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My Week in Virginia Beach
We were looking to go away to nice vacation spot at the water. With my wife pregnant, we didn't want to leave the U.S., and Florida was out due to risk of Zika. That is how we decided to travel to VA Beach.


We left on a Sunday morning, stopping first to buy food for the 7-hour drive. It was a very enjoyable drive down.
In order to get to our destination, we had to pass through a magnificent Chesapeake Bay Bridge–Tunnel.

Day 1-Sunday


We arrived Sunday late afternoon to our hotel; Holiday Inn VA Beach - Oceanside.

We choose this hotel due to its proximity and private entrance to the beach. All rooms have a private balcony which was a must for us. We also looked for a room that has a kitchen, so we can eat comfortably in our room, but when we arrived, we found out that only the king suite has a kitchen. The room was clean, as the reviews had said. It was a bit small which was fine as we spent of the time on the balcony or outside. We had requested a quiet room and received one on the 12th floor.

After settling in we went for a late evening stroll on the boardwalk. One of the things I liked about this boardwalk, was the separate pavements for bikes and pedestrians, so when taking a walk, we were not constantly stopped by bikers. The beach and boardwalk were well maintained and very clean.

As there aren't any kosher restaurants in VA Beach, we brought along all our food in 2 huge ice boxes. When we wanted to eat supper, we took an out the double wrapped frozen restaurant meals (I bought them from a takeout in Brooklyn) and microwaved them. We brought along plastic ware and cutlery as well. In order to keep the ice box cold we replaced the ice every day from the ice machine. We
would back and forth from the ice machine to our room until the ice box was fill. It's a miracle the ice didn't use up...

Day 2-Monday


Early morning, after watching sunrise, I set out on a 45-minute drive to the nearest minyan. The Bnei Israel Congregation of Norfolk is the nearest shul, located in Norfolk VA. Although the drive is long it was pleasant as there is no traffic early morning.

 After breakfast we set out on our first trip in VA Beach; Ruddy’s Dolphin Tours (www.rudeetours.com),  $22 per adult. We took the 11am one so we should still have time to spend on the beach. The tour company promised to give you another free ride if no dolphins are spotted. Dolphins are very common in VA Beach, and we were very excited to see them. The trip turned out to be awesome. The captain steered to the regular places where the dolphins hang out, and boy were they jumping around! They came very close to the boat and even swam alongside us for a while. There were loads of dolphins out and we enjoyed every second!
When we came back, we went to buy some beach gear. Plenty of cheap stores dot the Avenue. We bought sunglasses, flip flops and colorful beach towel. Before going down to the beach, we filled our small ice box with ice, water bottles and soda.
The beach was awesome. It is extremely clean and has plenty of lifeguards. They rent chairs and beach umbrellas, but we decided against it. We sat in the sand, swam a bit and headed up to start the supper process.

Day 3-Tuesday


We decided to dedicate Tuesday to the beach. We drove out to Walmart, bought chairs and an umbrella (for cheaper than it would have been to rent for a day) and some water bottles as the hotel charged $2 a bottle. The weather was beautiful, and we really enjoyed our time by the sea.

Day 4-Wednesday

We awoke to sunrise. Watching it from our balcony, in the cool morning air, was breathtaking. We laid back down for a quick nap. After eating breakfast, we left for a cruise that passes through a naval base (www.misshamptoncruises.com) $24 per adult. We saw many warships, battleships, hospital ships, guard ships and much more. The tour guide was knowledgeable, informative and funny. He described each ship's purpose and the battles it had fought in.

After that it made a stop on Fort Wool, a civil war era fort. (They only make the stop weather permitting as it is difficult to get to the Fort in bad weather) The fort hasn’t been touched and has many interesting sites, such as cannon shooters and watchtowers. We both enjoyed it and is a great idea for anyone who enjoys history or military.
It was a very windy day and the waves were quite wild, so we did not spend much time on the water.
It was July 4, so at 7:30pm they had a firework show on the water. Many people went down to the beach to be able to see it close, but we stayed in the balcony. Turns out we had an amazing view, as we were high up and didn't have to push through masses of people. The show was really nice and lasted half an hour. Afterwards plenty of people fired their own fireworks and the beach was alive with activity much later than usual.



Day 5-Thursday

We started our last day early. We packed up and checked out early so we can have time to sit on the beach a bit. After loading up the car we asked if we can keep it parked in the lot for a bit longer. They agreed. However, it turned out to be very hot and so we left after not too much longer.

We started the long drive back home. When passing through Delaware we decided to stop for coffee. We stumbled upon a mall which had a Starbucks and many other great stores. We bought plenty of things for cheap and spent 2 hours in the mall. When we got back home it was very late, so we bought supper and sat down thinking about the awesome trip we took



Summary


It was a beautiful trip. We didn’t want to tour around a lot, we preferred to relax on the short vacation break we get from work. The beach was a fantastic place to do that. Even the short trips we took were relaxing and not high pressure. However, there are many other trips one can take such as parasailing, wild boat rides etc. We loved the relaxation and the clear air. Recommended trip for any couple looking for a nice outing!

 


December 25, 2018, 09:44:12 PM
2
Re: Myrtle Beach Master Thread
Edited the wiki.

This place is awesome! Highly recommended.

While @mmgfarb was battling half the Jewish community in America in FLL we were enjoying this nice and quiet waterfront community.

The only downsides to it (for us) are the lack of direct flights from JFK and the lack of food. We were originally booked on AA from LGA with a stop in CLT but as time went on we realized the hassle of lga with a stopover and figuring out what to pack and how given that we needed lots of items for Shabbos and the thought of all the checked bags we'd have to pay for made us decide to drive there instead. So thanks the priceline's cancellation policy we cancelled the tix and psyched ourselves up for the 10.5 hour drive.

Driving allowed us to take anything and everything we wanted and in this case we literally needed the kitchen sink since we'd have to make all the meals ourselves and we'd also not have to worry about renting a car and car seat etc..

So we packed up the car and off we went, we left about 8:30 pm and with one stop for gas we got there at 7:30 am. At about 1:15 am in the middle of nowhere traffic came to a complete standstill for 20 minutes so with that delay and the stop for gas we made the trip in 11 hours.

We stayed at the dunes village, (added it to the wiki) (shoutout to @Avs175  and @efflpetzel for their help) for their water parks which were great, the kids loved it. Got a spacious 2 bedroom for $129/night after all tax and fees because it's off season. The same room in the summer is well over $300.

The dunes is very old and very dated but we stayed for the waterparks since it's the only one that has it indoors. Almost every hotel in MYR has some sort of "water park" but they are all outside and in 50 degrees that's not really an option.

After being in the waterpark for the whole morning we set out to walmart to get all the items we needed that were not brought along and then off to the Food Lion (added to wiki) to see what kosher items they offered.

We also strolled down the boardwalk which was amazing, I've never been to a beach town "off season" (Miami is always busy it's just a matter of how busy) and it was so pleasant, peaceful and quiet. Yes, it wasn't hot or humid by far and you couldn't go swimming outside and certainly couldn't go into the ocean but it wasn't that cold either, during the day it was in the high 50's - 60 and only at night did it get cold enough to make you want to go inside.

Another thing we liked about the dunes was that the water park was only open to registered guests of the hotel unlike kalahari and camelback which allow day passes which make the place even more crowded and unbearable. I'd say there were less then 10 people at anytime including us in the water park which was exactly what we wanted and why we even schlepped out there to begin with.

There are lots of activities to do and they are all located within a few minutes of each other but lots of them are seasonal and were closed. But if we had more time we would've done the trampoline park (added to wiki) the ripley aquarium and the wax museum which were indoors and open.

For Shabbos we stayed at the Ocean 22 Hilton (added to wiki) because it was closer to chabad, the dunes is about a 45 min walk and the hilton is 20 min. The hilton is light years ahead of the dunes in terms of look and feel, it's newly built and it was nice to be back in a modern place. We booked a 1 bedroom because it's much, much more expensive it was $160/night but in the back of my mind I knew that it's off season so I figured at checkin I'd ask for a 2 bedroom and that's exactly what I did and sure enough she upgraded it on the spot :-)

Chabad was a mix of chabad and sefardi, I've never been to anything like it before and I was caught off guard. I went for shacharis on Thursday morning which was called for 8 at 7:55 when I showed up there was 1 guy there :-( and they finally got started about 8:20 and 9:15 they were just finishing laining :-( :-(. I had been there for an hour and fifteen minutes already and they still were not done. We were intending on going to chabad for lunch on Shabbos but after my experience on Thursday I realized that it would not work for us. I am not a yekki by blood but I am by personality and if time means nothing I can't stand it. So we ran to food lion and bought stuff for a chulent.

On Shabbos at chabad I met a guy (much older then me) from Brooklyn who said he's been coming here for random Shabbosim for years because he loves the peace and quiet it offers.

After Shabbos the kids went swimming in the indoor pool and again we were the only ones there, woo hoo! Sunday morning we headed back, stopped for krispy kreme and gas in VA and we got back Sunday night also took 11 hours. 

All in all a great time was had by all, I can't say I'd make the drive again anytime soon and I would first look for direct flights but for those who do have direct flights this is a great getaway.

PS. After telling over my chabad experience to some people they told me that chabad is notorious when it comes to time. I always thought it was chasidim who have no concept of time but I see now chabad also.
Thank you for writing this up.
Glad you had a amazing trip!

February 01, 2019, 08:46:16 AM
1
Re: South Florida Master Thread
Anyone ever stay by the St. Regis for Shabbos? Any tips regarding keys, sensors etc?
Check out Miami TR from @Yehuda

February 05, 2019, 12:39:57 PM
1
Re: Questions and Help for BEGINNERS!
I need to open a US Bank cc in order to retainn some banking  perks that i have with them. Any good spending cards or decent sign up bonuses going on now?
https://www.dansdeals.com/credit-cards/highest-offer-ever-earn-70000-miles-spending-5000-barclaycard-arrival-plus-world-elite-mastercard/

March 05, 2019, 01:12:21 AM
1
Re: Ad Campaign for spreading awareness anti credit card swiping businesses!
Full page ad in Williamsburg Bulletin, & Kol Berama, 1/4 size page, it is a bit too small to read... I'll ask designer to create a half page size for these kinds of papers. Also in black and white, the red letterings print in light grey... If anybody has the Torah Times, lemme know if it's in there... the other papers I reached out to said they'll 'try' printing it if they have extra room.... I guess they didn't have. Maybe next week.
It's in the Torah Times as well.

March 07, 2019, 10:53:11 AM
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[Rumor] Chase Sapphire Preferred Signup Bonus will Soon Change to 60,000 with $95 Fee (instead of 50 https://www.doctorofcredit.com/rumor-chase-sapphire-preferred-signup-bonus-will-soon-change-to-60000-with-95-fee-instead-of-50000-with-fee-waiver/

March 07, 2019, 11:30:27 PM
1
Re: Chase Sapphire Visa
As soon as you receive the card.
Or if the card shows up online

March 25, 2019, 12:41:27 PM
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Re: Report New CHASE Offers Here - NO DISCUSSION Of Offers In This Thread 10% back at staples ($6 max)
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March 26, 2019, 08:05:43 PM
1
Re: Amex Closed Accounts
Rumor is that Fidelity Payments does not want to this to happen so they are basically forcing amex to close all accounts
Welcome to DDF!
What are you talking about???

April 04, 2019, 09:52:57 PM
1
Re: Misc Credit Card Questions
I've been doing quite a bit of research and I'm wondering, which cards offer a travel credit that includes "seat upgrade" charges? I know of the Ritz Carlton card (which is no longer accepting applications), and the CSR (because you can essentially use the $300 travel credit for anything.) I have the City National Bank Crystal card and the Amex Platinum. I've already used my CNB travel credit on GCs so I can't test it this year, but I may try it next year just to experiment.

Anyway, have I overlooked any other cards that offer that specific use for the travel credit?
Amex Gold $100
Amex platinum $200
You can double dip. Travel credit is every CALENDER year.

April 07, 2019, 12:09:03 AM
1