Saturday, July 7, 2012


Once upon a Fourth of July, Chesapeake Bay Woman, Son, and Daughter drove 30 miles (one way) from Mathews to Yorktown to see the only fireworks being set off legally in the state local area.

Yorktown Battlefield. Trust me.  The entire evening felt like a battle.

CBW knew it would be wall to wall people and hotter than Hades crowded and slightly uncomfortable. Since her children wanted to go, CBW was happy to oblige.

But CBW had forgotten about this was not counting on this, otherwise known as bumper to bumper traffic leading in to the Yorktown waterfront via the battlefield.

As far as the eye could see.  

Red taillights.  

In sweltering heat.

It was about this time that Chesapeake Bay Daughter postulated that if the Zombie Apocalypse were going to happen, this would be an excellent place to kick it off.

CBW, not fully up to speed on the Zombie Apocalypse, thought to herself surely there was just a cliff at the end of all this traffic and people were driving off one by one, because it would be easier than trying to get out of this red hot mess.  You could not turn around, you couldn't move.  You inched painfully. Slowly. Ahead.

Right off the cliff.  Or straight into the Zombie Apocalypse, whatever that is.

I waved to a snail as it raced past us.

Finally we arrived at an intersection which asked you  to make a choice.  

Either surrender (and turn around and go home)...

or cook to death.

This far into it, we were not about to surrender.
We opted to brave the crowds and the elements and cook to death charge forward.

After what felt like forever, we finally found the parking lot.  There were lots and lots of signs with arrows pointing this way and that and people waving flags hither thither and yon.

However, even with all the signs and arrows and flags about, finding an open parking LOT spot was nigh on impossible.

Once we did find a parking spot, and because dusk was swiftly approaching, we hurried out of the car and decided that, rather than march lock step with the throngs of people dutifully trudging through the trenches rows of the parking lot, we would dart in and out of the parked cars at an angle to beat them.

We knew we could beat them, they were moving so slowly.

Out of the car we hopped and off into the sweltering heat we jogged, never once paying attention to where we had parked in the Ocean of Parked Cars. Our only focus was winning the war beating the crowds.

This is but a small sample of it. There was an entire battlefield filled with cars.

Chesapeake Bay Son and Daughter were not entirely thrilled at this point.
We did beat most of the incoming troops, but we had to wait to cross the street.
Plus, did I mention how hot it was?
Oh, and we didn't bring rations water or anything to drink. Because I'm great like that!

This is an actual trench in the battlefield.
We felt like we'd waged a small battle by this point.

After a minimum of a mile and a half jog/walk, we eventually elbowed made our way through the crowds down to the waterfront and sat on some very hot rocks along the York River.

We were exhausted, sweaty, dirty, tired, and thirsty.  But at least we made it on time and at least we had a place to sit down for a spell.

On our long jog journey in, CB Daughter kept referencing the zombie thing and informed me that there are certain guidelines for surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, such as being able to run (cardiovascular fitness).  Since we'd just jogged quite a distance through jungle heat and humidity trying to beat all the incoming people to the waterfront, we were pleased to know we had at least one quality inherent for survival--if one should find oneself in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. Whatever that is.

Then she saw the moon, full and red as it was rising.  Another sure sign of the ZA, she claimed.

Just as I am starting to relax and reflect on all this zombie stuff, I look to my left and notice two cute vintage VW bugs--one of which had  Zombie on its license plate. I am not making this up.


We didn't think so.

Coleman Bridge, York River, Gloucester Point in the distance.

As we sat waiting for darkness and absorbing all the sights and smells sounds, Chesapeake Bay Daughter asked, "If the zombies attacked right now, how would you escape?"

Funny, I was just asking myself the same thing only it was more along the lines of  how on Earth am I ever gonna get outta here?

Chesapeake Bay Son had no response and pretended like he didn't know who we were, which was entirely understandable all things considered.

"I'd jump right in that water dead ahead and swim to Gloucester,"  I said, not knowing if there'd be zombies on the other side or whether zombies from this side could swim or whether zombies were even good swimmers.

"What about your cell phone?"  she asked.

"Would a cell phone work in a Zombie Apocalypse?"

"Good question."

The fact of the matter is, my cell phone is so outdated,  I'd gladly leave it on the rocks, swim across the York River and dash to the nearest Verizon Wireless store for an upgrade.  But maybe not if there were zombies on that side of the river too.  Given the fact that most of the folks who work in the local Verizon store are already in a zombie-like trance, I'd probably skip the whole upgrade and just do without a cell phone.

So I'm not going to worry about my cell phone, upgraded or not, in the Zombie Apocalypse.  I'm diving in the water and swimming away.

It's all settled.

Note:  Lest you think CBW has finally lost her last marble, you must understand the survival mechanism of the Chesapeake Bay Family, which is we use humor and/or games in times of stress.  My daughter does not really believe there will be a Zombie Apocalypse, nor is she obsessed with zombies, but we were so hot and tired from running, and so parched with thirst by this point, we had to take our minds off our misery.  Plus I love "what if" sorts of games.

Like, "What if I'd just stayed home in my nice air-conditioned house and watched some fireworks on TV?"

Well, if I'd done that I wouldn't be sitting on rocks along the York River watching live fireworks talking about zombies with my daughter now, would I?

See how that circular logic works?

(Also, I'm getting ready to leave for vacation, so I am giddy. Absolutely giddy.)

(Also, anyone who started off reading this is now asleep, so I can be as crazy as I want. I'm on vacation!)

At last the fireworks began.

They weren't blurry in spite of what these pictures show; they were actually quite nice.

CB Son and Daughter enjoyed the evening even if it was sheer hell  not so swell getting there.

Afterwards, we jogged the entire mile and a half back to the car in the hopes (once again) of beating the crowds out of the parking lot.

We were thrilled to be some of the earliest to arrive in the parking lot.

Our elation was short lived.

When we darted in and out of cars to beat the crowds when we first arrived, we paid no attention to where we parked.

As a result, we spent as much or more time searching for our car in the sea of cars than we spent looking at fireworks.

All those people we ran past were now leaving and forming a long, long, long, long, long, long line of more bumper-to-bumper traffic out the parking lot.

In the sweltering heat and humidity, in an ocean full of cars, we ran up and down the battlefield searching and searching.  And searching. And jogging. And sweating. And sweating some more.

When I realized my foot was bleeding from running in sandals not intended for running, Chesapeake Bay Son saved the day and found the car.

Then we waited forever to be routed out of Yorktown via some back roads heading south, away from Yorktown.

We live north of Yorktown.

We arrived home about 11:30 p.m. famished, wounded and bloody parched and worn out.

I'm pretty sure the Zombie Apocalypse, whatever that is, would have been far easier to survive.

No, I'm convinced.

The End.


Anonymous said...

Stories of family misadventures such as these are always the best material for laughter and reminiscing years later, right ? (Once time passes)
As usual,loved your photos-- of fireworks, York River and my namesake Coleman Bridge (The C in LLC is Coleman). Very glad you had clear (albeit humid) weather for the 4th.

Waterman JP said...

What a story and beautiful pics. And what an amazing woman and mother you are!

The Zombies wouldn't have a chance.I'll describe you as a SUPER HUMAN.

Jamie said...

I'm thinking Zombies can't swim which makes Deltaville/Mathews a good spot to wait out the apocalypse. You'll find me in the Chesapeake with my rubber ducky should the Zombies attack. Enjoy your vacation!

Mental P Mama said...

Good. Lord.

Dghawk said...

What a wonderful misadventure! I must be getting old because I don't really care for crowds anymore. I don't even like going into Williamsburg during tourist season. Wonderful story, though and one you will be talking about for a good while.
Loved the pictures and hope your vacation is full of adventures and misadventures. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Zombies!

Country Girl said...

Ah, one of my favorite tv shows. The Walking Dead, all about the zombie apocalypse.
Cannot believe what you went through just to see some fireworks. The stuff of legends.

abb said...

Thank GOD 4th of July only occurs once a year! Oh, and I'm toast if surviving the zombie apocalypse requires running...or even jogging for that matter.

Meg McCormick said...

Well, at least you'll have the fabulous story of your 7/4/12 adventure to share on every 4th of July between now and, well, the zombie apocalypse!

Liz Sweet said...

Have a wonderful vacation. You had me laughing when you all were running in and out of the cars. I lost my car once when I went to a parade, so I knew how it was going to end. Thanks for the chuckels. Love your writing, I see another book in your future.