By Emma Esteves

Dear Virginia Beach,

From the time that I first arrived, you greeted me with scents of salty ocean air and beautiful crashing waves. Your sand was so clean and smooth, making it a beautiful place to look at. Everywhere I turned, I saw people enjoying your water, your sand, and your surroundings. Because of you, my experience was truly unforgettable.

You provided me and my family with hours of fun, making wonderful sand creations and playing intense games of frisbee. Your water was the first ocean I saw, and your sand was the first time I stepped on something other than pavement.  At first I was skeptical, but you have completely changed my mind.

A beach you were once called, a friend you have now become. The waves which I once feared no longer seem scary, as they are only your rising excitement to see me. Your hot sand which ends up everywhere is only a reminder that you want to be with me forever. Although my time with you was short, I feel as if we have been friends for centuries. In addition to your beach, my family and I ventured to your other surroundings. Mini golf, arcades, and gift shops also filled up our time. It is because of your unique selection of activities that I was able to have so much fun.

The last few nights with you were hard. We tried to get to your water and sand as much as we could, but sometimes, we were too busy. However, on the last night, we made sure to stop by. Saying goodbye is hard for anyone, but it is especially difficult when you don’t know the outcome. So, as I was standing in the water, I felt your waves trying to hold me back. I knew that you didn’t want me to go. Every time your water rushed forward, my feet dug deeper into the sand, a pleading sign to remain. However, as the ocean recedes each night, so must I, as I head back home to Ohio.

Virginia Beach, I was sad to leave you behind. But know that I will never forget you. I want to thank you for providing me with this experience. With your help, my family was brought closer together, and that is something I am truly grateful for. You left a lasting impact, and I hope to be back soon.