We’re still on vacation and getting a Wi-Fi signal is a challenge. While I have one I’ll give y’all a peek at what I’ve been up to:
In the northwestern corner of Virginia Beach is a community fronting the Chesapeake Bay officially known as Chesapeake Beach. To locals it’s Chic’s Beach, named after the snack bar and bath house operated by Audrey “Chic” Ledington that once stood on the beach. Happily, I discovered at the annual civic league picnic Saturday that I still qualify as a local, having grown up on that stretch of sand, live oak and party animals. I even have the T-shirt to prove it!
Chic’s is as much a state of mind as it is a geographic location. It’s really tough to describe but the camera will help. Here’s a taste of my old stomping grounds:
Junior market, the only place I know of where the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” sign is for decorative purposes only. Everyone who has ever spent any time in Chic’s Beach has bought beer, ice, cigarettes, rolling papers, etc. in this store while barefoot and/or shirtless at some point in time……..and that includes more than a few females. Folks in Chic’s Beach are famous for wearing their bathing suits 10 months out of the year and standard footwear, when worn, is a pair of flip flops. Add a T-shirt and you are in formal attire.
No, that’s not Godzilla parked out front. That’s one of his baby brothers, a Ford Explorer.
Bay Bridge Lane is named after the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which consists of three pairs of bridges and two tunnels spanning the 20 mile mouth of the Chesapeake Bay between Virginia Beach and Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Crossing the CBBT is described as going to sea in your car.
The southern terminus of the CBBT viewed from the west. While we also call this end Chic’s Beach the actual beach he owned is just east of the bridge.
The ever present “GU-11, unmanned aerial vehicle” is also the logo for the CBBT. We always know we’re getting close to home when we start seeing the blue and white road signs with the soaring gull on them pointing the way to the CBBT.
Mom and Frankie on Chic’s Beach proper with the CBBT in the background. Frankie is giving me that “Point that camera at me and I’ll clobber you!” look.
She changed her mind. If you’ll notice her right hand you’ll see that I am not the only shutterbug in the family these days.
We lucked out and got to the beach just after a storm blew through. The large buildings in the distance are condominiums at the mouth of the Lynnhaven River, famous nationwide for it’s oysters.
The wooden building in the middle distance was once Chic’s Snack Bar and Bath House. It’s now Alexander’s on the Bay, a rather high end restaurant currently undergo major repairs after being practically demolished by a nor’easter last winter.
To give you an idea of the power of that storm, the same weather system dumped nearly 2 feet of snow on us, 325 miles inland.
Well, boys and girls, there you have it; there is no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, only a coal collier and from the amount of hull showing it’s empty. At any time you can expect to find up to 2 dozen coal colliers riding at anchor in Lynnhaven Roads, waiting to take on a load at Lambert’s Point in Norfolk which borders Virginia Beach on the northwest.
This is what I came for this evening; sunset!
Well, it wasn’t all I came for. Man, does that feel good!
Surf casting is very popular around the bridge pilings. Spot, croaker, puppy drum and flounder are plentiful……..and they’re also delicious fried!
Mom and Frankie headed off into the sunset. You’ll note Frankie has gone native and shed her shoes.
AHHHHHHHHHH! Can you hear the surf and smell that salt air?
I lived on Lauderdale for several years when I was still a single hellion. As a matter of fact, my friends and I were so proficient at raising hell and having a good time that the local cops knew most of us by name. They also told us that as long as we were all in one place, usually the beach behind my house, and nobody was bleeding they would leave us alone because they knew where to find us didn’t have to chase us all over the neighborhood.
My backyard when I lived here was the beach and the Chesapeake Bay. Directly across the street my neighbor’s backyard was Chubb Lake. If you look very carefully you can just make out the barbed wire topped perimeter fence of the Naval Amphibious Base at Little Creek cutting through the middle of the lake. When I was a kid, and a Navy dependant, my friends and I used to wade across the lake to go to the 25¢movies at the base theater. The water was never more than thigh deep and we could actually step over the fence. That’s security for ya! By the time we walked the 10 or 12 blocks to the theater our cut off jeans were usually dry and all we had to do was put our shoes and shirts on and they’d let us in. Of course we had them off when we walked out of the theater after the movie ended.
One of the houses fronting Chubb Lake. Can you imagine kicking back on that deck and enjoying the view?