The next stop on our road trip was to see friends Jim and Peggy at their home along the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We had no idea where Atlantic, Virginia was but trusted our GPS to guide us to their front door. I looked up the area on Wikipedia and learned that Atlantic, “Is an unincorporated census-designated place in Accomack County, Virginia. As of the 2016 census, its population was 963”.
We encountered another cloudy, rainy day as we made our way to Atlantic. As we drove along I could not believe how sparsely populated the surroundings were. Periodically, we would pass buildings and homes in various stages of decay. We finally turned onto the last street and voilá there were the first signs of a community of new homes.
Jim and Peggy’s home is right on the water. I was not surprised. After all, Peggy had lived on a houseboat at one point in her life and just loves the water. The view from the back porch of their home is of Bogues Bay. Just across the bay is the NASA Wallops Island Flight Facility and the Wallops Island Wildlife Refuge.
After hugs and kisses all around we were introduced to their family of felines. There is Jigs, Button, Emma and Maggie. They are all beautiful and very playful.
We spent some time catching up with one another and then Jim and Peggy decided to take us on a tour of Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island National Seashore. As we drove over the bridge to Chincoteague Jim made a comment that, “Chincoteague is for people, Assateague is for animals”.
We drove through the park and were amazed at the variety of birds we saw. I understand that over 300 species can be found on the island. We managed, with the aid of binoculars, to see some of the famed wild ponies that live on the island. I would love to come back sometime when the weather is a little sunnier. We returned to Chincoteague for a great dinner at Don’s Seafood. We spent the rest of the evening just kicking back and enjoying each other’s company.
We woke up the next morning to yet another cloudy day and the threat of rain later in the afternoon. Because they live so far away from a major center I was curious about where they shopped, sought medical care, etc. So, they took us on a ride over to a small town called Crisfield, Maryland. I had to laugh because we saw many ducks walking around the parking lot. Peggy said they were all over the island. She was right, everywhere we went we ran into ducks.
While in Crisfield, we stopped by the boat yard to see their cabin cruiser the “Hey Hon”. The boat was in dry dock undergoing an engine overhaul. I had seen pictures of the cabin cruiser but was blown away at just how big it was. We climbed the ladder and walked around inside. It was quite roomy inside. They explained that the boat would be back in the water soon.
We continued our tour stopping at the city dock to watch the many small vessels that leave at precisely noon each day to take supplies and mail to several islands in the bay.
The tour over, we made our way to a local restaurant called the Circle Inn for a very nice lunch. While most of the menu listed seafood I decided to try their bacon cheeseburger. Very good. Peggy wanted us to try a slice of a Smith Island Layer Cake. Unfortunately, there was none to be had. Peggy explained that these cakes were nine layers with a fudge frosting and delicious. In 2008 Maryland named the Smith Island Layer Cake its state dessert. The cake sounded decadent and delicious. Perhaps the next time we come to visit.
We started the journey back to the house. But first, Peggy wanted to make a stop before leaving the Crisfield area to pick up 3 dozen Maryland hard shelled crabs with Chesapeake Bay Seasoning at Linton’s Seafood.
Well, we were not done yet. Jim and Peggy asked us if we liked ice cream. “Absolutely,” we both answered. So, off we went to an ice cream parlor called Island Creamery. . Peggy told us that the ice cream is made daily at the parlor and was delicious. According to Creamery’s website, “We use an all-natural premium butterfat mix from Lancaster County cows ensuring a rich, creamy ice cream. Inspiration for flavors come from the local fruit available to us or from tasty inclusions made in our kitchen”. I was way to busy enjoying my sweet treat that I forgot to take pictures.
I loved the ice cream parlor even before we went inside. The outside porch was filled with picnic tables with colorful chairs and umbrellas. The colors of the umbrellas reminded me of the colorful candy sprinkles so many cover their ice cream with. We all stood over the ice cream dipping cabinets trying to make a choice. It was not easy as they all looked absolutely scrumptious. I finally chose the Java chip chocolate and loved every spoonful.
We finally pointed the car in the direction of home and retired for an evening of fun conversations and reminiscing. Sometime around the dinner hour Peggy spread butcher paper on the dining room table and she and Randy and went to work eating the crabs. Jim was taking a nap and I was just too full to eat another bite and just watched. From their pleased expressions I knew they were enjoying themselves very much.
It had been a very nice day and it was finally time to retire. We needed to get a good night’s sleep because tomorrow would be a long day on the road.
We woke up to a better day. The skies were still overcast but looked a great deal better than the past week. This morning as I stood on the porch with Peggy, I could understand why she said that she could just pour herself a cup of coffee and sit on the porch all day just enjoying the view.
We said our goodbyes and started the next leg of our road trip. This leg of the trip would take us 1 ½ days. We drove until Randy got tired and stopped at a Travel Lodge in Wytheville, Virginia for the night.
Fortunately, there was a restaurant just down the hill from the motel. I love Mexican food and was very happy there was a Mexican restaurant close by but I must say El Puerto was disappointing. The restaurant was cold, the food was cold and I felt the service was wanting. I asked Randy after we returned to our room what he thought. He thought for a moment and said, “The food was very bland, the beans watery and the salsa and Guacamole was loaded with onions. I would probably pass by this restaurant if I am ever this way again”.
The next morning we ate a light breakfast at the motel and started out early to finish our drive to Huntsville. We were both very excited about attending our granddaughter’s graduation.