Exploring America

Hey guys! I’ve posted a couple of times about my road trip along the east coast of America (the most recent being about the Corolla wild horses). I’ve been having some computer issues, so it’s taken longer than I thought it would to write up this post about everything I’ve missed saying thus far. Nevertheless, here it is!

Well, needless to say, it was a loooong drive to Daytona Beach, which was our end destination. One of very few of our stops on the way down was the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. It was nearing dark by the time we got to some of the lookouts, but we saw plenty of deer and managed to get a few great sunset pictures!

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Beautiful evening at the Blue Ridge Parkway

Once we got to Daytona, we spent a lot of time swimming. For a Canadian, the weather in Florida is HOT! We would alternate between swimming and just chilling in our apartment/room. The water was a lot of fun; the beach was nice and the waves were huge! I took my GoPro with me once and got some good video, which I hope to have up on youtube soon. If you caught the wave at just the right time, and it had just the right amount of power, you’d get swept under the curl and pummeled into the ground! I was often laughing hysterically while underwater. Good times! We also took the time to wander around and check out some of the shops. And we saw lots of PALM TREES! (I have a slight obsession with palm trees, and cacti as well…)

We found a couple of great places that I feel the need to mention. The first was Neighbors Ice Cream Parlor and General Store. My brother found this place by searching online, and convinced my whole family to go there by emphasizing that their ice cream “is made with real Florida cream, and pure cane sugar, and they have 30+ flavours” (even though there were ice cream places much closer to where we were staying). But oh boy, this place didn’t disappoint! They make their ice cream AND anything in the ice cream themselves. I’ve never been crazy about homemade ice cream, but this ice cream was AMAZING. Every flavour I tasted was absolutely 100% delicious and I wanted to try them all. My favourite was the cookie dough, shown in the left picture below. There were giant chunks of cookie dough spread over the top of the ice cream and some mixed in as well! My family and I agreed that this ice cream was the absolute best we’ve ever tasted, so good, in fact, that we returned the day before leaving Daytona because we had to have more. I think we might need to return to Daytona, just to eat more of that ice cream!!!

The second place that deserves recognition is the Angell and Phelps Chocolate Factory. We found out that they held free factory tours with free samples and instantly made the decision to check it out. We caught the next tour just in time. My first thought going into the factory was “chocolate is chocolate, right?” Wrong! You do not know chocolate until you’ve tasted their chocolate. It is amazingly creamy and delicious and definitely the best chocolate I have ever tasted (and I’ve tasted a lot of chocolate in my lifetime). My favourite was the milk chocolate cordial cherries, but a close second was the raspberry creme (both flavours pictured above to the right). I also loved just the pure milk chocolate. I bought a whole pound of chocolates and they all disappeared within a couple of days. :D We bought some fudge as well, and it was the creamiest, most delicious fudge I’ve ever tasted! I had the address to this place ingrained in my mind after the first day. :3

We also took a day trip to Orlando to go to Epcot. I don’t have many pictures from there, probably because I spent most of the day in extreme states of heat. Walking from air conditioned building into hot outdoors into another air conditioned building feels so strange!

Too soon, we were packing up to make the return trip. This time we stuck mostly to the east coast. Our first stop was the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where we saw the wild horses. We spent the night in Kill Devil Hills on the beach, and it was such a beautiful and inspiring place! We witnessed the sunrise on the beach (well, my mom did. She showed us pictures later. The rest of us were too lazy to get up so early!), and the rest of my family went swimming later in the morning while I photographed them, the beach, and the nearby birds. I think the waves there were even crazier than those in Daytona! I got some funny pictures of everyone being swept off their feet!

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On our way to our jeep tour (where we saw the wild horses of Corolla), we stopped for lunch. We only had a short time before the tour, so we ate fast. But we had gotten virgin strawberry daiquiris, which were slightly frozen so we couldn’t finish them quickly enough. So, we asked for them to go, but unfortunately the place didn’t have any cups ‘to go.’ Luckily though, they had soup bowls, so here I am with my strawberry daiquiri in my soup bowl! :) Very conventional, eh? (I think this is one of my favourite moments in NC, after the horses of course.)

While driving to our jeep tour, we observed all the sand dunes along the sides of the road and surrounding all the houses. It was so cool! I’ve seen sand dunes, but never any so big or so many in one place. Our tour actually took us on one of the largest sand dunes, and we were allowed to get out and look around.

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We stayed one full day (2 nights) in the Outer Banks, and continued driving the next day. For breakfast, my brother convinced us that we had to try Duck Donuts in Kill Devil Hills. After he brought us to Neighbors, we weren’t going to disagree with him, even though freshly warm donuts have never really appealed to me. Well, these ones did. They get the donuts fresh out of the oven (or wherever they actually cook those things), and then you get to choose your own coating, topping, AND drizzle! I got a strawberry coating with rainbow sprinkles and a raspberry drizzle, as pictured below. The left photo shows all of the donuts we got. My dad and my brother had to try the maple bacon, of course, and we got a couple more flavours as well. They were sooo good! Definitely #1 on my list of good donuts. I usually prefer cold donuts over hot ones, but cold donuts seem so bland now! xD (No offence cold donuts.)

Our next stop was New York. We stayed in New Jersey City and took the PATH train to NYC the next morning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people in my whole life. It was insane! I enjoyed the visit, but can honestly say that I would never want to live there. I am, after all, a country girl at heart! Still, the sights there were great. We saw the Statue of Liberty, went to Central Park, and then walked from there to Times Square. It was a great experience! We saw so much in one day. We were crazy exhausted by the time we took the train back to our hotel.

The next day, we continued home. It was a great adventure! I’ve never been on such a long road trip. But we saw so much more this way, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. This is definitely one of our best family vacations, right up there with last year’s flight to Arizona.

I think I can now cross “road trip” off my list of 21 things to do before I turn 21! That’s 3 down, 18 to go!

(On another note, I went to look at my hopefully-soon-to-be new car today, so I might cross another thing off my list soon!!)

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Big Waves at Daytona Beach « Country Unlimited


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