We went to Ocean City, Maryland in the beginning of May this year, sort of an early start to the summer season. It was rainy most of the time but we had a blast anyway. We ended the summer with a trip to Ocean City, New Jersey this past weekend. It was mostly sunny and very windy. Neither trip produced much beach weather, although this past weekend we made the most of it.
We arrived in Ocean City on Thursday at lunchtime. After unloading the car we headed over to the boardwalk so that Andrew could enjoy his first Mack & Manco pizza.Periwinkles. I think I ate some sort of fish or shellfish dish every night. That night I had the most delicious sweet potato fries--they were really thinly cut and not at all greasy. Andrew enjoyed out table because it was next to a fish tank where he could watch "Nemo's" friends. We then walked the boardwalk again. Andrew enjoyed hopping out of his stroller and running on the boards. We went up to the North end where there are no shops and enjoyed the sunsetting over the town. On our way back to the car Andrew did a pit stop at the arcade and took a ride with his favorite Sesame characters in their truck.
I was a bit nervous about how Andrew would fare with the sleeping arrangement. We were borrowing a condo from a friend of Chris' mom. It had two bedrooms, so we brought our pack and play for Andrew to use when sleeping. The day before we left for the trip I set it up in our house and told Andrew that it was his bed for the beach house. He even played in it for an hour. He would never use it when he was smaller and always cried when I put him in it, so I was worried that we would end up having him sleep in bed with us. (While that isn't horrible, he is a restless sleeper and the adults end up not sleeping when he repeately moves and kicks all night!) He was such a trooper and actually slept in the pack and play, which he called his animal crib or beach house crib, at night and for his afternoon nap. What a relief! I had brought his bed toys and blankets, but not his music box. He asked for his music the first night, but I was able to get away with playing a sleepy time mix of songs for him on my ipod via speakers we brought with us.
We had planned to go to the beach on Friday morning, so we got up and got ready, packed the car and headed over. I definitely had not seen the weather forecast. It was sunny but cold and windy. We stayed on the beach for less than an hour and Andrew got the chance to play in the sand and the waves. We found lots of seashells and even fed goldfish pretzels to the collection of seagulls that tried to befriend us. It was much like a scene from the movie "The Birds" minus the actual bird attack. We thought that we would be having our beach photos taken that night, so we didn't make any plans for the evening. We got dressed and went to meet the photographer at the selected beach, but when we got there he told us he thought it was still too windy. I was VERY disappointed, as my hair looked fabulous for once! (A rare thing, since I don't take the time to style it much anymore.) We had tentative plans to reschedule the shoot for later in the weekend, depending upon the weather, so we rushed back to the beach condo and changed out of our photography clothes and went out to dinner at the Sindia, a restaurant based on the sunken ship. The service was slow, since they only had one waitress, but she was extremely nice and the food was good. It was late for Andrew and he had a bit of trouble lasting through the meal. His kid meal came with ice cream for dessert, but I asked if they could give him a sliver of vanilla cake instead because of his birthday. The waitress brought it out to him with two birthday candles. He was so happy to see it and the fuss he got. It was sweet. He loves icing. He is my child.
Saturday we took off for the Cape May County Zoo. What an amazing zoo--and what a great day we had for it. The weather was perfect--not too hot, nice breeze, sunny. The zoo was free and accepted donations. Andrew had a great time. We saw monkeys, a red panda, leopards, a lion, lots of birds and farm animals, llamas, alpacas, zebras, giraffes, and alligators. The tigers were hiding, so we didn't get to see them. The layout of the zoo was perfect and we made it through the entire park. Definitely a great place to explore if you are near Cape May.
While Andrew napped, I went back to the boardwalk alone to walk and do a little shopping. One of the traditions we have is buying a Christmas ornament whenever we go on vacation. I found a beautiful Christmas shop on the boardwalk and bought our souvenir ornament, along with two others for Andrew, a glass guitar and cookie monster. It was still very windy, but sunny, so it was a nice walk.
After naptime, we went back to the boardwalk to find some dinner. We ended up at the Hula Grill, a very small Hawaiian place next to the go-cart ride. We were lucky they were still open for the season. I had great crab cakes with salad and sticky rice while Chris had beer battered shrimp. The did not have a kids menu, so Andrew had the small order of chicken tenders and fries--food that he has never had before. He loved the fries and the fact that he cold dip them in sauce. He ate some of the chicken and a cucumber from my salad. We then hit the boardwalk for one last night time visit and had to stop at Shrivers to see all the candy. As a child we always went to Shrivers for salt water taffy. They were not making it at the time of our visit, but sometimes you can watch the taffy machines in the back make the candy. It started to rain so we headed back to the "beach house" to tuck Andrew into bed.
Sunday we waited out the rain and went to breakfast at Uncle Bill's pancake shop. I love when someone else makes me breakfast! Afterwards we took a ride to Margate to see Lucy the elephant, although we didn't go inside this time. (Inside is a little museum.)
All in all we had a great trip! Andrew is still talking about the "beach house."