Virginia Beach, VA to Washington, D.C.

June 2, 2023 Happy 72nd Anniversary to my mom and dad celebrating in heaven! We love you and miss you!

We set the alarm again in order to get an early start for our drive of 244 miles to Washington, D.C. It was another cloudy, cool morning. We were on the road by 9:30. We had some major congested traffic areas to maneuver through today—Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Richmond, and D.C. We didn’t want to leave too early and run into rush hour traffic. Bob really did a great job of choosing our path today–the right highways to avoid the major cities. We would be taking the I-64 bypass south around Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Newport News. That will take us through the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel–the only tunnel we can fit through due to our width. The other tunnel, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, had a 3 1/2 mile backup. Lucky for us, we weren’t going that way! The causeway took us over the James River/Hampton Roads.

We could see the tunnel entrance from afar and the ships sitting in Norfolk.

The causeway took us through the tunnel. The tunnel is 4.6 miles long and 46 feet deep.

Traffic was light through the tunnel and no large trucks wanted to pass us. That was a good thing!

When we exited the tunnel, the skies were blue and the sun was out. That took care of the first 3 metropolitan traffic areas. Richmond was next. I-65 took us past the Historic Triangle–Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown which we have visited on previous trips–by boat and with the travel trailer.

The drive around Richmond was easy and we took I-95 toward Washington. Traffic was pretty heavy throughout this part of the drive.

The weather had improved greatly as we neared Washington. The temperature had risen to 86 under clear, blue skies. We had a 30-minute slowdown about 50 miles south of D.C. due to an accident. Crossing the Occoquan River, we saw a marina below us. When we came to D.C. by boat in 2011, we stayed in the Washington National Harbor in downtown Washington D.C. for a week over the 4th of July and saw everything there was to see and took every tour we could. It was a very special time!

We took the eastern bypass I-495 around Washington and over the Potomac River on the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge.

We could see boats on the river and the Washington Monument is in the distance.

Traffic was bumper-to-bumper at 15-35 mph for the last hour before we arrived at the Cherry Hill Park. We didn’t know that 2:30/3:00 is rush hour in Washington and being Friday, everyone would want to leave work early.

The last few miles seemed to take forever, but we finally arrived at 3:30. It was great to be off the road after 6 grueling hours. The pace was slow, but very tiring.

We found site #60 without any problem and set up quickly so we could make the 4:00 orientation meeting in the campground’s Waterfall Building.

At the meeting, we found out about all there is to know about navigating the Metro(subway) and the Circulator(bus). We learned about the tours provided by the campground and how to get to the places we wanted to see. We have been to D.C. before, but long ago. We needed a refresher course. It was very helpful and informative. I signed up for the night tour to see the monuments lit up at night. That was something I really wanted to do since my last visit here, so I will take the tour by myself and Bob will enjoy some alone-time on Sunday night. After the meeting, we both enjoyed a cocktail and some time to unwind before dinner. Unfortunately, our neighbors arrived with a large barking dog and a crying, whining toddler. It didn’t make for a serene, restful “happy hour”, but the alcohol did help. My nerves were a little frazzled. After the tedious drive, Bob was a sweetheart and made dinner. I was all for having pizza delivery, but he wanted to make an easy dish that he likes. We relaxed after a walk around the campground as the sun was setting. The campground seemed to fill up for the weekend and hopefully on Sunday, we will see the weekend campers head for home. Tomorrow, we will be all rested after a good night’s sleep and ready for a day of visiting the city.

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