Wednesday, August 4, 2010

beach weekend

Some time ago, Brad and I received a gift certificate from BnBFinder that could be used at hundreds of bed-and-breakfast (B&B) inns across the United States. The gift certificates never expire and they are easy to use (i.e., no blackout dates, few restrictions). If you know someone who frequents B&Bs, these certificates make a perfect gift.

Not everyone enjoys B&Bs. Brad and I have now stayed at six of them, and we've always had delightful experiences. But, I do think it's important to carefully research the B&B before you go--not every B&B is a quality place, and you probably need to spend some money to guarantee a decent one. Brad and I love B&Bs because of the quaint rooms, welcoming innkeepers, out-of-this-world breakfasts, homemade cookies at teatime, and other amenities that make for a very personal experience.

Our gift certificate covered one night's stay at Barclay Cottage in Virginia Beach, so we only had to pay for the second night.

Loved the double wrap-around porches!

We normally stay right on the ocean when we visit the beach. But when offered a free place to stay for half the trip, I will make an exception. B&Bs aren't usually located right on the water, which is why we never stay at them when we go to the beach. But Barclay Cottage was only three short blocks from the ocean, and the innkeepers supplied us with anything we could possibly need at the beach (e.g., chairs, towels, umbrellas, water, snacks, etc.).

We enjoyed a break in the summer's never-ending heat wave and laid on the beach all day for two days in perfect comfort. We even braved the icy water twice to bob in the waves--our favorite beach activity besides lounging and reading. It was an easy, relaxing, and well-timed getaway.

Growing up in the landlocked Midwest, I was almost 23 years old before I ever saw the ocean. Now that I live within a three-hour drive of the Atlantic, I want to kick myself that Brad and I don't take more beach weekends. We go to the ocean every summer, even if it's only a day trip. But this past weekend convinced me that we need to make more of an effort in the future to spend some quality time at the beach.


Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I also love the ocean mid winter. It's cold but if you like B and B's, you can often find great off season rates and super cozy environments. Fewer tourists so it's even more relaxing. Of course you can't swim in the ocean but it's beautiful to look at.

SusanL said...

So glad you had fun! I've always wanted to stay at a B&B...maybe one day!