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To the Beach!

Prepping grimly for our Official Yearly Vacation That Is Not A Working Thing.

We are going to the beach. There will be Mandatory Family Togetherness.

I have brought lots of work to get done--I want to finish the Book With The Hedgehog and do art for Anthrocon--but am hoping to see the wild ponies that apparently are the ones Marguerite Henry wrote about. (Well, their descendants, anyhow. That would make nine-year-old me very happy.)

Presumably there will be some relaxation or something, but too much of that will overload my tiny workaholic brain and they will find me shivering in a corner trying to construct a five year plan or whatever, so I hope to have brought enough work to buffer it.

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The ponies should turn up! My family went to The Place You Are Going for spring break five years in a row, and every single time there were ponies. Sometimes more, sometimes less, sometimes closer and sometimes further away, but they always, always turned up.

(once one of them got in the car's way and just sort of stared in the windshield at us for five minutes before getting bored and wandering off. To this day I'm not sure what it wanted.)

It wanted you to roll down the windows and give it a snack. Despite copious warning signs, people do feed the wild ponies and now the ponies expect people do do strange things like hand over carrots.

*squints at you*

*checks off another book on the 'we both read this growing up' list*

It felt like pretty much every girl (and many boys) read those growing up. I wanted to go there and see the ponies, too. Maybe someday I will. :)

Have you seen the movie "A Fantastic Fear of Everything" (2012) staring Simon Pegg?

It has a book with a hedgehog in it.

I think you would like this movie if you saw it.

Now available on Netflix!

Awesome birding there... earlier in the spring. But still probably a good place to find a saltmarsh and camp out for a bit.

Have fun!

I hope you have a good time. I loved those books when I was young.

We've visited there regularly over the past 10 or 12 years. Birding, yes, lots of birding. If you're staying on Chincoteague itself, I recommend the bus tour from the nature center (takes you to see herds of ponies that aren't visible from the road. It's a small bus, not a huge one.). Also, ice cream from the Island Creamery. And Sundial Books on Main Street. Have fun.

I've never been much of a beach person. Could have something to do with getting badly sunburned several times as a child at the beach. Hope you have fun, and don't forget the sunscreen. Do they make SPF 400?

The ponies are wild but not shy. They know they are protected and will act accordingly. Also they can open coolers; lock up your food in the car at night.

Nine-year-old me is jealous of you right now.

Hell, 47 year old me is jealous! :)

27 year old me chiming in!

Pretty sure I read my copy of Misty of Chincoteague to pieces. Say hi to the ponies for all our inner 9 year olds!

Missing out on visiting the islands with the ponies during any one of the annual family cross-country driving vacations was among the biggest disappointments of pre-teen-me's life, so I hope you take photos if you DO get to see the ponies, and that you share them with us, and possibly use them for more animal saints or even some taller, less wooly residents of Quiffit's world. :D

If the ponies are anything like Southwestern wild horses, be careful; the ones out here have no problem with the concept of mugging people for their lunches. I got intimidated out of most of mine by a very pregnant buckskin mare once and I swear that she sniggered at me.

Have a great time, rest as much as that is conceivably possible, and don't get carried off by gannets or curlews or whatever seabirds live on Yankee shores, okay?

25 years ago when I graduated from high school, my grandparents took me and my brother on a trip up the eastern seaboard of the United States and I *insisted* on stopping at the Place Where the Ponies Are. (I had all the books)

To my girlish delight there were whole herds of them, and as an extra special bonus, I got to meet Stormy. The real Stormy from her book. She was an old, tiny mare and her mother was stuffed in the mini museum at the front of the barn. I think as real living beings went, I had to meet an Apollo astronaut (the artistic one Alan Bean) to finally top that encounter. He was much smaller than I imagined too...

Oh my goodness you met the actual Stormy? Nine-year-old me jealousy: activated.

Beware the mosquitoes, enjoy the beach and ponies!

My inlaws just spent the past 8 months living where you are visiting. You totally want to take an afternoon and visit Dogfishhead brewing.

The Book with the Hedgehog? Where do I pre-pre-pre-order that? I'm hedgie-obsessed, and frankly, anything from you is worth the money.

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