The smell of saltwater was in the air. A light, refreshing breeze stirred the baby hairs that tickled my forehead. Warm sunbeams caressed my face as I kicked back in my chair enjoying the sound of rolling, crashing waves.
As I sat there taking in the moment, I noticed busy people in front of our hotel. They were working to set up a huge concert stage for the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival. Then, I remembered – the lady at the front desk mentioned this event during our check-in. What a happy surprise for our vacation! Concerts right in front of our balcony!
Later that day on a dolphin-watching cruise, we heard the event would start on Saturday…. Our check-out date was Friday… “It figures….,” I thought to myself. Robby, my husband, verbally echoed my thoughts: “Of course…”
Then, I considered: “Maybe we can extend our vacation and stay until Saturday?” No luck. Robby and I, also farm owners, planned to return home Friday, so we could move cattle on Saturday before “normal life” started again on Monday. (And yes, we planned to move cattle during our vacation time.) Slight frustration set in.
To top it off, we found out Darius Rucker was headlining the event!!! And to add more salt to the wound, our hotel room had a nice, clear, view overlooking the main stage where Darius would perform on of my favorites – “Wagonwheel.”
Me: Hard, frustrated sigh with an upward pushing of my bottom lip. Further frustration…
“It figures! Why do things never work out for me?” I thought as I sat on my OCEANFRONT balcony enjoying a beautiful day with my sweet hubby, a decently-healthy body, clothes on my back, and a wonderful life to return home to.
Reality slapped me right across the face. Hard. I’m talking Scarlett O’Hara-style. “Good Lord!! Stop complaining!!” I thought to myself. (Yes… I had a stupid moment.)
I mean, it would be pretty incredible to sit on my balcony, enjoy a refreshing beverage, and have an excellent seat to party with Hootie. But at the end of the day (or the week, rather), I got to go home and work my cattle. On my land. And be outside in one of the most gorgeous places in the world – Highland County, Virginia.
I took a deep, slow, humble breath. A smile spread across my face at the thought of home, and peace fell on my heart. I began to realize that whether I was at the beach hoping Darius would throw some Hootie in his performance or at home relishing my mountain haven, I was blessed. No matter which experience I found myself in, I was blessed.
Moral of the story: Darius Rucker is awesome, but my true definition of happiness is watching my baby calves play after they’ve been turned out to their new summer pasture. Sorry, Darius… You can’t compete with these cute, little babies!
Furthermore, I acquired important knowledge for future travel plans: You can reserve a stage-side room during the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival!! Today’s missed opportunity equals a goal for the future!
TIP #1: If you want an oceanfront room for the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival, I recommend booking a couple YEARS in advance. At the time of publishing this post (July 2019), the resort is already completely booked for the 2020 event, which is May 30 through June 2.
TIP #2: Beach Quarters Resort is owned by Diamond Resorts. While the Diamond Resort locations I’ve stayed in appear to be well-maintained, clean, and well-staffed (minus a less-than-mediocre and completely clueless waiter in Daytona Beach), be aware they’ll try to offer free or discounted incentives in exchange for a one-on-one, 90-minute meeting with a Diamond Resorts Membership Sales Rep. I’ve done it. It’s not terrible. But you’ve been warned.