Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lesson 426: Seas the Day

Readers are receiving the Lamp Post Saturday Night Special tonight,
because Eloise just rolled in like the surf,
beach hair and all.

My family and I spent a little time at the Ocean City, Maryland Boardwalk this past week.

It was a memory filled week.

Vacation planning is truly that--planning.  Success lies in the prep work.  After weeks of reading travel blogs and list making, there were moments when I doubted if all of the work was worth it.  In fact, we picked up a Pittsburgh radio station when we were on the PA Turnpike.  The morning DJ's jawed about beach-goers and the traffic we would create.  The male DJ chimed in and said, "I'm heading to Erie.  They have great free beaches there, there's none of the Atlantic coast traffic, and everything is cheap!" 

 As the distance grew between my hometown city and our (new) van, I second guessed the need for the trip.  Why leave when you have everything you ever wanted right in arm's reach? I mused.

 Experiences! the voice in my head reminded me.  Your children need experiences!

I was reminded of this importance when we we stopped at a McDonald's outside
of Frederick, MD.

Sam had ordered a soft drink and wondered aloud,
"Man!  They sure do have small straws in Maryland!"

He was drinking his Coke out of a coffee stir.
Onward we pressed.

The Gods of Map Quest deemed the trip 8 hours.
It took us about 10, 
not due to traffic delays, 
but for frequent short stops.
For us, it makes the drive much more enjoyable with
completely empty bladders 
as well as an anticipation of what license plates we will find at the next travel plaza.

We arrived in one piece,
on a sunny Monday afternoon,
right on the nose of the 4:00 check in.

The next day was not so sunny.
The Erie weather followed us, and the first part of the day was 70 degrees,
with wind and rain.

It's always good to have a contingency plan for a rain day,
and I had to play our Bad Weather card early in the trip.

We drove the 25 minutes to nearby Assateague Island to see the wild horses.

We also went to the Buxy's Salty Dog Tavern,
a bar owned by a Pittsburgh-er.
Excellent food, if you ever get the chance to go.
Eloise and family highly recommend it.

I need Buxy's sign for my kitchen!

By the afternoon, the skies began to clear,

But the beaches remained empty.
The guards were bundled in blankets,
guarding the coast from their lonely posts.

Glad my trio were the nearly the only ones on the beach!
They got lots of attention.

Cold water and cloudy skies don't phase Erieites.
That's our normal!

By Wednesday,
the clouds parted wide for the hot sun to come out.
Ellen Louise made sure her bikini top matched the beach umbrella.
For future beach-goers--don't leave home without one.
Grandma found us one at Big Lots for $24.
I highly recommend getting the auger to drill the hole
and help hold the pole for an additional $6.

The fatigue for hubby and I really set in on the second day.
Hubby was  out of the perfectly packed cooler of healthy snacks.

"Wow!  That's a first!" said Hubby.
"I've never bitten into a cherry without a pit!"

We all agreed that it was surely a rare, natural oops.
A minute later.....

"Holy cow!  I just got another one!
What the heck kind of cherries are these?" exclaimed Hubby.

We rolled from our warm, sandy nests,
sat up and squinted into the bright sunlight to examine the fruit.

"Dad!" sighed daughter Ellen Louise,
"you are eating grapes."

We put Louie down for a long-overdue nap, 

and the girls and I manned Sam in the waves.
Shark sightings made national headlines just a few days prior.

We spent the remainder of the week Seasing the Days--
playing next to the Atlantic,
on the clean,
family friendly beaches

being amused at the amusements,

fishing off of the pier,

shopping the Boardwalk,

and eating fabulous food!

The family even willingly got up at 5:30 am 
for a chance to see the sunrise over the ocean.

We rented a 6 person bike for a sunrise ride,
(just $15)
and agreed mornings at the ocean were the best part of the day.

We really enjoyed guessing the accents of each clerk and server.
Most are Eastern European, 
here on college programs that allow for work/travel visas during the summer months.
These flags represent the summer help at The Kite Loft,
one of our favorite stores.
We had waitresses from Ireland,
and Russia.

I was glad I left my four-toed footprint in Ocean City's sands.


Any LOST fan knows the importance of a four toed foot!

I not only sized up my body against all the bikini-clad women,
but also my feet.
I knew both need some work.
The quickest fix was perhaps a foot thong, 
purchased from the aforementioned Kite Loft.

A little adjustment to the packaging,
and Eloise knew the jewelry was meant for her.

The vacation came to an end,
but not before a foggy morning of breakfast on the beach

and some time with nature.

We thanked God for the beauty of His world 
and the chance to experience it.

We couldn't leave the family friendly,
clean and affordable,
Ocean City without leaving some parting gifts.
Thank you, Grandma for the great idea!

We love you, Ocean City, Maryland,

and hope to visit you again someday.

Seas the day, Readers!


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