The main topic of discussion for the whole trip was Natalie's underwear. She'd inadvertantly put on a pair of minimalist red fantasy panties, which we all referred to as "the thong." We wondered what she'd do when she had to change into shorts in front of us all.
The little markets we found along US 250 didn't have much in the way of fake-vino selection. Mad Dog was a definite rarity. We ended up drinking lots of Molsen Ice and Corona. I never realized how much I like Corona. There's something about that skunky citrus flavour that seems to work with driving through the Virginia Piedmont.
Towards Williamsburg, I fell asleep.
In a little Virginia Beach convenience store, the cashier apparently doesn't sell very much Mad Dog, because he sold me the $3 flask of Orange Jubilee for only $1. The first digit on the price tag had ripped almost completely off and he'd missed it. But had I been him, I would have known better. His friend gave us a tip that the least populated beach was up near 89th street, just before a big military base.
We drove past the strip commercial district of Atlantic Avenue, past over-priced seafood establishments interspersed with towering hotels and and tracts of upper class residences. At 89th Street, the houses were built right up to where the scraggly-grass-covered sand dunes began. Evidently, any place that can grow shrubs is considered stable enough beach for permanent dwellings.
We walked on a sandy path through an enchanted forest of stout little trees, through a swath of humpy sand dunes, down to the beach itself. The ocean was at low tide, and the wet sand felt like hard concrete where the waves had worn it smooth.
And it was a complete ocean. It had a wide variety of exotic long-legged long-beaked birds walking like high speed single-minded mechanical contraptions. Where the water lapped the sand they were rooting around, finding mysterious little unseen aliens to devour. There were no snail or clam shells, but there were lots of crab remains. I found it remarkable that in the midst of such relentless development, nature asserted herself so powerfully in the thin strip where the mighty Atlantic itself had finally stopped the progress of Man.
With the others, I played in the waves as they rolled in. I allowed them to push me about, though they were mostly gentle. I never quite mastered "body surfing," though Matthew tried as best he could to instruct me.
By now we were drinking from a 30 pack of Icehouse, and a mild drunken pleasantness seemed to amplify the comforts of the ocean.
Some two years ago, Matthew and Leah had been to Virginia Beach and had managed to sneak into the Ramada Inn, a towering adobe-coloured building near the beach somewhere near 50th street. They knew that in the Ramada is a hot tub and a swimming pool. Today, Matthew suggested we sneak into the Ramada again.
After the novelty of our trespass wore off, we became bored with the adventure and decided to leave. Matthew and I found some perfectly good uneaten french fries in the hotel hallway and we devoured them on the way back to the car.
Changing into our dry clothes in view of four lanes of traffic on Atlantic Avenue was not such a big deal given our intoxication. My private parts were fully visible to random motorists on several occasions. As usual, you see, I was wearing no underwear. At least Natalie had her "thong."
For most of the ride back to Charlottesville, I slept or at least tried to. The back seat of a Ford Bronco is not an especially comfortable bed, especially when you're wedged in with two other people. Still, I was too tired to join the others when they stopped at a Williamsburg seafood place.
While we'd been gone, Monster Boy's parents had come for a visit and brought him his bicycle and skateboard. Now he no longer is forced to rely on his piece of shit Pontiac K-Car.
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