Beach or Bust

As I was planning my latest road trip, I had a few simple goals in mind. One, capture pics of all nine LOVE signs. Mission accomplished.

Goal #2, see three roadside oddities I’d selected on and one cool town hall. Check!

Goal #3, spend the night close enough to the beach that I could watch the sunrise. That’s why I drove so far/was in such a hurry on the first day. I really wanted to make it to the beach.

There were a couple of other general goals, too. Enjoy some alone time and see what I could see. When you take time to look, interestingness almost always presents itself.

Along the road from Farmville to South Boston, Virginia.


A South Boston building that could use some TLC.


South Boston’s Town Hall


Downtown South Boston

Look closely at the above pic. See anything odd? I’d just happened to park near something unusual on that street.

A large, metal giraffe!

What are the odds of my parking by a large metal giraffe — about 15′ / 5 meters tall — simply by chance. I laughed out loud when I saw it.

I stopped at the Halifax County Visitors’ Center as I was leaving South Boston. Mainly because those places usually have bathrooms. It was actually a very nice visitors’ center with all sorts of nice displays, brochures, etc., but it was late in the day and the lady needed to be somewhere so was anxious to leave. BUT, she did ask what brought me to the area. When I told her about the LOVEwork, she told me there was one in Boydton, which I’d be passing through.

Boydton, Virginia

I looked for it, I did. Especially since it’s NOT on the current list and may be added soon. But I couldn’t find the dang thing. 🙁

I didn’t see a whole lot of other interesting stuff in my push towards the coast, mainly because it got dark. I did, however, drive past Virginia’s largest lake, Buggs Island Lake, also known as the John H. Kerr Reservoir. I wasn’t expecting that.

Here’s some fun stuff I saw when I reached my destination for the night, Virginia Beach.

Pink Fish (yes, I know it looks red)


Friends of the Pink Fish


Bi-color Fish
Bi-color Fish

Those fun fish were right next to my hotel, which was oceanfront. Yay!!! Gotta love traveling off-season when you can snag an oceanfront room for under $60.

I’ve been to VA Beach before, but just to visit the beach (as in sunbathe and swim), I’d never really looked around. I had no idea there’s a public art program, and that there are fun displays like the school of fish (est. 1993) scattered around the city.

Large Concrete Conch Shell

And a cluster of big-ass Hermit Crabs.

Hermit Crab

I love kitschy souvenir shops. Most of them were closed, unfortunately (it was around 9:00 when I reached VA Beach). I couldn’t resist snapping a shot of this colorful display as I made my way to eat dinner.

Colorful Stuff!
Colorful Stuff!

Speaking of colorful stuff… I was tired. I wanted something quick and easy for dinner, so was happy to see a pizza restaurant that was open AND served beer. By complete coincidence, it happened to house an “oddity” I’d seen mentioned on, but had deemed not interesting enough to go out of my way for.

Hippy Bus!
Hippy Bus!

It’s listing on is titled, “Hippy Bus in Pizzeria.” Had I read the listing instead of just scrolling past it, I’d have realized it’s creator was Mark Cline, a name many lovers of large fiberglass Americana will recognize. He created Foamhenge, which I still need to visit, and “has been building fiberglass monsters, dinosaurs, and freaks for the tourist attractions of America for decades.”


It was weirdly warm at the beach — mid-70s! (mid-20s in C) — so I was able to enjoy my modest but yummy dinner on the outside patio.

Then I went to visit one of my targeted attractions… King Neptune. 🙂

King Neptune

I’d selected my hotel specifically with this guy in mind.

As describes him…

The statue of Neptune is 34 feet tall and weighs 12.5 tons. It was unveiled along the beach in 2005. The bronze scowling Neptune holds a trident in one hand and a turtle in the other. Sculptor Paul DiPasquale also created the Arthur Ashe statue in Richmond in 1992, which is generally loathed as a work of art, but he seems to have gotten Neptune right. – See more at:

I was really looking forward to seeing him at sunrise, but couldn’t resist one or two quick night shots.

As for the sunrise… was it worth it?

ToadMama’s Shoes on Beach

Find out next time…


7 Replies to “Beach or Bust”

  1. The town hall building looks pretty nice. We don’t have many architecturally interesting building around here… And I’ve been near Virginia Beach a couple of times but never actually been there. One of these years…

    1. Richard, it’s a nice place, but getting there can be dicey. Traffic in the Hampton Roads area (Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Portsmouth), which you have to go through to reach the beach, can get nuts. It’s a densely populated area. But it’s usually worth the effort. 🙂

      I can imagine old architecture, which is usually most interesting, is hard to find in Alaska.

  2. Oh, just leave us hangin’, why don’t ya’?!

    Years ago, one of the larger architecture firms in Salt Lake set up shop in a very old structural steel fabrication facility in one of the more industrial parts of town. They had gutted and modernized the structure, but wisely they’d left some of the more interesting elements: manually operated hoisting and conveying equipment and other such stuff.

    Though I appreciate the visual drama of older structures in disrepair, with just the right vision and execution, they can be transformed into works of art–without their losing any appeal. There’s a lot of potential in that South Boston warehouse of yours.

    Hey, I had a hippy bus once! Sure, it was about 30 years too late, and the bus was 25 years old and seldom ran, but boy did that V-dub and I have some times… I even remember a few of them. 😉

    1. Ry, I agree with the potential of the South Boston building. Especially after seeing what had been done in Farmville, which a friend said to me the other day look like old tobacco warehouses.

      I can imagine you in a Hippy bus. 🙂

      I can’t share everything at once, hence the cliffhanger(s). LOL.

  3. Fun trip! So funny, I was just telling Jerry how much I love giraffes, great that you parked by a giant metal one. 🙂

    I haven’t been to VA Beach since the 90s, looks cool but I would have to go off season for sure. I like the fish and Neptune, wow!

    There was a VW bus installed as part of the outdoor seating at a restaurant we went to near Orlando in October, called Yellow Dog Eats. I wonder if that one is in Roadside oddities? Btw, have you seen the concept photos of a new VW van? Looks cool!

    1. Lynne, there was some giraffe weirdness on this trip, which I’ll explain in a future post.

      Off-season is my preference at any beach town. FAR less people. Towns like Ocean City, MD and Virginia Beach can get absolutely nuts during prime season, not to mention expensive. September and October are my favorite months at the beach.

      I wonder if the Yellow Dog Eats bus was done by Mark Cline? You should check 🙂

      I have not seen the concept van. Vans, in general, hold little interest for me. LOL.

      1. I do believe we are very (eerily) similar. Yep, keep my away from the throngs of tourists, lol.

        I will check on the bus at Yellow Dog. We met the owner, and I am guessing that he did the van in the outdoor part himself. 🙂

        Ditto for me on vans, especially minivans, ick! But the VW van looks so cool in concept, anyway.

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