Monday, August 20, 2012

Our Super Summer Vacation - Part 2

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our family vacation.  If you're a little behind, no worries, you can scroll down to the Archives (on the lower right hand side) and catch up.  Now let's jump in to the second part of our trip!

As I mentioned before, Ocean City has one of the best boardwalks in America and no trip is ever complete without having at least one leisurely stroll down it and we were lucky enough to have time for two!  With carnival games, rides, all kinds of t-shirt and boutique shops, not to mention candy stores and even sidewalk performers, you can almost be overwhelmed by the boardwalk experience, but it is so worth it.  At night, I find all the lights, smells and sounds to be almost intoxicating.  They can make you  feel like a kid in a candy store and you literally don't know what you want to do first.  That being said, I suggest you plan ahead for how much money you want to spend there, because you'll be surprised how quickly you'll have spent a small fortune.

Our first trip down was on Tuesday night and it was magical!  We made a quick stop for ice cream and then headed straight to Trimper's Rides/Amusements.  Trimper's area is closer to the main road than the beach and they have great rides for the younger/smaller kids.  We've been to Trimper's before and the twins always have a great time on the rides, but I think this visit was their best one yet!  Why?  Because this time they got to go on their first roller coaster with their Papi!  Yes, my metalhead man proudly stepped up (without hesitation, I might add) to the challenge of riding the Wiggly Worm roller coaster with his kids!  Watching the three of them whip through the small twists, turns and even a small drop, warmed my heart and will live with me forever.  Once we had our fill of the rides, we headed over to the beach side of the boardwalk for a planned beach event.  This year, Ocean City has fireworks on the beach every Tuesday night at 10pm for the entire summer (final show will be Sunday, September 2nd).   As Thing 1 & Thing 2 have never seen them before, I thought this would be a great first experience!  Personally, I can get lost in those colorful explosions for hours, but this time I could barely focus on them.  I was too busy being completely enamored with the look of pure joy on my kids' faces.  With each explosion they would giggle and squeal with delight, while shouting for us to look at how much bigger and brighter each new explosion was compared to the last!  Their smiles were so infectious that I couldn't help but join in their happiness and by the time the approximately 15 - 20 minute display was done my whole face was sore!  I could have lived in that moment forever and I'm so grateful to have been able to give my children such a beautiful memory that will hopefully last a lifetime!  If you've never had the chance to see fireworks on the beach, I highly recommend it!  I mean, really, everything is just better at the beach, right?!

Our second trip to the boardwalk was all about the rides and yours truly even got in on the action - sort of!  This time we went to the Jolly Roger Amusement Park side.  Much like Trimper's, Jolly Roger has lots of fun rides for kids of all ages and this time Hubs went on a couple of rides by himself.  As for me, there was only one ride I was interested in going on - the Ferris Wheel!  The Ferris Wheel is reported to be the largest one in Ocean City and I believe it's probably one of the most popular attractions.  During the day, you get a magnificent view of the beach and the inlet.  At night, there's nothing but lights as far as the eye can see - car headlights, venue lights, the boardwalk lit up bright enough to almost make it look like it's daytime - all of it is truly breathtaking.  Needless to say, my favorite time to ride is the nighttime.  So, after some serious convincing (it's not really hubby's favorite thing to do) and impatiently waiting in line, we finally had our turn on the Ferris Wheel!  It was awesome!  We laughed, talked and for the 15 minutes or so that we were on that ride, it was like the rest of the world disappeared...that, my friends, is why I prefer riding at night  (peaceful sigh.)

Sadly, our last day came all too quickly and as we travelled down Coastal Highway to head out of town, we decided to make one last stop for family fun at a great indoor/outdoor miniature golf place called Old Pro Golf.  Old Pro Golf has 3 locations in Ocean City and they each have a different theme.     We chose the one on 68th Street because of it's indoor/outdoor feature.  OK, I'll be honest - the dinosaurs on the outdoor course were just too cool for me to pass up!  The indoor course was equally impressive with an "Under the Sea Adventure" theme.  Both courses appeared to offer nice challenges for my little golfers, but since it was our last morning to soak in the ocean breeze, we decided to play outside.  The kids would pretend that the dino and caveman sculptures were real and that they were trying to eat our golf balls!  My husband and my son, both, got a hole-in-one, my daughter came very close and I actually came in last place, but none of us really cared - we were just happy that we did it together.  Interestingly enough, that is the one thing all of us came home talking about - how great it was to spend so much time together.  

If nothing else this vacation reminded me of the importance of not taking my family for granted and to make every moment together count.  Sure, it sounds simple, but we all know it's not.  Between smartphones, tablets and all other forms of portable technology we've become overly accessible to everyone.  I advise you all  to remember to unplug every once in a while and give your loved ones your full undivided attention...especially when you're on vacation!  On that note, I'll bid you farewell for now  and leave with a few pictures of our time at Old Pro Golf.  Enjoy!


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