Coasting Along

Sometimes you’ve just got to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. From Cape Fear to Kitty Hawk and the Outer Banks, the adventure continues.

This is the second part of our trip; you can catch up on the first part here.

On Monday, we left the house around 8 AM and drove through the coastal North Carolina countryside to the Outer Banks. Of course, we stopped at Bojangles, because what North Carolina road trip – no matter how long – is complete without it? 

Charlie drove, and made the decision to drive down to Hatteras and work our way back. One of the large bridges on NC 12 had been completed since I last visited, and as we crossed I got my first view of the many varied color of the ocean thanks to my EnChromaglasses. We saw signs for a bridge run on another bridge before it opened to the public, but it was both already full and held on a day we wouldn’t be there. Denise found the differences interesting between driving the coast in California and driving the coast here – particularly as at one point we were 12 feet below sea level!

Arriving at Hatteras, we knew the lighthouse would be closed but the grounds and gift shop were still open, along with the keepers’ house.

Then we drove back up NC 12 to Bodie Lighthouse, Krystal’s favorite. Again, we knew the lighthouse itself was closed but the grounds were open.

We were going to go to the Wright Brother’s Memorial, but when we found out it was only 45 minutes to closing, we decided to come back the next day. Driving on up to the north end of Kitty Hawk, we stopped at the Memorial to a Century of Flight. Krystal and I have visited the OBX about once a year since 2014 and have not seen this monument, which was dedicated in 2003. There was a moment of hilarity, which I captured in a video.

Then we drove around a bit more before checking in to our hotel and finding a place to eat. Many of our usual go-to places were closed temporarily but would be reopening later in the week – after we were gone, of course. But that just meant we’d be able to find something new. Charlie suggested the Blue Moon Beach Grill, where I had a cheesesteak sandwich, and then we got ice cream at Dairy Queen for dessert and sat in the lobby of the hotel just talking.

The next morning, we were going to go to our usual breakfast spot, but it too was closed temporarily. We ate the breakfast provided by the hotel, which for me consisted of eggs, a blueberry muffin, Raisin Bran, and coffee. Then we drove on up through Duck and Corolla to the Currituck Lighthouse. Again, the lighthouse was closed, but we did get to see workers painting railings at the top. They were playing some good pop/punk music that wafted out over the area and gave us a decent soundtrack as we walked around the surrounding park.

Then it was finally time for the Wright Brothers Memorial, which I hadn’t seen since they opened the new Visitor Center. It was very well done, and it was a beautiful day to walk the flight path and hike the hill to the monument itself.

We still hadn’t made a trip to the actual beach, so that was next on our list. I don’t particularly like the beach; sand and water aren’t my thing. But I’m glad I went and didn’t stay in the car since I found a large shell tumbling in the water: the most intact large shell I have found yet. And then we crossed the island to the Sound side.

A late lunch was eaten at Tortuga’s Lie, which Guy Fieri had visited on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I again had the cheesesteak, which was good but not as good as the night before.

All good things must come to an end, and this was no exception. We headed home and then Charlie and Denise had to drive on to Raleigh for a very early flight back to California. It was a wonderful week full of memories made. I know that Denise and Krystal shook their heads many times at Charlie and I; despite our age difference there’s no denying our relation in our looks, humor, and reactions.

I loved every second of the time we spent together.

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