a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Back to the Beach

With our minds focused on what is waiting for us just around the corner (Oia's surgery and new baby concerns), Rob and I decided to take advantage of one more weekend away. Rob had a board meeting yesterday in Virginia Beach so the three of us headed out of town Friday afternoon for an impromptu "vacation". Virginia Beach is barely a 3 hour drive - just enough distance to feel removed from the daily grind.

Oia checking out the view from our room moments after arriving; she kept saying "Woooooooowwwww" while attempting to jump up and down.

We drifted through the weekend with no plans in place. For us, it's the best way to unwind. Shortly after check-in, I was thumbing through a beach guide that I snagged from the hotel lobby and discovered Grommet Island, a 15,000 sq ft all accessible beach park and playground located on the beach.

I have no other experience in accessible playgrounds (because unfortunately they are far and few between) so therefor no scale to compare this one to, but it did have some impressive features. There were ramps onto wide structures, raised sand tables, a roll-on rocking ship, soft all-weather flooring, wood decking for easy access over sand, and beach wheelchairs just waiting for a spin along the shore. My heart was happy to be there, that this playground was there, for all the kids who deserve playing on a playground too. I thought of all the kiddos I follow on a regular basis and smiled as I imagined each one playing at GI one day.

The newest fan of Grommet Island

Another highlight of our weekend was taking Oia on her first outing to a zoo. I've wanted to take her since she was just a baby but there's always been a million reasons why we haven't gone yet. But wait no more, we spent our warm and sunny Sunday aimlessly strolling the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. Oia was fighting a fever all day but remained tolerant and in the stroller for the most part. Not sure what animals she really saw from her stroller view or what was most interesting to her, although we pointed them all out to her as we saw them. I made sure to take close-up photos of all the animals we could see and soon I'll compile a picture book of zoo animals for us to enjoy together.

No trip to the zoo is complete until you've toured the grounds by train, which Oia loved...

And no trip to Va Beach is complete until you've rode a goofy, family-style bike along the boardwalk. Again, Oia loved this too... must be something about riding while unbuckled that makes her little adventurous heart sing. (I actually rode holding her in my lap while she pretended to steer the bike.)

This will more than likely be the last adventure our little family of three will take. Soon, we'll be a family of four. We savored every moment. Spending time with those you love the most is always good for the soul... throw a little sand in the mix with the sound of the ocean crashing around you and there's no reason to not smile. It was a lovely weekend, indeed.


  1. It made me chuckle thinking about you holding Oia in your lap on that bike. Can't have been very comfortable for you. :) I'm so glad you got away from it all for the weekend. Guess what? Shelby started drinking a sippy cup by herself yesterday! :)

  2. So glad you got to get away again. Good for the soul, indeed! Keep the Oia pictures coming. She's just too darn adorable!

  3. The close-up of her on the playground - PRICELESS! Words or no words - her face says it all - "My Mom and Dad rock!"

  4. What a lovely trip, and what a lovely smile on your daughter's face. My, what a fancy train your zoo has - I am jealous. I am glad you could have this trip together, Mo.

  5. How awesome. I was sent here by Katy at Bird on the Street. I am just an hour from Virginia Beach. My son is a year old and was just diagnosed with CP and Lobar HPE. I am so glad I came across your blog. It is so encouraging.