Just returned from a visit to the parents who live in Virginia Beach. Not that we expected otherwise, but we came back with an even stronger love for our beautiful spot on the Gulf. I expected to see bigger crowds than usual over there on the east coast this season, for obvious reasons, and sure enough, it was packed. To the point that you could barely swim, sun or bodysurf without fear of running into someone. But with the overdevelopment, overcrowding, murky water, brown muddy sand that's too hot to walk on, dull afternoon light, and other reasons -- it only reaffirmed our commitment to SoWal. Not one person smiled and said hello as we passed either, something we've become accustomed to here. Don't get me wrong, I spent my childhood on the Navy beach in Va Beach, and do love it, but I tell you--once you discover SoWal, it's hard to look back. As we walked that beach, we actually spent most of our time planning the layout for the house we're going to build someday on the large, pretty lot we own off 30A. It may take ten years for us to get there, but hurricanes and oil/dispersant tragedies notwithstanding, we can't wait to call the parks, dune lakes and white beaches of SoWal home. There is still NO place like it that we know, and we feel blessed to be part of the in-crowd who've discovered it.