Down by the Sea

I cannot believe that ¾’s of the summer had passed me by an I had not wiggle my toes in the sand or tip-toed gingerly into the frothy Atlantic surf!
I rectified that this past weekend with an unscheduled, last minute trip down the ocean, hun!
Thursday last, I mentioned to my husband that I really needed a trip to the beach. I have been working a lot and things have been a bit stressful. I needed to relax and rejuvenate.
Friday, he made the arrangements – not an easy feat given that we had no reservation and most places have a three-night minimum during the peak summer season. After work, I hurried home – as quickly as the traffic would allow – threw some things in a suitcase, and off we went.
A few un-hurried hours later, we were walking down the Ocean City, Maryland board-walk (voted one of the best board-walks in the nation at http://blog.ratestogo.com/best-boardwalks-america/).
There is no other place on earth that smells quite the same as Ocean City on the boards. I close my eyes and dissected the fragrances that blended together to form the aromatic patchwork – first there was the salty pungency of the sea carried across wooden planks; next, I detected hot melted caramel over freshly popped corn; distant but lingering on the cool breeze I distinctly smelled French fries cooked crisp in peanut oil and rendered soggy with malt vinegar; those unique summer scents rested on top of the background of coconut fragranced sunscreen and sweat.
Saturday morning we awoke to brilliant sun shining through the window of our humble accommodations (the only establishment willing to give us a room for only two nights). Beach time!
As familiar and unique the odors of the resort town, so are the sounds. The closer to the ocean’s edge we got, the louder the sounds of people of all ages frolicking in what would prove to be icy water. Overhead, the sea gulls circled, calling to each other. I watched as one after the other dove into the surf; some emerged victorious with their prizes pinched in their beaks. Others doubled back for another attempt.
We rented an umbrella, which the young eastern European man erected just 10 feet from the lifeguard stand. Throughout the morning, the ever watchful hunk blew his whistle warning swimmers not to stray far. Every few minutes he stood and signaled to neighboring stands with bright red flags. His actions were quick and practiced. The flags made a flapping sound as they cut the air.
From behind my sun glasses, I gaze sky ward. The clear cerulean sky provide a poignant backdrop for the colorful parachutes from which brave souls dangled as they were pulled behind motor boats slicing through the azure waters. The hum of their motors was nearly in audible due to the roar of the engines propelling the light planes through the air with silent banners floating behind advertising crabs, cheap beer, and entertainment options.
The surf was too placid Saturday for boogy-boarding but I did attempt a swim. Honestly, I am a hearty soul but that water was almost the coldest I’ve ever submerged myself into. The only time I’ve experienced colder was when I swam in the underground caves in Cancun – I swore I would never do that again – brrr. I made it in up to my chest with my husband and 13 year old urging me on but I could not bring myself to dive beneath the surface.
I quickly retreated to my chair and the warmth of the late July sun where I stayed comfortably blissful for a couple of cherished hours!
That night we dined at my favorite beach eatery – well it is a bit off the beach but well worth the drive – Luna’s Cactus Café (read reviews here http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34052-d391326-Reviews-Cactus_Cafe-Selbyville_Delaware.html) route 54/20 Selbyville, DE. I indulged in a sea bass with roasted red pepper sauce. OMG! So good and so affordable – $20 for the sea bass.
By the time I put my head on my pillow Saturday night, I was completely relaxed and happy. There is nothing as restorative as a day by the sea!
Thank you so much, Lover, for arranging this trip for us.

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