This year our "big" family vacation was a mere two days in Ocean City, MD. My sister Amber had to remind me that they can't all be month-long road trips to Sacramento and back. Even though our vacation was a quick one, we still managed to have a blast!
We loaded up the car last Wednesday morning and drove to Ocean City. The biggest highlight of the drive over was Michael's eagle-eye spotting of a Sonic on the way. Cherry Lime-aids for all! What could be better than that, dear friend?
Once we got to OC, we went to our hotel, grabbed a key to the bathroom and changed into our swimsuits. We were a little too early to get our room key, but we didn't mind because our plan was to head to the beach anyway.
Before we went, Maia had told us that she was nervous about the waves. You see, none of my children had ever been swimming in the actual ocean before. Pathetic, I know! We've been to the bay lots of times, but never the actual ocean. Anyway, leave it to Maia to get all worked up about the thrill factor of something new. She wasn't sure if she wanted to give the ocean an try.
Thankfully, she decided to give riding the waves a whirl and....loved it! Seriously, the waves were actually quite rough and the life guards weren't letting people out very far at all, but Maia was fearless. (Michael even made a comment about a certain someone lacking "good sense" as she fearlessly threw herself into strong wave after strong wave.) She fell in love with boogie boarding and quickly caught on to timing the waves so that she rode them all the way in to the sand each time. We couldn't get her out of the water! That's my Maia, get her in the water and she shines.
Mason also tried his hand at boogie boarding. He couldn't get the timing quite as well as Maia, but he still had a grand time. He also enjoyed making "sandballs" (instead of snowballs) and digging to China in the sand. Maybe he wanted to get to the Olympics?!
The rough waves were quite violent to our little girls (and to my favorite sunglasses, for that matter, which were lost at sea while I boogie boarded with Maia...). Mackenna never quite felt secure enough to enjoy the ocean and preferred to spend her time making me countless sand "pies" which I pretended to consume with abandon. Teensy tried on and off to enjoy the ocean waves and by the second day learned to enjoy the beach most by staying either in her daddy's arms or in the mostly shallow waters. She even boogie boarded backwards, refusing to turn her back on those treacherous waves for even a moment.
After several hours on the beach, we walked the half block back to our hotel and officially checked in. Everyone bathed and attempted to de-sand. I was the last to get in the shower and by the time I got out, sweet Kenna had fallen asleep sitting up on the couch! I guess missing a nap and being in the sun for four hours had really drained the poor child.
We went to Phillips for dinner where we ordered the calamari with sweet chile sauce as an appetizer. We had all the kids try it and then waited until each one had said how delicious it was before we told them what it was! It was awesome! Mason kept right on digging in, but Teensy and Maia weren't quite as enthusiastic about second helpings. I had a delicious crab cake and filet mignon (don't judge me, my vacation was only one night and I was going to make it count!).
After dinner, we returned to our hotel where everyone got ready for bed. I was the first one asleep! I guess a missed nap and four hours in the sun had taken its toll on me, as well.
Thursday morning, we got up and ate breakfast in our room before heading out to the boardwalk. We ended up renting a bicycle built for six, otherwise known as a surrey with a fringe on the top! It was so fun to ride together up and down the boardwalk and look at the beautiful waves and interesting people.
The rest of Thursday morning was spent checking out of our hotel and then playing at the beach. After lunch, we hopped in the car and drove over to Assateague Island. Neither Michael nor I had ever been there and we thought it would be a hit for the whole family to see those infamous wild horses. We were right! The kids were fascinated with the horses that just roam the island and don't pay any attention to all the humans oggling them.
Of course, we had to test the beach on Assateague, too. It was all about the wildlife. Michael scooped the shell of a horseshoe crab out of a wave and had all sorts of people ooh-ing and ah-ing over it. I showed the kids how to watch after a wave hit the shore and see the little tiny creatures in shells (like little clams, but I don't know what they are, exactly) dig their way back into the sand. The kids were mesmerized by this activity and would scoop those little creatures up time after time after time. Michael joined in and scooped up a bigger creature. We don't know what it is either, but again, the kids really liked looking at it. They just loved seeing all these different creatures!
After spending a couple of hours at the beach, we attempted to rinse the sand off ourselves in the shower (that stuff just sticks like glue, doesn't it? I had forgotten my baby powder...) and changed into clean clothes before heading home. It was a quick little trip but very memorable. Mason told me on Wednesday, "This is the best day of my whole life!" and I think he meant it. Just two days ago, he was filling out a questionnaire for school and listed Ocean City as his "favorite place." Vacation successful!