Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Day 3: Go Fly a Kite

Woke up earlier than everyone else, so I went for another morning run. I didn’t plan on doing much exercise on this trip, but I happened to bring my shoes and a pair of shorts along. It was cloudy in the morning, not with rain clods but the coastal foggy variety that just hang there refusing to release any sunshine.

We decided on having a late breakfast in lieu of lunch in case the clouds broke and we ended up going to the beach. One place that sounded appetizing was Stack ‘em High, the “’em”, referring to pancakes. At ten o’clock, there was a line from the register to the door. The protocol is that you order your food, pay and seat yourself, in that sequence. While all the tables looked to be taken, they seemed to be moving people through at about the right pace so that no one was standing around waiting for someone else to leave. Apparently, a group of about seven college kids in line behind us surveyed the landscape and thought it would be a good idea to send one from their party into the dining area to “hold” a recently vacated table. Ahead of everyone else in line.

I view this sort of behavior with about the same level of contempt as any other “seat saving” practice (Bibles on an entire pew at church, jackets over a whole row of seats in a theater, etc.). I think one person should be able to save one seat for someone and that’s the limit. If more than half your party is late, or busy gabbing with their friends, too bad.

Anyway, it didn’t take long for the young woman to be noticed by THE MANAGER, who politely asked her to get back in line and wait her turn like everyone else. Civility was restored.

The clouds persisted throughout the day, so we drove up the road to Duck, which is only about eight miles away from Kitty Hawk but is much more upscale (read: pretentious). They obviously cater to the moneyed crowd here, judging from some of the shops, er, boutiques, and restaurants. The air was saturated with attitude. That’s OK, I’m perfectly at home with affected snobs. I worked in the Hamptons for four summers, after all.

We bought Ally a kite, which filled her with excitement. South of Kitty Hawk, in Kill Devil Hills, is a place called Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which is comprised mostly of sand dunes substantial enough to fly hang gliders from. It’s also perfect for kite flying, lot’s of wind and open space. Once we trekked across the sands to one of the dunes, we assembled the kite and it practically flew out of my hands. I attached the string, played it out a little bit and handed it off to Ally, who I was afraid would be carried away by a sudden gust. But she held her ground. We also saw some hang gliders and paragliders that day doing their thing. I think if I were to take up anything like that, Jockey’s Ridge would be a good place to start, if only because of the soft landing areas.

Dinner that night at The Red Drum, which refers to the fish, not the musical instrument. Nor does it have anything to do with The Shining. We never did make it to the beach, but there were plenty of days left for that.


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