We had thought a quiet beach day with a spot of fishing would be a chill kind of way to celebrate Dan's birthday, but midway to Virginia Beach from our hotel we discovered that Kitty Hawk wasn't too far down the coastline, so we re-routed
. The GPS said 1 1/2 hrs, but it didn't know that half the populataion of NY & VA states were making their way to Duck, a small seaside town just north of Kitty Hawk. So we crawled all the way there, stopping for Subway and farm fresh strawberries (Daniel's choice of birthday lunch) before bounding up the sand dune to look down at the Wright Brother's impressive feats. We could see the sea from the top, so we raced to the bottom and into the ocean. Sadly the waves were dumpers and both Daniel & Aviva got their first onshore barrelling but that didn't spoil their mood, they'd have swum all afternoon.. Next stop on Dan's agenda was to get that fishing rod out and in the water - he kept reminding us of his impressive haul with Uncle Bruce (he caught 10 fish, although I wasn't on board to verify, so could be that he's learned how to tell a fishing story from an early age). The pier at Kill Devil Hills seemed a reasonable spot to the drop the line, and father & son had a beautiful bonding experience; they just didn't bring home dinner. Daniel had a wonderful birthday, thank you to everyone who wished him a happy day.
Day two we were headed to Washington DC but thought a quick trip to the history riddled Jamestown area would give us a better understanding of the origins of this country. There was plenty to learn and loads to see - but we wanted to get to Washington DC in daylight so we did a little wandering, read the plaques as quickly as we could, and snapped lots of pics for later, then moved on to Richmond for lunch, before driving into DC around 5pm.
Made a very late start to the day which no longer comes as a surprise to us; packing up from a tent site still takes over an hour and that's without anyone getting any breakfast, so it was a major setback when we hit a road-block on the Blue Ridge Parkway heading toward our campsite at Wytheville. The alternate route was going to take us back through Tennessee and no offence to anyone reading who hails from this state, but both Matt and I had had our fill of that states particular take on Americana. So we headed east, bracing ourselves for the 8hr trip ahead, knowing we still had that Wal-Mart run to do before Dan's big day. After collecting the goods (somehow Matt managed to keep the fishing rod a secret from Dan as we all shopped together), we continued through the night all the way to Chesapeake. I barely saw the passing scenery as it took almost the whole trip to secure accommodation (we now know the Virginia Beach area is a very popular summer holiday spot!) so we ended up in some nameless satellite town at midnight. Daniel stayed bright-eyed all the way to Chesapeake as we had told him that midnight would signal the start of his birthday and he has a six year old's determination to conquer all.