Well, we finally made it down to Chincoteague, VA early Sunday evening. The ride down was pretty uneventful save for a torrential thunderstorm in Maryland. Whew! It was coming down so hard and so fast it felt like we were driving through Niagara Falls! We cooked up a nice dinner with Eileen’s mom and her friend Connie. Daniela was very pleasant and smiling throughout the evening.
Monday morning found us having a leisurely breakfast with Connie and Eileen’s mom. Eileen’s mom headed down to Virginia Beach to visit with her son Paul and his family – Stephanie and the kids, Avery and Anna. We’ll catch up with them later in the week.
We wasted little time heading over to Assateague island and the beach. The Island is a National Wildlife Refuge and is home to hundreds of wild horses – not to mention herons, bald eagles and other wildlife. The beach had been decimated by Sandy last October but is in great shape now. The water was “refreshing” and the surf was perfect for boogie-boarding! Daniela was a little reluctant to go in at first but when she saw all of us – including Peter – having fun in the surf she eventually joined us. Even Pete enjoyed the pounding surf.
Daniela is a girl who initially says “no” to new surroundings, new adventures, new foods and new challenges. But once she warms up to the idea and tries it she is all in! Same was true today about boogie-boarding. The first time she went in the sea she didn’t touch the board. Second time’s the charm though. She and Eileen were rocking and rolling on those boogie boards!!! She had a blast.
When our time at the beach came to a close we headed over to the corral where the wild ponies had been rounded up. For those who don’t know about Chincoteague, once a year the “saltwater cowboys” do a round up of the wild horses on the Island. They round them up, vaccinate them and then either release them back into the wild (if the herd size is less than 175) or swim them across the channel and auction them off. The auction benefits the volunteer fire department on the Island. This week is the Wild Pony Roundup so we got the chance to see them at the Refuge before they swim them across on Wednesday (we’ll see them then also). The horses are just magnificent! It was a very special event for Daniela to witness.
All this and it’s only been the first day. Very groovy!