To Roanoke Island and Back (1475 miles so far)

After our little snooze, we awoke, and started toward the Bodie Island Lighthouse. We saw the Kitty Hawk Kite Shop, and just had to stop. We had a little discussion with one of the salesfolk, and settled on a nice, easy-to-fly kite that included everything needed for a fun afternoon of flying a kite on the beach.

Bodie Island Lighthouse was our first stop, and the second lighthouse of our tour. This one sits in a quiet field, and is not as approachable as others. It also seems to be the home to gazillions of hornets. In fact, North Carolina and Virginia, in general, had more hornets than I’ve seen in my life!

Continuing south, we found a real access to the beach, and drove down onto the sand. This was a fantastic spot for flying a kite, so Beck and I assembled the kite, and easily launched it. What fun! There was hardly anyone on the beach, and it was like having it to ourselves. Unbelievable to have that kind of resource, and it be so vacant.

While on the beach, a giant military helicopter flew down the beach and back again, just off the waterline. I have no idea if that was a Coast Guard chopper, or some other military craft, but man it was BIG!

After flying my kite for a while, we loaded up the truck, and I had Beck get the videocam out to tape me driving back off the beach again. That was a hoot! It was so much fun, I drove down on the beach, and escaped it again. We were off to Roanoke Island for our next stop.

Another place we had seen signs for on the trek down the coast was Big Al’s Soda Fountain and Grill — a hamburger joint. We stumbled across Big Al’s on our journey to Manteo (on Roanoke Island), and decided to try them out. This place was almost like a shrine to all things Coca-Cola, and was like being thrown back to a joint from the 50s. Naturally, I had a Coke, along with a terrific burger. We ate, we window shopped at the gift shop — almost every place we stopped had a gift shop — and continued on to see the recreation of the Elizabeth II sailing vessel.

The Elizabeth II is a replica of a 16th century sailing vessel, complete with characters explaining the ship, and giving hints about life in those days. Someone from the staff even came to wish one of the characters a happy birthday — their 435th! 🙂 It was a very interesting stop, and was more like what we had expected to see at Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg could learn a thing or two from this operation!

We drove back, and crashed for a short while. After a little nap — why does all this touristy stuff tire us out so much?! — it was time for dinner.

Dinner tonight was at Mama Kwan’s Tiki Bar and Grill. We’d seen signs for it as we drove down, and figured with a name like that, it deserved a shot at our dinner money. Walking in, it was nothing too remarkable — kinda Gilligan’s Island meets the Brady Bunch. The food, though, was terrific! I had a plate of sauteed scallops that were amazing. As we sat there, I noticed that the place got busier and busier, mostly with younger folks, surfers and sailboarders and other watersport enthusiasts. It really was the first place we’d been where the locals really hung out. And, I got a “monkey glass” from the drink I ordered — seems fitting!