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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A tale of two Ocean Cities

The first tale is my weekend chilling at the beach in Ocean city with Vicky. Anyone who reads my blog regularly will remember our trip last year to the same place. We stayed in Castle in the Sands again as it is well located for us. It was quite a different trip to last year where we made the most of the beach bar at happy hour and the local nightlife to drink and party. This year I am clearly not drinking and luckily Vicky was also just in the mood for a fairly quiet weekend with relatively early nights and relaxing days on the beach.
We started out on the Thursday in Vicky's car. As usual Vicky was late picking me up so instead of leaving at 10.00a.m. we didn't get on the road until nearer midday. By leaving on the Thursday we managed to avoid the usual weekend traffic on the road and with a lovely stop for lunch overlooking the Chesapeake Bay at Kent Narrows we still made it to Ocean City by just after 4.00p.m.
The first night we got cleaned up and were planning to walk down to the Boardwalk and see the sights but as we stepped out the room the thunder and lightning started so we decided to take the car and go for a nice Italian meal instead. It was lucky we did because within 5 mintues of getting in the car the torrential rain came down and we just sat and enjoyed some very tasty Italian food and watched the rain through the windows instead of being caught in it. The storm down the whole East coast was quite bad and there was a bit of damage in New York state from it and Jarlath's flight home from Albany, NY was significantly delayed.
Our days were just spent sitting on our chairs on the beach where I positioned myself in the shade of the umbrella and just read, dozed and people watched the day away. The weather was just perfectr as there was a nice cooling breeze at the beach and with some nice cooling dips in the ocean (which was fairly rough as usual) we stayed relateivly cool.
Evenings ended up just a gentle mix of ice cream, good food and friends conversing.
By the Monday we had both had a lovely time and were ready to come home. Again we had delayed our drive from the Sunday so that we were not caught up in the worst of the weekend traffic. We stopped for lunch at Harris crab House overlooking the Chesapeake bay again and just took our time coming home. Unfortunately there was another downpour of rain just as we had crossed the Bay Bridge so we were held up slightly in the volume of traffic as it was all going quite slow.
I didn't take any photos of this holiday and we were just so relaxed that I never got aorund to taking my camera out with me. Vicky took a few, I think, and hopefully she will post them on Facebook soon but I have not seen them so no idea what they are off.
An enjoyable first trip to Ocean City.

Well the second trip the following weekend was a lovely surprise even to me. It was the 4th of July weekend which meant that Jarlath had the Monday off and could, quite happily, leave early on the Friday so we thought that we would go camping somewhere. This was to give us our last camping trip together while it was just the two of us to get our last use of our wee two man tent. We had previously tried to book Assateague Island Seashore park a couple of weeks back but it was fully booked. While looking at other state parks they were insisting that you booked three nights stay as it was the holiday weekend but we only wanted to camp for two. So we had not booked anything but knew we wanted to go. On Tuesday the 29th June we decided to have a search on the internet to see what we could find but nowehere was really inspiring us or still had the three night rule but something made Jarlath have a look at the Assateague Island qwebsite again and, would you believe, there must have been a cancellation and there was a nice little oceanside loop campsite available for the weekend and allowing us to book just the two nights so we snapped it up.

We had visited Assateague island last September during the washed out trip that Jarlath and I had made to Ocean City then - all in my blog from last year.

Assateague Island National Seashore is a unit of the National Park Service occupying much of Assateague Island along the Atlantic coast of Maryland and Virginia. It is a barrier island shaped by stormy seas and gentle winds.

In the 1950s, some 5,000 private lots comprising what is now National Park Service land were zoned and sold for resort development. The Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 halted the plans for development. The Nor'easter destroyed the few existing structures on the island and ripped roads apart. In 1965, Assateague became a National Seashore.

Bands of feral horses freely roam among plants and native animals that have adapted to a life of sand, salt and wind. Special thickened leaves and odd shapes reveal the plant world's successful struggle here. Ghost crabs buried in the cool beach sand and tree swallows plucking bayberries on their southward migration offer glimpses of the animal world's connection to Assateague.

So we ended up setting off about 10.00a.m. on Friday morning as my plans changed at the last minute and Jarlath was able to take his work and some business calls into the car if I did the driving. It was great because we made it to the campsite just before 2.00p.m. so had the whole afternoon ahead of us to set up camp, pick up some firewood and then spend some time on the beach. Our pitch site was perfect as it was right on the beach and about 50 yards over the dunes to the sea. It was quite basic camping with just a couple of portaloos and a cold water shower (although I didn't realise it was a cold shoer until I stepped into it on the Saturday). After setting up camp we put on our swimming costumes and went straight into the sea. It was quite cold but very easy to get in quickly as two steps and it got so deep that you couldn't stand up so you basically just plunged straight in without getting time to worry about how cold it was.

We spent the evening just chilling at the campsite, reading our books, cooking sausages on the grill, watching the beautiful sunset and then just sitting companiably around the campfire. We always find a campfire so realxing and find it easy just to sit around it in almost silence. At home you always feel the need to watch tv or read or do something but there is something about a campfire that just allows you to sit without doing anything for hours on end.The best bit came at bedtime when we tucked ourselved up in our tent under our sleeping bags, leaving the door open with just the bug net closed and fell asleep curled in each others arms watching the embers of the campfire and looking at the stars in the very clear sky - just sheer bliss.

Not so bliss was needing to pee half way through the night and getting a mild shock from the coldness of the sand on my bare feet and the cold wind on my bare ***! I was shaking with the cold but once tucked back up in the tent and stealing all of Jarlath's body heat I managed to warm up and get back to sleep.

Like all campsites you are awake very early with the sun outside the tent and the general noise of people moving around. Noise travels so far out in the open air when there are no buildings or background noise to soak it up. Awake and 6.00a.m. and up and out by just after 7.00a.m. To wake us up completely we decided to jhust put on our swimming costumes and go and through ourselves into the sea before breakfast. It was very refreshing and a wake up call that beats strong coffee any morning! Another joy of camping is preparing and eating breakfast out in the open air. Why does such simple food and a cup of tea taste so good just by cooking it over a gas stove and eating it while the sun is settling itself in the sky.

The rest of the morning was spent on the beach and then we decided to get dressed and drive into Ocean City, which was about 8 miles up the coast, to have a walk around the boardwalk and just enjoy the sights. Not our best decision as it was just chaos with all the holiday weekend people and daytrippers and after the tranquility of the campsite it was a bit of a shock. We had a lovely lunch at Bahia Marina and then walked 21 blocks of the Boardwalk and then back before deciding to just get out of dodge and back to our tranquil little spot. Our treat on our journey home was an ice cream which again always tastes so much better sitting in the campsite. then another evening of cooking outside, enjoying the sunset and sitting around a campfire.

Sunday morning and we had to choose whether to pack up and go home or stay another night and go home on the Monday. After seeing the crowds in Ocean City on the Saturday we decided to spend the morning on the beach and then head home about midday and missing all the holiday and weekend traffic. It was a good decision as the traffic going into the beach was horrendous so I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like later that day when everyone decided to leave. We had a lovely drive home with Jarlath doing all the driving and I was a bit sleepy so just dozed most of the way home.

It was a great camping trip and we are talking about trying to go again in August depending on how I am feeling. We also talked about going back next year with Junior as it was a perfect spot for a baby/child and we are determined to still do the things we enjoy like camping even with a baby in tow.

Well that is our tale of two Ocean cities and two thoroughly enjoyable weekends for me. Rather tiring, I must admit, but very satisfying. Now I have 10 days to chill and prepare myself for 3 weeks of visitors in July but that is for another blog.

Here are our photos to share in the beautiful sunsets:


Love to everyone and special congrats to Mrs Mac for becoming a moderator on RISI. Xx

1 comment:

  1. The camping weekend sounds especially fab! Kids love camping, so it'll be brilliant to do it all again and see it through Juniors eyes :)