An Island Birthday

14 Jul

I hope that picture alone is enough to show you why I didn’t want to leave yesterday!

(Click on any of the pictures for a full size version)

On Friday, Joe and I (and Dioji too!) headed to beautiful Chincoteague Island, VA. I was treated with clear blue skies for my birthday and all weekend, which is quite a change from the weather we’re having here in D.C. It’s really nice during the day and then rains at night. I suppose that’s good though, my plants certainly need it. Anyway, the trip took about 4 hours with a stop to have lunch and walk the dog. We arrived and almost immediately set out to walk into town. After being in the car, I think we all just wanted to stretch our legs.

The island is just picturesque. As we walked, we passed lots of little houses, shops, churches, and even the fairgrounds. Town was more lively, but the laidback atmosphere remained intact. Along the main drag are lots of restaurants (mostly seafood–yum!), some mini golf courses, places to rent scooters/bikes, and bait shops. After a couple hours wandering around, we decided to have my birthday dinner at a little place called Etta’s Channel Side Restaurant. It looks out over the Assateague Channel, so we got to have dinner by the water. The food was quite tasty as well. I had broiled sea scallops and Joe had crab cakes. If you’re going to eat seafood, you might as well have it in a place where it’s bound to be fresh. It was so good! Then it was off to the beach to see the sunset…and be silly of course!

We ran around on the beach for awhile and then decided to head back to the house for some champagne and a late movie. It was amazing how quiet it was at night. The only real sounds were the occasional honking geese in the pond behind the house.

The next day it was off to play in town. First we drove over to the beach to see if we could get a permit to do a campfire. They were all taken unfortunately, but the ranger told us if it we had an enclosed fire (a grill, hibachi..etc.) we could use that anywhere on the beach. But the highlight of that particular trip was this:

Wild ponies! They were just grazing away in the sun, so we pulled over and stopped to take pictures. There were a couple of foals too, that looked all wobbly in the midst of the rest of the bunch. We also saw a couple of herons, but they were too far away to get any good pictures. Luckily, the visitors center had binoculars mounted on the rails so you could get a closer look. After hanging around to watch the animals for awhile, we headed back to town for some silly fun.

Here’s me showing off my amazing mini-golf skills:

We both played horribly and concluded that the course was rigged (lol). The hot sun had baked us thoroughly and we decided it was time for a dip in the pool. I got to try out my new bathing suit and had a moment of giddiness because it was the first time in my adult life that I could actually pull off a two-piece suit.

We cooled off and then decided to rent one of these!

It was a little three-wheeled vehicle called a ScooterCoupe and boy was it fun to drive! We toured around and saw the whole island in it. It gave us a chance to check out what we might want to scope out later in the trip. Mostly, it was just really fun to ride around in though.

We planned to have a cookout on the beach that night and did find a small charcoal grill to use, but unfortunately we got bad charcoal that all the lighter fluid in the world couldn’t get going. At first we thought it was the wind on the beach, so we tried to do it on the back deck of the house but to no avail. We did have flames long enough to toast some marshmallows, so it wasn’t a total bust. Instead, we ended up broiling some quesadillas for dinner and decided to have a picnic the next day. Dioji said he was tired anyway:

Sunday, it was off to a little trailer down near the beach for some barbecue. Joe’s parents told us this place was really good and they weren’t kidding! The line was a little long, but we didn’t mind because the smell of all the smoky meat was tantalizing.

We got pulled pork and baked beans and headed down to Main St. where we came across this:

How fortunate! Some tables in the shade right by the water. A perfect destination for our picnic lunch. We ate while we watched boats and enjoyed the breeze that lazed by. After some browsing on Main St. and another dip in the pool, it was time to go. While I really didn’t want to leave, it had been a wonderful birthday weekend. The trip was relaxing and exciting all at once. The best part was that Joe said we could go back to the house any time, so it’s nice to know that a little piece of paradise full of fresh sea air is only 3 1/2 hours away.

Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes on OH and Facebook. It was an extra special end to my weekend when I came home and read them last night.

Coming up this week there will be some more new recipes, musings about fantasy football starting up soon, and I’ll cap it off with a trip to Pittsburgh for my grandma’s 80th birthday bash! Stay tuned. 🙂

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