Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday evening in Naperville

So, our girls' week has ended, but the memories live on. On Sunday, my mom and sister drove to my house and got here around 4:30 (I think.) They had just driven 12 hours the day before from Hilton Head to my sister's home (well, they rode in the car since my brother in law did the driving.) So, we loaded their stuff into my car and we took off for the Chicago suburbs. There were a few times I was driving that my sister was using her pretend brake, and I told her that the traffic we were in was nothing compared to what it could be, so just relax and enjoy the ride, sistah!

We got to the hotel around 6ish, checked in, got our conference information, and then decided to head straight for dinner since we were starving. Luckily there was a HUGE mall with many restaurants just across the street, so we piled back into my car and went to the....CHEESECAKE FACTORY. mmmmmm. I did get a piece to take back to the room and my mom and sister both declined. Seriously, who goes to the Cheesecake Factory and doesn't order cheesecake? Well, now I know. ;) They did enjoy their dinners, though.

After the conference on Monday night, we went to California Pizza Kitchen and enjoyed the yummyness that they had to offer. Tuesday night was immersion night for the language classes, but we had already made plans to meet Melisa in her town, which was about 1/2 hour in traffic away (ish). We parked and she met us somewhere in downtown Naperville and we walked over to Jimmy's Grill. I wanted to eat here again because some other friends of mine and I ate there for lunch last summer and it was delicious. We asked for a table on the patio since the weather was beautiful. I had this awesome salad called Raspberry Chicken salad that had field greens, grilled chicken, raspberries, sliced brie, walnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette. drooling yet? I am. My sister had a pasta dish and my mom and Melisa each had a sandwich of some sort.

Melisa? I'm coming back up to Naperville today to go to Jimmy's Grill for that salad. OK? OK. ;)

So, after dinner we decided to walk over the the Riverwalk to take pictures and look around. Melisa loves her hometown and it shows with the enthusiasm in which she talks about it. You can read about her town here in a new blog that she writes for Chicago Now. She's famous, my friend, but she's still that girl that I met when I was 19, she 17, and we were both newly engaged to guys in the Navy, who introduced us through mail because they wanted their girlfriends to have someone for support. (how's THAT for a run-on sentence?) And I love her! (If you're an English teacher reading this, I'm so sorry for my grammar, punctuation, etc. I do know better, I just don't feel like following the rules, sometimes!)

Melisa and me

So, any, back to my story. We got to Riverwalk and looked around and she was a wonderful tour guide.

Me, Mom, and Margie (one of the many covered bridges in the background)

A sculpture that I liked

Part of the 911 Memorial, which was very moving...

covered bridge entrance

Dick Tracy sculpture

Veteran's Memorial

Cat in the Hat outside the library

After our trip around the Riverwalk, we walked up past the library and then back to our cars. Then she took us on a trip around Naperville where the houses were just gorgeous. There were brand new houses in old neighborhoods, but they did a fantastic job to make some of those houses look like they 'belonged' there.

We had a lovely evening and it ended way too soon, as most good things do. Thanks, Melisa, for the hospitality! I heart your city AND YOU! xoxo

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Japanese 101

Last week my sister, who teaches middle school Spanish, had a conference in the suburbs of Chicago. She emailed me and asked me how far I am from the 'burbs. I told her that she was welcome to stay here, but she would spend far more time in traffic than she would in the actual conference. Then I said, "BUT I could come stay with you. haha" She called me and said, "SHUT UP! Would you really do that?" Hell yes I would! Then, it evolved into a girls' week because my mom was joining us. THEN, it evolved even farther because she asked if we wanted to take a 3 day Japanese class. That sounded like great fun. I only speak English, as does my mom, so....I was a bit apprehensive thinking I wouldn't learn a thing.

The entire conference was based on Blaine Ray's TPR Storytelling technique. You learn a language by listening to the instructor telling a story. At the end of the three mornings of our class, we were able to hear and read a story and translate it to English. I'm not kidding you! This was crazy. Here is a story that I wrote (it's very rudimentary, but it gets the point across.) I'll translate it after I tell it in Japanese. ;)

Dawn wa murasaki no doresu ga hoshii. Dawn wa pinku no doresu shika nai. Dawn wa naku. Dawn wa depaato ni ikitai. Dawn wa murasaki kawaii doresu o sagasu. Dawn wa murasaki kawaii doresu o miru. Dawn wa totemo ureshii desu.

and now in English:
Dawn wants a purple dress. Dawn only has a pink dress. Dawn cries. Dawn wants to go to department store. Dawn looks for a cute purple dress. Dawn sees a cute purple dress. Dawn is very happy. :)

The class was a lot fun. Our instructor was so sweet. She is Canadian, but lives in Japan with her Japanese husband and teaches English, I believe.

After class each day, we had lunch, then Mom and I went to our room to do our homework while Margie continued on to her seminar classes. We were totally amazing ourselves with our Japanese language skills. Are you impressed? ;)

Margie, Melinda (our instructor), me, Mom....having a blast!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Night at Boy Scout camp

I'll recap our week in Chicago soon. I wanted to make a quick post about The Boy. He spent the majority of the summer at summer camp (and he's still there) as the Ecology/Conservation Director of Boy Scout camp. Each Friday is family night, and I got a phone call from a friend of his a few weeks ago asking us to come to family night this past Friday. The Boy was going to be called out as Vigil for Order of the Arrow, which is the highest level of Brotherhood (since I'm not a member, I have a hard time explaining this, obviously.) 'Sparky' asked me to keep it a secret because The Boy had no idea he was to be called out. As it turns out, my mom and sister were able to join us. The Man drove there from work, since his work is halfway from home to camp. We met there and had dinner in the dining hall. I called the boy on his cell and asked him what he was doing. He told me he was in his area cleaning it. I told him I had a surprise for him, so could he please meet me by the dining hall. He got so excited and said, "You're here? Can you stay awhile? I can't leave here until I have it all cleaned and ready to close!" I assured him that I didn't drive for 2 hours to call him and then leave without seeing him. ;)

While we were waiting, I talked to a couple of young boys who were camping and asked them to tell me about their week. (I had camped with our troop a couple of times, once with The Man as the co-leader, and once with a couple of other co-leaders. The Man has camped with our troop many times as a co-leader.) I asked them their favorite parts, etc. One was talking about 'Cyclops' and how much fun he had in Eco-Con with 'Cyclops'. He told me that he was at Eco-Con earlier listening to The Doors with Cyclops, just hanging out. I smiled and said, "Well, I'm Cyclops' mom and this is his dad, aunt, and grandmother." His eyes got huge and he smiled and said, "Cyclops is so cool!" LOL

So, about 45 minutes later, my cell rang and it was The Boy asking where I was. I told him that I was waiting by the dining hall and he told me he was on his way down. He got there and gave me a HUGE hug and I said, " for the surprise! Come with me!" and I took him to where his dad, my sister, and mom were. He was so happy! He said, "Will you stay for the ceremony? I'm in it." Not wanting to let on that that was why we were there, we just looked at each other, shrugged and said, "Ok! Sounds good!" So, we visited for awhile and then the Boy Scouts were marching down the hill, so he jumped into the line and went on with them. After the campfire ceremony, they had the OA ceremony. I'm not sure what his character was called, but he was one of the main guys. His costume was a bit scary. :)

At the end of the ceremony, the Chief said something like, 'would Brother :insert the boy's name: come forward...' Then he tapped him HARD three times on the shoulder, to which The Boy responded by tapped him three times HARD on his shoulder. I got verklempt. I had goosebumps, tears, you name it because...I'm a hot mess most of the time!

After the ceremony, we went to the OA circle and took pictures, gave hugs, said our goodbyes, etc.

Oh...and on Saturday, he sent us a text saying that he won area of the summer! We are so very proud of our boy!

Proud Papa and The Boy

Proud parents and The Boy

The Boy in his ceremonial attire with his Vigil arrow (which is a REAL arrow and The Man wouldn't let me touch it because I'm a known klutz!)
It's so amazing to watch your child enjoying life to the fullest!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Throwing the Diet out the Window...

My mom, sister, and I are in the Chicago 'burbs this week for some girl time. Margie teaches Spanish and is attending a TPR Storytelling seminar. My mom and I are along for the ride and are attending a Japanese class in the morning in the TPR Storytelling method. We are actually understanding the language! It's such fun.

Not only are we learning, we are EATING a lot! I don't usually eat dessert on a daily basis, so I'm getting a constant sugar buzz (which, if you know me...I mean REALLY know me, you know I'm naturally high on life, so I don't need sugar to get me going! lol)

On our first night, we had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. OH MAMA! Mom had pasta with sun dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Margie had fish tacos and I had baja chicken tacos. The tacos were served with black beans and rice. The black beans tasted just like the filling my brother makes for his black bean quesadillas. We were in HEAVEN! ( was like you were there too, because we were talking about you. Were your ears burning?)

I got a piece of Godiva cheesecake to go and ate some of it at the hotel. I couldn't finish it, but it was as close to heaven as a piece of cheesecake could get.

Last night, we decided to go to California Pizza Kitchen. Margie got a pizza with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. I got a pizza with roasted peppers, carmelized onions, mozzarella, parmesan, roasted artichoke hearts and salami. Mom got an Asian salad. Then, we split this:

mmmmm...I love Red Velvet Cake!

Stay tuned...soon I'll amaze you with my wild Japanese speaking skills!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Looking for a Good Book?

I just finished On Gold Mountain by Lisa See. Her books are wonderful! This book is the true story of her great-great grandfather's journey to America (Gold Mountain) to work on the railroad, and her great grandfather's journey to American to look for his father. However, Fong See decides to stay and his father returns home to China. The book follows Fong See's life on Gold Mountain, his struggles, his triumphs, his loyalty to his Chinese family.

Another great book by Lisa See is Snowflower and the Secret Fan. This was the first book of hers that I read. Set in 19th century China, it tells the story of the Chinese women, how they had their feet bound and lived in seclusion for most of their lives. Another very fascinating story that gives us a small peek into the Chinese culture.

**I am not being compensated in any way or promoting these books. I just want to share my love of books and to give some suggestions for books that I enjoy. :)

Do you have any great suggestions to share?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gearing Up!

I can't remember the last time my mom, sister and I spent time together, just the three of us. It was probably way back when....before kids, etc. That is a very long time ago, over 19 years! However, in two short days, we'll be together again, just the three of us. I'm so looking forward to that!

The Man is knee-deep at work, due to plant shut down time, so we don't have much time together right now. So, now is the perfect time for the three of us to be together to have female bonding time. We're heading up north so that my sister can attend a seminar, but during down time, we'll have dinner, go on excursions, and just chill. That's what summer is all about.

I may take my trusty laptop with me and blog from the road. That should be interesting! Maybe I can have my sister or mom guest blog. Good times. ;)

I do know this, I'm taking my camera and taking a ton of pictures to share and as always, I'm sure I'll have plenty to say.

AND, there is a surprise coming for someone at the end of the week. I'll share AFTER the surprise! ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Even I can grow that!

When we got out of the car at my mother-in-law's in Chincoteague, I noticed her beautiful flower beds. The following is the conversation (sort of) we had...

Me: Oh, Patty! Your flowers are beautiful!

Patty: Thank you, honey. We had to learn what grows here and what doesn't when we planted this year.

Me: I especially love the beach grasses you have in among the flowers! Lovely!

Patty: Honey, those are weeds!

Me: Oh, well...they look good there and *I* would leave them there! ;)

**I do not have a green thumb...or even a chartreuse thumb, or any color in between....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Going down

When we first got Dutch, Duke was only 2 years old. We thought it would be a wonderful idea to get a playmate for Duke. So, on impulse, I called the pet store at the local mall (yes, we were 'wonderful' pet owners who rescued dogs from pet stores...whatever) to see if they had a FEMALE black lab. They didn't have a female, but they did happen to have a male black lab. So, we decided to just go and 'take a look' at him. STUPID move. What dog lover can just go to a pet store and take a look at a dog that they know they will want to take home? We can. Sure....we'll just take a look-see and then come on home.

So, we got to the pet store and there he was, all cramped into this little cage, covered with POOP. I just about came unglued! They took him to the play area for us and we played with him and he kept looking at us with his puppy eyes begging to come home with us. I looked at The Man and he looked at me and we KNEW he was coming home with us. I demanded that they gave him a bath, and while they cleaned him up, we shopped for a new cage, collar, leash, and bowls for our new baby.

The entire way home we were calling him by his new name, Dutch. If he was a girl, he would have been Duchess, so we just shortened it and made it more 'manly' for him. Wouldn't Duke and The Boy be so excited? No...and YES!

When we got home, Duke looked at us like we were nuts. Well, he looked at me, but wouldn't acknowledge The Man, since he was Duke's 'person.' He kept his head down as if he couldn't believe we brought a pet into this house without his blessing! Dutch, however, fell immediately in love with Duke! He jumped on him, bit him, and tried to get his attention however he could.

Duke, our wonderful yellow lab

When it was time for The Boy's bus to come home, I walked the new puppy to the bus stop to surprise him. The Boy got off of the bus and was immediately over the moon in love with Dutch. Wow! Another dog to play laser tag with, sleep with, lasso with his new rope from The Black Hills, dress up, blame things on, etc. When you don't have siblings to blame things on, a dog comes in handy! ;)

The Boy dressed him up and took pictures of him...he was such a good sport!

I won't deny it, Dutch was a PITA when we first got him. But really, what puppy isn't? However, he didn't chew or destroy anything like Duke did, but, he wouldn't leave poor Duke alone. Lucky for Duke, Dutch still had to sleep in his crate, so Duke got The Boy's bed all to himself...and he even left a little room for The Boy.

We had many great years with those two dogs. Two years ago, this month, poor Duke starting going downhill. He became incontinent and was really having problems with his hips. It was heart wrenching. I had to make the ultimate decision (with the help from the vet) to have him put down. Hardest day of our lives. We miss him, but have many happy memories of him.

So now, Dutch is at the age Duke was when he left this world. We always teased that he'll live to be 15 or so because he was full of life. The reality of the situation is that he is slowing down at light speed. He spends most of his time sleeping or just lying around looking at us. He doesn't seem to be in pain, but it's so odd to see him like this. AND, the day after we got home from vacation, I found one of his teeth on the floor in the dining room.

This picture was taken a few months's hard for him to get onto the couch now

So, for now, we'll love him and enjoy him. He's my 'baby' and will always be my baby. Time marches on and as much as I'd love to push the pause button, I know I can't.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Doin' the Happy Dance!

Guess what came when we were on vacation? Go ahead...guess...I'll wait.....

MY AEROSMITH TICKETS! So, yeah, I'm just a bit excited!

I have so many wonderful things to look forward to in the next few weeks...

  • spending the week in Chicago with my mom and sister
  • seeing Melisa while we're there...she's like family :)
  • The Boy coming home from camp
  • Aerosmith concert
  • something I'm not at liberty to discuss because it's a bit too personal, but if it comes through, y'all will be among the first to know (how's that for mystery and suspense?)
So, it's Saturday here in Farm Country and The Boy texted his dad and wanted to meet somewhere in the middle between here and camp to play golf. Isn't that SWEET? I'm probably going to just hang out here and do something productive...maybe.

Have a great weekend...I hope your Saturday is a sunny one!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fourth of July

On Saturday morning, I woke up and The Man asked me if I wanted the good news or the bad news. I just looked at him and said, "What?" He had his laptop out with directions to my sister's house. We originally thought it would take approximately 6 hours to get there. WRONG! He said we could either take the long way and cross the Bay Bridge again, OR we could take the 'short way' and cross the Bay Bridge Tunnel. Good times.

We said our good-byes to Patty, Ed, Molly, and Gypsy, plugged in Sassy Manassy and headed out of town. We made it to the bridge tunnel in 2 hours. We got to the toll booth, The Man pulled up and the lady taking the money just stared at him. He smiled and stared back. No signs stating the price, etc. She just sat there. Seriously. Finally, he looked at her and said, "What do you need?" TWELVE DOLLARS! Yes, folks, you heard that let's see, after paying $8 to cross Indiana, $13 to cross Ohio, $6 to cross the Bay Bridge, our tolls have now totaled $39! Craziness!

So, we paid our money (it was that or swim the 30 some odd miles across the Chesapeake Bay) and off we went. Here are some pictures of the Bay...

When we got to the other side, we were suddenly in Virginia Beach. Listen, we used to live in Virginia Beach, but believe me when I tell you I had no clue that this bridge/tunnel ended there! Maybe the city expanded since we left in the late 80s? Who knows? Anyway, by this time we were starved, so The Man typed "Fuddruckers" into Sassy to see if there was one close by. OH YES! 3.8 miles away. So, off we went for some tasty goodness! We used to love to eat here when we lived at "the beach." My dad L.O.V.E.D. this place! The man said that he wanted to eat here in honor of my dad. ;) See why I love him so? Before we left, I stopped at the bakery department at Fudd's and got a few chocolate chip cookies and the biggest krispy treats I've ever seen. YUMMY

So, once we got back onto the interstate, we drove and drove and drove some more. I chatted with my sister a few times and The Man wanted me to assure her we'd be arriving sometime in the millenium. She just asked that we call when we got about 1/2 hour away so that she could order the pizzas so that none of us would starve.

Finally....we reached Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!

I took this picture at the welcome center...

And then about 2 hours later, we finally arrived at my sister's house! Craig had driven to town for something and he saw us on the way back home, so the girls and my sister were on their front porch waiting for us. Aubrey was jumping around when we pulled into the driveway. :) We went in, had our pizza and visited before heading to bed. It was a very long day! Oh, and by the way, I had been craving corn on the cob for a few days. There is something to be said about sister e.s.p. because my precious sister had TWO DOZEN ears of corn waiting to be cooked on her counter for the 4th! I love her so!

On the 4th, Craig and The Man left a bit early so that they could golf, so we girls just hung out around the house. The girls were getting antsy because 'Uncle Doc* brought fireworks!!!' We stopped in Ohio when we were 'home' for the reunion and went to Phantom Fireworks for the girls. Then, along the way to VA, we purchased a bit more. We didn't over do it like in years' past, but you know....The Man is just a big kid at heart.

While we were waiting for the guys to get home, we prepared the food, shucked corn, took pictures, chatted, etc.

picture courtesy of Allison

Aubrey taking a break from picture taking

Al reading 'her' Kindle

Aunt Dawn! Take a picture of me jumping! (notice the Raggedy Ann in the background? That was Margie's when she was a little girl...Mom had to make her new legs because she put 'boo boos' on Raggedy with Magic we put 'make up' on her face with chalk. lol)

Finally, the guys got home and Uncle Doc and Aubrey started shooting off fireworks. The Man gave her a punk, taught her how to light and run and oh boy! What fun they had!

Who is having more fun here?

Then Allison decided to get in on the action...

Seriously...we're innocent here! ;)

Do it like this....light it and then RUN!

This is fun!

My beautiful Sister

After Craig grilled burgers, hot dogs, and kielbasa, he made a fire in the fire ring that he built. Isn't it beautiful?

Craig and Margie taking picture of the fire on their iphones. :)

The Man taking a break from entertaining the chicks. :)

And what's a fire without s'mores? Mmmm...yummy, gooey marshmallow-y goodness...

Sparkler girls with attitude...

watching the fireworks show

The girls made sure we all had glow jewelry.

The fifth came way too soon and we had to leave. The Man had to be back to work by the 6th. Out of the 10 days we were gone, we spent 4 full days on the road. The next time, we'll have to take 2 weeks in order to really be able to rest and enjoy our vacation. All in all, we had a wonderful time...well, except for the eye incident. :( And, of course, it would have been perfect had The Boy been able to join us.

*Allison used to call The Man 'Uncle Doc' when she was a baby. Isn't that ADORABLE?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Beach time!

After The Man had his eye checked at 8am Monday morning, we took off for Chincoteague, Va. His mom and her husband signed a year's lease on a place there because they fell in love with it on their many vacations in the past few years.

It took us about 9 1/2 hours to get there and we had to cross the Bay Bridge. Oh, the memories of going across that bridge with my family when I was a child were brought right back as I was driving. I almost started crying. The Man just chuckled and said that he couldn't believed I was so touched by the bridge. Before we got to the bridge and right after we crossed, we drove through horrible storms. The Good Lord stopped the rain long enough for us to cross safely, but we were crawling in certain areas when it was raining.

We arrived in Chincoteague around 6:30pm. We were never so happy to be out of the car! And, we were thrilled to learn that we weren't supposed to have rain for our visit. :) However, the temperatures were well into the 90s and it was stinking hot and humid! Because it was so hot, Pat and Ed took us to The Chincoteague Inn for dinner. It's a cute little restaurant right on the bay. We shared a platter of clams casino and a platter of oysters Rockefeller for our appetizer. It was my first time to try either and I fell in love. The clams casino were my favorite. They made my mouth SING! For my main course, I had broiled scallops, onion rings, and cole slaw. Oh, how I love scallops! I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what everyone else was eating because I was too busy enjoying my food! :) I did have a couple of glasses of cabernet with dinner. Love me some wine!

This was the view from our table at the Inn...

After dinner, Pat and Ed took us to the American Legion to meet some of their friends. I had another glass of wine and enjoyed meeting and talking to the locals. I was starting to see why they loved this place!

We went back to Pat and Ed's, unloaded the car and sat and talked for awhile. I was exhausted, so I went to bed around 1:30am. The Man said he'd be in soon and I told him to take his time and enjoy his visit. I woke up around 10:30am! which is very late for me and everyone was still sleeping. I sat in the kitchen, had some coffee, and visited with Molly, their precious mini schnauzer. The Man got up shortly after I did and I asked him what time he came to bed last night. He just laughed and asked, "you mean this morning?" lol Apparently they sat up and talked until 5:30am. They had a lot of catching up to do!

This is Tuesday and it's so hot and I wasn't feeling up to par. Between the long drive, the wine, and the heat, I felt a bit icky. We just relaxed for most of the day, then we decided to drive to Assateague to look at the ocean. I love love love the ocean! One of these days, if I ever win the lottery, I'm living at the ocean. Who's coming with me?

We drove around Assateague Island before heading to the beach. Ed showed us where people crab, they showed us the trail to the lighthouse, we drove past the nature center, but unfortunately, we didn't see any wild horses. :(

When we got the the beach, the ocean breeze was just what I needed. It was so much cooler at the beach! The humidity was lower and the temps dropped probably about 10 degrees. Here are some pictures of us at the beach:

Pat, Ed, and The Man

Ed, The Man, and me...great self least it's not of my nostrils! lol

Assateague Lighthouse in the distance

We decided to get something for dinner and I still had those clams casino on my mind, so we headed back to the Chincoteague Inn. Holy cow was it H.O.T. in there! We were at the same table as the night before, but there was just no breeze coming in from the bay. I ate most of my clams, but had to excuse myself because I thought I was going to be sick. I went outside and sat at one of the picnic tables to catch the breeze, and my breath. Once everyone was finished, we decided to head back to the house to rest.

On the way back to the house, we drove to Memorial Park to take in the sights. What a beautiful place! The Pony Penning is held here, I think. Here are some sights from Memorial Park:

Assateague Lighthouse from Memorial Park

On Wednesday, we packed a cooler and headed to the beach to spend the day. Ed and The Man were good sports about it. I knew The Man was chomping at the bit to golf, but he wanted to spend one day with us at the beach. The weather was perfect. On our way to the beach, we stopped at a local ice cream shop and had the. best. ice cream. ever! EVER! I had chocolate peanut butter and the chunks of creamy peanut butter in the ice cream were HUGE. OH MY!

The sky was slightly overcast, but the breeze was lovely and with sunscreen, none of us got burnt. There are picnic tables and small grills at one end of the beach, so we set up 'camp' there so that we could cook our hotdogs later for supper. It was a wonderful day of visiting, reading, people watching...we met a family from WV and had a nice conversation with them. The Man and I took a long walk down the beach and I found a motherload of shells, but didn't have a bag or bucket for carrying. I carried as many as possible and every time I picked up another shell, he would remind me that I didn't have room in my arms for more. :) When we got back to our little area, Ed already started the grill. Those hotdogs tasted DELICIOUS! What is it about eating a picnic on the beach that makes everything taste so good?

As usual, I took pictures of the ocean. Here are just a few...

This area was off limits because it was breeding ground for turtles.

One of the HUNDREDS of blackheaded seagulls who tried to 'share' our supper.

Thursday The Man and Ed finally got to go golfing. While they were gone, Patty and I spent some quality time talking and doing a bit of sight seeing and shopping. She told me I was her type of shopper because after one store, I spent everything I felt I could spend without being ridiculous and said I didn't need to hit any more shops. We met the guys at the Legion, ordered a pizza and sat and visited with more of the locals. I love listening to their accents and to their stories. We met one man who was knee deep in corporate American and sold out and moved to Chincoteague when he was told he was headed for a heart attack at age 40. He said he's still waiting at 53. ;) He now leads kayak tours and is happier than he ever has been.

After enjoying our pizza, we headed over to the Firemen's Carnival because it was the opening night. Talk about Small Town, U.S.A! We loved every minute of it! It took us back to the old Firemen's Carnivals of our hometown when we were growing up. Lots to see and do, tons of greasy food to sample and rides. The Man decided to try the clam fritters and even thinking of them makes him sick to his stomach to this day. Needless to say, they were NOT a hit! However, the caramel corn made in the kettles were a hit with all of us! YUM! I wish I had taken my camera with me that night, but I left it in my beach bag. We saw some wild horses in a pen, finally!

Friday, our last full day, The Man and Ed golfed again and Patty and I packed a cooler and headed for the beach. We stopped at the Sea Shell Cafe to get a couple of sandwiches to go and then headed to Assateague. The sun was shining, but the breeze was blowing and the weather was just perfect beach weather! We had our sandwiches, read our books, did a bit of people watching, chatted a bit and just overall enjoyed one another's company.

On the way to the beach, I finally saw a wild horse!

And if you look really close, you can see another herd in the distance...don't strain your eyes...

When we got back to the house, we got cleaned up and met the guys for a drink, then headed to the Village for dinner. Oh mama! I had broiled scallops (again) and they were divine....not to mention the drawn butter that came with them. ;) After dinner, we headed over to A.J.'s on the Creek for a drink and to hear a band play. The guys played John Prine, country, and just about anything that you request (except for our request which was The Perfect Country and Western Song by David Alan Coe, but we still enjoyed ourselves.) :)

Saturday came way too soon, but it was time to go. The Man looked up the distance to my sister's house (we thought it would only be 6 hours...ha ha ha). It would take us between 9 and 10 hours to get there. :( I'll blog about that visit next.

I'm going to leave you with a picture of Gypsy, the kitten Pat and Ed rescued when she was a newborn. She's now a thriving 9 week old kitty, who is full of piss and vinegar...

And one of Molly the happy wanderer, who got to take long walks with The Man, then decided to run away the morning we were leaving as her way of saying that she wanted us to stay...Luckily, Ed caught her quite quickly! She's a mess!

After visiting the island, I can see why they love it so much. And as the Terminator says...I'll be back!