Friday – We both finished work early and came home to pack. I was going to bring GG’s birthday gifts down with us, but at the last minute he realized they’d be unopened until the day before we returned, and he probably wouldn’t be able to use them there anyway, so he opened them before we left. I got him two polo shirts with cool designs printed on them, and DVD sets of TV Funhouse and The League of Gentlemen. (And he kept mentioning TV Funhouse was on DVD and I told him to just shut up, because I’d ordered it the day it came out, but he thought it was because I’d already gotten him something else. So I think he was still happily surprised!) By the time we really got “on the road,” it was about 5 PM. So much for taking advantage of our half-days at work. We made our traditional stop at Arby’s, and arrived at our destination around 9 PM. I was so tired – we’d both had an exhausting week – so I went straight to bed. I’m not sure if GG was just hanging out or they made him work a little that night, I was asleep by the time he came to bed.
Saturday – We went out for brunch – big mistake, the place was packed, and the waitresses were so harried! But the meal was worth it. Then we spent the day on the island, checking out the little shops and things. For dinner, we went to a new restaurant, the Seashell Cafe. Definitely the nicest restaurant on the island! The food was great – the menu features local and organic foods, and changes throughout the season. I really hope this place lasts – it’s so hard for a lot of these restaurants to remain open once the tourist season is over, and the place was pretty empty while we were there. But it got a great reception, so hopefully word spreads.
The Purple Pony gift shop on Main Street
Back garden at a nearby hippie-type shop
Sunday – We’d planned to take this day to visit some other towns that were recommended to me as day-trips off Chincoteague, so first we headed to Willis’ Wharf. Um, what a disappointment..?! The person who recommended it mentioned a restaurant, but I saw no restaurants there, or anything else for that matter. Maybe we just missed it, but as far as I could tell, we drove through the whole place and there was just nothing. So we headed back and stopped at the town of Parksley. Very very cute little town, it has lots of little shops and a train museum and stuff. The only problem – everything is closed on Sundays. It was so quiet, it was like a ghost town. So that was a bust. Since we finished up sooner than we expected, we went back to the Seashell Cafe to try some of the sandwiches on their lunch menu. Then we hung around for the afternoon, before getting take-out from the local Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. (Have you noticed yet that my vacation schedule is based around what and when we’re eating?) We were also put to work back at the shop – GG dipping ice cream, me chopping peaches and making waffle cones.
Jaxon’s store in Parksley
Old Coke ad in Parksley
Monday – Even though GG’s birthday wasn’t until the next day, Mondays were the day his parents were keeping their shop closed during the day, so that’s when we all went to Crisfield, MD for lunch. We went to the same restaurant we went to last year, where everyone went nuts eating crabs and clams and oysters and fishes… and I ate my little chicken fingers, which were good too. After lunch, we stopped at the Sysco Cash and Carry store, and D, I took a whole bunch of pictures in there for you, because I know you were asking about it last year! Monday night we went out and played mini golf (GG’s dad had won two free passes from a radio contest, but they weren’t going to use them). I was winning after the first half, but in the end GG beat me by like 4 strokes. It’s nice to know we’re about equally matched, though.
Crab eats man – by GG
Tuesday – The 19th was GG’s birthday, yay! And as a gift to him, I went on a boat! Ever since we started going down there, people have suggested we visit Tangier Island for a day. And I always ruled it out because you have to take a ferry to get there, and I just don’t do boats. But since this was the summer of visiting new places, I popped some Bonine and hopped on board. I really enjoyed it! Tangier is so interesting – it’s a very small island with about 600 residents, they have a post office, school, store, some restaurants, and a couple B&Bs. Most of the men on the island earn their living on the water (mostly crabs and oysters), and the women pretty much run the tourism industry. When we got off the boat, there were women with big golf carts waiting to take people on tours. (There are about 20 cars on the island – most people ride bikes, scooters, or golf carts, and actually cars won’t fit over most of the bridges around the island.) The tour of the entire island was about 15 minutes, and afterward we checked out their museum, which just opened this summer. It was very interesting! Tangier has been the subject of a lot of interest because of their unique dialect of English, which is very closely related to Old English. (The island was discovered in 1608 by John Smith.) I didn’t hear anyone speaking it, though – even when the locals were just talking to each other. We went to a little gift shop, and also out of curiosity took a look at their grocery store. Then we went back to the dock and had lunch at a water-side sandwich place. We met a local cat there, who let me pet him a little before moving on. A side-effect of Bonine is that it can make you sleepy (or in my case, “tired and cranky”), so I pretty much slept on the boat the whole way back. And all evening at the house. And once I went up to bed.
Proof that I was on a boat!
Crab shacks just off the island
Many of the homes have burial plots in the yard – I guess because there is limited space to bury people? They are buried 3 feet deep because the island is 4 feet above sea level, so the cement blocks are part of the burials.
GG made a friend at lunch
Wednesday – Today we headed back up north, stopping in Ocean City, MD, for our annual trip to the boardwalk. We didn’t really have a lot we wanted to do, besides a list of things to eat: Wrappers, Polish Water Ice, and Thrasher’s fries. We considered slipping off our sandals and taking a walk in the ocean, but… too much sand. So we got back into the car and continued home. We got back about 5 PM, and the kitties accepted us again. And I’ve been spending the evening getting caught up with my regular life.
You can see all my pictures from our vacation in this Flickr set. We might not go back again next year for our big vacation, just because GG is kind of sick of being asked to work while he is on vacation. So we’ll see what happens next year.