Hot, sticky summer days in Ocean City, MD. Memories of my childhood would be incomplete without them. For the past nineteen years I have spent the better part of my summers lounging by the Atlantic, catching those rays. From Trimper's rides and Dumser's icecream, to more adult pursuits when we were older like Seacrets and Fager's Island. Every summer it was the basically the same, but it was exactly what I looked forward to.
We would pack up the car Friday night when my mom got home from work and by pack, I mean barely enough room for people, to then make the 2.5 hour trip. Getting stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge was the norm, but that only prolonged the anticipation and which is part of the fun. As we finally reached the last bridge over to the city, we would all race to identify it first..."I see Ocean City." Then we were finally there and the town would be dark, but at the same time bright and electric with the thrum of the traffic and the hum of the neon signs. We would tumble out of the car to fill our lungs with our first whiff of salty air and run to the beach to exfoliate in the sand.
The next morning we would be up with the sun, our bathing suits on and our bodies slathered and lathered because who wants to get burned on their first day? Gathering our paraphernalia, we schlepped it all down to the beach so we could claim the prime real estate. And there we would stay for the rest of the day, building sand castles, boogie boarding, napping under the umbrella, eating sandwiches (because everything tastes better at the beach) and reading trashy magazines.
The night time was a jumble of activities. Heading down to the boardwalk to people watch, go on rides or clog our arteries with some new fried adventure. Or maybe playing a round of putt putt at the underwater one or the pirate one. Or maybe just walking the couple of feet back to the beach to fly a kite as the sun set over the bay. And then there were those nights that all your energy had been sapped by the sun and you just needed a night to veg in front of the TV so that you could go back full force the next day. And as we got older night time introduced a whole new world with clubs and bars to dance the night into the morning.
And don't forget to pack some bigger size clothes because you could eat your weight in good food. Down at the shore you better be eating seafood almost every night. Crabs, crabcakes, shrimp salad, all types of fish, all so fresh and mouth watering. And if you were a part of the clean plate club, then dessert means ice cream. Colossal sundaes you have to share at the Ice Cream Castle, cones with sprinkles (sprinkles not jimmies, Brian, that's how we say it in MD) at Dumser's on the boardwalk, and build your own sundaes at Candy Kitchen. Oh and did I forget to mention breakfast??? Chipped beef at the General's Kitchen and the buffets at The Carousel and the Princess Royale.
Leaving on Sunday was the worst. I always hoped for some rain, because then it seemed to me that the city was sad that I was leaving too.
Maggie, I can't wait to share these memories with you. To take you on the beach and dip your feet in the water. I know that you will love it as much as we do and that will make it even more special!
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