Monday, September 5, 2011

Assateague and Chincoteague

If you are like me, you check for the latest blog posts in the morning with a cup of steaming coffee in one hand, your laptop in your lap and your dog curled up at your feet.  Settle in my friends.  It has been one whirlwind of a week and I will share it with you bit by bit.
I have been unplugged.  Seriously unplugged.  Unplugged by choice and by circumstance.   We have spent the last four days in Virginia at The Marine Science Consortium in Wallops Island at a family camp. This is the first time our family has ever done something of this sort and it is the first time we have vacationed with friends.  Look closely and you will see MamaK and her creeklings in many of the pictures I share over the next few days.....
We drove down one day early to spend some time together, just the four of us.  We booked ourselves a hotel room at The Hampton Inn on Chincoteague Island.  There is something about sleeping on an island that soothes your soul.  Maybe it is the salty air.  Maybe it is the gulls screeching on the dock yards from your bed.  Maybe it is the view.

Chincoteague is famous for their wild ponies.  Due to Hurricane Irene, the herds were let out of contained pastures to roam freely in search of higher ground.  We were only able to see them from quite a distance.  Since they have become a major tourist attraction, Chincoteague Ponies are kept at local establishments and many are sold off to maintain a herd size that is compatible with the size of the island.

Hurricane Irene affected our visit in another way as well.  When we decided to pop into Assateague State Park for a drive-through peak at the beach, we were prepared to pay the $8 admission.  Since the public beach was closed due to damage to the parking lots and boardwalks, the ranger let us in for free.  He told us there was a shuttle running to a smaller beach typically off-limits to the public.  We could catch a ride for $1 per person.  Totally unprepared for a beach adventure (no suits, no towels, no buckets), we jumped aboard and headed out to explore and search for shells.  

Who needs bathing suits anyway?  

Our family has learned that the best moments, those moments you tuck away and pull out now and again and savor like fine wine, are those that occur when you least expect it.  Sometimes you have to say “why not?” and let life lead.  
Assateague Island has become one of my most favorite places.  

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