Just before we left on our little vacation, The Big Guy and I made one last trek to the Boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland.
Back in the day, we made those one-day runs just to soak up a few last rays before the season ended completely or to catch an act at one of the clubs. Now, we love to go and simply stroll the boards, stopping occasionally to just sit on a bench either facing the beach and watching the waves roll in or checking out the sights on the Boardwalk itself. I LOVE to people watch and this is the place to see it ALL!!
It was one of the last warm sunny days around here. (Actually one of the few sunny days we've had in the last few months.) It was warm enough to be comfortable yet not so hot to run for shade. The perfect day to sit on a bench and watch kids play on the beach. That's just what we did - for hours! It just felt so good ! There was one particular family we watched. The kids just had the best time just running and flopping on the sand, rolling around it and giggling - lots and lots of giggling. One couldn't help but smile at them.
The balloon man was busy buzzing around in his power chair making balloon sculptures for any children (of all ages) he found. He simply has a little "donations" basket posted and does this simply to make folks happy.
The local police patrol the entire boardwalk (3 miles) with only a few officers now that the season is over so they bring along their 4-footed partners to make it easier. This particular team did some fancy stepping for us (a parade march) and took lots of time to let all who wished pet this magnificent creature.
For most of us in these parts, one of the summer's great traditions is eating your way along the boards. There are some foods that simply say "Boardwalk" to us . We had to take one more gastronomic walk there for the year. (We may still go there to walk but most of the businesses will close completely for the season soon.) We had our hit list in mind: Thrashers fries, a fried soft crab, a piece of fried chicken, something from Dumser's Ice Cream and, if time permitted, also some frozen custard from Kohr's Brothers. We needed some hot caramel popcorn and maybe some fudge or taffy from Candy Kitchen. Well, we missed out on Dumser's, skipped the taffy and took some fudge home for later, but we did manage all the rest!
We love it there this time of year. The crowds are thinner and you don't feel like you're being pushed along. You can stroll at your own pace and find a seat on a bench just about anywhere whenever you're ready. Since most everyone else is in this relaxed, laid back mode, too, folks talk to one another and are friendly with total strangers.
Days like this make me miss the days when I lived just down the road and could go there anytime. Makes me wonder, too, how my life would have been different if I had stayed there and opened the little shop I had in mind over 30 years ago. One of those "would'a, should'a, could'a" moments. Then I consider what I did instead and where I am now and I think, "It's not a bad life!" Of course, the sound of crashing waves and a sea breeze all the time could really make things a lot more perfect!!