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What do ice-cream and Chincoteague ponies have in common?

I just knew that warm weather and working inside wasn’t going to happen.  I managed to put in a couple of hours but I needed to slip out downtown and gather some vittles as Granny from Beverly Hillbillies used to say.  Actually, sponges and dog bones mainly.  Family Dollar has these terrific soft dog bones.  Until I learn how to bake them myself, I’m going to have to shell out the two bucks per bag but the doggies love them.  It didn’t hit me until I got half way down Main when I got bit by the ice cream bug.  Pretty day, what the heck, let’s do it.

I stopped at the post office first, then headed to McDonald’s.  We have great ice cream places on the island but in my opinion, for a buck you can’t beat McDonald’s if you want vanilla which is the only kind I eat.  And the girl at the window knows it’s me every time.

“Would you like a cup of coffee for a dollar?”

“No, I’d like a vanilla ice cream cone.”

“Is that you, Miss Dotti?”

Yep, I guess I’m a regular.

After getting my cone, I took the right to go to the beach to eat it being as Family Dollar wasn’t but a few yards down the road the other way.  I debated whether to take the lighthouse trail coming back but decided to nix the idea as it looked pretty packed.  Not that that would stop me but I figured I’d catch it next time.

There is a section of this road going through the refuge to get to the beach where tourists always stop to take pictures of the ponies grazing in the marsh.  There were ponies out today and there were tourists with long lens catching that perfect pic.  But it wasn’t until I got past that when I noticed someone was walking on the side of the road.  I do wear glasses and it didn’t occur to me that it wasn’t a person – but a pony.  Right in front of me.

I’ve got one hand on a dripping cone and with the other hand I unclicked my seat belt for some odd reason (thinking back to that now, I have no idea why I did that) and fumbled for my cell phone to take a picture.  That bugger was right there but ahead of me a little.

ponies 2

And then before you knew it, walking alongside of me.

ponies 3

A little beat up but looked so beautiful.  And not scared at all.  I could have reached out and touched him if I could have maneuvered myself into the passenger seat and I know that was out of the question. Maneuvering isn’t quite as easy as it used to be.

I saw another car approaching and I knew they wanted to do the same thing so I kept on down the road toward the beach.  I wanted to check to see what kind of progress they were making to the parking lot.  People were out, even on the beach.  I’ve seen people on the beach in the dead of winter so this isn’t really unusual.  Progress looks kinda slow in the parking area but there’s much work for them to do so I imagine it’s going to take a little while longer.  They use these poles with rope if I can remember right to divide the different sections.  They weren’t up yet.  But they’re working on adding more sand/dirt/whatever it is to the parking lot itself.

The cone was devoured so I headed back toward the island.  I watched out for the little pony I saw when I was heading in and finally saw him still plodding down the road with not a worry in the world and that’s when I thought I’d take one more shot.

ponies 4

Happy trails little pony.  Maybe we’ll see you next time.

Until next time, wavinghand

Island Chick

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Chincoteague Island to be Featured on TODAY SHOW March 8 2010

Pony Penning '09Pony Penning ‘09

Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission announces the Today Show is scheduled to present a travel segment on family friendly vacations which will spotlight Chincoteague & Assateague Islands on Monday, March 8.  Be sure to check your local TV Guide listings for time.

Until next time, wavinghand

Island Chick

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Historic Lighthouses: Assateague Lighthouse

One of the things I find so incredibly wonderful about living on Chincoteague Island is the fact it’s right next door to Assateague.  The story goes there were people living on Assateague many years ago but due to everyone moving to Chincoteague, living conditions got pretty bad over there.  They never had electricity but Chincoteague did and that was one of the reasons for moving.  Today, Assateague is home to the wildlife refuge, the once beautiful Assateague Beach (we had a couple of bad storms this past winter and it took away much of the beach but they’re trying to restore it before the 2010 summer season) and this wonderful old lighthouse that was built back in 1867.  The story goes there was a lightkeeper that had to lug heavy containers of kerosene (remember no lights) every single day up to the top of the lighthouse to keep the light burning.  Today it is preserved and maintained by the Coast Guard.  The picture below was taken in the summer of 2009.

Assateague Lighthouse

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Thompson

The lighthouse is only available for tours from March to November.  Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12.  Proceeds go for restoration.

Assateague Lighthouse 2

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Thompson

This is a picture of my daughter standing in front of it last spring.  And here’s one as she sits down for a bite to eat.

Assateague Lighthouse 3

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Thompson

One word of advice – make sure you go early early spring or wear plenty of mosquito spray if you are brave enough to make the hike to the lighthouse in the middle of the summer.  We hit it around the end of April or beginning of May which was perfect.  We brought repellent but didn’t need it.

If you’re a lighthouse lover like I am, you’ll love to stop off at the Assateague Lighthouse for it’s qaintness and historical charm.

Until next time, wavinghand

Island Chick

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