Monday, June 10, 2013

Chincoteague Island

This past weekend, we had a chance to have a little mini vacation/getaway:-) One of Brian's good friends, Ben was on vacation, and would be in the area, so he invited us to come along! The destination?


The most famous thing about Chincoteague is the wild horses, and the book we've all read...Misty of Chincoteague:-) Chincoteague is not far from us at all, up the Eastern Shore. It took us 2hrs door to door, to get there, so really, a nice easy drive.

Even though it's so close to home, we've never been before.

It was soooo fun and relaxing. It was great to reconnect with Ben, I we haven't seen him in a few years. Ben and Brian have been friends since they were 9 years old, and around the time when we started dating, Ben & Brian lived together, and basically, Ben was present at every major and most minor events in our relationship. He was there for the deer story, and there with us in NYC when we got engaged, he's been up to Toronto multiple times to visit Brian & my family...we have a lot of great memories with Ben. For years, Ben was a wild and crazy mountain climber, climbing the highest and most treacherous mountains in the world, like Ama Dablam, Mt Vinson, Denali etc etc etc. He's climbed them all! He chose not to climb Everest in fact, as it is too commercialized, he feels, and also, although the highest, not the most difficult in his professional mountain climbing & guide opinion. Anyway, now he's married and getting domesticated...he's completed nursing school and is an RN. Although he mentioned going to volunteer as a medic on a mountain somewhere, so adventure is not completely out of his blood:-)

Ben's wife is Nicky, and joining us also on this vacation was Nicky's sister, and her husband and 2 children.

Lots of frisbee was played. Brooks held his own with the men

There are always pretty things at the beach to look at and hurt your foot on:-)

On Saturday the water was really really rough, due to the tropical storm that came through on Friday

"Osh" (short for ocean) lover!

Running in and out of the surf

My next project? A sign that says "You can shake the sand from your toes, but  it will never leave your soul" This describes my beach loving children to a tee. It makes me very happy that this is something that will always be part of their hearts, no matter where they end up.

A little sand crab in there

Treasure, found

balancing a light sabre on our walk
The house we rented was HUGE. It slept like 16 people or something, much more space than we needed, but the price was right! Divided by 3 families it was $190 for 2 nights, which is pretty great, for all you get! We had massive jetted tubs, steam showers, full kitchen and appliances. We ate all our meals on an incredible huge screened in porch, but there was also a dining room, and an eat in kitchen too! I believe the season is not quite in full swing, I bet in another 2 weeks the price will jump considerably.
Our rental house, from the front

Rental house from the side

Our front yard

Our back yard - through the screened porch:-) Some members of our group went swimming off  the dock, but we didn't

dinner? I don't like oysters (or clams), but Brian said they were the best he's ever had. The guys picked us up clams, oysters, rockfish and shrimp from a local fish vendor. We grilled everything up and had a DELICIOUS dinner.

the carnage

Our front lawn had it's own Assateague lighthouse replica

It's "call letters" are the red and white stripes - no two lighthouses are painted in the same manner. The Assateague light house is a popular one to replicate, and also, the one in Cape Hatteras  (that one is about 1.5 hrs from us)

We took a short hike to visit the famous Assateague Island light house
Recognize it? No, eh! It's been repaired and is about to get it's paint put back on, it should be done by August 1st, they said. They sure did a good job sand blasting it, it looked brand new! An interesting thing about this lighthouse, is how the shores have shifted since it was built in 1833, and made higher in 1860 - where we were standing to observe it, used to be in the ocean. Storms and such have changed the shoreline significantly over time, so much so, that this lighthouse now sits 5 miles outside of it's optimal range for being seen by ships.
Another cool thing about Chincoteague is all the shipwrecks. That area has always been full of shoals etc, and was very difficult to navigate, back in the day. There are hundreds of shipwrecks from the 1800's and many of the wreckage is still there, peeking up out of the water - looking something like a messy oddly placed beaver dam maybe? I didn't get a chance to snag a pic, but it was neat to see - Amazing that being there for soooo many years, there is anything left at all.

A note about the horses - we didn't see any wild ones this time, but we didn't take the boat tour which would have increased our chances. We did see some penned up - While the horses are wild, they control how many there are and auction some off each year etc. They also do capture them to provide them with shots, etc, but other than that, they really are wild horses! We saw LOTS of horses on our weekend - from the wild spanish pony family - but they were all in pens:-)

Beach houses. I love them. This house was our neighbour. I want to live here!!
A snapped a few more pics (that I will not bore you with) of houses similar in style to this one (swoon), and Kenna says to me "Why do you like houses that aren't even painted?!" LOL! I guess she's not a fan of the natural cedar shake:-)

This beauty was being built

This pretty house reminded me of a (huge) English cottage

Enjoying homemade ice cream at Island Creamery!
A fun time was had by all! Oh, I can't forget this guy:
On Sunday morning, people were fishing in the ocean, near us. They caught a Northern Puffer Fish, and the thing stressed out and ballooned up! A rare sight, I'm sure. (They threw him back)

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