Friday morning, at the break of 9:30, Ron and Carol loaded up their new van and picked up Andrew, Theresa and Zoe at their house; then rode off to cross the Chesapeake on the Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Well, first we stopped at the Goodwill in Hampton for much needed toys and clothes ;-) —while Ron bought gas—then, to the CBBT. We stopped at Thimble Shoals [before the first tunnel] for lunch and the view, and a little shopping. But I counted that as the beginning of the adventure.
Our new van is quite comfortable; everyone got a bucket seat except Zoe got the entire back seat. Even more to the point, the air conditioning worked [unlike our old van]. Everyone had their own vent and, as this was one butt-kicking hot/humid weekend, we needed it. Praise God for great luxuries.
It’s really not far to Chincoteague, but we wanted to make it feel that way, so we visited one more thrift store [the only one on the Eastern Shore on our route] and toured Turner’s sculpture. Two Mr. Turner are nature artists in bronze and silver. Their bronzes are justly famous: there is one of an eagle sheltering her chicks beneath her wings, which is in the Ferguson Center; and one of 2 foxes chasing a jack-rabbit down his hole in front of the VA Living Museum. They are also justly expensive. But one does wildlife tables with a glass surface; there are shore birds on grasses above the glass and pond life under, with fantastic realism. Zoe and I really wanted that one, but we couldn’t find the price tag. But surely it was not more than the price of our new van! We also got to view a work in progress, being sculpted in clay. The whole is housed in an old house, which has additions patched on wherever fancy took them. Daughter Kelly Turner does wonderful paintings. https://www.turnersculpture.com
We crossed the draw bridge to Chincoteague into another world. Mind you, it is essentially the same tidal grasslands that surround us here on Lucas Creek, but something about an island changes everything. And for the better. We quickly found our Snug Harbor; it looks like an upgraded fish camp, but with all the amenities [except maid service]. Confusing, since there was an envelope for tips on the table. (Ron left a small tip.) Ron really outdid himself on our behalf, getting us each a cabin, with full kitchen [which we ignored—well, we used the ‘fridge for drinks and ice].
Snug Harbor cabins
Andrew had attended meetings with the lady who is his counterpart at St. Andrew’s in Chincoteague and she recommended places to eat. So, we headed downtown for supper at Don’s Seafood. It was so crowded, that we broke into 2 and 3 for dinner. It was probably time for a break from each other anyway. Ron and I finished a fabulous dinner. [I had crabmeat, scallops and shrimp under a light coat of mozzarella and Ron had fried oysters. All fresh and fabulous]. While the others finished, we began shopping.
Chincoteague is absolutely a perfect little town. My aunt brought me and my family to the Pony Penning Day around when I was 10. I loved the Misty books [and all the other Marguerite Henry books] and was thrilled to go. Around the same time, Hollywood made a movie of “Misty” with David Ladd. www.mistyofchincoteague.org/author.html
I say all this to note that the island has really changed very little since then. It is vibrant with tourist dollars but still small town charming. The shops are filled with arts and crafts, locally made and reasonably priced. Andrew noted that “it is better than it has to be,” meaning they could get by with much less since there is the ongoing appeal of the wild horses.
Assateague lighthouse by night