Friday, November 21, 2008

A friday morning in Chincoteague

Well progress has been slow or negative lately, so I had big plans to start my morning off in some sort of spectacular, not the usual routine, kind of way. What better way to make a morning spectacular than with some sort of specialty coffee beverage. So far I have been unsuccessful in finding such a thing on Chincoteague, but was I going to let that stop me? No way!

Every day I drive past this place labeled 'Cafe' and I have heard they have one of the best breakfasts on the island. So I leave my apartment, wearing a shirt I magically found that I didn't know I even packed (increasing spectacular level of my morning, obviously), and stop at Cafe. I walk in. It is a room with a bunch of tables and an old couple sitting in the corner. Now what? I wanted to quickly depart and act like it never happened. Surely gas station coffee will be better than whatever encounter I'm about to have? Too late. The door rang this annoyingly loud bell, and now a woman was coming out. "Hi I'm actually just looking for a cup of coffee to go. You don't have any flavored or special coffee by chance do you?" The lady smiled at me, but I still saw a hint of the who-does-this-girl-think-she-is look. "We just have regular coffee hun." "Okay whatever you have would be great," I respond while thinking, I should probably stop at the gas station too. So she brings me some coffee, and little creamers, and she is very nice to me. I walk out, not totally defeated, but at least a little disappointed.

I continue my drive to Wallops, without doctoring the coffee first, wondering if it is even worth it. When. All of a sudden. I realize that the bridge is opening or something and I can't even get off the island! This has happened before. It is about a five to ten minute delay. No big deal. And I'd still have time to spare to stop at the gas station! So as I'm waiting (inconveniently located behind a huge dump truck so I can't even see what is going on), I decide to doctor up and drink the coffee. And I sit there. And drink my coffee. And sit there. And we are well beyond the ten minute point. And the guy in the car behind me is on his second cigarette. And we are just sitting. And people are out of their cars walking around! And still just sitting. I finish my coffee. Finally we are free and can leave Chincoteague. Unfortunately there was no longer time to stop for some sort of specialty coffee. Perhaps I will try again tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

killer pony

Last night a killer chincoteague pony charged me! I was minding my own business, walking to my car in the parking lot, when, out of nowhere, I hear this trotting noise. The noise gets louder, I walk more slowly, and in a moment of complete shock the pony (don't be fooled this thing was huge) comes running down the sidewalk. Running down the sidewalk? YES! So there I am, walking to my car and a pony is running down the sidewalk (I don't think the shock has gone away yet). I think to myself, okay well this is Chincoteague and they are pretty into their wild ponies so lets just not worry about it. And that was when the pony changed his course and turned right into my parking lot. Toward me! Now I can start to panic. So luckily there was some vehicle next to me, and I immediately turn around (I never know which kind of wild beasts you are supposed to turn away from and which you should never turn away from), and walk quite quickly to the opposite side of the car. The whole time this pony is running closer and closer to me, and while I wouldn't normally be afraid of a pony, I was shaking in my boots, because I'm pretty sure I haven't said this yet, but this guy was huge, and wild, and running toward me, which all adds up to a pretty unpredictable wild, killer chincoteague pony. So luckily he did not follow me to the opposite side of my safety car because I probably would have peed my pants. I made a break for it and ran to my car. Moments later two police cars come driving into the parking lot and pretty much corner the pony at the far end, giving me even more reason to be worried about an encounter with this pony, because he was clearly being pushed around by those police officers/cars. At this point I drove away, never to know what came of that pony, but really, I think that is fine by me. Who would have thought I'd have such crazy adventures in Chincoteague!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Killer Ponies!

I had a lovely weekend on Chincoteague. On friday night I managed to go to sleep at 9pm. I was in a room in the main house because Jim and Jean had already rented the apartment before I asked them for it. It worked out really nicely though, and I had my own area which was good. They really are amazing people, and it was nice to be around some others for the weekend. They cooked dinner for me friday night, delicious pasta and shrimp. I also got to have dinner with them on saturday, which was wildly delicious, including some magical chocolate cake, which I will try to duplicate sometime.

Saturday morning the weather was quite nice, so I went for a run. A 2.7 mile run actually. Which is my new longest ever, actually. When I got back I took a bath in this cool old fashioned bathtub, which was also quite nice. The rest of the day it rained, so I was glad I got out when I did. On the plus side, the rainy dreary weather made it the perfect day to watch a lot of gilmore girls and also get some reading done.

Sunday was a beautiful day. I got up at a reasonable hour and did some birding with Jim and Jean. They get quite an assortment of shore-type birds right in their backyard (not really surprising). I saw no less than a cormorant, a bald eagle, two varieties of egrets, and a kingfisher. What can I say, a girl loves to make her mother proud. Then I went to church with the locals. In the afternoon I borrowed a sweet bike from Jim and Jean and rode out to the refuge. I finally hunted down those elusive wild ponies I've been hearing so much about. It was a shining moment for me and the blue beach cruiser. Unfortunately I have no pictures, because I did not bring my camera, because I'm a free spirit like that. I'll try to take some pictures next weekend.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dove Messages

Send a love letter this week.
Don't think about it so much.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Don't think about it so much.
Naughty can be nice.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Send a love letter this week.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Go against the grain.
Sometimes one smile means more than a dozen roses.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Make "someday" today.
Lose yourself in a moment.
Don't think about it so much.
Go against the grain.
Send a love letter this week.
Love without rules.
Love without rules.
Engage, embrace, enjoy.
Bring your life to life: stop planning, start doing.
Think of someone who makes you smile.
Be spontaneous.
Start a good habit today.

Inventing ways to occupy my time

Day 3 has arrived and still the NASA guys are not ready for me. I think we are getting very close. Various mustached men keep telling me that progress is being made, or that I will get to do something soon. Both are very encouraging. It is also encouraging to see that people are actually working in our bay today.

Yesterday after work I just went home to cook in my Paradise. Jim called me and invited me over, so I went to the main house and finally got to meet Jean. They are both really lovely people. The first thing Jean said to me was that I really looked like a Meghan, and I appreciated that. We had a glass of wine and talked about an assortment of things which did not include politics, which I also appreciated.

I was also warned of a possible 'nor-easter' which basically involves the water rising up to tire level. I asked if that meant the tops of the tires or the bottoms and they said bottoms, so that is good. Plus the house is on stilts, so I don't think I have anything to worry about.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Paradise for Two

So I thought it would be a good idea to invent a blog to keep track of my month long work trip in Virginia. Then I realized I already had a blog, which makes things so much easier.

Yesterday I left the barn promptly at 7:30 am, which was no easy task, since I did manage to get to the halloween party and I also managed to have a pretty good time and probably stay up too late. I had to stop by Hanover for my fish and coffee, and then I was off. The drive was long and uneventful. I have this sweet rental car. It's an Impala. It has leather seats, seat heaters, xm radio, and a huge trunk, which is much needed for all of the stuff I have with me.

I have with me:
13 boxes of lab/research stuff
2 suitcases
1 backpack
~4 bags of other stuff
6 seasons of Gilmore Girls
8 books
my fish
1 sewing machine
and a slackline.

The trip was nicely uneventful. Once I thought I was going in completely the wrong direction, but it turned out that I wasn't, which is good because I wouldn't have had the opportunity to fix it for about 20 miles. I drove over two huge bridges. The first one had signs posted saying something to the effect of:
Life is worth living
and then there was a phone number to call if you were struggling with life. It made me really sad to realize there was a purpose for them being placed where they were.

Anyhow. I arrived at my Paradise for Two earlier than I had expected. I got here right around 6pm. The place I am staying is this little apartment flat which is connected to the house of Jim and Jean, who are lovely people. I've only actually met Jim so far, but I had been emailing back and forth with both of them before I arrived. The place is really great, even though I am here alone and it was advertised as "Paradise for Two" (but at least I've got my fish with me). I have my own little deck that looks out over the water even.

I took this picture this morning after getting 11 hours of sleep last night.

And here I am, in the afternoon of day 2. This morning I went to church with the locals and then did a little grocery shopping. Jim gave me some coffee beans yesterday so I could make coffee this morning and everything! I got back and went for a 2.5 mile run which was my longest ever with no walking. I feel pretty good about that.

Also, I did not find any Pirate Booty in the grocery store. I really want to buy some of this stuff, so if anyone knows where I can find it let me know. I might just be looking in the wrong section of the Food Lion.