Thursday, June 30, 2011

Family time!

So we enjoyed the views, we splashed around on the boats, we gathered seafood, we ate seafood, but the best part of our Chincoteague adventures was the quality time we spent with family.  Lately it seems most of our family time takes place during a brief dinner party, and we of course have fun, but it's not the same as spending three full days hanging out, playing, swimming, talking, and laughing! Boy did we laugh! 


I for one loved the time I got to spend with my nephews.  I loved swimming late at night (and after the pool had closed, such a responsible adult huh?) with Sam and Dave and hearing them tell me about their schools and summer plans and our mutual love for Justin Bieber.  I loved watching Kurt read "Little Toot" to Adam.  I loved talking about football and girls with Drew.  Most of all I loved hearing Adam ask for his cousins by name after we had gotten home. 

It was also great getting to spend time talking with Amy and Bebe about clothes and parenting and laughing at the fact that we had all happened to have brought our scarves from the trip they all took to visit Heidi in Spain. 

Uncle John loved peppering Adam with questions about his girlfriend, whom we found out is this girl from his class named Jackie.  Andy promptly gave Adam a high-five.

Mark loved using his boat from dawn 'til dusk, taking the boys fishing and tubing.  Drew wishes he had fished more, I'm wishing they had caught more! (I kid...kind of) ;)

Ommy and Poppy loved re-living those memories of vacationing at Chincoteague.  I'm certain it brought them a lot of joy knowing the next generation was experiencing such a wonderful place. 

And Andy, well I think Andy just loved that he organized it all. :)

Living off the sea...

Chincoteague is a seafood lovers paradise!  Aside from some side dishes and a few grilled meats we basically lived off seafood that we caught with our own two (or rather 26) hands. 

It was of course a team effort.  Adam and I cheered on the family as they hunted oysters and mussels.  After about a 30 minute hunt we had more oysters than we could eat (literally, we threw some back) and enough mussels too cook up in yummy olive oil, butter and garlic for our pasta dinner.  So fresh, so amazingly delicious, so FREE! ;)

We also appear to have quite the crab fishermen/women in the family.  Ommy was the captain, cheering on the crew and providing direction when necessary.  Drew was the ring leader, keeping an eye on those chicken necks and strings for at least six hours.  Andy mostly just scared the crabs away, oops.  I did my part by helping to pick the 2+ dozen crabs that were collected throughout the day (which made for a fun night of wine drinking and conversation).  Amy made the fantastic crab cakes.  I fresh, so amazingly delicious, so FREE! ;)

What a tasty little island!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Whaler Town...

Would probably have been a fitting name for Chincoteague as it was full of Boston Whalers.  I suppose Whaler owners do love getting their boats back into salt water and being such a friendly and tight knit group, boating on such a small-town beachy island seems rather fitting. 

At our hotel alone we had three Whalers tied up at the dock.  Of course, two of them belonged to our group, but still.  We counted plenty more out in the water and at neighboring docks as well.  Perhaps that's part of the reason why Andy loves this place so much.  And there truly is something different about Whaler owners, always kind and courteous and they never forget to wave (which is certainly not the case with some of the other boaters out there, I mean seriously, how can you refuse to wave back to an adorable toddler waving his hand in the air saying "hi boat"???)   But I digress...

One of the great perks of this hotel we stayed at was the fact that our boats were sitting right there just waiting to be used.  We could go out for a quick 15 minute splash without feeling like we need to stay out longer to make the effort worthwhile, because really there was no effort!  We took early morning boat rides and sunset boat rides.  We even saw at least seven dolphins swimming right around our boat one evening, it was quite a sight to see. 

We spent the better part of Sunday out on the boats and while Adam and I stayed back at the hotel so he could nap, the rest of the family headed out to find the perfect spot to spend the day...and did they ever!  Andy came back after Adam's nap to gather us up and he took us to this amazing sandbar that they had found.  It was the perfect spot to "beach" the boats, play in the sand and do some swimming.  Adam was loving it, though I'm sure he was totally confused by the fact that the beach had two sides to it. 

Adam and Wally became quite close over the course of this long weekend and now instead of just asking to go out on the boat he instead says, "Go Wally Boat?"  It's too cute and lucky for Wally we can't resist that sweet little request!

*In fact even in this picture I believe Adam is pointing to Wally. He truly is his father's son! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chincoteague Island

We spent this past weekend (a long one too, we took Friday and Monday off of work) vacationing on Chincoteague Island.  Andy and his family spent lots of time there when he was growing up, so we figured we better introduce Adam (and me, I'd never been!) to the island. 

Andy took his folks there two years ago (remember this) and they loved the hotel he found so it seemed fitting that we should head back to that same spot, AND, since we planned pretty far in advance we made sure to send invitations along to the rest of the family AND we lucked out with almost the whole family being able to come along! (We missed you Heidi & Co.)

We had such an awesome time and I am now one of Chincoteague's biggest fans!  It is this adorable (yes, that is the fitting word for it) beach town that you'd expect to see in a movie.  There are these gorgeous Victorian homes (a lot of which have been turned into B&B's) and American flags hanging from all of the lamp posts.  There are fun restaurants (we ate at Don's Seafood and Adam kept asking for "Don" and "Mae Mae" ha!) boutiques, and views of the water pretty much everywhere you turned. 
This picture is for Erica--I couldn't get over these flowers!

We spent Saturday morning driving around the National Park at Assateague Island and couldn't get over the views.  The beach was quiet aside from a few early morning fishermen and the wildlife was just waking up. 

In the evenings we were spoiled with amazing sunsets as our hotel overlooked the bay.  I couldn't get over the cotton candy sky the sunset left behind. 

Add to the setting the fact that we had so much of the family together spending really good quality time with one another and you can definitely put this past weekend in the books as memorable, fun, and worth repeating next year!
(stay tuned for more!)