Road Trip – October 2022

Note: this is still a draft version of this post…

Because I’m so slow to get back to writing these travel posts, I’m going to start publishing the drafts (yeah, I know that’s an oxymoron). I’ll try to get back to finish these posts in the not-too-distant future…

And another administrative note…

It seems prudent going forward to create only one blog post for each road trip. This will, I think, be less confusing because the posts show up in the blog listing in reverse chronological order – which is the way it should be. So now the post for each trip will flow chronologically from beginning to end for that trip.

Southport, NC

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

We left Salisbury, MD, around 11 a.m. bound for Southport, NC. We uncharacteristically ate breakfast at home before leaving so we skipped Squeaky’s this time. We stopped at the rest area at the north end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to stretch a bit. This rest stop is located almost exactly halfway (timewise, not distance-wise) between home and the Cracker Barrel in Emporia, VA. We got to the Cracker Barrel a little after 3 p.m., which was a good time because it was not crowded at all.

After eating a very late lunch/very early dinner, we got on I-95 southbound. Following the directions from Waze we got off I-95 near Wilson, NC, stopped for gas there, and then began the last leg of the day’s journey to Southport, where we arrived around 8 p.m.

The Fairfield Inns and Suites in Southport is mostly indistinguishable from any other, except for one thing: they did not have coffee service in the lobby like every other Marriott property we’ve stayed at. When I asked about this at the front desk, they said it’s because there are coffee makers in the guest rooms. My reply was that every hotel room I’ve stayed in (at least in the US) for the last 30+ years has had coffee makers in the rooms, and the Marriott properties have all had coffee service in the lobby. In fact, I looked on my Bonvoy app and it’s listed as one of the “amenities,” including for that hotel. Oh well.

After we got settled in, I called my college roommate, David Berne, who lives in the Southport area with his wife and sons. I recognized his voice immediately – even after not having heard it for 39 years. We chatted for a minute or two and made plans to meet for lunch the following day. When I hung up the phone, I told Nancy that I recognized his voice, but that he had a more pronounced Southern accent that I’d remembered. By the following day I was acclimated, and no longer heard anyone’s Southern accent… everyone just sounded normal.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

David picked us up at our hotel at noon and we met his wife, Emerson, at The Provision Company for lunch. The Provision Company isn’t fancy, but the food was excellent, and not very expensive. Nancy and I both had the lunch special – a deviled crab and a quarter pound of steamed, spiced shrimp. We sat at a table by an open window overlooking the Cape Fear River and ate and talked for an hour. It was great to meet Emerson, and to catch up with David after all these years. Much has changed over that time, but our comfortable friendship was easy to pick up again.

We stopped by David and Emerson’s house for a few minutes just to see where they live. A lovely home right on the water with a dock and a gazebo.

David dropped us off back at the hotel around 3 p.m. (I think), and we relaxed for a couple of hours and then walked across the parking lot to Bella Cucina, a nice Italian restaurant for dinner. Then it was back to our room to watch some TV, read a bit, and fall asleep.

Friday, October 14, 2022

[“Brunch” at Old Bridge Diner…]

[Fort Caswell, Oak Island lighthouse, walk on Caswell Beach…]

[Dinner at Fishy Fishy Cafe…]

Saturday, October 15, 2022

[“Brunch” at Southport Coffee Co. and Kitchen, old houses, Brunswick Inn (circa 1859)(for sale!), pier and riverwalk, some shopping…]

[Dinner at Oliver’s on the Cape Fear…]

Sunday, October 16, 2022

[Breakfast at Southport Coffee Co. & Kitchen, saying “’til next time” to David, drive to North Myrtle Beach, check-in at The Links, dinner with Mike and Kathy, Kroger…]

The Links Golf & Racquet Club, North Myrtle Beach, SC

We arrived at The Links Resort (nee, The Links Golf & Racquet Club) around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 16, 2022.

[Still up to their old “we want to give you an ‘owner’ update” crap…]

[WiFi router and Internet now in each unit, Fire TV Stick 4k, chairs exactly where we left them last year…]

[Roaches! And… shower door off the track…]

[Dinner with Mike and Kathy at Boardwalk Billy’s, then Kroger…]

Monday, October 17, 2022, thru Wednesday, October 19, 2022

[Dinner in on Monday and Tuesday, walks around the timeshare, Possum Trot becoming 55+ single home community…]

[Walk at North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex on Tuesday (2.6 miles)…]

[Dinner at Bonefish Grill on Wednesday…]

Thursday, October 20, 2022

[Brenda and Richard arrive, dinner with Mike, Kathy, Donna, Joan, Brenda, and Richard at Clark’s Seafood & Chophouse…]

Friday, October 21, 2022

[B’fast at Waffle House, Putt-Putt (er, Miniature Golf), dinner at “21 Main at North Beach Prime Steak House”…]

Saturday, October 22, 2022

[Broadway at the Beach, Mead Tasting, dinner with Mike and Kathy, and Brenda and Richard at (hamburger place)…]

Kill Devil Hills, NC (OBX)

We got up early on Sunday, October 23, 2022, and left The Links around 9:45 a.m. headed for the Tee Time Cafe in Shallott, NC. We ate there last year and really liked it, and it’s about 30 minutes out of North Myrtle Beach, so we decided to go there again. Same good food, same good service, so we plan to be regulars there (well, annually, anyway).

It rained a bit on the drive to Kill Devil Hills, and we arrived at the Towneplace Suites around 4 p.m. At check-in, I asked if they had any available upgrade for Bonvoy members (I always ask) and the did! We got upgraded to an ocean view room with a bit more space. After settling into the room it was time for dinner, and we decided on Food Dudes Kitchen which is less than a mile from the hotel.

Monday, October 24, 2022

After breakfast in our room (cereal!), we headed out to Jockey’s Ridge State Park. The park is built around the east coast’s highest sand dunes and is only about 2 miles from our hotel. Great weather and scenery – not to mention some much needed exercise and fresh air – made for an enjoyable afternoon.

While at the park I had noticed that one of the informational plaques was sponsored by Tortugas Lie Restaurant, so I looked them up on Google Maps. They were only a mile or so from the park entrance and they got 4.6 out of 5 stars after almost 3000 reviews, so we headed there for dinner. It was great!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Another low-key day spent mostly in our room either reading or blogging 🙂

Finally got to eat at Kill Devil Grill…

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

[Heading back to Salisbury…]

Home sweet home!