After a few days unpacking, shopping, and doing a culinary tour of DC, I had to go back to Hampton Roads to tie up loose ends, including the moveout cleaning of my old apartment, a walk-through with the lovely front office folks who decide whether I get my deposit back, dropping some unneeded items at the Salvation Army, and picking up my cat/son Chester from his aunt Maggie’s (I couldn’t allow his little funny face to be around all the chaos associated with moving). Of course, since I’d be coming back as a non-resident, I had to do some touristy things. I rolled into Williamsburg at around 2 and dropped $40 on peanuts from The Peanut Store. From now on, I have to get those Virginia peanuts whenever I tour Virginia. I then met with my buddy Drew/Brometheus at Craft 31, where I had one of the juiciest burgers I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. There were also some uniquely spiced wings in the mix. We caught up on our inside jokes (Fugayzi/Fugazi) and talked music, movies, future plans, and all the COVIDidiots/Karens who feel they’re making a political statement by not wearing a mask (my sincere empathy to all my mask-wearing friends named Karen; I love and salte you).
After dropping by my apartment to pick up old dishes for donation to the Salvation Army, I headed over to Sherrie’s Airbnb. A powernap did me good, as did a jog along Buckroe Beach. I chilled out the rest of the night by starting Season 5 of Shameless, that delicious dark comedy starring a disheveled William H. Macy.
The following morning, I woke up and had a nice greasy breakfast over at Laura’s Rise and Shine on Buckroe Avenue. That’s when the weirdness of being a tourist in Hampton Roads hit me; I was craving a biscuit with gravy being in the South, yet I had lived in the South for six years, and I’m pretty sure I never had biscuits with gravy as a Hampton Roads resident (I always ate healthy for breakfast as a resident, and will continue to do as a Washingtonian). But as a tourist in the South, I can indulge in greasy Southern delicacies guilt-free!
I drove around to the Salvation Army, and I pledged to support Aroma’s, the coffee shop near by old apartment, once it opened back up. So I sit here now, writing.
This is just a few minutes later. After four years of living just a few hundred feet from it, I decided to support the Juice Life Bar by getting a Tropical Mango smoothie; it was heavenly. No fruit chunks, which is how I like my smoothie. I walked around the City Center Fountains (perhaps, for the first time, sans headphones). And then I sat and stared at the water. In six years, I hadn’t just sat there. It felt serene.
After a powernap and viewing of a Shameless episode, I met up with Sherrie and Maggie at Surf Rider, the first restaurant I ever ate at in Hampton Roads. This was during my interview with my former job, during which I nibbled on the largest crab cake I had ever seen to that point. I couldn’t quite eat due to the rapid-fire questions I was getting from my soon-to-be department chair (I must have answered well due to the fact that I got the job and was there for six years).
I was pretty satiated from the tuna bites and crab dip we shared, but I still devoured that shrimp Po Boy and fries combo just the same. We worked it off with a walk along Buckroe Beach, but I still couldn’t eat breakfast the following morning.
I ran a few errands, including buying new drip pans in the goal of getting my security deposit back. After waiting thirty minutes for the rep to arrive, she went through the checklist, and they may have to remove the carpet (long story). After this, I got some takeout from a hole-in-the-wall in Hampton called The Barking Dog, where I devoured two chili dogs and some potato salad. It’s interesting how I passed by so many restaurants during my time in Hampton Roads but never ate there. That’ll change when I continue to come back as a tourist.
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My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.