We had a wonderful sunny day to wrap up our visit to this isolated village on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
We began with breakfast at Bill’s Seafood Restaraunt, a bustling, no-nonsense favorite of many locals. Afterwards, we bought freshly made sandwiches for our trip to Assateague at the Grubstake Deli, which also features wines, cheeses and Haagen Daaz ice cream.
We took time to admire the many little groups of ducklings bustling around the streets of Chincoteague, each led by a gently quacking adult female duck. Since the Chincoteague waterfront is also the home of dozens of semi-feral cats, I expected to see carnage, but invariably the ducklings would be paraded safely in front of one group of cats after another. I am still not sure why the cats observed the fuzzy little happy meals with boredom. We saw few dogs and they seemed to ignore the ducks also.
However, Gretchen observed that one familiar group of ducklings got smaller as the days progressed, but, thankfully, we were never witness to the weeding-out process. Most groups of ducklings we saw all followed closely after their mothers as the adult ducks crossed streets, wandered through parking lots and explored back alleys and yards in this waterfront community. You could see how natural selection would work out, because a moments inattention could separate a duckling from the rest of the fast-moving brood.
We drove to the Wildlife Reserve on Assateague and immediately spotted a deer eating some kind of grass in shallow water. It would plunge its muzzle into the water and would pull up a dripping bundle of green which it would shake and then eat. It reminded me of eating in a Pho noodle restaurant. Same activity, only without chopsticks.
We saw a few wild ponies in the woods beside the road, but this must have been a day off for the rest of them. Other than a few road apples on the walking trails, there were no other signs of the famous wild ponies of Assateague.
We went out to the beach which was clean and tranquil and spent a few hours enjoying the wind and the sun. Colorful kites and looming thunderheads in the south created a beautiful backdrop for a time of quiet reflection. Gretchen and I enjoy each other’s company and at moments like this, we find that our ideas and plans often come together with profound effects on our future.
It is not always obvious at the time, but within a few hours we will realize that we have had some sort of epiphany and we are ready to move on to other things. This usually signals the end of the vacation, regardless of what else we have planned. You might say we have reached the end phenomena of a vacation. We got what we came for. Anything else would act as an overrun.
And so it was. We finished our day by dining at the Village Restaurant, a starkly unassuming structure perched on the edge of a marsh on Maddox Blvd. The interior was plain and we sat at one of the few tables with a view. The seafood was the best we have had on this trip. Gretchen had broiled flounder and I had fried scallops.
As we finished our desserts, we were entertained by a flotilla of two geese and 18 goslings that made their way up the canal behind the restaurant and across busy Maddox Blvd. As in the children’s classic, “Make Way For Ducklings”, traffic came to a halt and the parade made its way safely across the highway without incident.
It is now 4:00 am and we are ready to return home. We are in agreement that visiting colonial Williamsburg will wait for another time. We are ready to pick up the threads of our life and move on in the direction we have chosen.
Life is good. We live in interesting times.