Instead of flying home (about $200 each one-way), we decided to rent a car and drive from North Carolina to Manhattan (about $240 total, including gas, insurance and GPS – we rented from Avis, which has a drop-off on the UES and no drop-off fees). Beyond being a money-saver in this kind of situation, road-tripping just might be our absolute favorite thing to do.
Our first stop was the Waffle House by the car rental place, because we were starving, and because we are both big, big Waffle House fans. I had a plain waffle and grits (I know they’re not exactly top-quality at Waffle House, but they are butter-drenched and sodium-filled, and I love them), and Kendrick had…everything. Including clobbered, smashed, smooched and bamboozled hash browns (or something like that).
We also bought a Waffle House mug for my parents. Ebay has lots of fun memorabilia-ish things, or you can pick up merchandise here. Also, there’s apparently a Waffle House Museum in Decatur, Georgia. Amazing.
We stopped at this Fireworks/Peanuts/Virginia Ham (?) roadside stand because I wanted to pick up some bacon to bring home, but…once inside, it didn’t really seem like an establishment I wanted to buy foodstuffs from.
Next stop: the Antiques Emporium in Exmore, VA (pop 1,136), which might just be the quietest place I’ve ever been. Seriously, pin-drop silent. I thought about buying this stunning dish…but then thought better of it. (I did score a teacup for my collection!)
We spent about two hours looking for a place to stop for lunch that met my criteria (something I wouldn’t be able to find in NYC but didn’t take us too far off the highway), and finally ended up eating push-up ice cream sandwiches in a gas station in a town called Princess Anne. In my defense, I’ve never seen these things in New England. Which is fine by me, because they are not good.
The plan was to end our trip with cheesesteaks in Philly, but in Dover, Delaware we stopped into a roadside bar…and ended up inhaling these amazing things. More on this later.
A bit weary from nearly 10 hours of driving, we watched the sun set from a gas station off the New Jersey Turnpike…
And finally arrived home to find some very tired puffins (apparently my parents’ cat did a number on them).
Lots more photos HERE!