Carol Jane Remsburg
A Day at the Beach
It was Friday, the first day of my vacation. It was also the gateway to the 4th of July weekend, and I was set to take my daughter to Ocean City to ride those corny old rides, walk the boards, shop, sightsee, indulge in treats, and dabble our toes in the ocean. I set aside one day each summer to face the masses of people in the resort town that lies only about twenty miles east of our home. Some folks would think I would visit more often, but they don't know me too well.
We were up early, at least hubby and I were, enjoying the quiet of on the back porch with our coffee and waiting for the newspaper to be delivered. It's the best time of the day, before the work-a-day traffic builds or even the heat of the early summer's day has a chance to flair. He had to work and Erin and I would be gone most of the day. It was time for quiet conversation and a little commiseration.
After hubby headed off to work, I shuffled some of the
laundry from the washer out to the clothesline to dry while we were gone and
picked up the kitchen mess from the previous evening.
It was when
we pulled out of the driveway. Avoiding
the five speed traps between home and
Still walking back to the truck, we stopped at Fisher's
Popcorn and picked
Inside the shop is a wonderful array of t-shirts, wind chimes, paper weights, and every type of 50¢ toy imaginable. It's a fun place and some of the stock never changes, but each year a portion does as we check out every item, knowing we'll return several more times before make our last visit along with our purchases.
Both of us had sufficiently cooled off to brave the heat again. Even with the pervasive mist blowing onshore from the ocean, when the sun broke through, it was blistering. I had been amazed over how thin the crowds were, but it was still early on Friday. The amazing masses would soon arrive.
It was time for our first treat—Frozen Custard from Kohr's. Ice Cream is
wonderful yet it will never match
the incredible richness of frozen yogurt.
They were just opening the pier rides so we decided to walk out to see if there was anything interesting there. Nothing really, I wanted to walk out to the end of the pier, it had been years since I had. It was normally a quiet place for those who fished and wanted to enjoy the lullaby of the ocean away from so many people. There was a barren stretch of pier after the rides ended and then a gate. It caught me short, there was a fishing shack there and to get to the end of the pier you had to pay 50¢ per person to walk through whether you decided to fish or buy tackle or not. I had to laugh and pulled out four quarters. It would be worth it just for the view back at the beach as well as the vista of the ocean before me.
I snapped off a few more pictures, the heavy mist made it
hard for any clear shots. Meanwhile, I
was enjoying the cooling breezes as the boards beneath my feet gently swayed.
It was a long walk across the sand. Carrying our sneakers and socks, we walked to the water's edge and along the foaming surf. It felt marvelously cool and wonderful. And if I didn't have my own ingrained fears of sharks, we'd have been cavorting in the waves, but I'm not that brave anymore.
After a while, we knew it was time for the rides to open. Back we trekked across the sand to the truck and the towel to wipe away the sand encrusting our feet and legs. It was a good rest stop sitting on the tailgate.
Onward we went and purchased our wrist straps for all of Trimpers rides. We went to the Merry-Go-Round first and took turns trying to figure out which animal we'd ride, and got the giggles. I was simply adamant that I wasn't riding the pig, I felt the resemblance was too close. The music was classic and the rhythm of the machine was an old friend. I was able to look across at my daughter and know another memory was in the making.
From there we rode the
We went through all the goodies and sundry and began to make
some choices on what our purchases would be as I kept moving from frigid blower
to blower. Then it was back for a few
more rides until we hit the last—Erin's all-time favorite, The Haunted House which has to have been around since, err, the
early 70's if not before. They update it
every year, but so is the gum stuck on the winged doors in spots as well. I hate that ride because it's
very harsh and jerky and it makes me dizzy.
At that point, the crowds had finally arrived en mass. There were more people than I could comfortably navigate. It was time for our final trip to the souvenir shop and that blessedly cold air. We shopped and cooled off and made our final selections, cheap little wind chimes from the glow-in-the-dark, to the plastic twirlers, to the larger nylon one with a lighthouse on it. Then we bought a motion sensor lighthouse with sound effects and a light.
Satisfied with our purchases, it was time to climb into the truck and turn on the a/c and head for home. The teen was sunburned, tired, and very happy. Me, the mom, I was just dead. It was time to go. After paying the parking attendant $10 for parking, we navigated our way out of OC and home was our target and a nap would have been extremely welcome, but we know that never happens. Still, an hour of quiet can work wonders as a restorative.
All in all, it was a great day. I can still wait until next year to do it again. It'll take me just that long to rest up.