After leaving Assateague Island, we began down the Delmarva Peninsula and entered the fourth state of our trip: Virginia.
The highlight of the day was lunch at Kendall’s County Kitchen in Onley, VA. We were looking for something more than gas station food or fast food chains, and this little restaurant, located in a nondescript strip mall, seemed to be a popular local place. There we enjoyed fabulous lunches of fried catfish, meatloaf and gravy, cornbread, green beans, and cole slaw. It was excellent! With full and satisfied bellies, we walked the dogs around the strip mall and proceeded south toward Virginia Beach.
As the navigator, I looked ahead at our route and was mildly panicked when I realized that the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is actually the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel. Would we fit in the tunnel? Would we have to turn around and backtrack for hours to take a much longer inland route? Luckily, I was able to look up the height restrictions, and we were well within the limits.
We reached the bridge around sunset and enjoyed beautiful sunset views on the drive.
On the other side of the bridge, Virginia Beach was alive with lights, businesses, and traffic. As we passed by First Landing State Park, I regretted that we didn’t visit and were not staying there. We were headed to the Virginia Beach KOA (Kampgrounds of America), which had the added benefit of wifi…or at least, we thought it did.
KOA is a large chain of campgrounds that feature resort activities and lots of amenities. There are pools, playgrounds, dog runs, game rooms, laundry facilities, full RV hookups, wifi, nice showers, and more. They are usually conveniently located off of major highways, and have pretty reliable standards.
Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of the few negative camping experiences we’ve had so far. First, the wifi wasn’t working at all while we were there. There was a phone number to call for technical assistance, but the call went to voicemail, and no-one ever called back. It wasn’t the end of the world, but I was hoping to use the internet to research routes and sight-seeing stops and to post on the blog that night. That was one of the reasons why we chose to stay at that campground instead of at the state park.
On top of that, the campground was located very close to a naval air station, so deafening fighter jets flew by regularly. The flights continued until about 9:30 pm, so it was over by the time we went to sleep, but sometimes it was so loud that I had to cover my ears, and I wondered if it was damaging to the dogs’ hearing. It just wasn’t a great experience.
The campground did give us a 5% refund on the stay due to the wifi, and we learned a few things to expect and to look for when choosing a place to stay. We’ve stayed at two KOAs since then, with no problems, but I’ve found that sometimes I really don’t mind sacrificing amenities like wifi for a quiet, scenic, interesting place to camp.