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Posts from the ‘Virginia’ category

Chincoteague VA Vacation (4th post)

We got up around 6:00 am on Monday, April 18th and saw another gorgeous sunrise.  

Chincoteague Island Sunrise

My breakfast was two bowls of oatmeal in a cup.  I included sliced peaches in one bowl.  I also ate an orange.  Bob ordered from McDonalds. With the exception of Bob’s McDonalds breakfast, we ate breakfast at our AirBnb “Tranquil Shores” throughout our vacation.

We ate lunch at “Tranquil Shores”.  We had plenty of leftovers to put together a very filling lunch.  Leftovers included grilled ham steak, macaroni and cheese, two hush puppies each and three shrimp each.  For dessert we had applesauce.

For dinner we ordered delivery (free anywhere on the island) from Famous Pizza and Subs.  It was our first time ordering from this restaurant. Our order was for two baked spaghetti with garden salad and garlic toast.  We added meatballs to one spaghetti order.   We shared the meatballs.   

Baked Spaghetti Dinners

We are happy that the restaurant delivered, as it was a chilly, windy and rainy day.   Dinner was delicious.  We could have easily split one spaghetti dinner with meatballs.  I couldn’t eat all of my spaghetti.  It will not go to waste, though.  I placed it in a storage container, and we will carry it home with us in the cooler.

So, this was a stay-at-home day. It was a relaxing day.  We read, surfed the Internet, and watched TV.  Bob played the ukulele. We packed for our drive back home.

—————

We departed Chincoteague at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 19th. It took us longer to get home than it took to get to Chincoteague because we told the GPS to avoid highways on our way home.

We ate breakfast at Dayton’s Restaurant in Salisbury MD.  This appeared a popular restaurant. There was seating available, but not much! It seemed the waitresses knew most of the patrons by name. The food and service were both great.

Early afternoon we stopped at Sheetz in Lancaster PA for a bathroom break and to pick up a light lunch/snacks. 

Our route took us over two mountains — Blue Mountain and Second Mountain — via seven-mile long Gold Mine Road. Gold Mine Road begins in Union Township PA off Route 443 and ends on Route 325 south of Tower City in Schuylkill County, near the Dauphin County line. 

We are on Gold Mine Road,
crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Jonestown PA.
We are on Gold Mine Road,
soon after crossing over Second Mountain.
GPS indicated that we were in Tower City PA.

It really was surprising where our GPS took us, when we told it to avoid highways.

The GPS directed us onto the Quehanna Highway,
near Karthaus PA in Clearfield County.
It was snowing, as we approached our hometown of Warren PA.

The next time we travel to and from Chincoteague, we will not avoid highways (unless we split the travel time into 2 days). We returned home at 7:14 pm, approximately 12 hours after we had left Chincoteague!

This concludes my account of our Chincoteague VA vacation. We are already making plans for a return trip next Spring. We plan to go in May next year. Perhaps the weather will be more consistently warm a few weeks later.

Chincoteague VA Vacation (3rd post)

As we had done each morning, while on vacation in Virginia, we got up around 6:00 am on Easter Sunday, April 17th.

We didn’t see the sun actually rise today,
as it was hidden behind clouds.

The temperature was around 50 degrees at sunrise.  The sun did break through the clouds later in the morning and gave us sunny skies.  It was a chilly day, though, with a high temperature of 58 degrees. The weather in Chincoteague was better than back in our hometown of Warren PA.  At sunrise the temperature in Warren was 31 degrees, with some snow on the ground!

Bob prepared Easter breakfast.
We enjoyed a breakfast of corned beef hash, eggs, toast and orange juice.

Late morning we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and parked in the Wildlife Loop parking lot.  We rode our bicycles from the parking lot, alongside Beach Road to the seashore. 

We passed by the Assateague Lighthouse.
We passed by Chincoteague ponies.
We saw a Snowy Egret.
We saw a Mallard Duck.
We rode our bicycles to Assateague Beach.

Back on Beach Road, near Toms Cove Visitor Center, a few birds held our attention for a while.

We saw seagulls in flight.
We saw another Snowy Egret.

The Snowy Egret was alone, until …

A second Snowy Egret arrived on the scene.
The first Snowy Egret chased the second Snowy Egret away.

We returned to the parking lot via Black Duck Trail and the Wildlife Loop (with a detour to Swan Cove).  The wind was fierce at times.  We rode flat ground but, even in first gear, I felt as though I were pedaling up a hill.  We rode 7.85 miles, and that was a wrap for riding our bicycles this vacation. The next day was chilly, windy and rainy.

Bob captured video with our GoPro7 camera, during our three bicycle rides. He prepared a video recap from our bicycling adventures.

We bicycled a total of 17.89 miles, while on vacation.

Our lunch was ice cream at the Island Creamery.  We visit the Island Creamery each time we vacation in Chincoteague. Bob had two scoops of Java Jolt in a cup.  I had two scoops of ice cream in a cup too — one scoop of Cadbuy Crème Egg and one scoop of peanut butter cup.

After “lunch” we returned to Airbnb “Tranquil Shores” and relaxed.

Around 4:00 pm we prepared Easter dinner –  grilled ham steak, macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables and, for dessert, cheesecake. 

Early evening we returned to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove around the Wildlife Loop twice and drove to the seashore.  We returned to “Tranquil Shores” via downtown Chincoteague. We stopped briefly at Chincoteague Veteran’s Memorial Park. This is a lovely waterfront park, located on Eastside Road. The Park has tennis courts, basketball courts, playground equipment, fishing/crabbing pier, ball field, boat ramp, skate park, pavilion and restrooms. 

Back at “Tranquil Shores” we watched an episode of “Vera”, before going to bed.

Chincoteague VA Vacation (2nd post)

We got up around 6:00 am on Saturday, April 16th. We watched the sunrise. 

Chincoteague Island Sunrise
What a glorious sunrise!

We drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and rode our bicycles.  We bicycled Wildlife Loop to Black Duck Trail to Woodland Trail, back on Black Duck Trail and finished Wildlife Loop.  We rode 7.04 miles. 

We saw a Snapping Turtle on a pond, while bicycling the Wildlife Loop.
Woodland Trail
This is the boardwalk to the pony overlook.

The highlight of our bicycle ride was ponies, lots of ponies, at the Woodland Trail pony overlook. 

I took the next picture, while we were on the Black Duck Trail, returning to the Wildlife Loop.

Bob on Black Duck Trail

We returned to AirBnb “Tranquil Shores” for a light lunch.  We watched an episode of “Vera” on BritBox, a new streaming service that we purchased recently.  I ended up taking a short nap.  

Around 4:00 pm we drove to Ray’s Shanty, where we ate dinner.  It was our first time eating dinner there.   Bob ordered a prime rib dinner; I ordered a fried shrimp dinner.  Both meals were delicious, and the service was excellent.

After dinner, we returned to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove around the Wildlife Loop and then to the seashore and back.  We saw egrets, one great blue heron, snapping turtles, and four deer a long ways off.  I didn’t take any pictures, as I forgot to insert the memory card in my camera.  I had taken the card out to upload pictures onto my iPad that I had taken that morning.  

When we left the wildlife refuge, we drove downtown.  We stopped briefly at Robert Reed Waterfront Park, where we went for a short walk.  We, then, continued down Main Street to Beebe Road and made our way back to “Tranquil Shores” from there.  

We watched another episode of “Vera”.  It was around 9:15 pm, when that episode ended.  We went to bed shortly thereafter.

Chincoteague VA Vacation (1st post)

We spent 5 nights at AirBnb ”Tranquil Shores” in Chincoteague VA. This is the fourth time that we have stayed at “Tranquil Shores”. We plan to return next Spring as well.

We arrived at “Tranquil Shores” around 4:00 pm on Thursday, April 14th. We left Chincoteague to return back home at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 19th. This blog post and the next few that follow will provide details of and photographs from our Chincoteague vacation.

We got up around 6:00 am on Friday, April 15th. We sat outside on our screened in porch, drinking tea / coffee, listening to the morning bird songs as we awaited the sunrise.

Chincoteague Island Sunrise

We ate a breakfast of eggs, sausage and waffles at “Tranquil Shores”.  

After breakfast we drove to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and bicycled the wildlife loop (approximately 3 miles). 

Wildlife Loop: Tern with Fish
This is one of several ponds found on the Wildlife Loop.

After our bicycle ride, we drove to Assateague Beach, stopping at Toms Cove Visitor Center.  

Tom Cove Visitor Center

We walked on the boardwalk and, inside the Visitor Center, I got my National Park Passport cancelled with a rubber-stamp ink marking that recorded the name of the park and the date of our visit. I purchased a collectible Passport stamp set for 2022.  There are 10 stamps, one National and nine regional. 

We are lunch at Metopkin Seafood. We have eaten here a few times over the years. The food is ALWAYS delicious. Bob ordered a crab bites basket.  I ordered a fish and fries basket.  We added 6 hush puppies to our order.

After lunch we drove to Assateague Island MD.  We stopped at the Assateague Island Visitor Center, where I stamped my National Park passport, and we bought a “Night Sky” buff for Bob. 

“Night Sky” is new merchandise
for the National Parks store.

Before leaving the Visitor Center, we walked the Rackliff House Trail.  The main trailhead is located behind the Visitor Center and is about a 1-mile loop. There is a spur off that loop that connects to another trailhead located at the Assateague State Park headquarters. We walked that trail too.

Rackliffe House Trail
We really liked how the trees
formed a canopy over the trail.
Rackliffe House Trail
Looking across to Assateague Island MD
Rackliffe House Trail
On the left is the Milk House.
Behind the Milk House is Rackliffe House.
On the right is the Kitchen Garden.

We were only able to explore the grounds, as the Rackliffe House was closed.

The trail continues from the house to the Assateague State Park Aviary.  The birds were outside but behind a fenced enclosure.  We were not able to see any of the birds. I haven’t done a lot of bicycling or walking so far this year. I decided to wait at the state park, while Bob walked back to the Visitor Center.  He picked up our car and came to get me.  We drove onto Assateague Island. 

Assateague Pony
More Assateague Ponies

That evening we enjoyed watching the moon rise over Chincoteague Island.

It is really nice that we can see the sunrise and the moonrise from the comfort of “Tranquil Shores”.
The moon was so beautiful that night!

South Carolina Vacation: Warren PA to Surfside Beach SC

We returned home from vacation the afternoon of February 17th. This blog post and several that follow provide written and photographic details of our South Carolina vacation.

We were on our way out of Warren at 6:30 am on Tuesday, February 8th. When we left home, snow was falling, possibly mixed with sleet or freezing rain.  The temperature was 19 degrees.

We ate breakfast at Station 61 Family Restaurant in Youngsville PA. At  7:20 am, after a hearty breakfast, we were back on the road.

It was still snowing when we hopped onto I-80 in Barkeyville PA.  It was still snowing when we hopped onto I-79.  Thankfully each road surface was good, clear of snow and ice.

The snow essentially stopped falling near Pittsburgh PA, although there were short bursts of snow flurries and spitting snow for several miles afterward. 

We had snow flurries in Morgantown WV, with very little snow on the ground.  There was a little bit of snow on the ground, mostly wooded areas, as we drove through the WV mountains.

At 1:00 pm we stopped briefly at Young’s Monument Scenic Overlook. The overlook is on the northbound side of Route 19, a few miles north of Summersville, WV. The overlook is located on Powell Mountain, south of Birch River, with a view of the Powell Creek Valley to the east and further north, the Birch River Valley can be seen. 

Young’s Monument Scenic Overlook

Look at that blue sky!  It was still chilly here (37 degrees), but was nice to feel the sunshine.

There is an official West Virginia Historical Marker that stands near the entrance to a rest area at the overlook. The marker reads: “Off Young’s Monument Rd. (.3M) is grave site of Henry & Lucinda Young. A Confed. militiaman or sympathizer, he was killed by Union troops nearby on 8 Sept. 1861. Details of Young’s life and death are scant and confused, symbolizing divided loyalties, tragic times and enduring saga of Civil War in WV, when state was pitted against state and brother against brother. New road in 1970 required reburial.”

We stopped at the Northside Drive Car Wash in Summersville, WV.  Bob says it was the best self serve car wash he has ever used.   The water pressure was strong; the soap suds were plentiful; and he had enough time to do a spotless rinse, spending less money than he does at home.

We arrived at Comfort Suites in Wytheville, VA around 4:00 pm in the afternoon.  We will spend the night here and continue our drive to Surfside Beach, SC tomorrow.

We checked into our room.  Bob set up the Internet.  Then we went out to dinner.  

We ate dinner at Cracker Barrel, which was located about 2 miles from the hotel and easy to drive to.

I liked where the hostess seated us — at a table in front of the fireplace.

Bob ordered grilled catfish with hash brown casserole, broccoli and biscuits.  I ordered meatloaf with hash brown casserole, fried apples and corn bread muffins.  Both meals were delicious.  After dinner we returned to our hotel, where we stayed for rest of the evening.

The next day we ate a complimentary hot breakfast at our hotel.  Because of COVID precautions implemented by the hotel we were not free to get desired foods ourselves.  An attendant got the food we desired.  Bob had eggs, bacon and a muffin with coffee and OJ.  I got a waffle with diced peaches with tea and OJ.  

We departed Comfort Suites Wytheville at 8:15 am, en route Surfside Beach, SC.  The temperature was 27 degrees.

I saw a few snow patches near Wytheville.

Approaching the VA/NC state line, we lost a lot of elevation and saw the last of snow patches.

We ate lunch at Magnolia on Main Cafe in Bennettsville, SC. Bob ordered homemade chicken salad on a bed of lettuce served with pita chips, pasta salad and a frozen fruit cup. I ordered turkey, lettuce and tomato in flat bread … like a turkey wrap but toasted … with pasta salad. We shared a slice of pineapple cake. Our meals were delicious.

After lunch, we wandered around the Marlboro County Court House grounds.

Marlboro County Court House
Confederate Civil War Monument

We arrived in Surfside Beach around 2:00 pm, with about 2 hours to kill before we could check in to our Airbnb “Seaside Cottage”.  We drove to the nearby Walmart to see the location of their curbside pickup.  We have a scheduled pickup between 7:00 and 8:00 am on Thursday morning.  We, then, took a ride along the ocean to Garden City Beach.  We stopped at the Azalea Ave public access to the beach, where there was free parking.   We walked out on the beach, where we saw the Garden City Pier.

Garden City Pier

A few minutes past 4:00 pm we checked in at Airbnb “Seaside Cottage”. Bob carried in the stuff from the car.  I organized the kitchen and put away my clothes / toiletries.   Around 5:30 pm I made dinner – Campbell’s Chunky New England Clam Chowder, with crackers,  and fruit cocktail. Neither of us were very hungry.

We went for a short walk in the neighborhood, after dinner.  We walked about 1/3 of a mile.  The neighborhood appears well cared for and quiet. In the evening we watched “The Cleaning Lady” on Hulu TV.

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 9

Today, April 9th, is the 9th (and final) day of our Easter vacation.

The colors painted on the clouds at dawn, as seen from our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, were very nice.

Red Sky in the Morning …

The car was packed, and we were on our way back home at 6:40 am.

It started raining, as we drove out of Chincoteague, VA.  

We stopped for breakfast at Denny’s in Fruitland, MD about an hour later.  Bob ordered a Western Omelette.  I ordered French Toast, scrambled eggs and bacon.

After drinking tea/coffee and orange juice during breakfast, it was only a matter of time before a bathroom break was necessary.   We stopped at the Bay Country Rest Area in Church Hill, MD. 

Pretty daffodils were in bloom all around the rest area.

We stopped to stretch at Caledonia State Park in Fayetteville, PA.  I photographed a small waterfall and the Caledonia furnace.

The waterfall was located alongside PA Route 233 N
near the US Route 30 and PA Route 233 N intersection.
Fayetteville, PA waterfall
Caledonia Furnace, an iron works that dates back to 1837

I began this post with a photograph of the clouds at dawn, with the caption “Red Sky in the Morning …” It rained off and on from Chincoteague to North East, MD.  It stayed cloudy, even though the rain had stopped.  We did see some sunshine for the last 2 hours or so of our drive. We returned home shortly before 6:30 pm. 

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 7 – Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

In my previous blog post I wrote that we returned to our rental AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, after lunch.

Around 3:00 pm we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove on the Wildlife Loop twice and took Beach Road to the Toms Cove Visitor Center, where we turned around. 

Wildlife Loop – 14 Turtles on tuft of grass
Wildlife Loop – Great Blue Heron and Glossy Ibis
Wildlife Loop – Sika Deer
Wildlife Loop – Sika Deer
Snowy Egret, seen along Beach Road near Toms Cove Visitor Center
Great Egret, seen along Beach Road near Toms Cove Visitor Center

Yes, we visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge several times during Chincoteague, VA vacations. Often we visit the refuge more than one time a day. The refuge is one of the main reasons we go to Chincoteague year after year.

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