I do like to be beside the seaside.

image

We had a good day at Ocean City. We enjoyed each other’s company, we found plenty to laugh about. But, as Oldest pointed out last night as we were posting our pictures on FB and phoning our family back home, the photos look as if we had a long, joyous day on the shore. In reality, all the really good stuff happened in the space of about half an hour and the rest was stupid.

imageGood stuff:
+No seagulls pooped on us.
+The kite festival was interesting.
+Oldest saw the ocean along a U.S. coast for the first time.
+It was actually pretty clean.

imageStupid stuff:
+If I wanted to walk past piercing parlors, t-shirt shops, candy stores, and souvenir stands, I’d go to a trashy carnival. I do not.
+Food: expensive and quite nasty. Even though we chose a sit-down place billed as “Maryland’s Best Irish Pub.” I feel sad for the state of Irish pubs in Maryland.
+Traffic on the way there and especially on the way back was painful. We’re accustomed to wide open spaces. Our highways at home have a speed limit of 65-75, and don’t have stoplights on them every few miles.

Redeeming the outing somewhat was a quick side trip to Assateague Island. We just drove around, and we did actually see some wild horses (though they were close to a parking area and some imageoutbuildings, so the effect was as if they were domestic and they’d just escaped from their paddock). A friend tells me her family camped there every year when she was young and she still has wonderful memories, so I’m sure it’s a great place. Probably here again it’s a matter of what you’re accustomed to. Horses aren’t a big deal at home. We have friends who own them, and we see them all the time when we’re driving anywhere on the highway.

Truly, it was the differences between this area and our home in the Midwest that I found most interesting. Being around people for whom boating is a life skill. Repeatedly coming upon bodies of naturally occurring water. Inviting, well-kept farm produce stands every few hundred yards along the “highway.” Oh, and along those “highways,” the lack of derelict barns, outbuildings, and grain silos. Apparently people in this part of the world very cleverly take down their old, collapsing farm structures – as opposed to our part of the world, where to see the proliferation of ancient, crumbling barns and farm houses you’d think an apocalypse must occur every 50 years or so. It does have the effect of making an attractive, scenic drive through rural Maryland/Delaware.

Coming up on the last day of this trip: Oldest has a lab TA meeting during which I’ll visit the campus bookstore. We’ll hang out together a little more and squeeze in a few more games of Bananagrams before I head to the airport. Then a long flight that diverts to Tampa (what was I thinking?!) and finally home just before dark, to be picked up at the airport by The Husband. First time I will have seen him in two months, so it’s a joyful ending to a lovely long weekend away.

Good-bye east coast, hello Midwest.

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