Stellie Pearl's Thoughts......

I Keep Hoping That My Tomorrows Will Catch Up With Yesterday

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA was sometimes a vacation stop for us for a week in the summers, then we would drive on to WV. We would psych ourselves up for the trek across and through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. The signs that read "Please check your gas tank" before we hit the bridge/tunnel always disturbed me. What if you ran out in the middle?
(ABOVE: The Seagull Motel)

Each year that we visited Virginia Beach, we always stayed at the same place; The Seagull Motel. It was a small oceanfront family motel, that only had 3 oceanfront rooms. The rest of the rooms were "ocean view". It was a pleasant little place, owned by a Greek family. The husband and wife were always in the office, along with their 2 white toy poodles. My brother and I loved to go into the office and play with the dogs.

Our favorite breakfast spot was a place called Peter Pancakes. Outside of the restaurant, there was a huge statue of Peter Pan. Their pancake menu was extensive....any type of pancake you could imagine! My father always ordered blueberry pancakes, my brother the silver dollars. My mom usually ordered an English Muffin and fruit. And me? I had to be exotic and order the Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberry Sauce....I hadn't a clue what Lingonberries were, but those pancakes were very good!

We spent our days at the beach and/or swimming pool. We would play and swim, and maybe stop briefly to have a sandwich in the room. My parents would round us up around 4:00 to start getting ready for dinner. We had a couple of favorite places to eat. One was a seafood place that had a huge fish tank full of fish, that always entertained me and my brother. My mother always ordered Filet of Sole with lemon. I would eat some of hers and share her salad with blue cheese dressing. After our meal, we would either play miniature golf, or walk on the boardwalk. There was a neat playground a few blocks back from the beach that had unique slicky slides shaped like rocket ships...sometimes we went there. The trip was not complete without the purchase of salt water taffy and Seafoam candy. When we would get back to the motel, I always begged to go for one more swim before bedtime. The pool looked so inviting with all of the lights on underwater. Then, sunburned and tired, I would fall asleep and sometimes feel the warm trickle of water come out of one my ears when I was almost asleep.

When I think back on it now, my parents always did so much to make sure that we had special family vacations each year. My mom didn't work, and my father was a teacher. He had the summers off, and he always made sure we went somewhere together as a family. I have so many good memories of the times that we spent together at the beach, and feel fortunate to have experienced them with my family.


  1. Those are the things that we keep close to our heart honey!! Thanks for sharing, made me think back when my parents were married... We use to go on family vacations like that. Memories... Love ya!

  2. Missy, I am so envious of you for remembering all those details! Seriously, I have almost no memories from my childhood, like the slate was erased...and you remember breakfast orders! I'm also envious that you had a family in the true sense of the word (which I know makes the situation with your mother now even more bittersweet). I love reading about it, about you.

  3. Wonderful!

    My thoughts on this are similar to those posted by "Wander by the Wayside" (great name!) My memories are only "freeze-frame" moments from childhood -- certainly NOT full-day, sequential memories such as yours. I'd love to be able to recall "a day in the life ..." Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory! I can tell you grew up in a VERY special, loving family.

    I'm glad you experienced the "old" Virginia Beach, before the transformation got well underway. VB today bears NO resemblance to the charming, seaside village that it used to be before it merged with Princess Anne County in 1963, when VB's population was 7,000.

    I hope you also got to enjoy the North End, with the sand dunes, sea oats, and pure, white sand. I've posted a 1982 photo of the North End beach at

    Thank you, again, for sharing this delightful "trip down Memory Lane."