After spending several hours at the beach late Saturday afternoon with Diamondqueen and the Hooligans, with the smoky wind swirling and the waves the roughest we’d seen yet that week, I was ready for another meal like this one. We weren’t sure if the dining room downstairs would be crowded at that time on a Saturday night — Hooligans don’t wait well in line unless it’s for a ride at King’s Island — but we got them cleaned up anyhow and herded them toward the elevators.
As S.Hooligan passed me on the way out the door, she had a strange, upset look on her face. While we waited for the elevator, she burst into tears and said her stomach hurt. This happened just as the elevator doors were opening, so we all stepped in as we were asking, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” instead of waiting to see what was up with S.
We soon found out. Seconds before the elevator doors opened downstairs, S. vomited. I immediately grabbed her and scooted her out into the marble-floored foyer; I figured that might be easier to clean up than the carpet. Good thing, because S. cut loose again.
Diamondqueen, who was trying to hold the elevator so it wouldn’t return upstairs with a nasty surprise for someone, told J.Hooligan to go tell the guy at the desk that S. had thrown up. J. hesitated, then shook his head. “I’m too nervous,” he said, almost tearing up.
“Excuse me,” I yelled across the lobby. “My niece just threw up in the elevator!”
The desk guy looked at me quizzically. “Is she okay?”
“Yes,” I said, “but she made a mess in your elevator!” I guess we should have been grateful for his concern, but he didn’t quite get the point. Diamondqueen was still blocking the elevator door with her body and barring hotel guests from entering.
S. cried when we said we’d take her back upstairs. I said maybe if we waited she’d calm down and we could see how she really felt. We sat in the big lobby chairs as the desk guy commandeered the soiled elevator himself and a maintenance worker was summoned for clean-up. Finally S. admitted she wanted to go back up to the room. J. wanted to go with his sister and mother, so I said I’d go take a walk and meet them in the lobby later.
It was crowded and noisy out on the sidewalks, and I saw that most of the local eateries were geared more toward parading young adults, not families. And they were crowded besides. I was worried about S., so I returned to our hotel and went back to our room. As it happened, I rode up in the elevator S. had vomited in, and I was relieved to see that there was no evidence of the accident.
S. was a little subdued but happily watching TV with J. We gave up on dinner out and decided to indulge in room service. Unfortunately, the room service menu didn’t include the delicious shrimp and grouper I’d had the night before; however, they DID offer frozen margaritas! I settled for the fried shrimp. At least it would come with that spicy cocktail sauce.
By the time our food arrived 45 minutes later, S. had recovered and hungrily gobbled her fries and hot dog, and even had a piece of J.’s leftover chicken. After that we ventured out again to see how we could entertain ourselves on our last night in Virginia Beach. Both streets and sidewalks were jammed, and we saw some interesting sights. There were buskers playing a variety of music every block, which added a festive touch to the hubbub along the storefronts.
When I was out walking before dinner, I’d found a smashed penny machine in the fudge shop that offered shark pennies. J. had to have one, naturally. S. chose an angel penny, although she’s not really that familiar with the concept of angels. Diamondqueen, indulgent to the last, bought them still more souvenirs: acrylic shapes filled with colored liquid in which dolphins dove and tumbled. There was an arcade nearby, so we went in. The kids played a few games, but while J. was shooting dinosaurs in a Jurassic Park game, Diamondqueen sprung up and said, “Let’s go when he’s done.” The vibe of the place bothered her. It definitely wasn’t geared to young children. Fortunately, the Hooligans seemed content to leave. We stopped back at the fudge store for candy, then returned to the room to finish off the evening just as we had all the other nights that week — watching Indiana Jones on cable.