Our first day in Eastern Virginia there was one thing we wanted to be sure our kids saw: the Atlantic Ocean. None of our kids had seen it before, so we decided to set out to the coast. We were not anticipating the adventure we had.
We came to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
This bridge-tunnel is 17.6 miles shore to shore, connecting the mainland of Virginia to the Eastern Shore peninsula. Our kids loved watching the crashing waves from the bridges and then dipping down into the tunnel portions, dropping anywhere from 25 to 100 feet below water level.
In the middle of the bridge is a Visitor Center. We stopped half-way to see the water. Cameron (our 4-year-old) was freaking out because of the high sea winds. Bradley (pictured above) was enjoying every minute of it.
Inside the Visitor Center is The Chesapeake Grill. We didn’t eat there, but they have a nice little area to look out over the water. (The Chesapeake Grill looks mostly like a quaint little restaurant for retired locals and tourists to enjoy a meal by the water.) Pictured above is Elliot entranced by the scenery.
I caught a nice shot of a wave crashing on the rocks (with Elliot peaking his cute little face in the shot).
The Chesapeake Bay is North America’s largest estuary, which is a partially enclosed body of water along a coastline where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from an ocean. They aren’t kidding. The bay is huge.
Elliot, Dylan, and Cameron (pictured above) enjoy watching the water crashing on the rocks. The first installment of the bridge-tunnel was finished in 1964 and cost 200 million dollars.
The Chesapeake Grill served as a great lookout into the Bay. Cameron and Bradley (pictured above) stare out into the water.
The unique construction of this bridge-tunnel allows ships to come in and out of the Bay. Pictured above is the view from the end of one of the islands: the highway is underneath these rocks.
During WWI, the US established a large training base on Norfolk, including a submarine base and air station.
The pier coming from one of the small islands was very windy. Luke and Bradley stand on the pier at the half-way point of the bridge.
From the mainland we went to the Eastern Shore. We weren’t sure what we would find there, but we were recommended (by the kind lady at one of the visitors centers) to go to Cape Charles. I guess we were expecting a more thriving town, but late November in Cape Charles is far from booming. The word “ghost town” came to mind. We did find a nice little restaurant to eat our lunch, however.
We went to the Chesapeake Bay shore in Cape Charles and let our kids play on the windy beach. Pictured above is Trisha holding Dylan (left) and Elliot (right).
It was a very windy day. Luke holds Elliot (pictured above) who enjoyed watching the waves come in and out.
Bradley found a
sword stick on the beach.
All throughout Cape Charles there are small statues of aquatic creatures. Bradley and Cameron climbed on this one near the beach.
All in all, our completely unplanned adventure to the Eastern Shore made for a memorable morning and afternoon. If you’ve never taken your kids to see the Ocean, this makes for a fun experience.