Exploring Virginia

Our Weekend At Chincoteague Island

Hey everyone! I haven’t done a video in a really long time, but I’ve been encouraged to make a return.┬áIt’s not that I”m uncomfortable on camera… doing Periscopes got me past that. I just know that I make very odd faces when I talk. (See the adorable face below)

And sometimes the Internet gets a little trolly, and they like to tell me that I make weird faces. Or that my teeth aren’t perfect. But you know what? Those faces are so me. I’m a weirdo. I have a bizarre sense of humor. So if someone doesn’t like it, they can go somewhere else. I ain’t skurred of my block button. #byeFelicia

So this particular vlog is about our adventure last week. When I was 8-10 years old, I read a book called Misty of Chincoteague. Marguerite Henry wrote many books about the wild ponies, but this was the one that started it all. I fell in love with horses, and devoured any book I could find. Books about riding horses, wild horses, horse competitions, girls with horses, families with horses. I learned how to draw horses, and repeatedly checked out a instructional library book from a local artist who specialized in horse art.

Years later came Hidalgo. Another story of wild horses, that re-sparked my initial adoration. And I’m not alone in my love. My sisters also fell in love with them, and I’m proud to say that one of my sisters volunteers at a therapeutic riding center.

So, back to Chincoteague. I’ve wanted to see the ponies of Chincoteague since the very first time I read that book. And last weekend, we finally made it there. But it didn’t quite go as planned. But you’ll have to watch the video to see why. (I know. I’m a party pooper. Or evil mastermind. To-may-toe/to-mah-toe)

Exploring Virginia: The Journey Begins

Today is Thursday. Hoy es jueves.

2 weeks ago, today, we were scrambling to say goodbyes to everyone around us. We drove out to my Mom’s house and said bye to her, and 6 of my siblings, including one who’d driven down from Oklahoma so she could wish me bon voyage, and so I could meet her son. My nephew. My big nephew who giggles at the world around him.

My grandfather came over and saw us off. My Grandpa Joe. Yep. I have a Grandpa Joe, just like Charlie Bucket. But mine plays guitar, and has hosted radio programs, and served in the military.

My Mom called my Dad so he could say goodbye too. He works as a funeral director, and on that day he was super-crazy-busy with funereal responsibilities. But he had a pocket of time in there, that he was able to come see us.

After that, we were supposed to go hang out at my sister’s apartment, but her husband was working late, so we went back to our house to finish packing the SUV, and cleaning the house.

We worked, and worked, and worked. Another “plan” we had, was for our 2 year old to go to sleep. Buuuuut nope. When my brother-in-law got off work, he picked up my sister and they came over to chat with us for a bit, and then they told us goodbye and headed out for a quiet dinner.

Not a great pic, but ehhh watch gonna do?

I have 5 sisters, but she’s the one I’ve talked to the most since I left my parents house, especially once we moved back to Texas. She lived in the town right next to me, and we’d bring surprise coffees over to her, and she and her husband would drop things by our place.

It took us so long to get everything cleaned & packed, that it wasn’t even worth going to bed. Phillip had drank lots of coffee and was raring to go, the kids were still awake (except for the 2 year old who had finally crashed, and I just don’t sleep right before a trip.

So off we went. Around 11pm, we loaded everyone into our cram-packed SUV, and we hit the road. Phillip tried to get me to sleep on the drive, but I’m a nervous passenger. Things feel different when you’re half asleep, or maybe it’s just me.

But I started drifting in and out… I call it twilight sleep. You’re not really asleep, but not really awake either. By all appearances you’re sleeping, but you know what’s going on around you. And just before Texarkana, I opened up my eyes and I knew that Phillip’s coffee was wearing off. So we stopped for the night.

In the morning we ate at Cracker Barrel (a road trip tradition of ours), and we hit the road again. When we drive, we have 2 rules. One is a general “usually applies” rule. The other one is pretty hard and fast.

Raymond enjoys pancakes

1. (The general one) Every stop is a fuel stop.

Meaning, most of the time, if we stop for any reason we also get gas.

2. (The hard and fast one) If one pees, we all pee.

Okay, I know this sounds like we’re entering Monica Gellar-Bing territory, but bear with me. When you have 6 kids, if you just stop whenever one needs to go, you’ll be stopping all day. And there’s actually more to this than just going to a rest stop. If we stop, we change anyone who’s in diapers (don’t worry that doesn’t include Phillip), and I feed the baby (also not Phillip).

These 2 rules saved our butt, From Texas to Virginia is an 18 hour trip, not counting any stops. We left 11ish at night on Thursday, and arrived Saturday night.

Us leaving Thursday night meant we had a little more leeway to stop and see the world around us. We detoured briefly in Memphis… at first on purpose, then by mistake.

Memphis Queen Riverboat
One of the cool things we passed in Memphis

We pushed our dinner to later in the evening so we could have gyros in Nashville*. And we stopped to gaze over a mountain view just an hour away from our new home.

Purple Mountain's Majesty

So here we are. In our new home state of Virginia. And the adventure’s not over. Now we’re going through the process of buying a house. But more about that next week.

*By the way, King Solomon’s Gyros in Nashville, Tennessee were absolutely delicious. So tender, and oh my goodness, they absolutely stuff their pitas. Phillip also vouches for the falafel. He said the spice was on point, and that there are few things that can make him enjoy a meatless meal, and falafel succeeded.