2012 summer started off with my vacation to Virginia Beach, Virginia, a trip I would never forget. This summer was my second time going to Virginia Beach, and this time around I learned many new things that I didn’t know before. I loved climbing Cape Henry Lighthouse during 2011 so much that I wanted to do it again. I also did the hunt for the Mermaids on Parade in Norfolk, Virginia, and learned all about the famous Smithfield hams. My trip was filled with many other things as well, but these were the most memorable times of my awesome trip!
I was able to climb the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse that has been inactive sense 1881. It is about 190 steps to the top but it was worth it just for the view, though one thing I learned was that the top of the lighthouse has a greenhouse effect and gets very hot very fast which is not fun to climb in 90 degree weather. So we went early in the morning, but if it gets to hot they will shut the Lighthouse down to visitors. It is amazing to see just how far our Country has come technology wise. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was run by people but the New Cape Henry Lighthouse which is just a few hundred feet away is run by technology. The top of the Lighthouse has a beautiful view of the Ocean and if you look hard enough you can sometimes see Dolphins jumping and playing out in the water. It’s a great experience!
There are so many things that are unique to Virginia but specific to Norfolk is the Mermaids on Parade. Everywhere you look in Norfolk you will see Mermaids, on rugs, posters and shirts but one of the coolest things is that they have Mermaid statues all around town and each one has a name and a story to go with it. To find them all you need is a map and a good eye. Most stay in Norfolk unless moved after auction. The mermaids have become part of Norfolk’s history much like the Pigs on Parade in Smithfield, Virginia. They have recently become a part of Smithfield’s history (home to Smithfield hams).
On my trip we were able to see some of the Pigs on Parade and learn many facts about the pigs and hams of Smithfield. At the Isle of Wight Museum they have the world’s largest ham and world’s olds edible ham. The largest ham weighs 65 pounds, and the oldest ham will be 110 years old this year! It was so cool to see, but a little gross because the hams were black. It was very interesting to learn how much the people of Smithfield are invested in their Pigs and hams. When visiting Smithfield you can see how much they care about preserving the history of their town.
My trip to Virginia Beach, Virginia was such a fun time. The history I learned was just incredible. The things I learned with my own eyes is something that I would not be able to learn in a classroom, but seeing it with my own eyes I know that I will never forget all of this history. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse Virginia Beach, VA, the Mermaids of Norfolk, VA, and the pigs and hams of Smithfield, VA are just a few of the most amazing things I learned and I will never forget the impact it had on me.
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