beach camping checklist + #ponyfiesta

Chesapeake Bay BridgeThis weekend I went camping on Assateague Island with friends. After a traumatic experience last year sleeping on Copacabana beach in Rio, I was a bit surprised to have an even more epic beach camping experience off the coast of Maryland. Or is it Virginia? Still learning my East Coast geography.

Berlin, MD It took only a few hours to drive outside DC, over the Bay Bridge (not the SF Bay Bridge), across Delaware, through the coolest small town in the US, and into Assateague, which is technically in Maryland and only allows Maryland firewood. Pony on Assateague Island, Maryland We arrived late in the afternoon on Friday, knowing it was supposed to rain. Upon entering the park, we spotted our first pony. It was pretty epic, so epic a park ranger pulled us over because our excitement at seeing a wild animal caused our vehicle to swerve to the wrong side of the road, apparently a $150 offense on Assateague Island. We pitched our tents just in time for the water to start falling from the sky. After a beer under a tarp under the ridiculous rainfall, we decided to leave our tents and wait out the rain in Berlin. The Hot Buttered Nuggets at The Globe Theater The only place open past 9pm was the Globe Theater. We ran in (I did not even have a rain coat) and asked the hostess for a table. She asked if we wanted to be seated near the music and we said yes. Best decision ever. The band was the Hot Buttered Nuggets, which featured a washboard bassist, a mouthy drummer and a lead singer that sang no less than two songs from the Jungle Book and sounded a bit like Elvis. Quite possibly the best live music I've seen in a while. We sat in a room which had a large portrait of Lauren Bacall on the wall. I was in heaven. Campsite before the second storm. Eventually we had to face reality, which was returning to our campsite and sleeping in our tents during a full fledged storm. Luckily, my friend's tent was built by astronauts and withstood extreme wind and heavy rain, keeping us dry throughout the night. I periodically woke up thinking a pony was nudging me, only to realize the wind was still at full force. It was not until the morning that we had another pony visit us.

Pony mornings. And this pony wanted to eat our breakfast.

Beachside. The rest of the weekend was filled with sun, beach time, sand dunes, s'mores, a half-played Catan game, another night of stormy weather, two mosquito bites, ponies, deer, a not-yet-open canoe stand, extremely large ice cream cones and a dip into Annapolis.

Sand dune hike. Best tree ever. Bayside. Ice cream on the way home at Vander Wende Farm Creamery Flowers in Annapolis. Drive to Assateague Did I mention there were wild ponies?? #ponyfiesta4life

Going beach camping? Here's our beach camping checklist! To use, just open, click 'file>make a copy' and then edit and share with your friends. Have each person sign up for things so you don't all bring the same stuff. Check out our #ponyfiesta flickr album for more pony pics.

Happy Camping!

Have you gone beach camping? Where? How was it? What would you add to the list?