Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Mini-Beach Vacation !!!

We took a mini-vacation !! (Well, sort of. We ran away from the weather for a whole 12 hours and went to the beach!)

For the first time in weeks, we weren't snowed in or afraid to go too far due to weather this weekend. It hit the 40s both days and the sun actually came out on Saturday! We caught a few glimpses of that bright light in the sky today but in between we were showered with some rather "substantial" flurries and some really heavy looking clouds. If it had been colder, we'd have been worried again.

Though the weekend got off to a slow start on Friday when we simply stayed in and watched the Olympics on TV, we did get an early start on Saturday. For weeks I've been craving a good seafood buffet. Unfortunately, we don't have one nearby. Don't get me wrong, we have some fantastic seafood restaurants but I wanted to sample a little of everything. (It's a very common winter urge around these parts - sort of like a withdrawal symptom or something.)

If we could travel "as the crow flies" (in a straight line, so to speak), we would be able to make it to the ocean in an hour or so. However, the fact that the Chesapeake Bay lies between us and the coast is a slight deterrent. We either need to travel about an hour South and use the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or travel about 40 miles North and cross the C&D Canal and then track back down the coast to the beach resorts of Rehobeth, Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland. The northern route is a little shorter, much less hectic and a fair bit faster. It's still about 145 miles one way but a true Marylander will go a long way for great seafood!
We brushed the snow off the car (We had a light dusting through the night. Again.) and headed out. It was a peaceful, uneventful ride with a lot of snow-covered scenery. The closer we got to the beach, the less snow was around and by the time we drove into Ocean City, it felt like we'd left that winter world behind! (There were a few mounds left on corners and parking lots where they'd been plowed but you had to actually look for snow.) It honestly felt like a weight was lifted from my soul !

It was sunny and breezy on the boardwalk and we needed to wear our heavy coats but it felt fantastic !! Considering it is February and chilly and most businesses aren't open until late March or April, there was a fairly decent crowd on the boards. What a mood lifter!

We took a long stroll up the boardwalk and had an order of french fries at the most famous fry stand in the state (Thrasher's) and a small bag of caramel popcorn (Fishers, of course) which we shared with a few friendly pigeons (much to the chagrin of some nearby seagulls.) We sat on a bench here and there and people and dog watched for a while. One of my favorite shops was open and The Big Guy bought me a Jan Hagara figurine for my collection as a late Valentine's Day present. We even played some good old-fashioned pinball in one of the arcades.
When the restaurant opened, we were the first folks in line (Yes, there was a line waiting for them to open the doors.) We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and then began the trek back home to the Western Shore. The further North and West we went the more snow cover we saw. I must say, it was a bit depressing after that bright sunny snow-free day to drive back to this white (Okay, now it's sort of dirty white) snowy world.
This morning we went to breakfast and then to the casino for an hour or two. We drove in heavy flurries for a fair part of today's trip.

I do feel rejuvenated by that bit of beach and boardwalk though. It's given me encouragement that Spring is coming. I'm hoping it's enough to get me through the snow that's predicted for midweek.

I hope y'all think some "beachy" thoughts this week, too.

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