chincoteague vol. 8

8:03 AM

The bridge that takes you from the mainland to Chincoteague Island has always given way to reflections on the passage of time. It's approximately a fifteen minute drive and having Michael Buble serenade us has become somewhat of a tradition over the years. From the first sighting of water I can't help but remember my first visit here... Just a sophomore in college, completely love-sick over a boy I though I'd never have and putting on a brave face for my family while crying inside. Buble's "You Don't Know Me" can still bring back those lovelorn feelings in an instant. 
And then my mind goes back to the first trip with that boy; the way I had more fun than I thought humanly possible. We were so young and disgustingly in love - holding hands non-stop, kissing every chance we got. I remember the night we drove to the end of the island and made out for hours with nothing but blackness and a few starts out in front of us. And then of course the subsequent years when we began to create our own traditions on the trip. Like going to the huge gas station on the mainland at two in the morning and splitting a giant bag of Utz chips while we wasted $20 on lottery tickets. Or mini golfing, me always losing to papa bear (what hope could there be when he's played his entire life??). Or life talks in the jacuzzi late into the night and daring each other to run outside onto the snowy boardwalk. 
We didn't go last year, the year I was pregnant, so the contrast of being in Chincoteague with a baby was even more sharp. In ways I feel like this island has been like a signpost on my road to adulthood. It has marked periods - beginnings and endings. The last signpost I had here was as a married couple and here we were now with a baby. And the funny thing was that just like the first time I brought papa bear along with us and it changed the whole experience, so did Birdie's presence - it made everything drastically more fun. At Maria's she was our silly spaghetti monster covered in tomato sauce. At the pool she splashed and laughed to her heart's content and we all took turns getting splashed. There's pretty much nothing this girl doesn't love and she injected the trip with her signature sense of joy. She loved the bike ride and the ocean and the ice cream at the Island Creamery. She loved the ducks and the sea gulls and the broiled flounder at Bill's. 
As we crossed the Bay Bridge and found ourselves back in Maryland I found myself already thinking about next time and thinking about the way that this trip will be a signpost on our still new journey as parents. This tiny little island holds so many special memories for me and I can't wait to go back!

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