Written by Marykate Wurster, mother of 3 wonderful children, Riverside, CT
Last week we vacationed in Chincoteague Island, a small seaside town tucked away on the Eastern shore on Virginia. It felt refreshing leaving the bustle of the New York metro area for a slower pace. This very special island has it’s own breed of wild ponies. Local legend says they are survivors of a Spanish galleon that wrecked off the coast of neighboring Assateague Island hundreds of years ago. These ponies are the inspiration behind the classic children’s tale and movie Misty of Chincoteague and one of my daughter’s favorites My Chincoteague Pony. Chincoteague has a charming and quaint downtown. But the main attraction is the wild ponies.
And so, our week was all about ponies. We rode ponies.
We fed ponies.
We stopped on the way to the beach to watch ponies grazing under groves of trees.
And one magical night, on our drive back from dinner, we took a detour down a gravel road to do some exploring and came upon this.
This herd of ponies was grazing between some open marsh land bordering a private property. This beauty came right up to us and stayed, and stayed, and stayed. He was such a love. I am certain if one of my children hopped on his back he would have trotted off taking them on a bareback adventure. And then delivered them back unharmed.
It hardly seemed like he could be wild. What wild creature could be so affectionate, and relish our attention so much. Below my children are introducing him their “ponies” – “Pony, meet ponies”. We are all about stuffed animals in our house. It will be a sad day when they stop playing with them.
There is so much natural beauty, wide meadows and marshlands with ponies trotting, grazing, standing like a still life under the hovering mist. The contrast of the green landscape and the punches of browns and creams from the ponies is breathtaking. The island is so quiet, very often the only sound is the rustle of wind through the pines and sea grass.
The beaches are great and a National Seashore.
And a picnic shot.
And a bucket shot – by the end of the day the entire bucket was full of sand crabs.
The Cheasapeake Bay is known for it’s crabbing and we tried our hand at that. I found myself in a bait and tackle shop. The kind woman behind the counter handed me some crabbing lines and then directed me to a refrigerator. “You need chicken necks”, she said, “bottom shelf”. I paused, then heard a voice that I recognized as my own reply “okay, thank you”.
My children loved it. We caught a bucket full. And had them for dinner, dripping with butter.
And because I am the queen of field trips, we had to visit NASA’s Wallops Island one afternoon.
We vacationed with my brother and sister and their families. Cousins!
What a great way to kick off the summer. Now, to packing. My house is pristine, and tidy, with shelves, drawers and closets fully stocked. And that is a problem. A problem that needs to be addressed. Vacation is over, let the packing begin.
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Category: Random and Fun