Two weeks ago we escaped Appalachia for the Carolina coast. Turns out it was warmer back home than down by the sea. No matter. A change of landscape and pace was just what we needed, along with family time.
It was spring break and Elsa's new favorite word is vacation. She's had her bags packed for ages. With only Florida on her mind we weren't sure that a quick trip to one of the Carolinas would sate her. She's a compulsive packer and re-packer and luggage toter.
"Are we at our vacation yet?"
we arrived at Pine Knoll Shores, NC. She stunned us by asking about our "destination." Whoa. She's not yet three and a half. Two more months to go.
We shopped for groceries at Lowes and ate all our meals in except for one. We passed a drive in one day and I ached to eat there. On the drive back we stopped. It was kind of cool just in one respect that Ian and I were the youngest folks eating there. Everybody else were well into golden GOLDEN years.
Big Oak is actually in Salter Path, NC, and since we weren't there during the "season" we didn't get any banana pudding. I asked about it after reading one of the several magazine articles lacquered and placqued up at the drive-in's facade.
Instead of relying on the brain or a notepad to remember individual orders, the person working the window writes each order on the bag. So, yeah, even with all the greasy drive-in places I've eaten in my life, this was the first of those experiences for me. The novelty tickles me to no end. It's super-sustainable and practical. Otherwise that slip of paper is tossed, or maybe used in an old-fashioned accounting of receipts at the close of business tally.
The shrimp burger is the thing to order. Didn't know what to expect. Would it be minced and mushed together into a patty? What condiments dressed it? So this is it: fried shrimp, tartar sauce, cole slaw, and ketchup. Had to wait until we returned to our lovely motel, the Atlantis Lodge. It's pet friendly and family-owned. Just a fine and pleasant place. Everyone is kind, friendly, and conversation flows as it's centered around all sorts of dog-lovin' vibrations.
Shrimp burger was snarfed up in no time. I got the small one, it was plenty big enough, though you could order a larger one for $5.75. We also got corn stix and hush puppies. Both were disappointing. Sad sad about the hush puppies. They weren't sweet, they weren't spicy, they weren't oniony. They were just bland. And the corn stix were a novelty. Like a long cheese stick, except it was cornbread. Meh. Both corn products were in need of sweetening or spicing up.
Can't wait to explore other menu items at Big Oak. And would also love to return to the Atlantis Lodge with my family, including Roxy. Playing fetch with a flying disc on the beach with her made one of my dreams come true. Now, if we could play on a glacier field... Or Mongolian steppes...The menu at Big Oak was expansive. So many plates to try, and their BBQ, oh my. I could stay there a week and dine there every day just to try it all.
Must return for some banana pudding whenever banana pudding season begins.