honeymoon, and it was PERFECT.*
*of course it was, I was right about EVERYTHING