Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Monday, October 14, 2013


It seemed a good idea to take a little fall break. We rented a house in Chincoteague, Virginia. It's not too far, an hour and a half or so. The kids could come down as their schedules allowed, and we could take the dogs. And the bikes. And the kayaks.
We could not have foreseen this...
We were denied access to the National Seashore due to the shenanigans in Washington. I had hoped to dazzle you with my photos and beachy finds. We had to drive half an hour to find a scruffy little strip of bayside beach to comb, but I found these...
Don't you think this one is shaped like a baby's foot?
We paid extra to take the dogs to our pet-friendly rental in Oyster Bay 1.We hadn't planned on the shout-y old dog-hating lady, down the street. The first day she shrieked at me from her deck.The second day she stalked us on foot and by truck. She complained about the poop, but we were bagging it. She said we were trespassing. We weren't. She said we were frightening the waterfowl with our leashed dogs. Oh, please! She said we had too many dogs. We only had Scout and Nigel. Little Gus was just there on the weekends when our daughter was there. We were beginning to feel most unwelcome until we met some other dog-friendly folks, who had stories of their own run-ins with old Crazypants. Our favorite? One neighbor was walking her two Newfoundlands down the street when CP ran out of her cottage, stopped in the middle of street, and yelled, "Get those dogs away from me, I'm allergic!" You really can't make this stuff up. 
The dogs had a great time. We kept them tired and happy with long walks, and they enjoyed squirrel watching, and napping on the porches.

It was hot and muggy when we arrived last Sunday. Then it rained. Every. Single. Day. We didn't let the weather stop us. We kayaked and biked between showers. Of course there was flooding.
There was only one day of total downpour. We didn't mind that too much. Naps away from home are lovely, with no chores nagging while you doze.
On Thursday, our son came down. Mike and I were lounging on an upstairs porch, when Patrick came out with his laptop. "I presume someone has the key," he said, as he shut the door behind him. He presumed wrong. Three adults and two dogs, locked out, on an upper story screened porch. One of us had to pee. No need to call out to the neighbors, Mike had locked the front door before we went upstairs. We had one cell phone, one laptop, a Kindle, a tablet, and two half-drunk cups of tea. When we stopped laughing, we called our girl, who was already on her way, and asked her to stop by the rental office for a spare key. Not content to sit and wait, I had to try and be MacGyver and get us out. I took the dog tag rings off the dog collars, straightened them and tried to pick the lock. It didn't work, even after Patrick googled "lock-picking." Too bad, I thought it was a pretty clever idea. Of course, when Kelly did arrive, she took her sweet time about letting us out. Payback, she said, for having to go to the rental office and explain how her wacky family had managed to lock themselves on a porch.  We are the Griswolds!
There were bright spots. We were pleasantly surprised to find some great food. Bill's Seafood was our favorite for dinner. For lunch, we loved Sea Star Cafe. Lots of good veggie choices there. Island Creamery had amazing ice cream. Pumpkin Pie and Bourbon Caramel were the favorites.
There were charming little shops and galleries to browse. We loved Egret Moon Artworks. Enjoyed chatting with owner/artist Jamie Thompson and her adorable pup Harlow. 
Jamie's beautiful handpainted dragonfly conch shells.
Find a gallery with a couch and a puppy, and Mike's a happy shopper.
In the end, despite the crappy weather, and the seashore closure, a good time was had by all. 
Downtime, hanging out with the kids and dogs, is a good thing. There is talk of making this an annual event.
I'll leave you with a few of the pics that I was able to take, in between raindrops, and mishaps.

P.S. If you are learning a new board game, like Settlers of Catan, that has a jillion pieces, and you have a puppy in the house, you might not want to set that whole thing up on a coffee table. Go for something higher, in case the puppy accidentally bounces off a person on the couch and lands on all fours in the middle of the game, and then scrambles to get his footing, sending cards and game pieces flying. Also, Settlers of Catan game pieces look just like dog treats. To Gus and Scout.

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