The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘Virginia’ category

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.

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 7 – Cape Charles, VA Day Trip

Today, April 7th, is the 7th day of our Easter vacation.

We have awakened each morning of our vacation in time to watch the sun rise. Each sunrise that we have witnessed has been beautiful. This morning’s sunset, though, was more than beautiful; it was splendid.

Sunrise, as seen from the upper porch of Tranquil Shores
Sunrise, as seen from the upper porch of Tranquil Shores

We visited downtown Chincoteague this morning. We went window shopping along Main Street.  The shops that interested me were closed until later in the day.

We walked back to our car the scenic way.

Robert N Reed Waterfront Park

During our walk, we decided to drive to Cape Charles, VA–a place we had never been. Cape Charles is located about 66 miles south of Chincoteague. 

A popular mode of transportation at Cape Charles appears to be golf carts.

We saw this golf cart and its passenger from our car.
Golf Carts provide transportation along the seashore.

We went for a walk alongside the beach and on the fishing pier. 

It felt like summer, especially so when we saw people in swimsuits on the beach and in the water.  The temperature was 75 degrees at noon!
The LOVEwork is located near the public fishing pier. It reflects the history and community by incorporating materials that represent what Cape Charles is all about. The “L” is made of sea glass and seashells to represent the bayside community. The “O” is a tractor tire to represent agriculture. The “V” is made of kayaks to represent outdoor adventure activities and the “E” is made of crab pots to represent aquaculture.
The “L”
Cape Charles Public Fishing Pier
Bob and I on the Cape Charles Public Fishing Pier

Leaving Cape Charles, we drove to Metopkin Seafood for lunch. Metopkin Seafood is located in Mappsville, VA about 50 miles north of Cape Charles. We were disappointed to find that Metopkin Seafood was still closed for the season.  Metopkin Seafood is a favorite place for us to get a seafood platter.

We decided to eat lunch at Maria’s in Chincoteague, VA– our first time to eat there.  Bob ordered a crab cake sandwich with French fries.  I ordered a small pizza. 

Lunch at Maria’s Restaurant

I have leftover pizza for another meal. The food and service were good.  We returned to our rental AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, after lunch.

I have more to tell you about our 7th day of vacation, which I will share with you in a future blog post.

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 5 – Back at Chincoteague

In my previous blog post I wrote about our morning visit to Oriole, MD on Day 5 (April 5th) of our Easter vacation.

We were back at our AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, by 12:15 pm.  We ate lunch and spent a few hours relaxing.

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

The highlight of our visit to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
was seeing an eagle sitting on its nest.
The eagle’s nest is seen from the wildlife loop.

We returned to Tranquil Shores. I prepared tuna casserole for dinner. For dessert we went to Island Creamery for ice cream — Chocolate and peanut butter cup for me; Java Jolt for Bob. 

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 4

I got up for the day at 6:00 am.  Bob was already up and in the midst of making an egg and cheese bagel sandwich.  Bob said he got up around 5:00 am.  My breakfast was instant oatmeal and a banana.

Around 9:00 am Bob and I decided to go to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  Bob walked to the refuge; I drove. 

Assateague Island National Seashore
It was a cloudy morning at the seashore, but so beautiful too.
Great Egret seen along Beach Rd, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

I picked up Bob, as he neared the Toms Cove Visitor Center. When I picked up Bob, he had walked 3.85 miles. 

We were back at our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, by 11:00 am. We ate lunch (leftover BBQ from the day before) and relaxed.

We returned to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge shortly after 3:00 pm.   We drove around the Wildlife Loop twice and then down to the Toms Cove Visitor Center, where we turned around. 

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Loop
One Great Blue Heron, Four Poses
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Loop
Seven Turtles hanging out on a tuft of grass

Denise and Nic sure picked the right day to drive up here.  We saw lots of Chincoteague ponies yesterday.  We didn’t see any ponies today. 

We returned to our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, around 4:30 pm.  Bob grilled two rib eye steaks for our Easter dinner.  The steaks were accompanied by fried potatoes, mixed vegetables and, for dessert, cheesecake.  We ate dinner on our screened-in porch.  

We watched a couple TV series on Hulu this evening–“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Lark Rise to Candleford”. The second TV series, “Lark Rise to Candleford”, was suggested to us by Bob’s brother’s wife. That series, in which a young girl moves to the local market town to begin an apprenticeship as a postmistress, is set in 19 century Oxfordshire. We are enjoying each episode. I enjoy the show so much that I am considering the purchase of a book of the same name.

Chambers on the Road

RV, other Travels and Home Life in Retirement

Unique places to visit

Day trips, hiking, biking, vacations

Strafari

Travel blog & Strasbourg city guide

AfterKC.com

Enjoying Life In New Ways

The Frog and PenguINN

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Bicycling the beauty around us

This is a bicycling journal.

FabFourBlog

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Skid and Sandy On The Road

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

vivacioushoopster

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

My Mommy's Place

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Viewing nature with Eileen

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Deep Thoughts

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Rambling On

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

PHOTOJOURNAL OF CORKER2

TRYING TO DO THIS WITHOUT A DEGREE!

Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

MY QUALITY TIME

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Linda's Peaceful Place

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Life's Funny Like That

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

JOYFUL REFLECTIONS

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

I'll give you a piece of my mind

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Hospitality Lane

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Gretchen's Traveling

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog