NOVEMBER 2020 ROAD TRIP TO WALT DISNEY WORLD DAY 3 (VIRGINIA BEACH TO JEKYLL ISLAND!)

Welcome back everyone. To another November 2020 road trip post.

This one covers more of our drive down to Walt Disney World, focusing specifically on the portion from Virginia Beach, VA to Jekyll Island, GA.

I was contemplating doing another two-days-in-one post but as I finished writing about Day 3, it actually ended up being a pretty substantial post. Plus, Day 4 has us In Walt Disney World for the first time this trip and, I mean, that felt like it warranted its own post.

So yeah, buckle up readers. A day in which we drive for nearly 10 hours and do not make it to Walt Disney World yet.

And you get to read ALL about it.

Day 3 – Leaving Virginia Beach, Heading to Jekyll Island

If you recall from my last post, we rolled into Virginia Beach relatively late on Day 2. And if you also may recall from that post in addition to, it was SUPER foggy that night.

Welp, sir. Nickie and I woke up early on Day 3, still in Virginia Beach, hopeful maybe the fog had passed so we could catch a sunrise over the Atlantic.

And erm…

Beautiful.

Yeah, still. More fog than an old Scooby-Doo cartoon. Ah well. Maybe when we hit Virginia Beach on the way back, we will have more luck. Foreshadowing.

Being up so early did afford me a chance to get an early morning run in. I threw on my running clothes and headed down to the boardwalk. I took a right out of the hotel, which took me down to the end of the boardwalk long before I wanted to stop my run. So I headed out into the streets to add a little more distance. And when I circled back and headed back to the beach?

Look. Sun.

I mean, still a bit hazy, but yeah…things were looking a little better.

Well, they were looking a little better for me at least. When I finished my run, I headed back up to the room to find Nickie and Owen heading out to try and get some rooftop pool/hot tub action in.

Unfrorch, the hot tub was closed. And the pool was FREEZING. Womp-a-domp.

So while I was showering, they came back to the room. On the plus side, Owen was now free to join me for a walk to grab breakfast while Myles and Nickie got ready for our day o’ driving.

And breakfast that morning was magical. A short walk away from our hotel was…

Cue the Hallelujah music.

Thanks Snook.

Yup – Duck Donuts!!!!

I mean, at least I thought it was exciting.

We have visited Duck Donuts before, both in Virginia Beach as well as when we did our California road trip in Huntington Beach. But the its sense of magic and wonder has not disappeared. Custom, made-to-order donuts served warm and delicious? Yes, please.

Owen was excited.

We walked up to the counter, placed our order, and our skilled donut-making-person went to work.

This guy is a dream-maker.

And when he delivered our donuts, he noticed that he forgot drizzle on one of Owen’s donuts. Which Owen said he was fine with. But this guy wasn’t having it. So he went ahead and made us an extra.

An extra.

Donut.

An extra donut.

Maybe not the best day of my life, but like…top 10.

We took our treasures back to the room and enjoyed them before hitting the road again.

I opted for peanut butter coating, OREO topping, and marshmallow drizzle.

And of course a coffee, which tasted even better out on our balcony.

And of course my wife, who looks so pretty out on our balcony.

It was getting near 9AM so it was time to load up the luggage cart and bring it on down to the car. And then, you know, load up the car.  I don’t know. I wish I could have made those last two sentences more exciting for you.

Oh, I know what would be exciting. Goodie bags!!

Before we left, we gave the kids their bags for this leg of the trip.

Please note: basketballs were not included in Goodie bags.

In this bag were some sunglasses, new masks (a Figment one for Myles and a Winnie-the-Pooh one for Owen), and some mini arcade games (Defender and Whac-A-Mole). Owen started playing Whac-A-Mole pretty much immediately.

And then we hit the road.

At around 11AM, we made our way into North Carolina and being that we had been driving for a couple hours, we decided to pull into the North Carolina Welcome Center.

See? I was actually there.

After a quick break though, we were back in the car. And MAN, the Carolinas take so long to drive through.

But while we were driving through North Carolina, something pretty cool happened – (please note: this picture was taken later that night in our hotel room):

Yup. President-Elect Joe Biden. It was official. I mean, for most of us. Trump’s Twitter machine would disagree. But for us, this was big news. A new, hopeful chapter for our country. Much excite.

At around noon, we were all getting pretty hungry for lunch and we needed some gas so we pulled off the highway in Kenly to handle bizness.

And we found a pretty incredible rest stop waiting for us.

Look at everything in there – DQ, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Caribou Coffee. Someday, I would like to plan a week long vacation to this rest stop.

Myles was excited to get Taco Bell for lunch. HOWEVER. The rest of us did not get lunch at any of these spots. Because across the street? Waffle House.

We have a hard time passing up Waffle House if its an option. Plus, the parking lot was empty. Which allowed us to use our nifty folding Minnie Mouse picnic table.

Nickie went in to get our food while I got the table set up. And she came out with SO MUCH GOODNESS.

Down in the bottom left corner there you can see what I ordered – my usual Waffle House order – the All-Star. Eggs. Sausage. Toast. Hash Browns (smothered…I usually get them peppered as well but I neglected to mention that to Nickie). And of course, a waffle.

So. Good.

After we finished up with lunch, Myles wanted to go back over to the Kenly 95 rest stop to get a Blizzard at Dairy Queen. He also told us they had some sweet Aviator sunglasses in there so we had him grab four pairs to properly celebrate President-Elect Biden.

Yeah. We are the coolest.

Our next stop was about 2 hours away. In South Carolina. Just south of the border. Seriously with these Carolinas. Stop being so long to drive through. Now I get why James Taylor always had Carolina on his mind. Place frikkin lingers.

Anyways though. You may have already figured out the next stop given my “just south of the border” above, but just in case you didn’t…

Wait, how have you not figured it out? The place was just…

South. Of. The. Border.

Doy.

Yerp. South of the Border. Place just snuck up on us.

Pfft. Kidding. There are, no joke, a trillion billboards telling us it’s coming up. Starting over 100 miles away. Good old Pedro is ON THAT.

And man – I have seen the signs leading to South of the Border before. But the “You Never Sausage Place” billboard? Still makes me laugh.

Do you get it? Because it says “sausage” but it sounds like “saw such.” HAHAHAAH.

This time around, we didn’t spend too much time hanging out with Pedro. We still had a ways to go before our final destination for the evening.

We made use of the facilities and then took some nice Aviator/congrats Biden pictures.

After our short visit with Pedro, it was back in the car. For 4 hours. Which was long. For us.

But not for you. For you….

We’re there.

Our stop for the night was Jekyll Island, GA. And being that it was already 7PM, we decided to head straight to dinner before checking into our hotel. Day 3 dinner was at The Wharf.

Look how pretty this place is. Jutting out into East River.

They had live music and people slow dancing. Without masks. Which was both super sweet and completely terrifying.

We were seated outside and when our waitress came over to us, she said “you guys aren’t from around here, are you?” Which….I didn’t know how to take. Eh, I am sure she meant she’s never seen a family as attractive as us before.

She definitely didn’t mean we looked like four scruffy hobos that just wandered in from a hard day of windshield cleaning.

Definitely not.

First order of business was drinks. Nickie ordered her typical Cosmpolitan while I went for one of their specialty cocktails – their sweet tea with bourbon.

We wasted no time with silly appetizers and went right for the main course. Both Owen and Nickie got the burger (Owen went no cheese).

Myles got the Chicken Margarita Sandwich (Grilled Chicken Breast, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto on a Brioche Bun).

I ordered the Shrimp and Grits (Shrimp, Andouille Sausage, Chives, Grape Tomatoes, Stone-Ground Cheddar Grits, Cream Sauce.)

These. Were. Great. Seriously delicious. I will say though…I must have missed the “cream sauce” in the description on account of I was thinking this would be something a little lighter than other stuff on the menu. It, um, wasn’t.

After dinner, as we were walking to the car, Myles noticed something crawling on the railing of the dock. When I saw it, I was like – “oh look, a crab.” And I went over to tap the railing to get it to move. As it moved, we realized it was….

…a spider.

The size of a crab. A spider the size of a crab.

I didn’t get a picture of it, but please know this thing was HUGE. I still get chills thinking about it. My existence will never be the same because of this thing. This scar will never heal.

Shudder.

But eh. Let’s attempt to move on.

Next point of business was…

…sorry, ok. Stop thinking about the spider. Stop thinking about the spider.

OK…let’s try this again.

Next point of business was checking into our hotel – Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island. Man, we LOVE us some Hampton Suites.

The drive through Jekyll Island to the hotel was insanely pretty. I mean, we really only saw most of it at night but Jekyll Island looks like a place I wouldn’t mind visiting again. The streets are lined with Southern Oaks dripping with Spanish Moss….very Savannah-looking.

The room was clean and relatively spacious and the area with the pull-out couch for the boys was separate from the bedroom, which gave Nickie and I our own “room.”

Once we got all our stuff in the room, Nickie, Owen, and I got our bathing suits on to get some hot tub time in while Myles stayed back in the room to play around with his new camera and get it all set up for our first Disney day the next day.

Would you LOOK at the size of this hot tub?

And it was just us out there…

Well, sort of just us. Just outside the pool, it looked like there was a small wedding reception happening complete with a DJ. So we had a bumping soundtrack behind us as we soaked in the hot tub.. It was like being in Vegas. Minus the glitz. And the glamour. And the regret.

So that was Day 3. Yeah, it was a lot of driving. But we still managed to have some fun and make some memories. Stay tuned for Day 4 – our first Disney day AND a day in which we meet up with ANOTHER Goodreau!!!

Last post – Leaving home, driving to New Jersey/Leaving New Jersey, driving to Virginia Beach

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