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Chincoteague Vacation – Day 2: Annapolis, MD to Chincoteague, VA

On Sunday, April 7th, at 7:10 am we departed the Best Western Annapolis and continued our drive to Chincoteague, VA.

We crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge about 10 minutes later.

Our first stop at 9:00 am was at the Salisbury Zoological Park in Salisbury, MD.  We arrived just as the zoo was opening.  

Salisbury Zoo – East Gate Entrance

We spent a couple hours walking around this wonderful, free zoo.  I created this slideshow to share with you some of the birds and animals that we saw, while at the zoo.

This was Bob’s first time at the Salisbury Zoo; it was my second visit.  My first visit was more than 30 years ago in August 1982.

Our second stop was for lunch at Subway at the intersection of Routes 13 and175.

After lunch, we crossed Route 13 and took Route 175 to Chincoteague Island, VA.

Our third stop was at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located on Assateague Island, VA. 

Located on the East Coast along the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island is the largest, natural barrier island ecosystem in the Middle Atlantic states region that remains predominantly unaffected by human development. The Virginia portion of the island is designated as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the exception of 448 acres in the refuge’s Toms Cove area maintained by the National Park Service.  These 448 acres are part of the Assateague Island National Seashore.  The Assateague State Park and the Assateague Island National Seashore are located on Assateague Island, MD.  This year marks our fifth visit to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore, located on Assateague Island, VA.

Admission to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is $20.00, which is good for multiple days.  We didn’t have to pay the admission fee, as I purchased a National Park Service senior pass in February 2018, when I turned 62 years old.

We rode our bicycles on the Woodland Trail.   The Woodland Trail, which takes you through a pine forest, is 1.6 miles round trip, paved and wheelchair accessible.  The trail is open to both walkers and cyclists.  A couple years ago many of the pine trees were damaged by a southern pine beetle infestation. 

We went for a bicycle ride on the Woodland Trail. This boardwalk leads to an observation platform from which you may see wild ponies.

We looked for wild ponies from this observation platform. We didn’t see any ponies.

Leaving the Woodland Trail, we rode our bicycles on the Beach Access Road to the Assateague Island National Seashore and back to the Woodland Trail parking lot.

 

We saw two horses and riders at the beach.

 

Egrets are popular at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

We watched one egret, as it was hunting, standing immobile or wading through wetlands, to when it suddenly took flight.

Great Egret Hunting

Great Egret, Lift Off

Great Egret in Flight

Great Egret in Flight

We watched another egret standing in a tree.

Great Egret in a Tree

We rode our bicycles a total of 4.16 miles on Woodland Trail and to and from the beach.

We arrived at Tranquil Shores, our Airbnb rental, at approximately 3:00 pm–1 hour before check-in time. Tranquil Shores is located on Chincoteague Island, VA.  I telephoned our host shortly before we checked in to see if an early check in was possible (and it was).  Tranquil Shores was our home away from home for 5 nights.  I will publish a separate blog post pertaining to Tranquil Shores in the near future.

An hour later the car was unpacked.  At 4:40 pm we left to pick up some groceries.  We shopped at Food Lion at the intersection of Routes 13 and 175.  We picked up dinner, breakfast foods, snacks and beer. 

Tonight’s dinner was rotisserie chicken, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and, for dessert, cheesecake.  We purchased a sampler cheesecake platter, which lasted us through four dinners.

We watched a couple episodes of NYPD Blue and then went to bed. As a side note, we started watching NYPD Blue on Amazon Prime in early February this year.  NYPD Blue is an American police drama set in New York City, exploring the struggles of the fictional 15th Precinct detective squad in Manhattan.  The series was originally broadcast on the ABC network, debuted on September 21, 1993‚ and aired its final episode on March 1, 2005.  Bob says this was one of his favorite TV shows.  We both saw the series, when it aired.   We may or may not have seen each episode, though.  I certainly do not remember each episode’s story line.  There are 12 seasons, 261 episodes.  We watched Season 9 episodes, while on vacation.

Please check back soon for more blog posts about our Chincoteague vacation.

“American Idol” vs. Full Moon

“American Idol” is one of my favorite shows. I missed most of it last night because I was outside looking at (and photographing) the full moon. The moon was breathtakingly beautiful last night, as it moved gracefully in and out of clouds. It is a good thing that the street on which I live is not busy at nighttime. The best view of the moon was from the far side of my street. My being on the side of the street, with a tripod set in front of me, caught only one driver by surprise.

By the way I did get to watch my three favorite “American Idol” performers — Crystal Bowersox, Michael Lynche and Casey James. I feel that Michael and Casey both outperformed Crystal last night; however, Crystal is still my #1 favorite idol.

This Week’s Surprises

Bob and I have been watching American Idol each week since it started this season. Our picks for the final three are (and have been from the start): Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta and Danny Gokey. Wednesday’s result show had its surprises. Adam Lambert was left standing in center stage after the other four finalists had been divided in pairs. Host Ryan Seacrest told Adam to decide whether he belonged with Matt Giraud and Kris Allen or Danny Gokey and Allison Iraheta. Adam picked the latter two. It was a surprise that Adam chose sides; no other contestant has done that when faced with a similar task. Last season David Archuleta’s response to this challenge was to just sit down. The second surprise was that Adam turned out to be one of the three lowest-scoring contestants. The third surprise was when Adam, who has been lavished with praise and survived weekly audience votes, was in the bottom two! It wasn’t a surprise when Matt Giraud was eliminated from the competition.

Another surprise this week has to do with my stepdaughter, Stacey. Bob replaced Stacey’s motorcycle brakes this week, while Stacey watched (and learned). Stacey says next time she will replace her motorcycle brakes, with supervision.  Stacey continually surprises (and amazes) me with her knowledge of automobile and motorcycle mechanics. Not only can she discuss the subject of automobile and motorcycle mechanics with the best of them, she wants to learn to do the maintenance herself! What do I know about automobile and motorcycle mechanics? Not much more than how to check the oil level 🙂

Work, Dinner and a Movie

In mid-February I submitted a request to have today off work. Bob and I had discussed extending the Easter weekend to include Thursday and spend our extended weekend in Virginia Beach visiting friends, if my request were approved. My request for today off work was not approved.

I work 16 hours each week at a catalog call center. I do not work on Thursdays, Fridays, or Sunday. I usually have off one other day of the week as well. This week I was scheduled to work 6 hours on Monday, 6 hours on Tuesday and 4 hours today. I’ve been off work since Tuesday at 3:00PM. Can you imagine how tempting it was for me to not go to work today? We discarded our travel plans for this weekend so that I could give the company that I work for a whole 4 hours (from 12:30-4:30PM) of my time. Oh well. I’ll get over it. We’ll make it to Virginia Beach one of these days.

After work Bob and I went to dinner at Bob Evans. Bob ordered a grilled chicken entree. Still stewing about having to work today, I was looking for comfort food. I ordered a meatloaf dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy. We ordered dessert, too, although both of us could have done without the extra calories. We each ordered a slice of hot fudge cake a la mode. What a decadent delight for our taste buds!

After dinner Bob and I watched the movie “Seven Pounds”, starring Will Smith. A synopsis of this movie, as provided by Netflix.com, is as follows: “Distraught over his wife’s death — and convinced that his own actions had something to do with it — a depressed IRS (Will Smith) agent begins plotting his suicide, vowing to improve the lives of seven strangers in the process. But a chance meeting with a woman who has a life-threatening heart defect (Rosario Dawson) threatens to derail his plans when, suddenly, their budding relationship feels a lot like love.”

“Seven Pounds” is mysterious and a little bit confusing. The movie had me guessing a lot what would happen next. As the movie nears its conclusion, there are so many loose ends that it is difficult to believe that they will all be tied up when the movie ends. The loose ends, though, are tied up beautifully as the movie ends. This movie is magnificent. If you haven’t seen “Seven Pounds”, I highly recommend that you see this movie now.

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