Oh, summer vacation! Nothing like packing up your whole house, driving long hours, sometimes through crappy weather (the ride down), and miles, and miles, and miles, of traffic (the way back), to spend a week cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, breaking up fighting siblings, staying up late, and crashing in uncomfortable beds, all while paying through the nose. It’s an experience, to the say the least.
Last week, I took, what I think, was my first official summer vacation, ever. I know a lot of people covet summer time as a time to travel, and maybe if I had an unlimited budget I would feel that way, too, but I like to save my vacations for the winter, when it’s cold, and I can escape to somewhere warm. Maybe, this is because I grew up at the shore, and still live fairly close. We didn’t need to go on vacation to go to the beach, we could drive there any time we wanted, and still do.
However, this year, my in laws wanted to vacation with us (clearly, they weren’t thinking straight), so we headed to Ocean City, MD, to a place called Sunset Island, a gated community along the bay.
We left on Saturday, packed to the hilt, because when you stay at a summer rental, you need sheets, towels, paper towels, toilet paper, food, blankets (because if they aren’t providing clean sheets, than I’m guessing the blankets never get cleaned), fans (because we’re weird), boogie boards, scooters, our whole house (and Little Lady’s hat, just in case she got asked for tea)…you get the picture. We hit some pretty good rain on the way down. After a long ride, we made a quick stop at the condo to drop our bags and headed to the pool. We we’re greeted with this. I really liked the community we stayed in, it was small enough to be walkable, gated and out of the way, so the kids could scoot around with no worries, close to the beach, and we could easily walk to where my inlaws were staying. There was a pool, clubhouse, with workout facility, and a little restaurant overlooking the bay, where we ate, one night, as a guitar player entertained the crowd. Why does Second Son look so pained when he smiles?In the center of the community, were fountains, that were a huge hit with not only my kids, but all the kids, that we stopped at frequently. And there was a general store, across the way, where Little Lady and I snuck some time to enjoy a mid-afternoon treat.Most nights we spent with extended family, eating together and basically just hanging out, but we did venture out to the boardwalk, twice.
The Ocean City boardwalk reminds me a lot of Wildwood Boardwalk, which I guess will only mean something to you if you’ve been to the Wildwood boardwalk. So, for those of you who don’t get the reference, I would say, the crowd can be a little rough, the rides a little expensive, the boardwalk, congested, and the games, as well as their attendants, a little annoying. Of course, we didn’t venture down the rest of the boardwalk, which looked much more peaceful, but peaceful equals not much to do, for my people. This is more their speed. Second Son’s on this one, First Son, who was too chicken the first time around, gave it a whirl the second time we went, and called the double loop, corkscrew that you rode both backwards and forwards, “epic.”
The biggest disappointment of the trip, for my kids, which meant the biggest pain in the ass for me, was that our room had no wi-fi. (Here’ some pictures of the room, btw.)I swear, you would have thought that my kids didn’t have electricity from the way they were acting. After this trip, I think I need to do some major reevaluating of how my kids are spending their summer, if a week without iPod brings them to desperation. Luckily, their grandfather’s place had wifi, so they could get their fix at night, and I could get some peace from all their complaining.
But all in all, it was a good week. The kids enjoyed playing with their cousins, hitting the water park, one day (not my favorite), and just hanging out. Hands down, though, Little Lady, does this the best. She can entertain herself, like no other, and just as easily play with anyone. She is my traveling champ.And, unlike her rise at the crack of dawn brothers, she knows how to adjust, after a late night.We spent our final day at Assateague Island, which was about twenty minutes from OCMD (where my kids spent more time fighting). Our goal was to see some horses. People told me that they’ll walk right by you on the beach, but this was not the case for us (though we did see a lot of horse poop). We had to go looking for them. This is the closest we got, which might have been a good thing after the numerous signs warning people to stay away from the wild horses that they say will kick and bite you.It was still pretty cool.
Our final night, we ate at Dead Freddies. They were able to accommodate First Son’s food allergies (tree nut and sesame), which is always a must for us, and it was a great spot for families. They actually have a pirate ship, in the sand, where the kids can play while parents eat or grab a drink. Swords and patches come with the children’s meals. Pretty cool!
Saturday morning, we packed up and headed home. All in all it was a good vacation, but I think we’ll save our future vacations for the winter, where housekeeping and clean sheets come with the deal. I think I’ll be doing laundry for another week!