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Expository Essay Example

Updated: Feb 19, 2016
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The Chesapeake Bay: A Place to Escape



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A long, long time ago, a large meteorite struck the earth near to what today is Washington, DC, resulting in a vast split of land. Now it has become the Chesapeake Bay, a large inlet of the North Atlantic Ocean on the US coast that extends 200 miles (320 km) through the states of Virginia and Maryland. And it is one of the most beautiful and splendid places to spend even a few moments of one’s time. The part of the bay that runs between mainland Virginia and its accompanying Eastern Shore of Virginia, which is a vast peninsula lying to the east, is much like the ocean – only without powerful waves. It is after all a bay. However, it is made up of saltwater; and because people can’t usually see to the other side, its vastness resembles that of an ocean. But it is not an ocean.



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The Eastern Shore is a sort of paradise, a remote cut away from the everyday, touristy areas filled with people. It’s very remote. It’s charming, lovely and kind of Utopian in some ways. Compared to medium-size cities like Richmond, Virginia, the Eastern Shore is a world way, but only a three-hour trip. I first experienced the peninsula about 10 years ago as a youth, with family during summer vacation. We arrived after driving for almost an hour on a massive bridge that connects the inland state to the peninsula. Life slowed down, got better and sweeter, and it started to make sense why our family had driven this far to see the Bay (when Virginia Beach was actually closer to our home). The western side of the peninsula overlooks the Chesapeake Bay, while the eastern part looks out to the Atlantic Ocean.


Over the years I’ve come to see the Eastern Shore as a sort of home away from home, a place to escape from the busyness and harshness of city life. It harkens to a much simpler time, more resembling a number of connected, small European fishing village than anything. It’s a place where people not only travel to, to get away from the city, but one where people live year round and make a living through trades considered almost obsolete. There are towns where people making a living by farming, fishing and harvesting oysters. Their parents did it, as will their children. It’s a way of American life that seems antiquated, almost mythical. But it’s a beautiful place. I’ve seen some of the most magical sunsets from the Eastern Shore, looking due west as a vibrant sun leaves rippling strokes of orange and red on the water before sinking slowly beneath the horizon.


Though I’ve never stayed there for more than few days at a time, I feel I could live there and find happiness. Actually, I know I could. I fell in love with the place the very first time I saw the green trees and sandy beaches from atop the massive bridge. Its remoteness I find the most intriguing, as well as its pristine state. Sometimes, when life gets too busy, too hard and too franticly stressful, it pays to head somewhere like the Eastern Shore for solitude and peace. Mornings there are often the best. When I go, I stay at the beach house of a family friend. It’s a three-story house built less than a hundred feet away from the bay. It’s no longer in the best state, the house, or as beautifully well kept as it had been in the past, but it is a truly amazing place to see, stay and live – even if for just a few days at a time. Anyway, mornings on the bay are the best. Starting off with a cup of coffee on the shady wooden deck overlooking the white sandy beach below, then a tasty breakfast inside, these mornings – relaxed and slow and perfect – are sometimes all that a busy city slicker needs sometimes: tranquility and a much-needed change of pace.


All in all, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is quite a magical paradise. People there are fewer in population than just about anywhere on the mainland part of the state. They are kinder, seemingly happier and get spoiled by the area’s simple and abundant beauty. It is truly a place to escape – and it’s one of favorite places in the world to escape to. There, you put away all of your worries, soak up some good sun, and you begin to path of coming back to yourself and what is good and true in the world. It is place not too visited, though, which is quite a challenge to understand. How could a place like this not a top world destination? However, it is place everyone – just about everyone – would love if people would only spend just a day or two there visiting. It’s that special – and it may not be there forever. This peninsula and some of the nearby islands are quickly eroding. But there is still time to see it. So many Virginians head to the small and crowded Virginia Beach for an ocean getaway or a day trip. Few Americans even know about the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and little about the Chesapeake Bay, a sure wonder of the East Coast. Perhaps the huge bridge’s expensive toll –$12 both ways, taking drivers from Virginia Beach to the peninsula – keeps many drivers from taking the trip in the first place.


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