Norfolk to Wilmington

Yesterday we got up bright and early, enjoyed our free breakfast and hit the road to enjoy a full day’s travelling.

Not.

In fact we slept in until breakfast had been cleared away and blearily made our way out to find a Dunkin Donut on our way to Kitty Hawk. We didn’t find one.

Instead we hit the freeways and eventually picked up some fruit and water at a Food Lion supermarket. At lunchtime we came across a fantastic all-American diner – Mel’s Diner.


Mel's Diner

A shiny chrome trailer type diner with all the retro charm of the movies. And the food was fantastic. Groover had this enormous club sandwich and I had a Greek salad. Also huge and crisp and delicious.Our rumbling tummies satisfied we jumped back in the car and headed for the site of the Wright Brothers first powered flight at Kitty Hawk. The town itself is row after row of stilted wooden houses – designed for beach life. And the road down there not much more than billboard after billboard interspersed with the occasional strip mall.

Entry to the Wright memorial is only $4 per person over 15 and it lasts a week. The museum is excellent and they have a full-scale replica of the original plane and glider. The original is in the Smithsonian. Outside they have marked the flight paths and we had fun getting the kids to recreate the flights on our little video recorder. Watch the video…

We then climbed Kill Devil Hill where the brothers first launched their glider. The memorial which looks brand new was in fact built in 1932. It is very impressive and apparently is the inspiration for some random game that Groover and Hugamuga play – Bioshock. Note the jetstream of what their invention led to next to it.

Kitty Hawk

Kitty Hawk

The dunes have been grassed over to keep them in place and they don’t like you walking on the lawn, so much so that they’ve oversown the grass with prickley pear. Nasty stuff.

Then we got back in the car for a big drive. We got as far as Wilmington where the Lonely Planet guide recommends The Water Street Restaurant and stopped in for some southern fare. Once again LP didn’t let us down. This is a great restaurant – the food is good – we had the crabcakes and the fried green tomatoes, the popcorn shrimp and a pasta dish. All delicious. The entertainment was world class. A brilliant singer who kept us entertained all night. There were a group of older folk there who come along everytime this guy performs and they were up dancing and really having a good time. They came to talk to us because they came from Connecticut and Groover was wearing his UConn tee-shirt.

Wilmington

Wilmington

Today we’re mooching off down to Charleston and Savannah. Then to Orlando and Disneyworld.