NOVEMBER 2020 ROAD TRIP TO WALT DISNEY WORLD DAYS 10 AND 11 (DISNEY’S HILTON HEAD TO VA BEACH AND OUR TRIP HOME!!)

Hey everyone!

Remember when I used to write blog posts regularly?

Well, semi-regularly?

Remember when I used to write entertaining posts at least?

You guys suck.

Anyways, here’s a post about the last 2 days of our vacation. The vacation I took like 2 months ago and…well…OK, I see your point.

Day 10 – DISNEY’S HILTON HEAD TO VIRGINIA BEACH

Being that we were in an insanely pretty place and being that I ate like it was my job that week, I felt it imperative that I get a morning run in while in Hilton Head. Sooooo…I woke up at around 6:30AM in our room at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort to a pretty beautiful morning.

I threw on some running clothes, kissed Nickie goodbye and headed out. I planned on a 3-mile run down the path across the street from the resort. And there is something so fun and exciting about running in a new-to-me location. It’s like you’re on an adventure, every sight and piece of scenery something new.

And this was a pretty great run. It took me over bridges, past other resorts, golf courses, through winding paths, and along beautiful waterscapes. A really nice way to start the day.

When I came back to our room…btw I LOVE the room signs at this resort…

…anyways. When I came back to our room, the boys were on their way to pick up breakfast for all of us at Tide Me Over. Those guys, right? They really know me. Like, I really enjoy breakfast. And they know this.

While they were off getting our breakfast, I brewed some coffee to enjoy on the deck.

Coffee good. Deck good. Coffee on deck gooooood.

The kids returned with breakfast and since it was such a nice day, we decided to eat out on the deck. For his breakfast, Owen ordered the Chicken and Waffles with Fresh Fruit.

Which he seemed to enjoy. The rest of us all got the same thing – The Bounty Platter (Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Tater Tots, Mickey Waffle and a Biscuit.)

SO good.

Hot take alert. I LOVE Disney bacon. I know. Crispy is the preferred bacon texture for society-at-large but I dunno. I like a little chew to my bacon. And Disney man. They likes it chewy.

I also love that Disney breakfast platters, much like the Big Breakfast from McDonald’s, come with a biscuit. Because if I can make whatever I am eating into a sandwich and eschew utensils? I’m doing it.

After breakfast, we packed up the car but still had some more Hilton Head to get in before we left for our next destination. Specifically, we wanted to spend a couple hours at Disney’s Beach House.

Located about 1.5 miles from Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort and right on the Atlantic Ocean, this place is magical. Not only does it provide beach access but it also has a pool. On the beach.

Which is where we started. And as you can see, place was empty. We spent some time hanging in the pool and getting to know the Cast Members in charge of things. Both Cast Members we met were insanely nice. The guy skimming the pool asked us all about our travels and told us of time he spent up in the Boston area. And the girl working the pool that day told us all about her experiences in college and her time spent working as a Disney character in the parks.

Disney Cast Members = best. You know that.

After hanging in the pool for a bit, we headed to the beach.

Man, we really took a lot of pictures to chronicle a very short walk.

But it makes sense. The beach was beautiful.

Despite the protests of our sometimes-beach-hating kids, we set up our Mickey snacks blanket.

I think I may have been the only one that went in the water that day (which was super refreshing btw), but the boys did end up warming up to the idea.

Get it? Warming up? The beach?

Whatever you guys.

But yeah, they got into it once we brought out the football.

And well, I did also play with them. And yeah, there is a picture of it. But a picture of me. With a shirt off. In an unflattering football action shot.

Isn’t happening.

I did also manage to do something romantic. Look. See?

I know. I’m quite a prize. Hrm, I wonder if it’s still there. If anyone has been on the Hilton Head Beach recently, can you let me know?

But all good things must come to an end. So we had to roll up our blanket, put our shirts back on, and hit the road once more. I grabbed a quick shower back at the Beach House and into the car we went.

But hitting the road means…more road trip bags. And look, I took a really good picture of what we gave the kids today.

And by “really good picture” I meant “not a really good picture at all.” I honestly had to zoom in to remember what we even gave them this time around. But it looks like we gave them each a portable Simon game and some Veggie Chips? I don’t know. It’s January, man. We gave them these bags in November. And I drink a lot. So there is no chance I’m remembering all that.

So today. With the driving. Today’s drive was a LONG one. We left Hilton Head at 10:30PM in the morning and didn’t arrive in our destination for the night until like 7:30PM, Yeah, 9 hours. It was something.

But eh, it’s not like we drove straight through. We did stop to eat on the road. And all four of us could not agree on a place so at around 2:00PM in South Carolina, we first drove through the Burger King drive-thru for Owen and Nickie so Owen could get his chicken tenders and Nickie could get a chicken sandwich.

Myles and I wanted to try a fast food restaurant we don’t really have in the Northeast so after the Burger King drive-thru, we hit the Bojangles drive-thru.

Myles got a 2-piece Dinner (breast & wing) with seasoned fries, macaroni and cheese, and a biscuit. I mean, I swear he did.

I know it looks like someone’s trash in the picture but it’s hard to catch his food before he goes at it.

I ordered a Cajun Filet Sandwich with seasoned fries.

It was pretty good actually. I’d definitely say it’s a step above KFC but a step below Chik-Fil-A. On par with Popeye’s.

Man, I eat too much fast food.

After another “meal on the hood,” it was back in the car and back on the road. And like I said, lunch was around 2PM and we didn’t reach our destination until around 7:30. So yeah, 5 more hours.

But luckily for you, I took no pictures during that drive. So boom, drive over.

At 7:30 on Day 10, we rolled into our final destination for the day – Virginia Beach!

And given we had such an awesome stay there on the way down, we chose the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront as our home for the night. I already showed you a little bit of our room in my Days 1 and 2 post so I won’t bore you with all that now.

But, we did have a bit of a nicer view this time around. While we had to look to our right to see the beach our last time here, this room was right on the beach.

Since we had been driving for a heck of a long time, we were all pretty hangry. So pretty much immediately after checking out our room, we headed down for dinner. We decided to stick with Catch 31, the restaurant in our hotel. It was close and the menu looked good. So I mean…a win-win.

Also, it offered outdoor seating. With a fire.

We initially thought it was just going to be us seated around this fire. I mean, COVID and all. But after sitting around for a little bit, the waitress sat these two guys across from us. They were a funny couple of guys. They seemed in their 20s and were friends that drove down from Rhode Island to Virginia Beach to hang out for the week. Both of them were suited-up like a couple Barneys and they seemed like they were, you know, on the prowl and ready to party.

But I mean, it was Virginia Beach.

In November.

I feel like they would have been lucky to find an open Bingo parlor.

They were really nice guys so I hope they found some sort of underground rave party. Or whatever it is young people are into these days.

Anyways, our meal.

To start off my meal, I kept the whole Old-Fashioned trend rolling. I ordered up a Catch Old-Fashioned (“Maker’s 31– Best Catch” Maker’s Mark Private Select, Simple Syrup, Orange Bitters).

We also ordered some Flash Fried “Hot” Calamari (Calamari, Sweet & Spicy Glaze, Bread & Butter Pickles on the side) and Spinach and Artichoke Dip (Creamed Spinach, Artichokes, Provencal Breadcrumbs, Pita Chips) as our starters.

Both of these were really good. The calamari was especially yumtown. The breading was the right amount of light and the glaze added a really good kick of flavor. The dip was good as well. Also though, I was crazy hungry. So take my assessment with a grain of salt. Which, honestly, given how hungry I was, I would have probably also given a rave review due to hunger.

The grain of salt, I mean.

After I made too-quick work of my Old-Fashioned, I made the healthy choice and switched to clear alcohol – a Grey Goose Martini, dry and dirty.

For my main, I got the Crab Cakes with Rice Pilaf and Green Beans.

I really liked these. The crab cakes were delicious but honestly, those green beans were bombtown.

Plus, I mean, sitting there with the fire and the people I love and listening to the ocean crashing.

Oh right, I moved on to beer at this point. But yeah, sitting there with all that? It felt pretty great. A perfect last dinner of the trip.

Also, as we were sitting there, we got to watch them put up the lights on the big Christmas tree outside row-by-row. It felt like we were literally watching Christmas start.

After we paid the bill, we went for a walk. Earlier when we were on our balcony, we noticed a bunch of lights down at the end of the boardwalk so we decided to go check it all out. The walk definitely ended up feeling a lot longer than expected.

But we were rewarded with this.

That wasn’t all though. There were also a bunch of other lights. Behind a bunch of fences. Like these.

And these.

Turns out they had this drive-through Christmas light thing. Which we obvs squad would have totally done had we known. But things were pretty much closed up at this point so we had to just admire the lights from afar. Which was TOTALLY worth the walk. He said with a touch of sarcasm.

Eh, actually it was nice. And it gave us a reason to take a walk after dinner.

When we got back to the hotel room, we all pretty much passed out quickly. It was a long day.

Onto Day 11…

Day 11 – VIRGINIA BEACH AND BACK HOME

On Day 11, we woke up with the realization that today was the official last day of our vacation. Which was a womp. Of course. Especially since it was a Sunday, which meant work the next day. And it meant going back to living in a COVID world, which meant replacing the roller coasters, beaches, and pools of the past 10 days with walls, couches, and laptops.

But going home also meant seeing Lilo and sleeping in our own bed. Plus, Thanksgiving was on the horizon, as was the Christmas season. So it wasn’t all bad. And you know, no matter what we had in front of us, we had each other. So that’s an awesome thing.

And we still had a full day of adventure left. So let’s get on with that.

Being that we had a balcony facing the Atlantic, we wanted to wake up and catch a sunrise on Day 11 before we hit the road. So up we were at like 6AM. And by “we,” I mean Nickie and I. The boys were having NONE of this nonsense.

We grabbed some pre-sunrise pics first. Buckle up. I took far too many pictures of this sunrise. And they’re all for you, my friends.  You’re…welcome?

At around 6:30, things started lightening up out there.

And at 6:41, the sun started poking out from beyond the horizon.

This is us. At 6:41 in the morning.

This was how things were looking a minute later. 6:42.

6:43 AM saw a lot happen in a minute.

And at 6:44 AM, the sun made its full appearance.

By 6:46 AM, it had broken away from the water and the day had officially begun.

“Wayne, maybe you should have self-edited and not used ALLLL your sunrise pictures,” you say, slightly annoyed.

“Ha, this was me self-editing,” I reply, also slightly annoyed. Whatever though. Not a ton happened on Day 11. So shut up and enjoy your sunrise.

We then woke the kids up, called for our car, packed up our bags, and got back on the road. The kids were pretty tired so we just got some driving in while they dozed off in the car. We had some granola bars in the snack box, so we just figured that would be breakfast today.

This drive ended up being pretty uneventful. I mean, we DID drive over the Chesepeake Bay Bridge Tunnel again but it looks like neither Nickie nor I took any pictures of it today. So hey, enjoy this photo I found online.

My blogging skills are unmatched.

At around 10:00AM in Delaware though we stopped off at a Dunkin’ so everyone could go to the bathroom and we could get a couple coffees.

It’s actually kind of amazing, given the week we had, how little we ate today. We didn’t end up even looking for lunch until 2PM and we were in Connecticut. We pulled off the highway to grab a bite at the Lakeside Diner in Stamford.

We were pretty excited to eschew fast food for a real roadside diner. And the reviews were pretty good. Unfortunately, when we got in there? They informed us the grill had closed down for the day. Steee-rike.

So back in the car we went and drove down the road to see what else was available. We came upon Mario The Baker and decided to give it a go.

It was a little pizza type shop, but they had tables AND served beer and wine. So I mean, sold.

I ordered the Italian Melt (Ham, Salami, Provolone, Oil and Vinegar).

This was a really nice sandwich. The meat tasted fresh and the bread was toasted perfectly. Plus, I paired it with a Coors Light. That helped.

Myles got a Chicken Parm sub.

And Owen had the chicken fingers with a side of meatballs.

Both kids seemed to really like their meals. And I can vouch for those meatballs. Those things were noice.

Nickie was in the mood for pizza so she ordered a cheese for the table.

Again, I can vouch for this pizza. Good stuff. Nickie liked it too!

All in all, this ended up being a really nice stop. We all enjoyed our food, the place was empty, and we got to watch a little Sunday football on the TV while having a couple beers. I like football. And a couple beers.

I think we ended up leaving the restaurant at around 3:00 PM and being that we were in CT, we still had about 3 ½ hours left until we got home. So we arrived at around 6:30. And look who was so excited to have us home.

And I know what you’re wondering. No, she did not make that sign. Our amazing neighbors, the Chagnons (Steph, George, Courtney, and Emily), made that to welcome us home.

Annnnd, they also made us ANOTHER sign (signs signs everywhere there’s signs) and some of Steph’s super duper incredible brownies.

We were also welcome with two new boxes of Vanilla Custard Pie Nespresso from our friend Renee and her boyfriend John, who watched Lilo for us while we were away. But to be fair, I think they may have also drank two boxes of Vanilla Custard Pie.  Still though, not necessary you guys.

And yeah. Lilo.

So cute she is.

That was pretty much it, you guys. Our 10-day Walt Disney World Road Trip had come to an end. It was a great 10 day adventure. We got to visit our favorite place, see some of our favorite people, and spend some real time together. I mean, with COVID and all, we have of course been spending A LOT of time together. But this kind of time is different. No remote learning. No remote meetings. Just time spent together, laughing, singing, talking, and making memories. We were very nervous going on this trip and weren’t sure what to expect. But honestly? This trip felt like something we needed this year more than anything. Because in addition to giving us some real quality time, it was a break in the monotony that was 2020.

I am grateful and feel blessed to have been able to take it. And I am grateful to you all for reading along. I hope you all are staying healthy and happy and look forward to taking you along on our next adventure.

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