Monday, August 13, 2012

Our Super Summer Vacation - Part 1

Can you believe the summer is almost over?!  The only thing keeping me from the brink of depression is knowing that football season is right around the corner!  But, that's a post for another time.  Today I want to tell you about the wonderful family vacation we had in Ocean City, MD.  In fact, we had such a great time that I'm giving you two posts about it!  In my opinion, Ocean City is one of the best vacation destinations in the DMV (metropolitan area comprised of DC, Maryland, Virginia).  With 10 miles of free access beaches and a boardwalk that is recognized as one of the best boardwalks in America (see for yourself here), it offers something for everyone!  

As I told you in my last post (Freedom is Beautiful) things have been a little crazy & very busy for me and my family, so we were more than ready for this vacation.  Of course, in true rockstar style, my husband had a show the night before we left.  I do NOT advise this for anyone!  It is pure craziness to be out until almost one o'clock in the morning, knowing very well that the next day you're going to be trapped in the car for a minimum of 3 hours with TWO 5 year olds that must be entertained at all times - even the portable DVD system can't hold their attention very long.  Truthfully, we were so anxious to get out of town that the show was a bit of a blur and we didn't really allow fatigue to set in until we got in to our hotel room.  Ahhhh - our hotel room....correction - our oceanfront hotel room!  This year, we stayed at The Carousel Hotel, which is about a 15 minute drive from the boardwalk.  This was our second stay at The Carousel, but our first time in an oceanfront room and let me tell you, waking up to this sight every day was spectacular!!!

As for the hotel, while it's not a luxury resort type of place, it is very family-friendly with a bounce house for the kids, indoor & outdoor pools, an onsite restaurant and even an ice rink which features nightly performances by a female dance team that you can view for free!  I know some people may not care about all that since, you know, you're at the beach and all, but it is nice to have these amenities whether you use them or not.  Now, if you ever decide to stay at The Carousel, I have two pieces of advice:

1.  Splurge for the oceanfront room (check for specials before booking)
2.  Ask for a room on the 3rd or 4th floor

The 4th floor has the  best view and you shouldn't hear too much noise from the outdoor pool/patio bar area, but know that their check-in is a first come, first served style, it's good idea to be patient and keep your options in mind.  

We stayed for 5 fun-filled days / 4 glorious nights and had the time of our lives!!!  Most mornings we admired the sunrise and had breakfast in our room.  That's right, I went in to full Domestic Diva mode and made enough breakfast food for the whole week - pancakes for everyone!  The first two days we were complete beach bums - out on the sand by no later than 9:30am and we didn't leave until we were hungry enough for dinner!  Sadly, our sunscreen didn't have the same staying power and we all got a little burned, but we still had a GLORIOUS time!  The twinks were ridiculously happy making sand castles and playing in the surf and we all had a blast watching my rockin' hubby be thrown around, sometimes quite viciously, by 3-4 ft waves.  I remember thinking to myself a number of times, "Life doesn't get any better than this!"  I mostly waded in the water, so I could keep a close eye on Thing 1 & Thing 2 (you guys are used to all my nicknames for the twins by now, right?)  And, I have to tell you, I think I must have been a mermaid in a past life because I am never more at peace than when I'm in ocean.  Speaking of peaceful, I can't tell you how nice it was to spend so much time disconnected from all of our electronic devices.  I mean, we had our cell phones in case of emergencies but other than that we allowed ourselves to be unplugged from our social networking accounts and to my delight, my mister didn't bring his company cell phone nor his computer.  For the first time in a long time, we truly enjoyed each others company, gave each other our full undivided attention and just lived in the moment.  I advise all of you to do this as much as possible and see if it doesn't vastly improve not only your relationship, but also the quality of your "Family Time".  At nighttime we came alive and ventured out to the boardwalk for some family fun, but we'll talk about that next time.  For dinner we ate in the hotel restaurant and checked out a couple of the local restaurants.  Before I tell you about that though, I have to say, for me the best meal of the day was lunch.  All we ate were simple sandwiches and hot dogs, but the scenery and the atmosphere....well, I think we can all agree that nothing can compare to having a picnic on the beach!  Who couldn't look at this all day?!?

Back to dinnertime!  There is one restaurant I have to tell you about, Higgins Crab House - it's an all-you-can-eat place and a "must see" for crab lovers!  They have two locations, but my personal favorite is the one on 128th Street.  They have outdoor seating and even though some of the seating is right next to Coastal Highway, the main road in Ocean City, it's still relatively peaceful.  The one thing you should be aware of is that occasionally some inconsiderate (insert explicative) person may decide to smoke out there, regardless of small children or even pregnant women being around them (grrrrrr - makes me so angry).  Moving on - since I'm a vegetarian, I order my and the kids' meals from the a la carte menu, while my hubster gets his grub on with the all-you-can-eat crabs and chicken platter.  Yes, you read that correctly - crabs AND fried chicken, plus corn, coleslaw and all-you-can-eat fries!!  Obviously, I can't tell you first-hand how it is, but I can tell it must be phenomenal because despite his lips being on fire from the Old Bay, my man put down 3 fully loaded trays of crabs!!  I even had to use my ice water to make him a cold compress for his lips so he could keep eating!  

So, there's your first glimpse in to our vacation.  I hope you've enjoyed it!  Next post we'll get in to our putt putt golf adventure and our time on the boardwalk!  If you want to know more about Ocean City, check out their official website here and find out more about The Carousel here.  For now, I'll leave you with a couple of pics of The Carousel Hotel and Higgins Crab House.

Until next time my friends!


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