Everyone! Everyone! Come quick!
Hurry up! It’s time!
You won’t wanna miss this.
Yep, it’s the first in a series of posts about our November 2018 trip to Walt Disney World!
Yeah and this post? Well, it doesn’t have alllll that much Disney to it. This is just chronicling our first two days of driving down through New Jersey and to Virginia Beach.
No wait. I promise it will still be entertaining. Well, promise is a strong word. I…um. I HOPE it will still be entertaining. Yeah, that’s more accurate.
Also, as I have mentioned in multiple posts before, this was the first Disney trip in a while where I wasn’t live blogging. I rather planned on taking notes and then writing the posts when I got back. However, the note taking really only happened for the first couple days. I know. I feel shame. I got all wrapped up in vacationing and what not. It was a unique feeling. But still, I have intense guilt about it. I am going to have to rely on my memory to recount everything that happened. And my memory is not good.
Also, as I have mentioned in multiple posts before, this was the first Disney trip in a while where I wasn’t live blogging. I rather planned…Oh, sorry. See?
My memory is all kinds of Dory.
So just to refresh your memory – we drove down to Walt Disney World, taking a total of 4 days to get there. So what I am gonna do it squish those 4 days into two posts, two per post. That way, I can more quickly get to the Disney.
Now that we have that whole introduction out of the way, let’s get on with Days 1 and 2.
Day 1 – Driving from Malden, MA to Westampton, NJ.
Based on that title (Malden AND Westampton??) I know you must be shaking with anticipation.
But you know what WAS exciting? This…
The day was finally here! Unfortunately, I had some work to do before we could leave and the kids had school. But eh, we were leaving for like 15 days so I suppose we could handle 1 more day. Maybe.
It didn’t help that we woke up to this nonsense…
So yeah, I was up shoveling at like 6AM. Which is good times. Said no one ever.
We got the kids ready and Nickie and I dropped them off at school. Once we were free. I mean. Erm. Once the kids were safely at school, we headed into Boston to pick up our rental car. Nickie dropped me off at Alamo and she went off to get her nails done. I got the paperwork handled, headed upstairs, and picked up this beauty….
We lucked out and got a Nissan Rogue for the trip. Super roomy with built-in navigation and a big ginormous moon/sun roof. We wuz rollin. Thing WAS nice.
After I grabbed the car, I headed home to get some work done. None of what transpired in the next few hours is all that interesting. I worked. Nickie got her nails done and did some errands. We dismissed Owen at noon. Myles had a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. And I had a meeting that went until about 4:30 so we had to hang around until that ended.
Actually. Completely scratch that. Something was interesting. The heat went out in our house. We had no heat. No hot water. Nothing. Not the most auspicious beginning to the trip. Given temperatures were forecasted to drop into the teens in the coming week, we obvs squad had to get it fixed. So we called the heat guy and thankfully he came, fixed it, and didn’t charge us our entire vacation fund.
But once all that ended? It was ON. I got off my call and we were out the door. Well first we had to say goodbye to this princess…
We were def gonna miss our little Lilo but she loves her dogsitter so it all works out. We packed up the car and hit the road.
We had a relatively long drive ahead of us. Especially given the time of night. We had a 6 hour drive to get to our hotel in Westampton, NJ.
The objective for the night was just to get a good chunk of the drive out of the way. Westampton wasn’t really a destination per se. It was just like 6 hours away. So, that would put us in a good spot for the rest of the trip.
After a couple hours, we were getting a little hungry and we decided to uphold our first-night road trip tradition of stopping at a rest stop with a D’Angelo’s.
We pulled into the Charlton rest stop on the Mass Pike. Myles broke tradition and got a pizza from Papa Gino’s (he is a bit of a rebel. Kid wears a New York Giants jersey so…it’s obvious he hates us.)
The rest of us got D’Angelo’s. I got the most delicious Chicken #9, Nickie got the Thanksgiving toasted, and Owen got a steak and cheese.
After dinner, we walked out into the FREEZING cold and I got Elf set up in the car DVD players to get us through the next couple hours of driving. I ran the audio through the car so we could all listen and I came to the conclusion that Elf could be the best movie to listen to while driving. Especially when you’ve seen it a gazillion times. I still laughed pretty much for the next hour and 37 minutes.
After the movie was over, the kids played on their phones and Nickie and I listened to the road trip playlist Myles made for us – a mix of road trip songs, Christmas songs, and Disney songs. Pretty much best playlist ever.
We got to our hotel – The Hilton Garden Inn in Westampton, NJ – at around 10:45PM. We grabbed some waters in the lobby, went up to our room, got our outfits ready for the next day, and went immediately to sleep.
Day 2 – Driving from Westampton, NJ to Virginia Beach, VA
We woke up on Day 2 at about 7:30AM or so, and I felt pretty rested and ready to take on the next leg of the drive to Virginia Beach, VA. We woke the kids up giving them their first goody bag of the trip. We kind of blew it because they were supposed to open this one once they were out of Massachusetts. But eh, they seemed to have gotten over it.
This one had Travel Bingo, some play packs and those Disney freeze-dried fruit things my kids legit LOVE. I personally don’t understand getting excited about not-candy but to each his own I guess.
We all got dressed and Myles took some time to appreciate our view.
OK fine, it was a view of the parking lot. But we also had a view of the Liberty Bell.
OK fine, it was a picture. But we still…erm…had beds.
Nickie and I had some coffee in the room and then we hopped in the car..
…and drove across the street for breakfast – at CRACKER BARREL!!111
Meh, whatever. WE find it exciting. And I mean of course, once we sat down we played some peg game. And I mean, of course…we were all EG-NO-RA-MOOSEs. It’s how we roll.
For breakfast, Owen got the pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon
Myles got the blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon.
Nickie got the meat biscuits with a side of hash brown casserole.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably thinking, “Meat biscuits? Well that sounds like something my stomach would invent.’ Well, eh….they were actually a bit disappointing. And that’s really only because they were EXACTLY as advertised. It was just meat on a biscuit. Bacon, to be exact. But that’s it. Just bacon and a biscuit. I don’t know why we expected more. But we did. We really need to start paying better attention to menu descriptions.
I got the eggs in a basket with a side of hash brown casserole and bacon. And neither of these items disappointed. Eggs in a basket are legit best. Also hash brown casserole is also best. Yes two things can be best. It’s MY blog. MY rules.
On our way out, we wandered around the gift shop. Because you kind of have to at Cracker Barrel.
We didn’t buy anything, but I was super close to buying a box of all-pink Starburst. Pink Starburst is best. So just to summarize – eggs in a basket, hash brown casserole, and pink Starburst are ALL BEST.
Back in the car, since we were a little behind on the bags, the kids got to open another one. And the pieces de resistance of this bag were definitely the custom park pins I ordered from Parkbound Buttons.
Then we hit the road. Our total drive on Day 2 was about 5.5 hours. And it took us through the rest of Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and into Virginia. It was actually a really nice drive – we stayed mainly on routes 1, 113, and 13 so it was a good deal of two-lane road and driving through Delaware was especially nice. The kids passed the time playing on their phones and each watching a different Austin Powers movie on their respective players. Myles watched the original and Owen watched Goldmember.
Once we hit Virginia, we stopped at the Virginia Welcome Center and took some FUN PICS and got a free “Virginia is For Lovers” bumper sticker. Which doesn’t probably sound like a big deal, but anything free on a trip to Walt Disney World is totally welcome. Center. Welcome Center.
Then we hopped back in the car and drove for maybe another hour or so until our tummies started being like, “sup?” and we had to stop for a bite. We stopped at this random shopping plaza so we could all get Hardee’s (which we don’t have up in Boston) and Owen could get Subway (which we DO have in Boston…Owen is not a fan of new things.)
Nickie got sliders, Myles got two cheeseburgers, and I got the chicken tenders meal. Owen got a ham and cheese, which I deemed not photo-worthy apparently.
Nickie described her sliders as “interesting” but the chicken tenders were actually really good. The barbecue sauce or whatevz came with them was bombtastic.
OK, so after lunch. After lunch. We had this bad boy to look forward to…
Yep, the Chesepeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (http://www.cbbt.com/). Named one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World, this bridge-tunnel is 20 miles long. That’s long. And those that know us know that I have a bit of a fear of bridges (a bit, not like a HUGE fear…but driving over bridges often gives me a bad case of the butterflies) and Nickie has a fear of tunnels. So, this was obviously perfect for us.
Unfortunately, we didn’t take a TON of pics but it was honestly beautiful – water on both sides of you and horizon in front. Nickie did snap one…
And we lucked out with a nice clear day. And we didn’t die. So, it all turned out ok.
And once we were over the bridge, it was a relatively short drive to our next home for the night – The Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Yep, another Hilton Garden Inn.
And this one was really nice. Right on the boardwalk and every room faces the ocean. We checked into our room quickly and headed right out the back door onto the boardwalk for a beach walk.
As you can tell by our outfits, it was still rather chilly on the beach. I think it hit a high of 52 that day and when we were doing this particular walk, had dipped into the 40’s. So eh, it was cold but it was a nice walk. And we even saw some horses out on the beach.
After our walk, we went back up to the room and changed – Nickie and Owen put on their bathing suits to hit the indoor/outdoor heated pool and Myles and I got changed into our workout clothes to hit the gym.
After a good three mile run on the treadmill, I headed up with the rest of the fam to get ready for dinner. Since we had such a long day, we decided to have dinner at Lager Heads, the restaurant at our hotel.
And it was really good. We started the meal with some drinks – Nickie got a Grey Goose with cranberry and I got a Grey Goose martini, dirty.
To start off our meal, we ordered the giant pretzel and the Smoker Tachos (tots with Cuban pork, cheese, peppers, onions, BBQ sauce, and mustard sour cream.)
Those tots? Amazing. Seriously good. Full of flavor and there was A LOT going on in there. The pretzel was also quite good. I mean, it was a giant pretzel so. Plus, we got a coupon from our hotel for 1 free appetizer. So those tachos tasted even better. On account of free.
For our dinners, Owen got a basic cheeseburger. I had a bite though, and as far as standard cheeseburgers go, it was really good. He was also psyched it came with Kraft mac and cheese.
Myles got the margarita flatbread. I tried a bite and thought it was good, but he wasn’t a big fan of the amount of balsamic glaze on it.
Nickie got the Grilled “LHBV” which was a little like a BLT – lettuce, tomato, Vermont cheddar, and bacon on Texas Toast – served with a side of fries. And in case you haven’t noticed a trend, I had a bite. And this thing was good.
But it wasn’t as good as my BBQ Chicken flatbread (sans onions). Recommended by our waiter, this was a really tasty flatbread – chicken, cheese, bacon, cilantro, and barbecue sauce. Super duper good. I gave Myles some of it and he agreed it was very good.
We all agreed this was the first time we actually felt like we were on vacation. Sitting at our table, enjoying our great food and each other’s company, looking out at the ocean. It felt amazing to know we had like 13 days more to look forward to.
After dinner, Nickie and I ordered two drinks to go – Nickie got a white wine and I got a Bulliet Bourbon on the rocks – and brought them back to enjoy in our room.
And as we settled into our beds and turned on the TV, we found Toy Story 3 playing on FreeForm. We caught it in the middle but, yes, I still cried at the end. I mean, of course I did. That movie gets me every time. And from what I hear, Toy Story 4 is going to destroy me. Looking forward to it.
So yeah, that’s Day 1 and 2. And while it wasn’t really Walt Disney World-focused, I still managed to squeeze in some Disney. And there’s more of that when we get to Savannah as well. Which we will cover in Days 3 and 4. See you then!