The Atlantic Ocean is very blue
So for those of you who are unaware, yesterday we rented a car and drove to ye olde OBX (outer banks for those of you who, you know, don’t know) for some fun and sun and sand and general not-being-homeness. We set out about 8:30 in the morning and the drive was very nice and wonderful except for those billion mile stretches of 35, 45, and 55 mph zones, which made our drive much longer than I had planned. When we reached Roanoke Island, we went through Manteo to Fort Raleigh National Historic Site because we wanted to find the Lost Colony. They weren’t there but we both got the major wig from the abnormally quiet forest and overall weirdness about a bunch of people just vanishing.
After that, we were hungry and decided to head out OVER THE WATER ON SCARY BRIDGE-TYPE THINGS in search for some food. Actually the scary bridge-type things were not as bad as I was expecting. We drove in the general direction of Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills (coolest name EVER) in search of something that wasn’t McDonald’s or anything too sketch. We finally pulled into an Arby’s, partly because OMG SO STARVING and partly because I was about to have some serious road rage.
First things freaking last, Arby’s was absurdly crowded. We got our food and sat down and were immediately accosted by an elderly man who turned out to be an employee. While I get the point of his position – to get things for those too lazy to get up and walk three feet for another napkin – I really hate being interrupted while I’m eating. Particularly while I’m eating in an over-crowded Arby’s on a hot day in a very strange place. I have never eaten so fast in my entire life. He even made all of us sing happy birthday to his manager. I mean, hello. I came here to eat, not vocalize. Moving on!
We then set out to get our feet wet in the Atlantic. I kept pointing to the right and telling Best Friend that the ocean was right there and eventually, we turned down a street and then another street and while we were making our way along the dune dividing the road from, you know, the ocean, we finally got our first glimpse. It was big! It was blue! It was…two feet away?
After finding a parking spot, we changed into our suits in the car all the while giving the people living in the houses on either side of the car the most bizarre peep show ever. We crossed the street, up over the dune, and down onto the beach. My first reaction was, “Whoa. This is…weird.” Which sparked a conversation with a guy from Virginia Beach who could’ve been related not-so-distantly to K-Fed. He was nice enough and we told him this was our first Atlantic experience and we chatted and that’s when we found out about him being from Virginia Beach. I’ve never been there and I’m sure it’s lovely and touristy but my uncle lives in Virginia Beach and he’s…well, he’s different.
He departs and we walk down the beach to an unoccupied spot and have our first water experience. First impression of the ocean: it wasn’t effing freezing. In fact, it felt pretty nice. It was very strange though since there’s not a beach, just a two foot strip of sand and then big ocean. Okay, so it’s bigger than two feet. But not much. We splash around and are accosted by waves and then I realize that despite my sunscreen, I am being baked – also, there was the revelation that it was ridiculously hot and also pretty muggy and neither of us like heat or humidity much – so we leave for Cape Hatteras because I want to see the lighthouse.
(Oh! I forgot to mention that at some point between Columbia and Manteo, we drove on a stretch of road warning us against bears and how it’s illegal to feed them and also WATCH OUT FOR RED WOLVES.)
Apparently on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, they don’t believe in mileage signs, probably because it would deter tourists who realized they had to drive eleventy billion miles at 55 mph (cops EVERYWHERE) to see a stupid lighthouse. I started getting tired. Not in that “I want to go to sleep” way but in that “if I pass through another town and have to slow down again I am seriously going to kill someone” way. But lo, we found the lighthouse and took pictures but did not climb it because hi, no.
Decided it was time for a car break. We drove back toward Nags Head and the more we drove, the grumpier I got. My foot hurt and…I don’t know. I just wanted to stop being in the car. So after a small argument and some driving, we went to Applebee’s and I put on another peep show for everyone. It was so much fun!
Val Kilmer the Quiet, Slow, Can Only Do One Thing at a Time Waiter, took our drink orders and left. Brought us our drink orders five minutes later and took our food orders. We didn’t see him again for a few years, he refilled my coffee and ignored my empty water glass for another hour or three. Best Friend and I discussed how Val Kilmer the Actor creeps us out in a sex offender kind of way and then we discussed other inappropriate things that Val Kilmer probably does and it involved kittens. Finally Val Kilmer the Waiter brought us our food and we dug in. Except the food tasted like vomit. Not really but my food tasted like cardboard sprinkled with some cardboard. The mashed potatoes were laughable, the broccoli was rubbery, and the food was bland. And also kind of gross.
Val Kilmer the Waiter came by to see how we were and didn’t refill our drinks or ask if we wanted any dessert even though it was clear we weren’t touching our food ever again. When he came back to ask if we wanted dessert, we practically attacked him with the dessert menu and ordered a brownie sundae thing and an apple caramel crisp thing. Meanwhile, a group of five or six older adults were seated near us and while they discussed whether or not they wanted to eat some wangs (wings) or steak, we talked quietly about Val Kilmer the Actor’s immoral ways. Then Val Kilmer the Waiter brought my dessert and a woman in the group of Older Adults exclaimed, “OH! She got some apple thing! And see? It has caramel on the side so you can pour it on YOURSELF!” I shot Best Friend a look as I poured the caramel over my vanilla ice cream and apple crisp thing and then Val Kilmer the Waiter brought out the brownie sundae, which caused the same woman to have yet another dessert orgasm. “And SHE got a brownie!”
Best Friend and I did our best to keep from throwing things at the woman and her friends, who wouldn’t stop staring at us, and I polished off my dessert since dinner was such a disappointment. Best Friend paid and we got up to go to the restroom and Best Friend starts freaking out behind me. Can’t figure out why, so I ask, which is when she tells me that Loud Dessert Orgasm Woman said, “SHE DIDN’T FINISH HER BROWNIE!” as we got up from the table. I mean, wtf?
So we do our bathroom thing and as we’re leaving, we have to walk between our table and the table at which sits the Loud Dessert Orgasm Woman and her friends and I comment, all in shock, “Someone didn’t finish their brownie!”
After that, I felt more alive and ready for the long trek home. We drove and drove and drove and when I stopped at the Alligator River Waterway Thing With a Bridge gas station, Best Friend bought me some Cape Hatteras tourist stuff (a big heavy keychain!). On the way home, we listened to a lot of pop music, including Nsync. Since we like to bother the people we love, we thought about calling Melissa but we weren’t sure about her current number and then we called Michelle and sang Tearin’ Up My Heart to her very badly and very loudly and then we hung up on her. Later we called her back for I Want You Back. Between all of these things, there was a lot of screaming at the tops of our lungs and then that moment when I really thought Best Friend was going to flash the Food Lion truck driver.
I’m leaving out so much stuff but I think you get the general idea. OBX was okay and the ocean was lovely, of course, but it’s far too overdeveloped and crowded. It made me incredibly homesick and even though we’re planning on going back in the off season, it didn’t have quite the desired effect. For me, at least. I think it will be better when we can go and stay the night instead of spending too much time dealing with that horrific, non-stop traffic on whatever road that is that runs up toward Kitty Hawk.
I’m putting up my crappy cameraphone pictures on Flickr as soon as I post this, so you should go check it out.