Monday 7 June 2010:
Today was one of those ‘do a lot of driving around and don’t really do very much of anything else’ days.
We started in Virginia Beach (obviously) and immediately left town for Portsmouth, Virginia for what would become our last Portsmouth. We’d liked to have done all five but unfortunately we wouldn’t make it as far as Iowa. Four would have to do, and boy did we pick a doozy to close with. Unlike the other Portsmouths, what made this one special wasn’t how cool the person was that signed the shirt (in fact she was a cafe owner in her 60’s who didn’t understand what we were asking her to do at all and would rather we left quite quickly). What made this Portsmouth amazing is that it was basically our Portsmouth.
DISCLAIMER: People who don’t really know the original Portsmouth very well may well find this paragraph tedious reading – you have my permission to skip it. Portsmouth, Virginia, has a harbour full of boats (both recreational and naval) on the other side of which is the town of Gosport, from where you can see Fort Nelson. Very, very, very weird.
Anyway, we got our shirt signed and ran away from the scary woman who wanted us out of her cafe as quickly as possible and made for Kitty Hawk (silly name).
Kitty Hawk is the site of the Wright Brother testing ground and (obviously) the first powered flight. It was a pretty interesting place, they have a model of the plane and there are some markers that were laid down to show the distances of the first flights. The problem is that there’s nothing actually happening there. For a place that’s supposed to memorialise man’s first step in the race to the stars, it’s very motionless. This wasn’t helped by the fact that there were only about twelve people there.
I decided to combat this by pretending to be an aeroplane – I stopped when even the small children started giving me funny looks.
Once we’d had our fun with Kitty Hawk it was on to Williamsburg where we’d booked a motel, which was unlike us. Normally we just rocked up in a new town and found some half decent but quite cheap place, but tonight we’d booked. The thinking being that Williamsburg is a bit of a tourist hot spot and we might get caught out.
Upon our arrival we discovered that we shouldn’t have worried. There were more hotels in Williamsburg than people. This made actually finding the one we’d booked really very difficult indeed. We drove up and down, up and down and still we couldn’t find it. At one point we thought we’d found it, but it was just a different branch of the same chain.
An hour after we arrived in Williamsburg we were checking in, both of us starving and in terrible moods.
Never mind, tomorrow were going to the 18th Century.
Days in US: 36
State Count: 20
Portsmouth count: 4
Portsmouth, VA: Basically Portsmouth, England.