DAY 64 July 27, 2009

The bathroom floors at the Williamston, NC Hampton Inn were filthy. I stepped out of the shower to get something I had forgotten and when I got back in the water around my already partially clean feet was black from the filth on my feet. I expect the floors in a Hampton to be clean enough to walk around barefoot and look forward to being able to do so.

When I checked out this morning I just mentioned that the floors in the room were dirty. Instead of thanking me for letting her know and apologizing, the manager started in trying to cover her butt and let me know that there was housekeeping there and they could have come and cleaned the floor had I just let them know(at midnight?). I reiterate that it is service that differentiates a location at this level and that needs improvement at this location. I would have been happy with a genuine apology, rather than being presented rationale for declining Hampton's "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" up front. Do this if someone asks. Otherwise graciously apologize.

It took until I got to North Caroline, to taste boiled peanuts (on my to do list) at Mackey's Ferry Peanuts. They were okay, but I loved the blister fried peanuts. They soak them in water and then they deep fry them. The texture is crunchier than a roasted peanut and the flavor is milder.

Next stop was Somerset Place North Carolina Historic Site just outside of Creswell. This was a beautiful representation of an old plantation estate. The tour takes 60-90 minutes. I listened to Lisa’s orientation and was amazed at the amount of information she had provided! I wish I could have enjoyed the tour, but the rain is imminent (not just impending) and I had several things to get to before I rest tonight.

The water crossing over to the peninsula just west of Roanoke Island was brown and very choppy. The creeks had algae blooms and nasty stuff floating on them. Yuck

On Roanoke Island, I went to Fort Raleigh NPS site. This is the site of the lost colony on Roanoke. Had they survived and persisted, they may have earned the acknowledgment of being the first English permanent settlement, but that went to Jamestown and just barely as the surviving members of that settlement wanted to and even attempted to desert, but were turned back by reinforcements from the trustees.

I went out to see the first lighthouse heading south on Bodie Island, but did not make it to Haterras. I was more interested in the Wright Bothers NPS, so I headed up the island. I got there just in time to enjoy the museum and snap a couple of photographs.
Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills are exactly what I expect a seaside community to look like. There were some wind worn homes, a few motels, dunes, boardwalks out the beach from free parking, and not very many people or commercialism. If you take Highway 12 up the coast it is just a clean beach town, the alternate has a good selection of food and souvenirs.

I grabbed dinner at Pigman BBQ. I heard a radio advertisement, saw an ad, had a coupon, AND found a totally packed parking lot. I literally nabbed the very last parking space. I walked into a packed dining room and up to the counter to order my delicacies. I ordered a pork sandwich regular in a “boat” (with hushpuppies and fries) plus a country ham and cheese biscuit. The pulled pork was nicely smoky and VERY lightly sauced. The hushpuppies must have been made with cornflour rather than meal because they were a chewy cake doughnut extruded type of item. Not my favorite rendition of a puppy, but they were good to dip in the atomic heat sauce that I got. Pigman has three sauces, I tried the hot sauce and this is more akin to Tabasco sauce than any BBQ sauce I have ever had. The fries were out the bag crinkle cut fries and okay as such. There was a small serving of coleslaw for the sandwich. I tried it on and off the meat-both were good. The biscuit was more of a chicken type biscuit, the country ham was salty and tender with excellent flavor and a good size piece of cheddar cheese. Nice combination.

The trip into Norfolk involved several wrong turns, a horrible rain storm, a toll when I didn’t need to pay one, and finally a wonderful operator at Motel 6’s toll free number that got me to a bed for the night. The room was very comfortable and quite clean-a welcome sight after a very long day.

Here's Your Sign: Peanut Lover Parking Only-All Others Will Be Creamed

ROUTE: US 64 East> NC 12 South & North> US 158 North> US 17 West> Route 168 North> I 64 West and East

Lodging: Motel 6 I-64 at North Military Highway, Exit #281

Mackey's Ferry Peanuts
Pigman's BBQ Kill Devil Hills, NC (252) 441-6803

$$$: $2 Toll $15 Peanuts (Lunch) $7 Dinner $57 Motel = $81

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