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I travelled a lot as kid. A father working for commercial airlines meant the freedom to explore lots of places and states, countries, national parks, attractions…
But with all this traveling, many of the "attractions" just a few hours drive from my home, are places where I have never been.
And so, when given an opportunity through Dan's work to take a (free!) weekend to Ocean City, Dan and I knew that despite our lack of attraction to the beach scene (not to be confused with scenery), we had to cash in on the offer.
My children (who apparently don't get out much) were through-the-roof excited about the trip. (In hindsight, I'm thinking I could have saved myself a lot of repetitive clarification and re-telling of every minute detail about the trip, if I'd simply sprung the plan on them 20 minutes before departure.)
Anyhow, from the roadtrip (that excitement lasted about 20 minutes), to the hotel stay, to the pool, to the dinners out, and to dream-of-all-dreams: a visit to Assateauge Island, the girls were mildly enthusiastic. Since January, every journal entry (65 more days until Ocean City!), every dinnertime prayer (thank you God, that we get to go to Ocean City!), every bedtime conversation (How many hours does it take to get there? How big is the pool? Will we really see wild ponies?) has had something to do with the trip.
And so, last weekend it finally arrived. Ocean City is a quiet place in the dead of winter. But in a way, it was kind of nice. The beach is cold and windy and seventeen different shades of grey. And it is beautiful.
We went to the beach. We ate hotel food and sat through banquets and videos about the history of Dan's company and International Harvester. We swam in the hotel pool and spent dollar upon dollar on wacky arcade games. We collected shells and saw wild ponies.
We had meltdowns.
We (meaning me) wondered at which point the parents begin to have fun on vacations.
And we slept like rocks that first day back home in our beds. Birdy, clocking a 15 hour sleep.
And I've decided that for me, the best part of vacation is this part. The looking back. The relief that it's over and the joy that we did it.
The forgetting of the maxed out tired baby, the endless laundry, the packing and unpacking…
And the remembering of their pure joy and excitement and enthusiasm….
And that we'd do it all over again.
24 comments on “we’d do it all over again”
I sometimes wonder the wisdom in telling my children anything in advance. Let’s just say I answer the question, “when is Thomas the Train?” at least 5 times per day. Sadly, the answer is 2 months. Sigh. I’m glad you had a good time!
We went to Assateague Island this past summer (I thought of you while we were there). We camped on the beach, and we kiddos were in heaven!! They loved every minute of it. A few of the horses came into the campsites to graze – over the moon excitement over this. Recently we headed to California. We waited until the last moments to tell them. They loved it – especially staying in a hotel! Glad you are home and able to relive the experience at a comfortable distance.
Yes, yes! We’re hoping to see the ponies swim over this year. That part of the coast is so different than any other. Glad all of the packing was worth it!!!
It really does look beautiful in a wild, quiet way. Nice.
There are these “surprise your kids with a Disneyland trip” commercials on all the time around here, and that’s always what I think — looks like those parents found a way to avoid the when-are-we-going routine. Right now we’re playing the “How many days until my birthday?” game (as if he doesn’t know). Thankfully, it’s tomorrow.
I once heard someone say that with children, vacation should be re-named, “relocation.”
Your writing is sooo honest. I just found you, but really enjoy reading your entries and appreciate the joys and frustrations of parenthood that you express! Beautiful photos!
these words are so lovely, and so true, Molly.
and you and I are on the same page right now, it seems… 🙂
my article on travel with kids for rhythm of the home:http://rhythmofthehome.com/spring-2011/connecting-through-travel-children/us at the beach in winter (but in north florida, so we got to do shorts):http://thisismarzipan.blogspot.com/2011/03/at-beach.html
We are semi-recent marylanders…we went in the dover beach direction once but haven’t been to ocean city, or to see the horses. these pictures make me want to go, and soon. thanks.
oh no. 2 months…that’s a loooong time. 🙂
one of these days, i’m going to remember to keep it a surprise.
and i would LOVE to camp out there, preferrably NOT during fly season! 🙂
i said the same thing. the landscape is completely different than anywhere else. it’s really beautiful. we WILL see that pony swim one of these summers! i’m determined.
oh! the how many days until my birthday. Yes, we play that game too. Once the first birthday of the season hits (in january) the march birthdays start asking…thankfully we’re just two weeks away…
and happy bday to your little one!
wow. thank you so much, leslie. And thank you for taking a moment to say hello.
i’ll have to check out your articles. i’m thinking i’d like to go back to assateague island in the fall. i bet it’s beautiful.
Re: TypePad: [MommyCoddle] mommycoddle submitted a response to a comment on "we'd do it all over again"
I just found the movie via netflix! Perfect for our rainy night tonight…thanks!!!
yeah! i’m so glad!!
ahh I just wrote a post today on our travels home. We spent three weeks in florida with my mom drove down and then back…your post was beautiful and a good read for me as I transition our family back into our daily life here at home.
What a great trip. It truly is a different place in the winter. Assateague is so wonderful. Great for camping too. Late April-mid may is a nice time to go.
yes. this is wonderful. :)we go to oc very late in the summer…but that will have to change now that my boy is starting kindergarten.
I LOVE Assateague! I use to live in Annapolis. My husband and I enjoyed camping out there. It is so different from the rest of the mid-atlantic coast. So authentic. I miss it so much. I loved your photos.
With just one child, I’ve found my momentum for traveling has definitely sssllloowweedd down. The packing throws me over edge. No matter how simple I try to keep it, there’s so much stuff to take with us. I can’t imagine packing fo four.
The pictures looks very nice. I bet your kids did have a very enjoyable vacation with you. Travelling with your family in these kind of places is what we can truly say a perfect getaway.
Fly season would NOT be a good time to camp there. It was fantastic. The kiddos enjoyed picking raspberries right by our campsite (a rarity here in AZ)
I have the same thoughts whilst on holiday… when do I get too enjoy myself?Lokks like you had a lovely time though.
Lovely idea! We took the kids to Assenteague (sp??) when they were 2 and 3 and our youngest made us get up every 2 hours so she could see the stars again. I thought it was the cutest thing ever, my husband did not. Anyways, combining Assenteague (how do you spell that, how? ) with Ocean City seems like a perfect mix!